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    Posted July 29, 2013 by
    Chicago, Illinois
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Your 'Aha' weight-loss moments

    More from kkhorton

    When you've had enough!


    Kia Horton is a married mother to two children, ages 2 and 6. I have a very challenging and demanding career. This background information provides a little insight into what could be considered the chaos of my everyday life. It is challenging, yet can also be rewarding. It also doesn't leave very much time for incorporating a healthy lifestyle that for 37 years, I did not employ. Change is definitely, in my opinion, one of the hardest thing for any person to accept because I believe you have to rediscover who you are! That is where my journey began!

    I have been overweight all of my adult life. I started to gain weight as a pre-teen, around the age of 12. While in high school, my dad allowed me to sign up for NutriSystem. I was able to lose approximately 30 pounds, which put my weight at 168 pounds. I hated the food and the program was not sustainable because eating their food was the only key to success. Standing only 5"4" tall, by the time I entered college, I weighed a whopping 210 lbs. The weight continued to snowball from there. When I returned home from college I weighed 260 lbs. I immediately joined a gym and hired a personal trainer. This also proved to be futile because I was not ready to change my eating habits. I loss no weight during this time. I quit!

    Through the years, I tried and failed many times at all kinds of weight loss plans. Mostly crash dieting and extreme food depravation. I would lose weight for the short term, at times as much as 40 pounds, but I would shortly gain it all back plus a little more.
    I haven't yet shared this part of my story with everyone because it is deeply personal, but I wanted to be totally honest.

    [By the age of 31 I was completely fed up with myself topping out at 319 pounds. This prompted my decision to go under the knife and have lap-band surgery. This has proven to be one of the worse decisions that I have ever made. Although this surgery probably assisted in me being able to get pregnant. Prior to the surgery I did not have a consistent menstrual cycle for years. My doctor often told me that this was a side affect of being morbidly obese. After the surgery I immediately dropped 50 lbs and within a month I found out I was pregnant with my first born. I was over the moon with excitement and did not care that I had just invested a ton of money into the surgery. Within another 18 months I was pregnant again, but this time I wasn't so lucky. I loss the son that I had prayed for after 5 months of pregnancy. This sent me into a tail spin. I had no outlet for stress. Eating was what provided comfort in any uncomfortable situation. I quickly started to put the pounds back on. By the grace of God, I was pregnant again within a year with another son who is now two years old. I never once had the lap band adjusted. I believe that even if I did adjust the band, it would not have sustained weight loss because I was not ready to change my mind about food. ]

    During my second pregnancy I developed hypertension. I couldn't believe that this was happening to me at the age of 36, but I accepted it as my fate. I thought that I was just an overweight woman. I spent many years convincing myself that I had achieve the American dream because I had a husband, two children, four fish and two birds. What more did I need? I was worried about the life threatening effects of hypertension, but not enough to change my lifestyle.

    On a random night out with my girlfriends, i was chatting with a stranger who happened to be really into fitness. We started to chat about my fitness journey and I have to admit I was pretty defeated. He encourage me to give it one more try, if not for myself, then for my children. The following Tuesday, January 17, 2012 I walked into Weight Watchers with a friend weighing in at 299.4 pounds. I initially only wanted to join for one month to see what it was all about, but after the first meeting I was hooked. I signed up to do it all. I wanted to work the plan to the fullest to see if I could do it. After the first week I was down 4 pound. The second week, I was down another 4 pounds. I thought that this was impossible. This continued for about a month and then the weight loss started to slow to about a pound per week. I realized then that I need to incorporate exercise into my plan. I have never been very patient, so I knew in order to stick with this I was going to need to see results... FAST!! I started doing Zumba on my WII 5 or 6 days a week with my husband and children. I followed this routine for months, barely missing a day. When the weather started to get warm, i signed up to start walking 5K's. This changed my life. I started walking along the Chicago lakefront everyday 3 - 4.5 miles. By the end of July I was able to run the entire path, albeit slow, but I still did it. This started my "like" for running (I'm still not in love). Running for me is the time that I have quiet space, with just my thoughts and my breathing. I often cry when I run, but it's a good cry, a release of emotion. I have found out from talking to other runners that this is a common phenomenon. Running allows me to be FREE of stress!

    In September, it started to get cold and I started running on a treadmill! Boring! Yet again I had to be flexible if I wanted to stay on the path to weight loss. I was already down nearly 100 lbs, I couldn't quit now. I joined a bootcamp with a friend. This is where I developed a love for circuit training. In October, I was referred to Andrea Nichols-Everett, who own D3: Dre's Diesel Dome. I initially started doing the bootcamp only two days a week and I would run the other three days. After two months I was hooked and changed my program to Monday - Friday, while still running three days a week.

    Today I weighed in at 144 pounds at Weight Watchers. That puts my official weight loss at 155.4 pounds.

    Slowly, but surely changing my mind about who I am has led me to change how I think about what I eat!

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