“SWEET ENOUGH..” Spotlight on Kim.
There are times in life where change is inevitable; they often occur when drastic measures are necessary for survival. Kim has lost over 130 pounds to date, simply because she has chosen to LIVE. I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with this positive and motivational young woman, let’s see how she did it:
Hello! Your transformation has been amazing to see. What prompted you to start your journey?
I have had diabetes for the last 20 years and three years ago was diagnosed with arthritis. I had extremely severe pain from the arthritis in my left knee-I couldnt walk more than a block or two without stopping to rest. The pain was severly impacting my life so I went to the doctor and began cortisone injections. We did those for about six months and my arthritis was getting progressively worse. The doctor told me I would need a total knee replacement. He also told me that since I was morbidly obese I could die on the operating table and he wouldnt operate on me unless I lost 50 pounds. I knew I couldn’t live with that pain for the resot of my life-I was taking narcotics on a daily basis and was constantly in pain, lethargic and had bad G.I. side effects and nightmares from the pain meds. I decided I would lose the weight so I could get the surgery I so desperately needed.
Has this journey been more physically or mentally challenging?
Because of my arthritis pain and because I would sometimes get low blood sugars from the diabetes, this was a very physically challenging journey. However, I would say it was tougher mentally than physically because I had to physically push my self to exercise through tears of pain. The eating part wasn’t as hard as the exercise. It was almost torturous but I knew I needed to continue doing it if I was ever going to get my weight down low enough to get the surgery that would get me out of pain. So I pushed through.
Prior to starting your journey, was weight loss and health maintenance ever on your radar?
Because I have diabetes, my health was on my mind a little bit, but not as much as it should have been. I ate whatever I wanted and just gave myself increasingly larger doses of insulin to cover the food that I was eating. I had tried to lose weight before, but gained it back because I was trying gimmicky things instead of making the real lifestyle changes I needed to make.
As we know with any new ventures and/or journeys in life, there will be people that will not be 100% supportive or understanding of your life choices. Have you had any issues with friends and/or family not being supportive of your commitment to being healthy?
For the most part, everyone has been supportive of me from day one. When I first started on my journey I was about 2 years into my relationship with my now husband and we stopped going out to eat which we had been doing often. I also turned down a lot of social events that I knew would be centered around food so that I could stick to my plan. I’ve since learned how to eat out in those settings, or to bring my own food with me.
You have motivated many. Do you have a specific success/transformation story that you inspired that makes you exceptionally proud?
Gosh, I’ve had so many Non Scale Victories it’s hard to pick one. One that came up recently is I flew for the first time since losing the 130 pounds. Before when I flew, I could not get my seat belt fastened and always pretended it was because I was too embarrassed to ask for a seat belt extender.I would also spill out of the seats and crowd the people sitting next to me with my large body. I tried to always sit by the window so that I could push my body up against that. A month or so ago we flew to Chicago on Southwest Airlines which does not have assigned seating. I was one of the last people on the plane and had to sit in a middle seat. Not only was I able to buckle the seatbelt, but I actually needed to tighten it a few inches. I also sat in the middle seat and was the smallest person in my row. I felts so proud of my accomplishments at that moment.
Top 3 favorite workout songs?
Brick House by the Commodores, In Da Club by 50 Cent and Shot Thru the Heart by Bon Jovi. I’m originally a Jersey girl so I love Bon Jovi.
Do you feel that obesity is too comforted in our society?
I feel that there is a lot of discrimination towards people who are obese. They are bullied, made fun of, passed over for jobs or dates and just treated poorly. This has to stop. It’s hard to come to a point where you can decide to make changes without the additional bad treatment from other people. I don’t think obesity is comforted, but I dont think enough is done to help people who are living with it, especially low income people of color. In my city of Oakland, there are entire low income neighborhoods that do not have access to grocery stores. The only thing available are liquor stores or corner markets. Further, it is not safe for kids to play outside. So we have many low income kids of color whose families cannot afford to go to better neighborhoods to buy healthy food and cannot go outside to play. This is a huge problem and our country needs to prioritize health in everything.
Have people treated you differently since your transformation?
Not really. People tell me I look great all the time. They ask me where I shop. We can swap clothes. I’ve had no negativity from my girlfriends.
Any words of advice for someone who doesn’t have the motivation to lose weight?
For me the most helpful thing I did on my journey was track my food in the app My Fitness Pal. When I would enter what I was eating into there it made me realize the calories I was wasting and the bad choices I was making. Why have a 250 calorie coffee drink when for the same amount of calories I can have a whole meal of chicken, kale and sweet potato which actually has some nutritional value and will fill and fuel me up. Taking a hard look at what I was eating was the most helpful thing to helping me make good choices. I would also say that losing weight has given me back my life. Before I was a prisoner in my own body-my obesity dictated what kind of activites I could or could not do, where I could shop for clothes, and how I felt everyday both physically and emotionally. This journey has helped me become free-free to walk, run or bike. Free from pain from things like walking around the block or tying my shoe. Free from hating looking at myself in the mirror. Free to be able to shop for clothes anywhere I want. Free to live up to my potential.
To see more on Kim, please follow her on Instagram: Sugarfreeoreo .