An Awesome Guest Post For You! [A Weight Loss Story]
Okay, so I have this friend in Alaska who is awesome (duh!)
She always teased me on Instagram with these pictures of adorable wrap bracelets that she was making. Like this:
But honestly, the point of this post isnt to share that awesomeness with you (it was just a bonus!)
The point is to share that same lovely friend of mine’s weight loss story!
So without further ado – here is a story for you!
My name is Kayla, I am 23 years old, I live in North Pole, Alaska, & I am the oldest child out of 4 girls and 1 boy.
Having such a big family meant we never ate out…but mom always made lots of BIG homemade meals every night, and we had to eat everything on our plate, portion control meant nothing. I have always been a little bigger… I had curves, developed young, ate very well and always snacked on homemade goodies. I never really cared about how to change the way I looked, I just hid myself in big hoodies or clothing and while ignoring it…kept eating oversized portions…whenever I was hungry, or bored.
Of COURSE id always wanted to fit a size M or S. Those letters never existed in my closet. I often dreamed about what it would be like to go into a store and find something I liked and be able to wear it WITHOUT a jacket or something to cover myself up in so that my fat rolls wouldn’t show. But there I was, that girl hurrying through the rack looking for the XL’s in all the cute shirts or sweaters, I was very self conscious. In high school I had a “fleece sweater,” a Columbia fleece zip jacket that was like a security blanket for me. I wore it every single day, including most summer days. I did not like to show off my body, and my fleece was always there to help me hide it!
When I turned 21, that’s when it all began…I was introduced to a world of late nights, delicious lemon drop shots, so much fast food, drinks on drink, having a grand ole time, not caring…& a flabby ass that began to prove it.
I’ve been working at a physical therapy office for close to 4 years now. Overall it’s a very healthy, inspiring environment; everyone here eats really well, and works out regularly! We see a lot of patients that are elderly and seeing how sometimes being overweight can affect your knees and health, it really made me step back and think, I need to be healthier, I want to be that 70 year old that is in great shape for their age and is still movin and groovin around!
I decided in January 2011, I was going to get my ass to the gym…with the help of one of my best friends; the gym became a huge part of my life. I weighed in at a whopping 198 POUNDS. I was so shocked I let myself get that big. We started going every day and every day I thought I was going to die. Like the kind of die where you are whining like a baby saying that there’s no way I can go any longer on the treadmill and accidently hit the “stop” button a couple times sweating like a pig, die. I HATED, I repeat, HATED gym class all throughout school and never thought I’d be one to WANT to willingly go to the gym!
For months I worked out, I was losing a little…but I continued going out every weekend with my girl friends downing tons of shots and drinks and food the entire summer. I was still eating out…my friend and I would go swim and then go get chicken nuggets or a happy meal (a weakness) from McDonalds…and I always thought, HEY I’m working out, I’ll be fine!!
In September my office manager at my work told me about the “17 day diet” book. She had been doing it and lost 10 pounds in a month! I thought to myself, if I want this to work, I HAVE to change my eating habits. So weighing in at 185 I said ok, I can DO this. I cut out drinking and going out every weekend and started following some guidelines from that book to help me out. I started eating better and drinking lots of water. By January 2012 I was down to 168 and had lost a total of 30 pounds since the January before.
I decided then on out, I was not going to continue any sort of “diet” but I would make a life change and ‘eat clean,’ continue with PORTION control, and keet my relationship with the gym FOREVER.
In May 2012 I started to write everything I ate down. I love writing things down, from keeping a calendar of my bills to daily workouts to food, random grocery lists, I like to see it in front of me. That helped a lot, seeing everything you are eating makes you think twice when you’re struggling to write down the whole box of thin mints you binged on the night before! (It was only one roll but still ;])
I began upping my protein intake and cutting carbs (my LIFE) on my own.
Growing up, when I think about it now, all the meals my mom ever made were carb loaded. It was really hard to cut back, especially breads and muffins, which we always had homemade around the house! Waaa! But watching my sugar and carb intake REALLY helped. It’s amazing how much sugar is in orange juice or some oatmeals!
I began to eat five small meals a day and only drink water or my daily one cup of coffee at work, which I even switched to sugar free, because it had less carbs and sugar. I was working out at LEAST 5 times a week, doing about 30 minutes of cardio on the stairmaster, & 15 minutes or so on the arc or bike (I love cardio and wish I could ONLY do that) then weights and ten minute abs. I lost another 20 pounds by the end of that summer and was so close to my first goal of 145, which is my driver license weight that I always lied about…(don’t we all ;]).
On November 14th 2012 I hit my 145 mark…I was SO HAPPY! It marked my 53rd pound GONEEEEE, DONEZOO, out of HERE! I’m pretty sure I got ice cream…which I absolutely L O V E! And yes they say “not to reward yourself cause you’re not a dog”, but all I heard was “go get yourself some gosh damn ice cream stat!” So I enjoyed that ice cream like nobody’s business! On February 3rd, 2013 marked the day I could fit into a size S…small…yayyyy! I had always wanted a north face jacket but could not imagine spending so much on one, so I told myself when I could fit a small, I will buy one, and proudly did!
The last two years I’ve continued to work out on a regular basis. I work out in the evening after work, because, well…I CAN NOT do mornings, I probably could if I wanted to die…but over time I’ve realized at night I have SO much more energy and I sleep like a baby after! Overall in the last two years, I’ve lost about 60 pounds and I am aiming for 15 more. It’s a long process and you have to remember that and have the mind set when you begin the journey. Yes is it exciting to be a “S” or “M” but one thing that I love, is how GREAT I feel and all the energy I have when I eat better! Don’t get me wrong, I splurge all the time on a bbq burger or ice cream or I have my mom’s homemade French toast or a fancy coffee. I have a rest day or two, and it’s OK, because I don’t gain anything from enjoying that meal that I love, or skipping a day at the gym. I don’t eat until I can’t move; I just enjoy it then continue with my normal eating habits.
Since I’ve started all of this, it makes me really excited to say that my family has been eating better and started working out too. All three of my sisters and my mom are on board and want to change their bodies & health for the better. My little sister is 16, & she has had 9 knee surgeries in the last 5 years. Not being able to do a lot of physical activity she had gained a little weight, not a lot, but more than she was comfortable with. Since last summer she has lost 20+ pounds. Every week she updates me and asks me questions about eating habits, shows me pictures of progress, or asks about things she can do without using her legs since she can’t over do it on her knee. Knowing that I could inspire her and that on her own, with just eating right, she lost that much, makes me SO proud of her, and that much more motivated. Besides feeling energetic, light and healthier than ever before…that is one of the most rewarding things I could have gotten out of this whole journey!
Some things I eat & what I do:
-Veggies, Peppers, Hummus, Cottage cheese, Chicken, Salmon, Fish, Fage Greek 0% plain yogurt, Salad, Apples, Fruits, Peanut butter, Red Beans, Oatmeal (Oat Fit or steel cut), Eggs, Egg whites, Nuts, Protien Shake (GNC Lean Shake 25)…pretty much anything that is on the healthier side.
-I aim for 120oz but drink at least 100oz of water every day!
-Cut out processed food as much as possible! When you prepare your meals, they are better for you!
-Cook all my chicken and veggies and get my shopping done on Sunday to prepare for the whole week ahead!
-I eat 5 small meals a day and I do not eat after 6pm. (it’s hard but you see results and with time is easier=])
– I try to work out 5 times a week…weekends are my hardest…
-I recently started a Body Sculpting class that’s 2 times a week for 2 months, to add to my normal workout at the gym. A Little extra boost helps the “plateau” stages. Or the Jillian Micheals ’30 Day Shred’ DVD is great to do as an extra, I did this a few months ago on top of my workout at the gym and it helps too and much cheaper!
-Every week I print out a new food chart and calendar and write down everything I eat.
- If you have ever gone through a major health improvement/weight loss yourself – what were some of the other benefits besides the actual physical change(s) itself?
- What are some of your go-to healthy snacks?