Transformation of the Day: Karishia lost 150 pounds. While working for an adult day program, she was attacked and suffered a serious back injury. To help with the constant pain and to shed pounds, she had gastric sleeve surgery in 2012 and breast reduction surgery this year. This mom has figured out an eating style and workout routine that works for her and addressed her food addiction.
In May 1999, I worked for an adult day program that focused on supporting individuals with behavioral issues. I took a group of six individuals out, and one of them decided to attack me because he didn’t earn Burger King for lunch. He grabbed me by my hair, jammed my head in his lap, and beat me all over my back. I was diagnosed with a lumbar disc sprain. Doctors told me I would have to deal with this pain for the rest of my life. I was 23 years old.
I was always in pain. Since I had to provide for my family, I had to work despite the pain. However, on my off days, all I wanted to do was rest. My children and other family members were robbed of my time. I approached my doctor, and he suggested gastric sleeve weight loss surgery. That was performed in July 2012. I lost 124 pounds. Yay! Problem solved. Nope!
While flying to a family member’s wedding, I had a layover that lasted a few hours. I was in agony. Then, they announced that the flight was delayed by another 4 hours. However, there was a flight going back to my home city, leaving 20 minutes later. Needless to say, I missed the wedding. I hated it! I was so frustrated! After this heartbreaking situation, I talked to my doctor about breast reduction surgery because I’d gone from a 48N cup to a 38M cup after losing weight.
I finally was approved for a breast reduction, and the surgery was performed in May 2021 (22 years after the initial injury). They removed 2 liters. I can tell you that I already feel relief. I feel lighter and as if I can live a pain-free life. God kept me sane and working for my family. He has always been faithful and has been with me every step of the way. I’m grateful.
How did you change your eating habits?
I changed my habits by cutting out sugar and carbs from my diet and switching to a high protein, low carb routine. I researched the Atkins program and used those tools to accomplish my goals. I ate more poultry, cheese, bacon (you can have bacon), veggies, oatmeal, and ground turkey. I also ate beef once a week. My favorite recipe is spaghetti using spaghetti squash.
Tell us about your workout routine.
My routine began with Taebo (shoutout to Billy Blanks, lol) at home and using the elliptical in the gym. Soon after, I started running. It was always a dream of mine to run without running out of breath after 30 seconds. Now I’m up to 2 miles (on the treadmill). I also enjoy kickboxing classes. It makes me feel like a bada**. I do Zumba, which is a great way to lose weight and learn a new dance style.
I worked out consistently, 4 days a week. Sometimes more. However, resting your muscles is very important. Your muscles experience little tears after you work them. Rest allows them to repair and get stronger.
Starting weight/Current weight
My starting weight in 2011 was 330 pounds. I lost 134 pounds after surgery. Then, I lost my mom in March 2019 and gained 60 lbs. My current weight is 180 pounds, and I have 20 more to go.
What is your height?
When did you begin your journey? How long did your transformation take?
“When did I start my journey?” is a hard question. In November 2011, my dad told me that I was fat, so that sent me on a weight loss journey. I love my dad and, but that hurt my heart. He wasn’t being mean (though I stopped talking to him a month). He was just concerned about my health).
So, my doctor and I talking about the gastric sleeve procedure. I had to lose 10% of my BMI before surgery. I lost 33 pounds, and I was scheduled for surgery in July 2012. The thing is that surgery is just a tool. You still have to do the work. It took 18 months.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
The biggest lesson I learned through all of this is that weight loss is a lifelong goal. You will always have to work on this, period! I am a food addict. In fact, I joined a program called FAA (Food Addicts Anonymous) which is built on the same premise as Alcoholics Anonymous. Food is a drug if not used properly. I’m not perfect, but I’m better.
What advice would you like to share with women who want to lose weight?
Choose a fun workout. If you don’t like what you’re doing at the gym, you won’t want to do it. Find something that you love to do or that you want to learn to do. Start at home. If you’re embarrassed at how you look, it’s OK.
Also, don’t beat yourself up if you have a cheat meal. It’s OK. Just get back up and dust your shoulders off and keep it moving.
Your mind will tell you, “See, I told you we can’t do it. Just go back to eating.” so you have to have a goal…something to look forward to. My goal was to attend my childrens’ graduation ceremonies but NO LONGER be the “fat mom.” I also want to meet my grandchildren.