Why was your goal so important to you?

“Losing weight was so important to me for so many reasons. At 360 lbs, I was uncomfortable in any situation imaginable, feeling judged and stared at for no other reason than trying to exist, along with so many other concerns and worries, plagued my every day life. To say it was a daily struggle would be an understatement. I was miserable, insecure, lacking any self-worth.”

I continuously engaged in emotional eating and participated in a vicious cycle of self-sabotage. I was filled with so much self hatred and was in so much pain physically, mentally, and emotionally, and it was all centered around my weight and issues with food.

I felt hopeless honestly, and I started to realize that I couldn’t imagine living my life this way for much longer. Something had to give, as cliche as that sounds, but its true. I had tried to lose weight all my life but this attempt finally stuck, and I could not be more thankful to be 170 lbs down and counting.

What was your inspirational goal?

My inspirational goal was honestly, at first, to be under 200 lbs and a size 18. I haven’t been under 200 lbs my entire adult life. I was 223 when I graduated high school, and consistently gained weight every year since. The biggest size I got to was a size 28 jeans. Now that I’m under 200 and a size 10, I want to keep going. This weight and that size were previously unimaginable to me, and I’m so excited to be on this journey in a new body. I can’t wait to keep pushing and see what more I can accomplish.

What was the cost of being overweight in your life? What did you miss out on? Or miss out on doing at the highest level?

At 360 lbs, I knew I was missing out on so much. At 27, I should have been able to do whatever I wanted to physically, but my weight held me back so much that even walking was a struggle. I was uncomfortable in any situation imaginable, worrying about things thinner people never even think about. Worrying about whether or not I could fit in a booth in a restaurant, or never being able to shop with friends because I needed to go to plus size stores, or worrying about what distance my friends would want to walk on nights out, and if I could even make it without my feet starting to kill me or without my make up sweating off.

Mostly being overweight costed me my self-worth, or any shred of self confidence I could muster. I missed out on so many outfits I wanted to wear but couldn’t fit in, or I thought I looked disgusting in. So many nights out ruined by some stranger making some comment about my size. I passed on so many physical and fun activities because I was worried about what people would think, or I was worried there was a weight limit, or honestly, If i could even handle the activity being done. Everything from backyard volleyball, to rock climbing, to ice skating, I would have said ” No, I’m good.” Just to keep from embarrassing myself.

Tell us about your happy ending? What is better in your life now because of the weight loss? What can you do and feel now that reflects how amazing you feel?

“Since June 2017, I’m down 170 lbs and could not be more thrilled. Every single aspect of my life is better due to my weight loss. My confidence and self worth actually exist, and I feel like an entirely new person. I am able to stay active and push myself to new limits every workout.”

The biggest thing that reflects how amazing I feel is how I view races and running. In 2015, I did a series of 5K’s that I could barely finish walking at 360 lbs. At one of the races, they began shutting down the course waiting for me to finish, and I was offered a ride by one of the police cars blocking off the road for runners. This past April, I ran the Crazy Legs 8K with my family and it felt incredible.

It took me about an hour and a half to finish most of the 5ks in 2015. I finished the 8k in an 1:05, and at one point, took a minute breather, and started crying. Realizing the huge amount of people who were still behind me blew me away. Realizing I pushed myself hard enough to not be the last one across the finish line, seeing I was not the slowest one on the course, by far, was astonishing to me. Getting to Camp Randall and hugging my family was the perfect way to celebrate how far I’ve come so far.

Congratulations Kelly, the team here at XF is so proud of you! Keep pushing forward on your fitness journey!