By Sarah Klein
Name: Pam Kimbro
Before Weight: 285 pounds
How I Gained It: I have battled with my weight since childhood. Growing up, I was always on the heavy side. My grandma even nicknamed me Miss Piggy. I really enjoyed food and would even sneak food. I knew it was a problem. I was teased in school and known as the fat, buck-toothed girl. I would even have classmates call and leave vulgar messages on my answering machine saying they were weight-loss companies and I needed their help. As hurtful as that was, I kept eating, and it made me happy. I figured this is my life, to be fat.
The weight really packed on when I went to college. I didn’t have to sneak food anymore, but the extra weight made me shy and reserved. I remember topping the scale at the doctor’s office at 285. I asked him what a healthy weight for me was, and he told me 140. I thought that was just impossible.
Fast food, junk food and soda were my best friends, and they became a solution to all my problems. As I got older, married and started a family, I became concerned and wanted to be a good role model for my child. It bothered me that my son would be raised by an unhealthy parent. I decided I wanted to change my life, but I did not know how. I had tried many diets. I never kept up the healthy food choices. I felt stuck. I started to become more reclusive, except for my job. I disliked going into public places; I knew people were looking at me as being an unhealthy person.
The most painful part of being overweight was that I was following in my father’s footsteps. I didn’t want to start having the health problems that he had. He was on all kinds of medication, and I really wanted to prevent that for myself.
Breaking Point: In 2010, my dad was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer, which took him from us in five weeks. While I was strong during that time for him and my family, I took it very hard. I miss my dad tremendously and think that he may still be here today had he taken better care of himself. Something he said while in the hospital has stuck in my head and my heart. He said, “Look at us. None of us is healthy. We will all die young due to obesity!” In the following months, I was very depressed and would use food to cope with my emotional state. Four months later, I began eating healthier again with the news that my second child was on the way, and nothing was going to stop me this time. I was determined to show my dad up in heaven that I can be healthy. I will live a longer healthier life!
How I Lost It: I stopped eating all the fast food. I started eating food that was good for me, in smaller portions. I started exercising with my Wii and on my elliptical. I also started walking, and gradually increased that to running. I cut out all the soda and replaced it with 100 or more ounces of water a day. I had painful headaches from cutting out soda. I started looking into nutrition and started taking a vitamin and supplements to make sure I was putting the right things in my body, as well as eating fruits, vegetables and lean protein. As soon as I started changing what I was putting in my body, the weight started flying off. I would weigh in every two weeks at home on my Wii Fit for accountability. Every time I would weigh in, I had lost. I would post my picture on social media sites, and my friends would cheer me on and keep me motivated.
It took me about three years to lose over 100 pounds. I started to enjoy living this way. I began to appreciate food and have learned what good food is and how important it is for our health. I made a complete lifestyle change. Every time I wanted to eat poorly, I would think about my dad. I knew I could and would do this.
Now, my whole family can live better. I am no longer fearful to go out in public, and I no longer think people are staring at me constantly. I have a ton more energy, which has become necessary with two young boys. I even run yearly in a 5K for pancreatic cancer to honor my dad. My weight loss has inspired me to change my goals in life to help others. Now, I wake up every day thinking of who I can help. I am a personal trainer now. I now have family, friends and even strangers coming to me for health and weight-loss advice. My family is healthier and even my husband is down 60 pounds! I now have the health I am proud to pass to my children.
Current Weight: 135 pounds
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As told to Sarah Klein
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