Low carb success story of splendulescence: Meet Krystina

Krystina really rocks low carb and her new look.

One of the best things about being so active in the low carb community is meeting so many amazing people who have worked their hardest to accomplish some splendulescent things (Yes. I said splendulescent).

Krystina blew my doors off when she posted her losses and what she has overcome to our Facebook Page. Krystina wrote:

I just want to share what low carb has done for me, especially because of this amazing and supportive page! I started out a little over a year ago at 407 lbs – on 1/1/10 my husband up and left the state after asking for a divorce. I knew I needed to change – a doctor told me WLS surgery was the only way someone of “my size” could lose weight. I did my research, decided on low carb and started following that to a T on April 22nd, 2010.

Now I’m down over 140 lbs and I’m 260! I’m wearing size 18’s when I used to have to special order the size 36W online or wear men’s 5X clothes. I can fit into restaurant booths without a problem. I can RUN (and I do!) without pain or too much jiggling. I can buy bras at regular stores, I can let little kiddies sit on my lap because now I have one, I can cross my legs, I can SIT on things without the fear of breaking it, I can fit into the airline seat without an extender! I have more confidence than I had in all my 6 years of marriage and I am even signed up to do a Climb for Air stairwalk for lung cancer. All of these fantastic things are because of low carb living. I still have a long way to go (at least another 85 lbs) but I never thought I’d see the day where I was 260 lbs again so I feel like I can do anything!

I just wanted to thank you for having this great place and all the great low carbers out there that help each other with this crazy weight-loss journey.

I had to pick myself up off of the floor when I read about her incredible accomplishment. Most people could have a bad day in traffic and might fall, face first, into a vat of self doubt and self destructive behavior… but not Krystina.

Learn more about this dynamic young woman and be sure to send her some love in the comments below. She is the kind of strong person who makes me absolutely proud of this lifestyle and of the tenacity of our community.

  • Name: Krystina  
  • Age: 28 
  • Height: 5’7″ 
  • Weight Lost: 139.2 lbs as of tonight at my annual checkup. My doctor is so impressed that she said she’s going to recommend low-carb to some of her other patients now! This is huge (no pun intended) because even she had her hesitations about my diet in the beginning. I still have at least another 85 pounds to lose before I’ll be at what I consider my “goal weight” which is what I weighed when I was on the swim team in high school.
  • Diet plan: Just plain low carb – I decided to cut out all starches & refined sugars and go from there.
  • Exercise: Recumbent bike 6x a week for around 45 minutes and 5-10 mile hikes on the weekend, weather permitting.

Reason for the change in lifestyle: I went to the my family doctor in Huntsville, AL shortly after New Years 2010 and he told me “You’ve gained 13 lbs since your last visit 4 months ago. Have you considered gastric bypass? Someone of your size is never going to lose any significant amount of weight without the surgery. It can be your lifesaver”. I told him that my husband of 5 years had just asked for a divorce on New Years Day and I had been doing my share of stress eating but that I truly did want to change *because* of said spouse. Before we ever married, he had had always been overweight and suffered from type II diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, all of which the doctors said stemmed from his weight. I knew that if I kept up on the road that I was on, I was going to end up the same way as him. He told me “I’m sorry but it’s just not possible. I’ve seen it time and time again with my morbidly obese patients. You should have even more incentive to have the surgery now that you’re going to be single again”.

I was so livid that he would A.) tell me surgery was the ONLY way B.) think that I wasn’t motivated or smart enough to do it on my own and C.) that my only motivation for losing weight (via surgery or any other method) should be to find a new man versus saving my own life that I decided I would do everything in my power to prove him wrong.

The journey and success:
After I moved back home to Illinois 2 months later, I started walking my dog every single day. At first I could only go a mile round-trip before getting winded and having to give it a rest. Eight weeks later, I was able to go 4-5 miles and found that the pounds were literally melting away. I decided it was the right time to revamp my diet.

I remembered that my ex’s former endocrinologist had recommend low-carb/Atkins to him at one point as a way to successfully lose and keep weight off. I did my research, scoured the Internet (and found, among many, your site!) for recipes & message boards and put together a plan. I started my first full-day of low carb eating on August 28th, 2010.

Biggest obstacle so far: The biggest obstacle, bar none, has been pressure from friends & family to “just have a bite” of some pasta or cake or “just eat like a normal person for once” when at social gatherings.

This has helped the most in my journey: The internet! It sounds cheesy but it’s so true – none of my family or friends are really trying to lose any weight. I’ve found that so many people will say to me “You’re so good at this, what’s your secret?” or “I really need to lose 5/50/100 pounds myself” but when I go to share, they don’t really want to do the work or start listing excuses as to why it wouldn’t work for them. So it really helps to be able to get online and have this amazing, supportive, awesome group of people on various low-carb & weight-loss websites, message boards & chat rooms that are looking to achieve the same thing that I am.

Must-have kitchen staple or recipe: It’s not a staple per se but Costco has been a life-saver for me. I literally spend 1/3 of my paycheck there at least once a month but it’s worth it. I love being able to go and stock up on bacon (!!!), fresh fish, organic chicken, turkey sausage links, sugar-free Jell-O, US Prime cuts of beef, cooked & tail-off frozen shrimp, fresh and frozen produce, sour cream, cream cheese, heavy whipping cream and cheese, cheese & more cheese.

Typical day’s menu and favorite LC dishes: My daily men

u changes at the drop of a hat but my breakfast staples are bacon, zucchini hash, turkey sausage and eggs; my lunch usually consists of leftovers or a salad with bacon or grilled chicken and/or hard-boiled eggs; my dinners are always protein and vegetables.

Some of my favorite LC recipes include your Oopsie rolls, the Atkins breakfast cheesecake muffins, Linda’s infamous White Castle Pie, Dana Carpender’s Heroin Wings except with shrimp (so I guess that would be Heroin Shrimp), flank steak roll ups with different fillings and stuffed zucchini boats.

Advice for others: My best advice would be to start now. Don’t wait until the morning, until Monday, until the 1st of next month, until the holidays are over, until you have more money for food/workout clothes/gym membership – just start now by doing the best that you can do with what you have. I wish I would have known years ago just how good it would feel to fit into a restaurant booth next to a friend or to know that my body could handle and even enjoy a 14 mile hike or to buy a pair of pants off the rack at Kohl’s vs special ordering it on the internet or to even be able to walk up 6 flights of stairs without being winded. I never would have thought I’d be a person who takes the stairs period!

I have this quote on a magnet at my desk at work and on my fridge at home because I feel that it is the perfect attitude for anything difficult you have may having going on in your life, be it weigh loss or work stress or divorce woes:

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. – Emerson

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Isn’t Krystina incredible and awe inspiring? It makes me think twice about my day sucking hard because I lost my socks (admit it; you hate losing your socks). Perspective makes such a difference. Thank you so much for sharing yourself with us, Krystina! I know sharing your life and insight with us is slightly outside of your comfort zone, but you are an amazing woman.

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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  1. heartofacountryhome says

    What a story! Congrats on your weightloss, Krystina! It's people like you who encourage me to keep on keeping on.

  2. OMG! Great job Krystina! The LC road is paved with bacon… or heroin shrimp…! either way you've basically got it. 🙂

  3. Wow…what an inspiration. I am so happy for her. She will definitely make her weight loss goal. Woooo hoooo

  4. Wow, congrats on your huge loss! This is so inspirational to me since her starting weight is my starting weight. After years, I've only netted about a 40lbs total loss and I struggle constantly. DAILY!! I can emphasize with the DH problems (not divorced but getting there for reasons not related to weight) and the family wanting you to eat stuff you shouldn't. I need to do it for me and thank you for sharing this awesome story that lets me know I can do it!

  5. Amazing story Krystina, congratulations on all your success. You are truly an inspiration. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Amazing story Krystina! Congratulations on your success; you are truly an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us.

  7. Amazing! She is such an inspiration! I have to ask: Can you share the recipe for Zucchini Hash? 🙂

  8. Lexi's Omi says

    Krystina, you GO, girl! :)Very inspiring story!

  9. I have a suspicion that she has always been beautiful. It just took her a while to realize it. 😉 God Bless you Krystina and those that will be inspired by your strength and beauty.

  10. Thank you for sharing Krystina's inspiring story! What an amazing accomplishment – that when your husband left you didn't further seek comfort in food as many would but shed the pounds along with the unworthy mate! It is despicable that doctors would say possibly dangerous surgery is the only way. Good for you Krystina for proving him wrong! I feel encouraged to keep trying and do better even though I have been faltering for a long time. Love the Emerson quote – I am going to use that as a motto!

  11. This is really inspirational! Congratulations to Krystina, it is a monumental effort to start at all… and to keep going? Exceptional stamina. So glad you avoided surgery too. Well done.

  12. Hey – all I can say is – WOW!!!
    AWESOME!! 🙂

  13. Breigh (Canadutch) says

    Absolutely amazing! I lost 50 lbs doing Weight Watchers and then started a diet called the Harcombe Diet which is also all about real food, no sugars / processed carbs etc. I am now down 85lbs and going strong.

    I also had doctors tell me that Weight Loss surgery was the answer. Apparently they were wrong. I'm so glad to see someone else taking the 'hard way' and doing it themselves. It's so much healthier and there is a lot more pride to be had in it!

  14. Breigh (Canadutch) says

    Absolutely amazing! I lost 50 lbs doing Weight Watchers and then started a diet called the Harcombe Diet which is also all about real food, no sugars / processed carbs etc. I am now down 85lbs and going strong.

    I also had doctors tell me that Weight Loss surgery was the answer. Apparently they were wrong. I'm so glad to see someone else taking the 'hard way' and doing it themselves. It's so much healthier and there is a lot more pride to be had in it!

  15. The Doxie Diaries says

    What an awesome story!!! She is an inspiration to us all. Her devotion to low carb living is commendable.

  16. Brandi {1 of 2} says

    This is such a fabulous story! Congratulations Krystina!

  17. Yay! Wonderful – good for her and good for LoCarb in general! Another awesome success story!

  18. Herbalchef says

    You are an inspiration to all of us! Thanks for sharing your story.

  19. Great success story! Thank you for sharing your journey. Also, thank you for some great, fresh ideas for recipes and resources. I'm always grateful for advice and direction.


  20. Pauli Kate says

    Congratulations, Krystina. You are an inspiration. Keep up your LC lifestyle. Wishing you continued success!

  21. I so totally needed that inspiration today, thanks Krystina

  22. I so totally needed that inspiration today, thanks Krystina

  23. grannymumentoog says

    Congrats Krystina! Very inspiring! I'm glad you're doing it for yourself and not 'to get a man'. It takes 2 good, strong, healthy individuals to make 1 great couple! You sound like an awesome individual and some day an equally awesome guy will appreciate that and together you will be a great couple! I would also like the zucchini hash recipe if you can share it.

  24. what a beautiful story, thank you for sharing, made my day 🙂

  25. Nancy vs Polly says

    Wow! What a great story of strength and determination Krystina! Your an amazing woman! Your story gives me hope that I too shall reach my weight/fitness goals…thanks so much for sharing your story! 🙂

  26. Wow, thanks to everyone for the encouragement and praise! I knew I loved this site for a reason 😉 But seriously, it truly means a lot because, as Jamie can attest to, I was SO nervous about putting this out there. But if I help even one person try out or reconsider the LC lifestyle, it's totally worth it!

    The recipe for the zucchini hash is loosely based on this recipe – http://health.discovery.com/convergence/blaine/recipes/zucchini-hash.html – I don't use that much butter (sometimes even sub in olive oil) and I usually make it with bacon (!!!) vs ham and I also add Montreal Steak seasoning (I'm obsessed so feel free to omit) but otherwise, same recipe.

  27. I am so proud of you Krystina! I have known you since we were teens and even roommates! you look amazing! keep up the great work! The wife and I are trying as well to lose weight! love ya!

  28. My Metamorphosis~ says

    Wow.. I don't even know where to start! I love you Krystina!!! What a wonderful interview! I was blown away. You are doing so well. I love that you turned your Dr. around… I love your Emmerson quote.
    I have been struggling a bit but when I finished your interview I felt STRONG again! Thank you.

  29. NanaBeana says

    Thank you so much for inspiring me!! Im jumping on the boat and not looking back! I can and WILL do this!

  30. Krystina! Fantastic!

    I’d lost 120 lbs. on my own doing low-carb. Then I got a stressful job and gained 70 back.

    In desperation and anger over that, I underwent gastric bypass. I lost 90 lbs.

    That means the difference between what I could do on my own and what the surgery did for me was twenty pounds.

    Would you really want to go through the expense, inconvenience, pain, and IRREVERSIBLE rerouting of your guts for twenty pounds?

    Mind you, to maintain my weight loss I *duh* eat low-carb. I exercise, too.

    Gee, that’s the same thing YOU do, lol!

    The quote by Emerson is great, BTW.

    Thank you for being who you are. Also, you should add the weight of your ex to the amount of weight you lost yourself;)

  31. Great story! Congratulation on weight loss!

  32. Kristina, I just came across your brave and brilliant success story, 3 weeks into my new low-carbing lifestyle. You are an incredible inspiration and role model. Would it be possible for me to follow you on fb?

  33. Wow, Kristina! Words like courageous, inspiring, and strong have a tendency to get lost amid so many posters saying the same, but they are no less sincere! I truly am amazed! What I love? … your attitude, but equally impressive is how you take complete responsibility for your results. So many of us tend to cut ourselves slack and drum up excuses for our excess weight. You are a shining example who shows, “it can be done!”.

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