“Always find time to take care of yourself no matter what, because you can’t take care of someone else if you’re running on empty and not healthy yourself.”
Struggles are a part of life, and for Kelly G. of Hennepin County, Minnesota, she has learned to fight through them for herself and her sons. Having struggled with weight since puberty, Kelly decided to join LA Fitness in 2014, after years of wanting to become healthier. In middle school and high school, Kelly was teased for being a bit larger than her classmates. She stood at 5’4” and weighed in at 180 lbs. From there, her weight slowly increased through adulthood, especially after having her children. The most she remembered weighing was 215 lbs., and she knew then that something had to be done.
The problem was that Kelly would get on a fitness kick and begin to lose some weight, but then something would happen that would set her back, or she’d feel lazy, stop working out and then feel miserable. She noticed that she tended to binge eat whenever she was stressed. She recognized this as a problem, and began to change her ways. She got on a positive health kick in May 2014, which inspired her to join LA Fitness. She was working out, eating healthier, feeling good and even began losing some weight – until she received some of the worst news possible. Her oldest son had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma cancer.
The cancer had already spread to his lymph nodes, sending Kelly into a tail spin of emotions, stress and depression. She stopped working out. She stopped taking care of herself. And she fell back into stress eating. Her son went through 42 weeks of chemotherapy and had 28 sessions of radiation. His last chemo appointment fell on Kelly’s birthday. It was on that day, in September of 2015, that Kelly decided if her son could fight through cancer like a champ, then she could fight to get healthy too.
During her son’s cancer treatments, Kelly had gained 30 lbs. She was miserable and in pain. Her feet hurt, her back ached all the time, and she weighed the most she ever had. Kelly shared the physical pains she was experiencing with her doctor, who told her very bluntly to lose 20 lbs. and then see if her feet were still hurting. She was a bit shocked at how up front he was, but with no sugar coating, it helped Kelly get on a mission. She wanted to get healthy not just for herself, but for her sons.
Kelly started taking advantage of her LA Fitness membership again and got really strict with her nutritional choices. Her determination to succeed superseded the obstacles she found herself facing in the past. Each day she strived to get healthier than the day before. In the past year and a half, Kelly has lost 80 lbs. by eating a low-carb diet and working out five to six days a week. At almost 40 years old, Kelly now weighs less than she did in middle school and high school, and she’s feeling much better. Kelly strives to do better each day and has since gained a new appreciation for life. Her advice to others is to “always find the time to take care of yourself no matter what, because you can’t take care of someone else if you’re running on empty and not healthy yourself.” Kelly hopes to lose another 5 to 10 pounds and add some additional muscle definition. Judging from how far she’s come, there’s no doubt she’ll reach her goals and then some!
This article is not meant to be construed as medical advice. Results will vary. Consult with your physician before starting a new fitness or nutritional routine.