My Story: “I Was Completely Fed Up With Myself”
This weight loss success story features the dangers of hypertension…
Busy lifestyle, weight gain, weight loss, more weight gain, hypertension, frustration…repeat. Many of us know this story, and how aggravatingly cyclical it can be. But how do you break the cycle?
Ask Kia Horton.
Kia Horton is a married, employed mother to two. While change is hard enough for anyone, it’s even harder when you have other people depending on you every single day. But here’s how she was able to change her life:
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I have been overweight all of my adult life. I started to gain weight as a pre-teen, around the age of 12. While in high school, my dad allowed me to sign up for a weight loss program. I was able to lose approximately 30 pounds, which put my weight at 168 pounds. But I hated the food, so the program was not sustainable because eating their food was the only key to success. By the time I entered college, I weighed a whopping 210.
By the way…I’m 5’4″.
The weight continued to snowball, and when I returned home from college, I weighed 260 lbs. I immediately joined a gym and hired a personal trainer. This also proved to be futile because I was not ready to change my eating habits. I lost no weight during this time. I quit!
Through the years, over and over again, I tried, and failed at, all sorts of weight loss plans – most of which involved crash dieting and extreme food deprivation. I would lose weight for the short term, at times as much as 40 pounds, but I would shortly gain it all back, plus a little more.
I haven’t yet shared this next part of my story with everyone because it is deeply personal, but I want to be totally honest…
By the age of 31, I was completely fed up with myself topping out at 319 pounds. This prompted my decision to go under the knife and have lap-band surgery. This surgery probably assisted in me being able to get pregnant, since prior to the surgery, I did not have a consistent menstrual cycle because I was morbidly obese. After the surgery, I immediately dropped 50 lbs and within a month, I found out I was pregnant with my first child. I was over the moon with excitement and did not care that I had just invested a ton of money into the surgery.
Within 18 months I was pregnant again, but this time I wasn’t so lucky. I lost the son that I had prayed for, which sent me into a tail spin. I had no outlet for stress…that is, other than food. Since eating was what provided comfort in any other uncomfortable situation, I turned to my old standby once again, and quickly started to put the pounds back on.
By the grace of God, I was pregnant again within a year with another son.
During my second pregnancy, I developed hypertension. I couldn’t believe that this was happening to me at the age of 36, but I accepted it as my fate. I thought that I was just an overweight woman. I spent many years convincing myself that I had achieved the American dream because I had a husband, two children, four fish and two birds. What more did I need?
Yes, I was worried about the life threatening effects of hypertension, but not enough to change my lifestyle. In fact, after my lap-band surgery, I never once even had it adjusted. Though, I honestly believe that, even if I had, it would not have sustained weight loss since I was not ready to change my mind about food.
On a random night out with my girlfriends, I was chatting with a stranger who happened to be really into fitness We started to chat about my fitness journey and how defeated I felt. He encouraged me to give it one more try, if not for myself, for my children. The following Tuesday on January 17, 2012, I walked into Weight Watchers with a friend – I weighed in at 299.4 pounds. I initially only wanted to join for one month to see what it was all about, but after the first meeting I was hooked. I signed up to do it all.
I wanted to work the plan to the fullest to see if I could do it. After the first week I was down 4 pounds. The second week, I was down another 4 pounds. I thought that this was impossible! This continued for about a month and then the weight loss started to slow to about a pound per week. I realized then that I needed to incorporate exercise into my plan.
I have never been very patient, so I knew that in order to stick with this, I was going to need to see results…FAST!! I started doing Zumba on my Wii 5 or 6 days a week with my husband and children. I followed this routine for months, barely missing a day. When the weather started to get warm, I signed up to start walking 5Ks. This changed my life. I started walking along the Chicago lakefront for 3 to 4.5 miles every day. By the end of July 1, I was able to run the entire path, albeit slowly, but I still did it. This started my like for running (I’m still not in love). These days, running for me is the time that I have quiet space, with just my thoughts and my breathing. I often cry when I run, but it’s a good cry, a release of emotion.
Actually, I’ve learned from talking to other runners that crying is a common phenomenon. Running allows me to be FREE of stress!
In September, it started to get cold, so I started running on a treadmill! Boring! But I had already lost nearly 100 lbs, so I couldn’t quit now. I joined a bootcamp with a friend, and soon developed a love for circuit training. In October, I was referred to Andrea Nichols-Everett, who owns D3: Dre’s Diesel Dome. I initially started doing bootcamp two days a week and I would run the other three days. After two months I was hooked, and increased my program to Monday through Friday, while still running three days a week.
Very recently, I weighed in at 149 pounds at Weight Watchers. That puts my official weight loss at 150.4 pounds.
Slowly, but surely, changing my mind about who I am has led me to change!