Transformation of the Day: Kaira lost 96 pounds. Tired of feeling powerless and hating what she saw in the mirror, she decided to focus on fitness and improve her relationship with food. During her journey, she became a spin instructor, gained muscle mass and recently finished her first marathon.
What was your motivation? What inspired you to keep going?
My motivation for my weight loss transformation was always hating the reflection I saw in the mirror and the feeling of being powerless to change it. However, once I realized that I could do something every day to get closer to my fitness goals, I locked in and never looked back.
What inspires me to keep going is that constant feeling of knowing that I owe it to myself to push myself to be the greatest version of myself every day and make sure I am always moving forward. I’m also motivated by the fear of going back to that person I hated when I have done so much work to become the person I am today, both inside and outside.
How did you change my eating habits?
I tell people every day that I still have a very complex relationship with food. However, once I started to get serious about weight loss, the junk food diet that my life consisted of stopped almost instantly, almost to the point of developing an eating disorder. So finding the balance between healthy eating, emotional eating, and starvation has been an ongoing journey for me.
I have a huge sweet tooth, but after working out so much and understanding how different foods fuel your body, it became much easier to cut out sugars, carbs, and some meat from my diet. I replaced those foods with more fruits and vegetables.
Most of my poor eating choices came in the form of snacks, so once I replaced cookies with trail mix, it became much easier to find and transition to healthier versions of foods. I also started eating many foods and vegetables that normally were never part of my daily diet.
Tell us about your workout routine.
I was pretty active and athletic in high school despite being on the chubbier side. I was always a fan of outdoor activities. I began running daily because, at the time, the gym was too intimidating for someone who had no idea what they were doing. Running led to spin classes which led to me eventually becoming a spin instructor.
Then I began to go to the gym. I took yoga, Pilates, boxing, and strength training classes via ClassPass. Now I work out about six times a week. I run pretty much every day, at least 4 miles (I just recently finished my 1st marathon!) I am in 2 run groups, I teach spin classes, and I always take at least an hour of my day to crush a workout
What was your starting weight?
I always hated to weigh myself, but at my highest weight, I was 256 pounds.
What is your current weight?
I currently weigh 160 pounds, and I have a lot more muscle mass.
What is your height?
I am 5’5″.
When did your journey start?
Since high school, I have been on the yo-yo diet/workout train, but my official fitness calendar started in March 2017. I would say I didn’t begin to see that I had a neck underneath my multiple chins until probably September of that same year. To fully see a difference in my body and endurance took about a year, and I haven’t stopped since.
Is weight loss surgery part of your journey?
No need. The gym is all the Dr. Miami I need!
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned thus far?
To truly be who you think you should be on the outside, you first must change how you think on the inside. That is the hardest thing. It is easy to change your body but changing your mind is where the true work starts, especially on a weight loss journey.
If you spent most of your life being plus-sized, you have to truly go through a process of unlearning the bad habits and behaviors that got you to a place you didn’t want to be. You have to relearn how to treat yourself better by thinking more positively and feeding your mind, body, and soul with good energy.
What advice would you like to share?
Whatever you do, DO NOT STOP! There will be things in life that slow you down. You also may lose motivation. However, it’s always harder to start over than regulate and adjust your fitness schedule. There is always time to work out, even for the busiest person. Waking up early to get a workout in is probably the best thing you can do to ensure you have a great day.
Do not compare your journey to anyone else’s via reality or online. Set realistic expectations but also challenge yourself and hold yourself accountable.
At the end of the day, if you don’t make the changes and don’t do the work, you cannot complain about the lack of progress. As the saying goes, you truly cannot cheat the grind.
Abs truly are made in the kitchen, and if you never get them, that is ok. Find a workout plan AND a nutrition plan that works for you and build from there.
Take the word ‘CAN’T’ out of your vocabulary. Instead, embrace feeling awkward, uncomfortable, unsure, and even fearful on this journey because the person you will become on the other side is more powerful than you know.