A few months ago Kimberly May-Puett contacted me. She had two goals for telling her own true weight loss story, to pay it forward and inspire others. For Kimberly, losing 57 pounds and 30 inches was a case of mind over manner. She wants others to know that they can be successful too, as long as they’re willing to make real changes.
More from Kimberly in her own words.
Tell me when your weight struggles began: At the age of 25 started traveling a lot for work, which threw off my diet and exercise routine. My weight really spiraled out of control once I became pregnant. With each baby I gained 50 – 60 pounds. I never lost all my pregnancy weight and it fluctuated for years.
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? A busy life, poor eating habits and lack of exercise. I simply did not take care of myself. My weight ballooned up to 253, which ironically was my highest pregnancy weight.
I knew in that moment I really needed to do things differently if I was going to be successful.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? I was approaching my 40th birthday. While generally happy with my life, I was miserable when I looked in the mirror. To make matters worse, blood tests from the doctor confirmed that my cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar were not in healthy ranges. At the height of my frustration, I read something that said, If you change nothing, nothing changes. I’m not sure why, but it hit me like a bolt of lightning.
How did you lose the weight? Instead of trying to make a ton of changes all at once I decided to take baby steps and focus on one change at a time. I made a mental list of everything that I wanted to change: quit smoking, eat better, exercise. On December 24, 2012, I quit smoking. In March 2013, I focused on getting my eating under control. In May 2013, I started moderate exercise. By August 2013, I had lost 20 pounds. That was the most I had ever lost! I proved to myself I was serious.
At the time I was also having trouble losing more weight so I sought out a trainer. I started working out with Anthony Velut of AV Personal Training two days a week, while continuing to exercise on my own 2 – 3 times per week. By March 2014, I had lost 55 pounds and 25 inches.
Taking things one day at a time forces you to build better, more lasting habits.
Did you have any “ah ha” moments along the way? When all the pieces came together for me – the eating, the exercising, the much-improved blood tests – and I was consistently successful (losing weight / inches), the light bulb went on. This isn’t a race. There is no finish line. When you make yourself recommit to your health and wellness every day over a reasonable period of time, it becomes second nature.
Biggest struggle in your journey? My biggest struggle was an old back injury that decided to rear its ugly head around Christmas. I was in such a good groove, working hard and it was showing. I felt great, and then – I was down for the count. It was so hard to remain positive and motivated.
This also became my biggest triumph. Giving up is exactly what the old me would have done. Instead, I flipped the script, reminded myself of the mantra, If you change nothing, nothing changes. I dug deep for motivation and reminded myself this is a journey and setbacks happen. I worked with a chiropractor/physical therapist and my trainer, and before long, I was back at it.
Advice you’d give to other people struggling to lose weight? There is no need to overwhelm yourself with everything you need to change all at once. Make a list of the things you want to change, prioritize it, and tackle one thing at a time.