Family Status: Common-Law
Hometown: Botwood, Newfoundland, Canada
Pounds or Inches Lost: I lost 208 pounds!
Starting Weight: 393 pounds
Current Weight: 185 pounds
Kevin’s Weight Loss Story!
My name is Kevin Carter and I belong to TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly) NL 969 Botwood. This is my third time being in TOPS. I belonged to TOPS in St. John’s, Newfoundland while I lived there and I was in TOPS approximately 3 years ago, but this time when I joined, I knew it was for good. I kept going back to TOPS because they offered me something that other weight loss groups could not even think about offering. They offered me the know how, the support and the joy of working together as a group to reach our individual goals. TOPS offers an atmosphere where individual goals and individual strategies to achieving goals in a sensible manner are accepted, celebrated and rewarded.
Now let me tell you a bit about my personal journey. When I was young we lived in a blended family. I lived with my mother, grandparents, aunts, and cousins not to mention the family dog. They were not the kind of people to eat healthy. While growing up, meals and snacks were deep fried and loaded with fat. Practically every day when I came home from school there were home-made french fries and more than likely, something else deep fried with it. Our nightly snacks ranged from grilled cheese sandwiches, to a large bowl of potato chips with a large bowl of ice cream or garlic fingers laced in butter, just to name a few.
This time, I decided to eat 3 meals a day which consisted of breakfast, lunch and dinner, with nothing in between. It has worked for me since I don’t feel hungry now. To curb my hunger throughout the evening, I eat a later dinner. When I was in TOPS prior to this time, I tried to incorporate a monthly treat night into my plan but what happened to be a treat night once a month turned into every two weeks. It then turned once a week, then 2 or 3 times a week and the weight just kept piling on. So, before I joined TOPS this time, I analyzed what went wrong in previous attempts and found it right in front of me. TREAT NIGHTS WERE MY SABOTAGE. Once I got a taste for that greasy, unhealthy food, I just wanted it more.
The weight came back on which is what got me to where I was when I joined TOPS in July of 2010 at 393 pounds. When I walked into my TOPS group, it was one of the biggest steps I ever had to take in my life. I was so embarrassed that I had let myself reach 393 pounds and that on the scale they had to use the special weight just to take my reading. I said to myself, “You are almost 400 pounds, but one thing is for certain that will be short lived.” Prior to joining TOPS, our leader and secretary used to approach me whenever possible and tell me that, “Its OK, you can come back to TOPS at any time,” but I used to try to avoid them like a toothache, because I was so embarrassed.
My health was failing me, my blood pressure was 150/100 and I found it very difficult to breathe. I would get very short of breath just walking from one end of the room to the other. For a while, I was prone to chest infections that would last for 2 months at a time. I struggled doing a walk in the mall and by the time I got back to the car, my hips would be hurting along with a lot of chaffing.
My grandmother is a diabetic, so from time to time I would check my own blood sugar which would reach as high as 20. Until I joined TOPS for the last time, my partner, my mom and his parents were afraid that something was going to happen to me because I had such a build-up of fat around my chest. I was very passive and let it go, but inside however, I was very much afraid that I was going to have a heart attack, stroke, or that it would be the end for me. The severe sweating, shortness of breath, finding it hard to stand for long periods of time, wheezing on the chest, made me think that it was only a matter of time. My partner was always wanting me to try eating healthy and my response would be, “I will start MONDAY, but MONDAY NEVER CAME.
Finally, one day I took a good look in the mirror and said to myself, “My health is going down hill, and I have no clothes to fit,” so talking back to the mirror I said, “I am not getting any bigger and I am going to get this weight off because I really don’t I want to drop dead with a heart attack.” When I went to TOPS for my first weigh in, I was so embarrassed that I held my head down the whole time. It was very hard to look people in the face but after the first 2 weeks, I had lost 20 pounds. A lot of that was fluid I guess and the weight kept on coming off week after week. I would lose 4, 5, 6 pounds a week. I have a scale at home and would weigh myself every day and if after a week I was going through a plateau, I would kick things in high gear and do a little harder workout to boost my metabolism and it worked. The weight kept coming off and I reached my goal on March 9th with a 175 pound weight loss leaving me 2 pounds below my goal!
After I reached my goal, I still found myself losing so I had to lower my goal weight by 10 pounds and I have reached that goal about a month later with a 184 pound weight loss with 1 pound below my goal. Then in July of 2011, I had to change my goal once more to 190 pounds. I have reached that and I’m 5 pounds below my goal at the present time. So I now weigh in at 185 pounds. To lose all this weight took a lot of hard work and dedication which wasn’t easy but I was just so sick of living as an overweight person. I changed a lot of things in my life. I exercised more, I cooked differently. No more soda, no butter or oil (replaced oil with chicken both), and followed a recommended portion control. I tried to eat around 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day with 25 to 30 grams of fat a day.
These changes have worked for me. Some of my greatest motivations and inspirations were my family, our TOPS chapter (they are a great source of support and inspiration), The Biggest Loser, and music. One of the songs that really inspired me to push harder was “LIFT” by Shannon Noll. It is a long road but with determination and commitment, we can all get there and find the “you” that you have so long desired. You have to take it one day at a time, one pound at a time. Since I have lost all this weight, I have received 2 awards with TOPS Club Inc. One on the provincial level and the other on the International Level. I received the award of Division 1, First Place Winner (Male) for men within Newfoundland and Labrador and again on the International level. Division one consists of men who weigh in at more than 300 pounds at the beginning of 2010 but less than 400 pounds.
Kevin’s Weight Loss Interview!
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
I have always been unhappy with my weight. It was when I got a health scare that I took matters into my own hands.
What made you decide to lose weight?
I was afraid that my next breath would be my last.
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
I exercised more and ate three meals a day with no snacking in between. I also cut out the use of butter and oil, eliminated junk food from my life, read labels and became aware of portion sizes.
What was most challenging about losing weight?
Finding the time to exercise but to get to where you want to get, YOU HAVE TO MAKE THE TIME!
How long did it take you to start to see results?
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
How long have you maintained your weight loss and how do you do it?
I have been maintaining this weight since July and I keep things under control by having a couple of snacks throughout the day and continuing to exercise. That is what I have to do in order to keep my weight at this level.
How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
I have an abundance of energy, I am not so tired anymore, I care more about my appearance and the way that I dress. For the first time in my life I’m comfortable in my own skin.
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
Reading the weight loss success stories on ShapeFit.com about people who have lost large amounts of weight made me realize that this is possible and I can do this as well.
Kevin’s Weight Loss Tips!
Weight loss tip #1:
Exercise, exercise, exercise.
Weight loss tip #2:
Watch out for portion control.
Weight loss tip #3:
Drink lots of water because you want to flush out those toxins.
Weight loss tip #4:
Keep track of fats and calories that you are consuming.
Weight loss tip #5:
Choose social situations wisely.
Kevin’s Weight Loss Eating Plan!
Boiled egg, slice of toast with fruit preserves, 2 slices of turkey bacon, 1/2 cup apple juice, cup of coffee with 1/2 tsp sugar and fresh milk.
Turkey sandwich made with marble rye bread, light Miracle Whip, lettuce, tomato and cheese. A cup of soup, orange and 1 cup of milk.
1 chicken breast (grilled), 1/2 cup of prepared rice, 1 cup sauteed vegetables, 1/2 cup frozen yogurt.
Snacks or Mini Meals:
Granola bar, fruit and yogurt , frozen yogurt, angel food cake, carrot sticks, Jell-O pudding, nuts.
Kevin’s Weight Loss Workouts!
I follow a weight training workout program created by a personal trainer. It’s vigorous but well worth it.
Walking and step aerobics.