Hi, I’m Keri! Welcome to my blog! I’m a food blogger and (amateur) photographer, and over the course of the past three years, I have lost 100 pounds! I have not only kept the weight off but have continually lost weight over that three-year span. I am now maintaining my weight loss and working on improving my overall fitness. I have often been asked “How did you do it?!” or “What’s your secret”. My answer is almost always “I changed my lifestyle”. It truly is the only way to lose weight and most importantly, keep it off for good!
You need to change your thinking about food and exercise. I enjoy exercise as a relaxation and meditative activity that allows me to enjoy the foods I love while also improving my health. Do I always love working out? Heck no!! I think you’re crazy if you do, but I workout because I love how I feel after I have finished.
This picture is me before losing weight (left) and after losing 100 pounds (right). Before I get ahead of myself let me share some background on how I got to where I am today… My family is an eating family. Every gathering is focused around food. I grew up not being able to leave the dinner table until my plate was clean. Food was how you socialized with people. It made me feel calm when things weren’t going right in my life. It was always there when I needed it. It never let me down. Despite this however, I was always a normal and healthy weight throughout my childhood since I was very active in sports and after school activities.
My problems with food grew out of control when I went to college, as it does for many others. It is a time when you are without parental guidance for the first time in your lives. For me, like many, it was also a time without a lot of money. In my mind at the time it was easier and cheaper to go buy a meal at a fast food restaurant than it was to go grocery shopping and buy a bunch of healthy foods. I would always start out by buying ingredients to make salads and healthy dinners but my efforts would go to waste as the fresh food grew moldy in my refrigerator. I would get frustrated and feel like my money was being wasted and would go out and get fast food instead.
This grew into a problem exacerbated by not exercising, poor sleeping habits. I would eat a sausage biscuit and hash brown for breakfast, burger and fries for lunch, and pizza for dinner some days. Easily consuming enough calories and fat to last me a week in one single day! Not surprisingly, I kept putting on more and more weight as the years passed and grew increasingly depressed and withdrawn. I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror and felt helpless to change it. I would say no to social events all the time because I was embarrassed with how I looked and felt. I got made fun of all the time for my weight and will not soon forget that feeling. I never want anybody else to feel that terrible about themselves. You are much more than what you see on the scale!!
The change happened one day when I stepped on a scale and saw the scary number of 237. I am 5’6” so this was a very unhealthy weight. In fact, it is considered obese. OBESE!! Once I saw that word associated with myself I knew I had to make some major changes. I had hit my all-time low in self-esteem and was ready to make a drastic change in my life. It seemed so crazy to think that I needed to lose 80-100 pounds to be in a healthy weight range for my height. I set a goal weight for myself that was about 30 pounds less than my starting weight.
Once I reached that goal I would set another goal 20-30 pounds less. I kept doing so until I reached my goal weight that I am now. This really helped me to stay on track and not get discouraged with the small progress that I was seeing week to week. It gives you a sense of accomplishment when you do reach those smaller milestones. I started out small with regards to fitness by trying to walk a little more during the day or take the stairs. I then joined a gym and tried to go 3 times a week. I chose healthier options at fast food restaurants, although I did not give them up completely at first. I then moved on to focusing my meals on eating more fruit, vegetables and lean proteins. It snowballed into something I didn’t even think was possible. I took it one small step at a time. Once I started seeing progress and the numbers on the scale started dropping it only encouraged me to keep moving towards my goal that much more.
A few months into working out and eating healthy I started getting compliments here and there. This only fueled my fire more to continue on my weight loss journey. If you don’t get immediate results DO NOT GIVE UP!! It will come in time. Persistence and continuity is key. I now eat a (mostly) clean diet and workout 4-7 times a week depending on my schedule.
My husband (above) being the super encouraging person that he is has helped me tremendously with my workouts and diet. His willpower never ceases to amaze me! I still am able to enjoy foods that are “unhealthy” for you – cookies, cakes, pie, mac and cheese, pizza, etc., only now I do so in moderation and offset it with extra exercise. I don’t let one bad day, or even bad week, deter me from my ultimate fitness and health goals.
Now that you know my background story I hope it sheds some light on why I am writing this blog. I want to share my story with anybody willing to listen in hopes that it can inspire somebody else to go out and live a healthier lifestyle. I aspire to encourage people to be supportive of others in their journey towards overall fitness and to share my tried and tested healthy (albeit delicious) recipes, fitness tips, and more!