One Phase at a Time

kellydillonKelly’s Succes Story

I’ve been extremely overweight since the age of eight. You see, I grew up in the 80s—when processed foods were popular, cheap and more convenient. As years went by, I found myself fighting obesity.

Earlier this year, I weighed in at 332 pounds and found myself unable to be active with my children, who are two and three years old. During trips to the zoo, I’d be so limited. After working all day, I’d often find myself too tired to even play with them after dinner. I couldn’t even get down on the floor to play with them. These limitations made be depressed.

Things started to change in January when my husband and I joined the Y’s Get Fit Challenge. This is how we met Julie (our instructor) and 11 fellow members who were also looking for weight loss support. The Get Fit Challenge combines exercise and group support to make lifestyle changes. I can truly say that this class has changed my life.

As a family, we changed our eating habits completely. We stopped eating fast food and junk food. The first two weeks were challenging. We replaced junk food with healthy snacks such as nuts, fruits and vegetables. Going through sugar withdrawal was probably the hardest for me. We started making our dinners at home every night and planned for leftovers for lunches. The best part of our new plan is just keeping it simple. Just eat real food. Most of the foods I eat are either fresh produce or fresh meat.

After a few weeks into the program, I started to exercise regularly. At first, I really couldn’t do much. Walking on the treadmill was the only thing I had the energy and confidence to do. But by the end of the 12-week Get Fit Challenge, I lost a total of 24 pounds, 33 inches and 1.7% body fat. I even dropped from a pant size 28 to a 22! I felt so encouraged that even though the program was complete, I was not ready to stop. It was time for Phase 2.

At that time, the Y had a sale on personal training , so I decided to sign up. These personal training sessions not only taught me about free weights and form, but they also boosted my comfort level. My fitness level and confidence also continued to grow, and in mid-April, I started a kickboxing class. Although the class was high intensity, I got addicted fast. I also started doing Body Pump and Pound at a local country club. Looking back at where I started fitness-wise, I am truly amazed at my progress.

My second phase officially came to an end in July. I lost an additional 20 pounds, 15 inches and 2.4% body fat. I also went down to a pant size 20.

Many have asked, ‘what’s your secret?’ My answer is a combination of eating real, non-processed food, having support and finding exercise to truly enjoy. If you enjoy the exercise, you’re more likely to stick with it. For the last two and a half months, I’ve done kickboxing three times a week, body pump twice a week and Pound once a week. Some may say this is obsessive, but I say it is dedication. I honestly look forward to my planned exercise every day.

Now it’s time for Phase 3!