This is a weight loss journey from April Kinzler, a lady I went to high school with. Her journey from 235 lbs. down to 136 lbs. was quite a roller coaster ride. The beginning of the journey was very tough for April. However, she surrounded herself with positive people, including a supportive future husband, and she was determined to meet her goal WITHOUT EXCUSES, even as a busy woman with a full time job and two kids. I asked April to write about her weight loss journey a few days ago. Not only was I impressed by her transformation and very proud of her, but her story is a perfect motivator for my weight loss clients or anybody who is looking to lose weight in general. I feel a lot of people will benefit just by reading this story, and now I look forward to sharing it with you!
I grew up in a “big boned, “every good recipe started with a stick of butter, you cleaned your plate before you left the table kind of family. Early on I was taught that I was big, and that there was nothing I could do about it. I was under the impression since my family was on the larger side I always would be. According to my elders I was too chunky to be a cheer leader and too big to be in ballet. Influential family members informed me I would never be petite and pretty, like the majority of little girls I so envied.
This mind set followed me from early childhood on. I was ridiculed and bullied in grade school, to the point of being beat up for being the “fat girl”. As I got older it didn’t get much better, boys didn’t have crushes on me and I couldn’t wear the cute fitted clothes my girlfriends with flat tummies could get away with. I cried and felt like crap about it the majority of the time. There were a few occasions I attempted to take off a couple pounds and would have short term success. Always comparing myself to my peers I still felt huge, even weighing a little less. I would get depressed about it and quickly the weight would pile right back on.
As a young adult with zero self -esteem, I found myself in verbally and physically abusive relationships. My first husband (I was married at 18) and boyfriends to follow embarrassed, and ridiculed me on a regular basis regarding my weight. The food I ate was closely monitored, and on more than one occasion I was told “How pretty I could be, if only I was a little thinner.”
By the time I met Mike I felt fat and unattractive, and in my opinion, was damaged goods. I had been on the weight loss roller coaster for years and had not found happiness with the way I looked. Then this man came into my life and said the three most amazing words I had ever heard, “You are beautiful.” From the very beginning of our relationship he showered me with compliments, attention, and love. He didn’t compare me to other women; in fact he didn’t even look at other women. He held my hand in public with pride; there were no dirty looks or snide remarks. At this point I was a size 14/16 and weighed 192lbs.
I ballooned up to 235 lbs. while pregnant with our first child and Mike made me feel like a princess. He was so proud of my big belly because of the little girl I carried in it.
Then the weight loss just stopped and no matter how hard I tried it wouldn’t budge an inch. Turns out I was pregnant with our son, Mikey. Like my first pregnancy I totally let myself go and quickly gained 70 lbs. back.
Two kids later and a wedding on the way I was determined to lose the weight once and for all. I was going to look fabulous on my wedding day. I finally had a positive influence in my life. Mike had loved me through thick and thin, he had wiped away my tears when I cried about being heavy and offered encouragement and support through every crash diet and failed weight loss attempt for the past four years. With him by my side I just knew I could do it this time!
Three months after the birth of our second child, I embarked on this journey. I traded pop for bottled water, utilized portion control, putting in an honest effort to make healthier food choices when I could, and I discovered Insanity. I used diet pills to jump start my weight loss and help me get over plateau. I want to emphasize however that diet pills do not replace, good eating habits or regular workouts. There is no magic pill or potion that is just going to melt off the pounds forever. You have to work for it!
I had to be realistic also, I am after all a mother, a wife, and at the time was working a 40 hours a week. I had responsibilities and obligations I couldn’t just skip those things because I wanted to get in shape. So I worked out when I could and when it wouldn’t conflict with other important activities. I made working out a priority like eating or breathing. I’d do it before the kids woke up in the am, on my lunch breaks at work, during nap time, or when everyone else was asleep for the night. Twenty minutes or two hours it didn’t matter whatever I could fit into my jam packed schedule I did. I swapped out unhealthy side dishes for veggies, I avoided fried and fatty foods when I could but most importantly portion control was my secret weapon. Let’s face it I love “not so good for me food”; I had to teach myself how to limit these. Don’t get me wrong when I want a cookie, dammit I eat a cookie, but the trick is I eat one instead of three or four. I don’t believe in diets that completely deprive you of the goodies you enjoy indulging in from time to time. In my opinion, such strict diets are unrealistic and setting you up for failure. I also drank water, lots and lots of water. My theory is drink a bottle before every meal, in-between meals and when you think you’ve had enough drink another bottle. Swapping out pop for water has made a huge difference in my weight. It is now second nature to grab bottle water instead of a can of pop when I am thirsty.
Last but not least you have to work out. I personally swear by INSANITY, but it is crazy hard and at the end of some of the routines you will feel like you are going to die. The results are awesome though and well worth the effort. I credit the fact that I can now do pull ups and run 6 miles in 60 minutes with no breaks to INSANITY! However it might not be for you. With working out you may need to change it up to keep it fun and exciting. Do different DVDs, take classes at the gym, if you can afford a trainer get one, if not, then Couch to 5K and Thirty Day Ab Challenge are two of my favorite freebie work out routines I discovered online. Bottom line: get up, get out, get active, no excuses!
When I started this journey, I was 235 lbs., and a size 20/22, wearing XL shirts. On my wedding day almost exactly one year later I was wearing medium shirts, weighing in at 139 lbs. and in a size 8 wedding dress. As cheesy as it sounds walking back down the aisle as the new Mrs. Kinzler, the song that played was “Don’t Stop Believing”. I couldn’t think of a more appropriate tune for the occasion!
Five months later, I fluctuate between 136-139 lbs., I wear a size 6 jeans, and medium, sometimes small tops. I am still working on me, though my belly is not flat and I still have physical flaws, I would love to change and I will, but for now I am pretty proud of me. I wear the cute clothes I never could before and my confidence is through the roof. I have endless energy and a new found passion for life.
I am an everyday woman, a mom, a wife, and a worker. I struggle with my weight, I eat crappy food sometimes, and I still have my “fat days”. But when I fall now I pick myself back up, I surround myself with positive people, I use negative comments and experiences in my life like stepping stones towards reaching my goal. All it took was one wonderful and supportive person to say those three words, the same that I will say to you, “YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!”