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Weight Loss and Getting Healthy Success Story – An Interview

Kym's Transformation
As you may know, I am on Twitter (@DrNotley). I meet many interesting people on there and see many people who have had successes in their goals of loosing weight and getting healthy. One such individual is Kym (@kymberley76).  Kym is a true success story and she should be applauded for her transformation.  She did it the old fashioned way; hard work and good nutrition.

I decided to email Kym some questions so that I could learn how she managed to achieve her goals for this year.

I would like to thank Kym for doing this interview. I hope it helps you become a fitter healthier person.  Here is our email interview.

1.      Tell me a little about yourself and why you decided to make a change to your health? 
I am 34 years old; married (for 15 years) and have two girls (14 and 7).  I spent 7 years in University & Post University to become a Chartered Accountant. 
Last January I read something that scared me.  It talked about the dangers of belly fat and the health issues it could cause.  As a mom I definitely want to live a long life to watch my girls grow up.  At 219 lbs I wasn’t enjoying life; I was hiding at home. I never wanted to go out. It was that moment that made me re-think what I was doing to my health and prompted me to make changes.  I started walking at lunch with a friend.  The first week was hard; I could barely keep up with her and was completely out of breath.  I made a plan that for three weeks (21 days) I would walk at lunch and pack my lunch.  No fast food.  Again I had read somewhere that new habits take 21 days to form….not sure if this true but it worked for me.  After the 21 days I allowed myself a “cheat” day once a week.
 I started my journey at 219 lbs which at 5’9” had me in the obese category.  I had entered an on-line contest with Clear102 FM for a month of Boot Camp with Sustainable Fitness and a month of Yogawith Bikram.  The Challenge was you had to do it everyday for 30 days!  This challenge really helped kicked off my journey.  I recruited 3 friends; we started a blog and started the journey together.  In the beginning it was tough fitting in 7 days of Boot Camp and Yoga but we did!  It was a great month learning to balance family, work & exercise.  It was also great having friends to share the experience.  We laughed (a lot), cried (some), offered motivation and supported each other.  We also met some great new friends.  Allan at Sustainable Fitness was a huge resource of information and guidance and Cathy at Bikram was a fantastic in helping us through our first attempts at Yoga.  At the end of the month my team had lost 46.5 lbs and won the challenge.  This for me was the start of something really great.
2.      What goals did you achieve this past year? 
·        No longer be in the “obese” category; BMI is currently 23 and I weigh a healthy 155 lbs (lost a total of 64lbs, 29 inches and went from a size 18 to an 8).
·        My clothes fit better and I feel amazing.
·        Ran a 10km race
·        Finished the 40 km Fort Whyte Eco Challenge
3.      What are your favourite health and fitness blogs, books, or magazines you read?
·        Women’s health Magazine
·        Oxygen magazine has become a favorite for new exercises.
·        Fashion Magazine (umm ‘cause those clothes fit now)
·        That’s Fit blog has great articles/success stories etc.
·        Green litebites has great recipes
·        Starting Strength (Mark Rippetoe) was a great book for proper form and Strength training for women (Joan Pagano) was fantastic.
4.      What is your favourite healthy food to eat? What is the recipe? 
·        EGGS!  I eat egg whites pretty much every day. Great source of protein, low in fat and super yummy. I think they are the perfect food!
·        Breakfast wrap
o       3 egg whites, chopped asparagus (2-3), chopped tomato (1/2 of medium), Tbsp chopped onion, sprinkle of feta.  Scramble in non stick fry pan.  Serve in 100% whole grain (7inch) wrap. 
·        I have lots of new favourites….it would be hard to pick just one.  I have developed a love for Kale….I add it to almost everything.  It has HUGE health benefits and it quick and easy. Eggplant, spaghetti squash, asparagus……
·        I also discovered a love of Salmon (I never ate fish before).  There are some great on-line recipes. My favourite is for a spicy baked salmon.
5.      What is your least favourite healthy food to eat? 
·        In the beginning it was pretty much all vegetables. It took experimenting with herbs and salt-free seasonings and healthy oils to help make the transition to eating vegetables.
·        Now I can’t think of anything I don’t like.
6.      What is your favourite cheat meal? 
My all time favourite cheat meal (it wins every time) is Pancakes (hands down) every Saturday that is the cheat meal.  My hubby jokes all the time; don’t you want pizza or a burger?  Nope 😉
7.      Do you take any supplements? 
I take a multi-vitamin (when I remember).  I use EAS protein shakes after a workout and use Udo’s oil (for fat; to drizzle over veggies etc).  I have CLA…and when I remember I take it 😉
8.      When it comes to eating well what are your top 3 recommendations? 
·        Plan plan plan….the better you plan the more likely you are stick with it.  I plan all the meals for the week on Sunday and then stock the fridge. Be creative with your food; Google new recipes and don’t be afraid to try new things.
·        Journal – this way you know FOR SURE how much you are eating, amount of fiber etc.  This also keeps you accountable.  If I cheat I write it down.  I have an excel spreadsheet that has every meal I have eaten in the last year.
·        FORGIVE…a healthy lifestyle is NOT a diet.  This was the biggest change I made this time.  If you screw up get over it and move on right away; not Monday….not next month….. 
9.      How did you manage to alter your eating patterns and accommodate the rest of your family?
Planning really helps. Some meals that I cook are family friendly but I also knew the kids (and the hubby) still want there favs. (Mac n’ cheese, tacos etc). Some days I do cook two dinners.  I am lucky that I have a teenage as she is able to help out.  I will make Mac n’ cheese/lasagna/Chili on the weekend and freeze it; then it can be tossed in the oven while I am preparing my meals.  It really helps that I know in advance what I am preparing on what day so I can have it all ready.  All the veggies for the week are washed and cut on Sunday; and ready to go.
It seems like a lot of work BUT meal preparation times have become family bonding time.  I am teaching my kids how to cook etc and we get to spend time together.  I think this part of “eating” was lost before with too many quick, convenient dinners.
I plan meals for both myself and my family on Sundays.  It really takes determination to make it work.
10.  What is your favourite form of exercise to do and why? 
·        Boot Camp – the camaraderie of working out with others was a huge source of motivation for me.  It’s not intimidating like the gym in the beginning; yet more cost effective then having a personal trainer.  The great thing with boot camp is that you can cater it to what you can do.  Every level of fitness can participate. 
·        I honestly never thought the gym would be sustainable for me.  I hated going because I didn’t want to be judged or looked at. Now after a year of working out I look forward to being in the gym.  I have my workout days scheduled and look forward to it.  The gym lost its intimidation factor.  Back and chest days are my favorite. 
11.  What is your favourite form of cardiovascular exercise to do and why
I developed a love of running.  It is still my go-to Cardio exercise.  I try to switch it up by doing some interval training.  I much prefer outdoor running to running on the treadmill.
12.  Do you work out at home or at a gym? 
  I work out at the gym at work at noon, at home and with a personal trainer on Fridays.
13.  Have you had to deal with any injuries along the way?   
Back in February I was down 20 lbs and feeling great!  A group of ladies that I worked with asked me to be on there team for the Fort Whyte Eco Challenge in April.  Of course I said “yes” and this led to some over training injuries.  Now I am a firm believer in listening to your body.  40 km of paddling, running and biking was definitely too much for someone who had just started working out.  I had to have a few Physio appointments for the left knee and right ankle.  In the end; the team just had to run slower so that I could finish.  The good thing with this team event is we couldn’t be more then 20 ft away from a team member; therefore I set the pace.  We finished in 3 hours and it was a huge accomplishment for me!
14.  What is your best piece of advice for those just starting to exercise? 
·        Start SLOW and find a buddy!  Encouragement is the best way in the beginning to stay with it!
·        Know your body and your limits.  Push yourself each time but not to the point of injury and know when to take a break.
15.  What is your goal for this year? 
·        Increasing flexibility and building muscle (small girly ones of course).
·        Possibly a half marathon
·        Wear a bikini
16.  How did you manage to integrate this healthy lifestyle into your life? 
      The 30 day challenge in February really helped show me that exercise and healthy eating can fit into a busy lifestyle.  I have learned that putting my health first is Ok.  I watch a lot less TV then I used to and I love that I find my 7 year old on the treadmill “just getting in a run”.  My new lifestyle is rubbing off my kids!
17.  What motivates you to continue with this lifestyle?
I am motivated to continue because of how great I feel!  I have developed new habits that are making my life easier not harder. I love being able to shop anywhere and having the energy to keep up with my kids.  The best part was watching my hubby fall in love me all over again (probably because I begin to love myself).
Kym added the following to the interview: 
Can I fill you in on the downside (yes there is one)….the support of friends and family tapers off completely.  I wasn’t expecting this!  Honestly I am not sure if it is jealousy or not but the hardest part now is that my journey is “silent”.  I am really lucky to have such an awesome personal trainer; he is really my biggest supporter other than my hubby.  It is hard to be so excited about dead lifting more than my body weight or a running personal best…..but then not being able to share it with anyone.  That is why I joined Twitter…new friends (anonymous ones) that maybe I can motivate or can motivate me!

Originally posted on May 17, 2022 @ 4:40 pm