Low carb success story of splendulescence: Meet Kristen

Here comes the bride. Work it, honey.

I always say I’m one of the luckiest hos around because I get to know so many amazing people who have worked their hardest to accomplish seemingly insurmountable obstacles in their journeys to health.

So when I received this email from Kristen I about choked on my iced tea:

Hi there!

I came across your blog looking for soy flour spaghetti and ended up spending a lot of time on it. While I’m not the typical low-carb dieter anymore, I did lose 135 pounds on a low-carb diet and have kept it off now for nearly six years. I now am 5’8 and weigh 128 pounds. Most people who know me now don’t believe I was every heavy (much less obese!), and when I find sites like yours I wish there had been the resources and support out there when I started dieting 10 years ago. I’ve attached a couple pictures, but I just wanted to say you’re doing a great thing!

Kristen 

Aside from the fact that I always blush like a blusher when people say nice stuff, I immediately jumped on the hopes of getting Kristine to share her incredible journey with us and she said yes! Not only is she busy with her writing career, she is getting married in a month!

Now half the woman she used to be, find out more about this dynamic young hottie patottie and soon-to-be blushing bride and be sure to send her some love in the comments below. Her dedication makes me absolutely proud of this lifestyle and of the tenacity of our community. 

  • Name: Kristen
  • Age:28
  • Height: 5’8″
  • Weight Lost: 130 lbs
  • Diet plan: Low carb/South Beach/low cal
  • Exercise: Everything! I’m addicted to working out. When I started dieting I hated it, and started out with walks, jogging, aerobics, etc. Now I run 5-7 miles 3-4 times a week, attend weightlifting classes, do cardio circuits, hike and surf.
Tell us a little bit about you. I’m 28 and live in Southern California. After getting a BA in journalism, I’m the marketing director for a small education-based internet company in San Diego. I also do a lot of freelance writing – mostly blogging and social media for small businesses. I’m getting married in one month! I met my fiance two years ago and once we’re married we’ll be moving to San Clemente, CA. We can’t get enough of the beach.
Why did you change your lifestyle? From the time I was in Kindergarten I was acutely conscious of my body and weight. I was a chubby child, a fat middle-schooler and an obese high-schooler. I can remember trying to diet from the time I was 12 years old and opting for pretzels over pizza in the school cafeteria at lunch because I knew they were “low fat.” After dieting to no or little avail, my mother took me to the doctor when I was 16. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and was put on medications to regulate my blood sugar. The doctor advised us that a low carb diet was the best way for someone who is insulin-resistance to lose weight.
Tell me about your journey and your success. Seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, I went full-bore into low carb. I bought ketosticks from the pharmacy, ate pork rinds like it was no one’s business, and began liking my hamburgers naked (bunless). I lost 50-60 pounds quickly. Over the course of the next 5-6 years I dropped weight at a slower pace. Like most dieters, I went through phases of “falling off the wagon” and gaining weight, then losing it again. I’d diet well for a good few weeks then mess up and binge like a war refugee in at a buffet. A few years ago, having gotten down to a healthy 150-ish pounds, I got sick of the yo-yo and changed my nutrition habits for good. I’m very moderate now and eat much differently than I did in the low carb days. My diet is composed of low-fat proteins, complex carbohydrates and low-sugar fruits. I try to only eat whole and natural foods. When I made this change, I lost another 20-25 pounds over the course of a year. I now feel very in-control of my eating habits and don’t fear falling off the wagon or gaining weight back.
What has been the biggest obstacle so far? I always found it a bit awkward to talk about my diet, so when I was confronted with a dinner at someone’s home or a party where politeness called for me to indulge in whatever homemade loveliness was put before me, I’d panic. I remember times when I pretended to eat while secretly stuffing food in my napkin. Yes, pathetic. Hope they didn’t notice. Also, the adjustment in my mind has been difficult. It was very hard to let go of the “fat girl” mentality, even when I weighed 125 pounds. Last year I got a tummy tuck and breast augmentation and that has done a lot for me. Not having the skin and sagginess around to remind me helped me get out of the “post fat-girl” mindset.
What has helped you the most on your journey? Honestly, getting the ball rolling is the most motivation I ever had. I’d never liked the scale, but when I started to see it drop, I wanted to weigh myself all the time. Knowing I had some accountability there was pretty motivating. And when I realized that I was capable of losing weight, I wanted to keep going, especially when others started taking notice.
Must-have kitchen staple or recipe? Cottage cheese and yogurt! It’s like the perfect little meal/snack. I still have it nearly everyday for breakfast. I get the CarbSmart yogurt from Ralphs (Safeway or Smiths), and mix it with 1/2 cup cottage cheese. 190 calories, 24 grams of protein, 8 grams carbs. Plus you don’t have to prepare it. Can’t beat it. I also love blackberries and raspberries. When I need a treat, I get sugar-free frozen yogurt and top it with berries. Flat-Outs (lower-carb flatbreads) have been a godsend too. I make pizzas with them, or top them with peanut butter for a quick meal. Unfortunately, I’m 100% addicted to Diet Coke. It’s my only vice, and I don’t plan on giving it up anytime soon.

What advice do you have for others? Being overweight can be a very lonely feeling. I was very insecure when I was heavy, and because of that I didn’t allow myself to have the support that is available out there. I love web sites like these because they cast a light on others who are just like you. And no matter how you change your body, the change needs to come in your mind. Mine didn’t come for many years, and I suffered with body image and eating disorders because of that. Losing weight can be the most empowering thing you ever do, so recognize it, share it, and be proud of it!  

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥  
I love reading Kristen’s story, don’t you? It makes me think twice about how often I’ve used weight as an excuse to not do something fun. Seeing someone lose so much weight, even in the throes of a wedding to plan makes me realize that I really have no excuses. Thank you so much for sharing yourself with us, Kristen! Your groom-to-be is a very lucky special person to have such an amazing woman with so much drive and determination to get what you want.

Do you have a similar story? Whether you’ve overcome a health problem, a weight problem or just life’s problems with your healthy lifestyle, would you like to share your experience with Your Lighter Side and reach thousands? If so, be sure to email me at yourlighterside at gmail dot com! 

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Comments

  1. Congrats to both of you wonderful peeps! Such an inspiration and Congrats Kristen on your coming wedding! Many blessings to both of you! Hugs!

  2. Queen of the Nook says:

    Awe-inspiring. Thank you for sharing your story. We readers can just see the sparkle in your eye. Best of luck in your marriage, career, and healthy lifestyle. I will be returning to your before and after photos often for encouragement.

  3. What a motivational story. I only have about 20 pounds to lose, but this makes me want to JUST DO IT!
    I'm so happy for Kristen. Hard work really does pay off!

  4. Thanks to Jamie and all for their kind words, and letting me be famous for a day! Love to you all.

    xoxo,

    Kristen

  5. Thanks to Jamie and all of your kind words, and letting me be famous for a day! Can't wait to see your stories as well.

    xoxo,

    Kristen

  6. I was diagnosed with PCOS back in November 2010 and have started low carb eating. This article has been a blessing. Thank you!

  7. Thanks for sharing this story!

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