For most of us that work in fitness we generally have been in pretty good shape our whole lives. Our weight and health are usually not going to get away from us.
We instruct and guide others but at the same time are not able to relate to someone who has been on the other end of the spectrum before achieving their results. It’s one thing for us to share information and motivate but it’s the people on the other end who are doing the real work, having weight loss success and making the massive life changes.
As much as you (hopefully) like hearing from me why you need to do things like eat real food, cut or eliminate sugar I think that it’s even more important to hear from the people who have put these things into practice and are committing to it day after day.
I love hearing the insights from the people who have made real achievements like Alexandra and her awesome health improvements from changing her diet.
I learned about kelly when I saw her weight loss results after it was tweeted by Robb Wolf (@robbwolf) and her story blew me away considering exercise did not make up a big part of the first 100 pounds she lost..
I contacted Kelly and asked her to share some insights into the power of eating real, whole food.
Here we go!
What was the point when you decided you wanted to make a change?
I was 298 pounds… well my doctor claims I actually hit 300, but I was having a hard time breathing at night.
I started out by looking into a weight loss surgery. After discovering not only the risks, but that they don’t teach you about proper nutrition! You have to train your brain or what good does it do? Oh that’s right, just one Oreo.
Nope, this was not for me, I wanted more. I wanted to be able to say, “hey I did the hard work myself!” I researched, and taught myself everything there was to know about food, because this is for the rest of my life, not just a quick fix. I want to enjoy a variety of great quality tasting food, not be restricted to eating something only the size of a hardboiled egg!
What have your results been number wise?
What was your nutrition approach/educating yourself ?
By pure accident, I was introduced to someone who was Paleo at a 4th of July party. It sounded like an amazing plan, so I checked it out. Actually, I started out Whole9/Whole30, but instead of doing it for 30 days, I think I stayed that strict for about 6 months.
I know that sounds really hard, but I was already somewhat following the South Beach Diet, so the strictness of Whole9 was not too bad. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a challenge to not have sugar in ANY form for 30 days, but oh so worth it. Just wait until you taste a fresh organic strawberry after a 30 day no sugar approach –AMAZING! Why did I put sugar on them before?
Because my taste buds were so used to processed, sugary foods in the Standard American Diet, they didn’t work properly! Now foods taste better than they ever have! I started reading EVERYTHING I could get my hands on about the Paleo approach to food. The more research I did, the more fascinating it became and my dedication deepened. Next thing I knew, I was 65 pounds lighter and felt 25 again!
What did a standard day of meals look like?
I started every morning with a 3-egg omelet, with spinach and mushrooms (no cheese) with homemade salsa and black coffee. My lunch would always be left-over’s from the night before. For dinner, we would usually grill steaks, Steelhead, or chicken, roast up some brussels sprouts and toss them with a good quality olive oil, balsamic vinegar, avocado, roasted pecans, and salt & pepper. Real, simple meals. I love all the creative cooking that comes along with clean eating.
What were some quick go to meals or snacks?
I really didn’t snack while on Whole9 because I didn’t feel hungry. Over time and as I reached closer to my goal, I relaxed a little. If I brought snacks to work they would usually consist of carrots, sugar snap peas, nuts and seeds, or good quality jerky, oh and fresh coconut.
What role did exercise play in your results?
Ok, I know everyone is different, and I’m probably going to be the only one to say it, but really, NOTHING. NADA. ZERO. Ok, maybe an occasional walk or bike ride. However, when I reached a 100 pound weight loss, I had a brilliant idea… let’s do crossfit!! I got my husband and 12 year old daughter involved, and on cue we went twice a week faithfully for about 8 months.
Although I loved it, I gained 16 pounds!! I know what you are going to say….”but muscle weights more than fat”. While that statement is absolutely true, muscle is also leaner than fat, therefore, my clothes should have fit looser. They did not, and I actually went up a size! I suspect that I was gaining muscle, but not burning the fat efficiently. Being that losing weight was my main goal.
It messed with me a little, and caused unnecessary stress. I decided that this time may not be the best time for this type of exercise until I reach my goal. So, for now, we bike ride, walk, and hike. Guess what? That 16 pounds plus a little more is long gone, and it feels good!
What would you suggest to someone getting started with getting healthy?
Be prepared to feel a little sick after about 2 weeks of Paleo. It’s called the Paleo Flu, but the good news is, it’s just your body detoxing from all the poisonous foods in your system.
After about two weeks (especially if you do the Whole9/Whole30 plan) you will feel the BEST you have in a very very long time. Don’t think of the big picture. What I mean by this is, don’t say to yourself, “Wow, I need to lose 135 pounds” . Instead, think of only 10 pounds at a time. It worked because I never looked past those 10 pounds. It felt obtainable and realistic.
Be patient, and don’t let the scale rule your life. Weigh about once a week. I read plenty of articles that say “don’t use the scale at all” but honestly I could not do that, I had to see progress. Once you start feeling great, you won’t ever want to go back to the old way of eating, and if you slip up, oh, your body will let you know! Pretty soon, those bloated, nauseous feelings you get from eating processed, trans fats and sugary foods, will be a clear sign to say, no thank you, not anymore!
I highly recommend reading the book “It Starts with Food” by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. This book will simply blow your mind. It’s done in in a completely understandable style that will leave you thinking, why is this poison they label as food allowed on our shelves? It is truly amazing and after reading it, you will be motivated to begin your journey with determination and energized strength. You can do it, so let’s go!
RAPID FIRE! FAVORITE:
Movie: The original “Sand Lot”
Book: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
music – 70’s
tv show – Big Bang Theory
meal – Definitely the Brussels sprouts I mentioned above
Wrapping It Up
Thank you so much to Kelly for doing this.
I spend pretty much all my time (when I’m not doing needlepoint) reading, listening and watching about all things nutrition and health. However I’m finding now the real insights come from talking to the people who are actually doing it in order to make big changes.
This is just another great example of how powerful the foods you eat are and how a focus on real, whole foods will set you up for the best long term results.
If there’s anyone you know who would love to see this weight loss success story feel free to send it their way and if you’re not on the email list what are you waiting for?! Get signed up below and be kept up to date with great information like this.