“I lost 36 kilos when I started running and eating low-carb high fat”
When Kelly Taylor found herself unfit, unhappy and desperately wanting a change, this mom of two hit the road running – literally. Here’s how she lost the weight, gained a healthier life and went from overweight suburban mom to runner suburban mom extraordinaire.
Occupation: Recruiter and Suburban Momma
City: Cape Town
Weight before: Heaviest 125kg
Weight after: Currently 89kg
The time required to reach current weight: 88 weeks
Kelly is a self-confessed emotional eater, which she says resulted in her gradually picking up weight over the years. “As an emotional eater, I didn’t even see it happen. When I was pregnant with my first child I put on loads of weight and didn’t lose it before baby number 2 came about.
"Then it just seemed too impossible to get rid of the excess weight,” she explains. She says that it didn’t really matter what she ate, as long as she was eating, “I didn’t have an off or full button, my favourite food was all food”.
Added to her love of food, Kelly says she wasn’t much of an exerciser despite the fact that she had a gym membership. “Going [go the gym] always filled me with anxiety. I didn’t ever see plus-sized people at the gym – ever,” she exclaims.
“It is so difficult to say when my turning point came, my life seems to be peppered with continual THIS IS IT moments. I remember when my son was in Grade 1, I was just so unhappy. I had tried for about 2 years to “love the curves I was in” but even that was a struggle,” explains Kelly.
But she does go on to say that her kids played a big role in her wanting to better her health. "I have 2 busy kids, I spent the first half of their lives trying to keep up, being large and sweaty with young children just made me feel like an awful mother.
"What kind of example was I to my kids? I was also scared of dying too young. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and was pre-diabetic. Something drastic had to be done,” she says.
Her ‘something drastic’ involved cutting carbs, processed food and sugar, and getting in those steps. Kelly started following a low carb high fat (LCHF) eating plan- but she allowed herself room to still have some treats. “It was exceptionally hard and I soon learnt that this was going to end up being another failure if I didn’t tweak it a little. I was miserable, unhealthy – what choice did I have really? Accept where I was, or make some very necessary changes,” she says. A
dded to detoxing off sugar and carbs, Kelly gave up smoking too. "It was a bit touch and go in the Taylor household. And how we came out alive is nothing short of a miracle,” jokes Kelly.
In an effort to get moving, Kelly and her husband started a couch to 5K programme. “I remember running – or trying to – in the dark. We eventually joined a running group through a local running club. With plenty of walking, to begin with, we eventually slowly built up to a jog.”
She goes on to say that she decided to run because she wanted to try something she’s never done before. “I decided to run because I had never been a runner. And of course, there is the saying ‘if you want to achieve something extraordinary, you have to do something extraordinary’, I didn’t know any other 125kg Suburban Moms running. It was also something else I could do with John, my husband,” she explains.
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Week 88 - Monday Started off the morning with a bloody hard run, if I didn’t know better, I would think I smoked a carton of ciggies last light! And the legs were heavy! But we did it nonetheless! Food wise I had green soup and a coconut bread roll cut into little slices and toasted... this is going to be my standard ... will soon be replacing my chicken spinach salad! Fat biltong nibbles for afternoon snack and roast pork belly and veg for dinner. I also had a coconut short bread biscuit with my evening tea... tomorrow will be a good day too! Boom ??
Kelly’s determination soon started paying off but it wasn’t easy. “It is a daily, hourly conscious decision. For someone that is an overeater, an addict even, the struggle is real. I think my body hangs on to the weight for days before it finally lets it go! That is the hardest thing for me. I can do the right thing for weeks and won’t’ lose. The trick is to keep going because the weight will eventually shift,” she says.
And eventually, shift it did. Kelly ended up losing 36 kilos and gaining a lot of life. “While I do try to keep faithful to my LCHF diet, I am human and stumble at times. I post on my Instagram and Facebook “running with curves” Page what I eat daily, this keeps me accountable and honest. Even when I have been human,” she says.
As for her exercise levels, she’s more active than ever, “I now try to run 3 times a week. I also go to Pilates once a week. Building a stronger core and glutes helps my running”.
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Got the bling A year of hard work, 20kgs down and shaved just over 15 minutes off my last time! Always said it wasn’t about the time but how I felt as I crossed the line! I can honeslty say that I feel fab, got that happy post run feels! Thanks to the incredible @melwilliamsdesign who stuck with me and completed her first #omtom2019 well done to our fave Irish @irishcvdh for finishing it too in a decent time and smile on your face! God knows you have had a rough start and wasn’t able to train as you would have liked! But you have got grit girl!
Be patient: As we get older, it just gets harder. Weight comes off slower. My advice is to work on it daily, know that the choices you make right now will have long term effects.
Have reasonable expectations and goals: I like to give myself little goals initially. Like, lose 2kgs a month, its not huge weight. But if you continue with that, realising that the time, days and months go on regardless, in 6 months time you would have lost 12kgs!!!
Make it sustainable: No point in making yourself miserable with an eating plan or exercise plan that is not going to work long term. You have to work with the time and resources available to you.
This article first appeared on www.womenshealthsa.co.za
Image credit: iStock