Featured Fitale – Kiah Simmons

 Kiah Simmons

I have always struggled with my weight.  I have gone from the college athlete playing basketball on a daily basis to an emotional eater adding unhealthy weight. My fitness and health experiences are immensely broad in spectrum.
My initial weight loss commitment was a struggle. I would exercise hard before going to work. I was feeling like I had accomplished a great deal only to see little to no weight loss (my starting weight for my journey was 265 lbs). Weeks went by and only a few pounds to show for all my effort. Needless to say, I was discouraged feeling like perhaps the whole idea and effort put forth was pointless. I knew something wasn’t right as I had lost weight before using the tools that I had gained from all those years in athletics, yet I had no answers.
Fortunately, I gained health insurance (finally) and made an appointment to see a doctor. I was diagnosed with PCOS ( Polycystic Ovary Syndrome); a disease in which women’s hormones are imbalanced causing unwanted changes in the way women look. Overtime, it can lead to serious health problems, including heart disease and diabetes, due to weight gain and insulin resistance.  I gained 95 pounds and went up 9 dress sizes in 11 months, losing a bit of myself in the process.  I felt so alone and lost due to excessive facial hair, rapid weight gain, heart complications, and mood swings. I am currently on Metformin for PCOS, however that alone was still not enough to get the “old me” back. I had to fight for her and even though I did not always know how I would succeed, I was certain that I was going to succeed.
Today, I am happy to say that I have lost 75lbs!  It’s been a slow steady journey. This has been a three year transformation. During the first year, I lost only 13 lbs. After being diagnosed with PCOS in year two and researching better ways to heal my body, I lost 40 lbs more.  Now, in year three, I’ve lost another 22 lbs and counting. It’s not just about the weight loss, so many other parts of my life, unseen by the naked eye, have been positively changed.

At the beginning of my journey weighing 265 lbs, my BMI was at 65, more than double over the high risk rate. Today, I weigh 190 lbs with a BMI of 27.3.  My sleep apnea is gone. My chest pains are gone. My fatigue is almost diminished.

I exercise at least 4 days a week for 45 minutes and eat healthy foods once foreign to me – eggplant, brussel sprouts, and asparagus; in addition to healthier meats, no soda, more water, and no meals after 8 pm.

We all know it begins with a choice, a commitment to oneself to break bad habits and embrace good ones. We also know that the choice must be made daily, hourly; from 5 am alarm clocks to turning away carrot cake and doughnuts at work. My commitment is not just about losing weight, but starting a new lifestyle that includes better food, more activity, more joy, feeling healthy and happy. I’m working through my PCOS symptoms and fighting for a healthier life. I’m taking back my life one day at a time. I promise you, it’s not always butterflies and rainbows, but the journey to healthy living is totally worth every obstacle, every tear, and every self doubt that you will face.
Kiah Simmons

I had a vision to change my life. I visualized, planned, and put it into practice. I trusted the process. Changing my mindset was the hardest part, but once I took control and trained my brain like I was training my body, things began to fall into place.

My best advice is to trust the process and make it a priority to live consciously everyday.  I thank God for the strength to fight this fight and all my loved ones for the continued support. Hard work pays off! I’m not perfect, but I never gave up on myself. #ideserve. #PCOSsurvivor

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