Weight-Loss Win is an original Yahoo series that shares the inspiring stories of people who have shed pounds healthfully.
Kim Hutchins is 28, 5’6” tall, and currently weighs 145 pounds. In 2016, after being overweight for most of her life, she was inspired to lose weight for her wedding. This is her weight-loss story.
The turning point
I have struggled with my weight for most of my life. It started when I was a child. I had a rough upbringing and was often alone. This gave me the freedom to eat whatever I wanted. Sweets, chips, soda, you name it — I ate when I was bored, stressed, scared, or happy. Food was my outlet. I was always bigger than all the other kids that I went to school with and I often got bullied. I specifically remember when I was in fourth grade, a girl asked me if I was pregnant. I was devastated. Luckily, I somewhat grew into my body and started to become better proportioned. However, I was still bigger than my friends. I remember that shopping for jeans was always a nightmare. After high school, I continued to gain weight. I averaged around 200 pounds in my early 20s. In 2014, my daughter was born, and I weighed 235 pounds. By the time my daughter was 2, I was at my all-time high weight of 245. It was at that point that I knew it was time to make change.
In May of 2016, we were planning a trip on a cruise that required me to get a passport. When I got my picture taken, I looked at it and couldn’t believe what I saw. I looked so big. I wondered, “Who is that girl? No way that’s me.” It was then that I bought a scale and saw that number staring back at me: 245. It just didn’t seem possible that I had let my weight get so out of control. My wedding was only five months away. It was at that moment that I decided that I would lose 50 pounds by my wedding.
The first thing I did was join a gym, and I sought out a personal trainer. After meeting with him, I felt very discouraged. He told me that I needed to come to the gym and do what he showed me at least four to five times a week. With a 2-year-old and a full-time job, I couldn’t see how that would be possible. I’m not sure if it was fate, or what, but that evening, I went on Facebook and came across a picture of a person that I hadn’t seen in years. She looked amazing, easily 40 to 50 pounds lighter than the last time I saw her. I shot her a private message, begging her to reveal her secret. Then she typed the magic word — keto. She said that basically all she did was cut out bread, sweets, soda, and junk. I was intrigued. At that point, she added me to a Facebook group, where I started finding success story after success story. The before and after photos blew me away. I just couldn’t get over it. These people weren’t working out either. They simply changed what they ate. So I began my research and decided to go with the “Optimal Keto Living or OKL Chart” to find my daily macro goals. It is based on height, so for my height of 5’6”, the goals are at least 100 grams of protein, 75 to 175 grams of fat, and 25 grams of net carbs. I then downloaded the MyFitnessPal app, where I entered in my goals.
After a final weekend where I ate all the carbs I wanted, I cut out all bread, pasta, sweets, and soda. I ate mainly lean meats, vegetables, eggs, and cheese. A typical day for me was eggs and turkey bacon for breakfast, a salad with cheese, leafy greens and veggies with ranch for lunch, and grilled chicken and some sort of green veggie on the side for dinner. I tried to keep it as simple as I could. Repetition was key. Once I found what worked for me, I stayed with it. There were times when I would get sick of the same things, but luckily there are so many low-carb/keto recipes online that offered variety. Another key to my success was planning meals ahead of time, sometimes weeks ahead.
The first few weeks of keto, I physically felt miserable. They refer to this as the “keto flu.” During this time, I read that it was important to keep up with my electrolytes. As gross as it sounds, the only thing that kept me from feeling nauseous was drinking chicken broth and pickle juice. Once I got through the first few weeks, I felt great. After only one month of making these drastic changes to my diet, I lost 20 pounds and was down to 225. I couldn’t believe it. Every time I stepped on that scale and it was lower, I got that much more motivated to keep going and not mess up.
My main motivation was my upcoming wedding in November. By Oct. 1, I had hit my first goal, 50 pounds gone! I was able to lose 12 more pounds before my wedding, and I was able to walk down the aisle at 183 pounds. It was a hard choice, but I decided to stop keto after my wedding, since my husband and I were going on our honeymoon on an all-you-can-eat cruise. When we got back, I decided to try clean eating, so that I could enjoy our traditional holiday foods without having to worry about falling out of ketosis. I promised myself that I would go back on keto starting Jan. 1, and that’s just what I did! I got back into ketosis and lost another 40 pounds.
Now that I’ve lost the weight, I feel amazing. I have more energy and confidence. I am so proud of myself, I never thought anything like this was ever possible for me. I’ve struggled with my self-image my whole life, and for the first time ever, I am actually happy with how I look. I even enjoy shopping!
I never considered the amount of loose skin that I would get, or the idea that I would lose fat in places that i didn’t want to, like my chest. Once I lost the weight, I struggled at times trying to get used to my new body. I was always curvy and “thick,” but now, not so much. It took a while, but I finally started to learn to love my new body. I was proud of it and I worked so hard to get it. I do plan on having a tummy tuck and possibly a breast lift in the future, but for now, I am content.
I think finding the weight that you’re most comfortable being takes some trial and error. I am about 10 pounds heavier than my lowest weight. This is the weight that I’m most comfortable at for now, until I can afford to take off time for surgery. I stopped eating keto once I decided not to lose any more weight. I eat clean most of the time, a lot of fruit and veggies. If I have bread, it is 100% whole wheat. I still limit my sugar and carb intake. I still don’t exercise, but I do work as a housekeeper, so I am very active.
I am currently in Weight Watchers and am still weighing, measuring, and tracking all of my food, to keep up with portion control. Doing this has allowed me to hold myself accountable for everything that I am eating.
My daughter has always been a huge motivator for me. I want her to grow up learning healthy eating habits so that she will make good choices. I never want her to have to go through the struggles that I went through.
The biggest struggle was returning to carbs and not allowing myself to lose self-control. Keto was so structured, so getting off of it and trying to be disciplined in limiting my portions was a challenge. That is why I decided to join Weight Watchers. I feel that I still need a little bit of structure to help me maintain my weight loss, and Weight Watchers provides that.
No. 1: Don’t cheat. No cheat meal, or day, or week is worth it. The instant gratification of food is nothing compared to the feeling that you get once you start losing weight.
No. 2: Hold yourself accountable. Track, weigh, and measure everything that you eat. That way, you can look back to your weekly logs and learn from your mistakes. Find the things that may have stalled your weight loss and eliminate them from your diet.
No. 3: Never give up. It will be extremely hard, but it will change your life forever in the best way possible.
Need more inspiration? Read about our other weight-loss winners!
Have a weight-loss win to share? We want to hear it! Tell us at YStyleBeauty@yahoo.com.
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