By Scott Thompson
THIS WOMAN was teased for being obese for most of her life and even attended a school where cruel bullies encouraged big girls to KILL THEMSELVES but after finding out she was pregnant she has turned her life around and lost over FOURTEEN-STONE – the only problem now is the excess skin which she admits dampens her SEX LIFE.
Although accountant Kara Beck (25) from Kansas City, USA, used to eat vegetables and fruits, she still regularly binged her way through over 3,500 calories in a day, and with only exercising twice a week for 20 minutes each time she allowed the pounds to pile on. Her favourite binging foods were chipotle burrito bowls, big bags of crisps and whole tubs of ice cream.
Kara grew up in a small town in Wyoming with her teacher parents and brother and sister. She attributed her weight gain to being hereditary as both sides of her family had struggled with obesity and diabetes. She also had very low self-esteem which perpetuated her unhealthy diet.
Then in August 2016 Kara fell pregnant, when she jumped on the scales at the time, she was 26st 4lb and a dress size 32. Doctors kept telling her how risky her pregnancy would be due to her weight and they showed her how badly her weight was affecting her health.
In January 2018 Kara had a gastric bypass and this was a key turning point for her in her venture to lose weight.
More than a year and a half later, Kara has changed her life by losing an incredible 14st, she now weighs 12st 4lb and is a size 10.
“I have been obese most of my life. When I was younger, I had poor mental health and self-worth. Family on both sides were obese and diabetic so I do have a genetic disposition to being larger. Because of my size I was teased at school,” Kara said.
“Even my friend would call me ‘Red Cow’ behind my back at school because I’m a red head. I also saw other big girls being bullied and seeing pictures of them with the words ‘do the world a favour and kill yourself’ really didn’t help me.
“I fell into depression as a teenager and started to self-harm. As a young adult I’d eat some healthy foods like protein shakes, vegetables and the occasional fruit. I even exercised twice a week for about 20 minutes each time, but because I’d then binge on big burrito bowls, bags of crisps and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream I consumed over 3,500 calories a day, so my weight just kept climbing.
“When I became pregnant I felt so excited as I’d always wanted to be a mother, but when I went to the doctors weighing 26st 4lb I was forced to see and understand just how much my weight was affecting not just my health but also my baby. I risked hypertension, diabetes and preeclampsia.
“I knew I had to make a change for us both and this was the key turning point for me.
“In January 2018 I then had a gastric bypass, and this allowed me to finally lose weight through calorie deficit, proper nutrition and exercise.
“For breakfast now I’ll have pre made egg and vegetable casserole and a coffee, lunch will be a protein bar, cheese, nuts and veggies, then for dinner always a source of protein and vegetables and I’ll try to add a complex carb like whole grain rice and oats. I’ve brought my daily calories down from 3,500 a day to about 1,500 a day which is normal.
“I now workout six times a week for about 40 minutes each time. I rotate between running, stair climbing and weight training to keep things interesting.
“I’ve been doing this consistently now for just over a year and a half and have gone from a dress size 32 to dress size 10 and 26st 4lb to 12st 4lb because of it.”
Kara still holds onto her excess skin which makes it difficult for her to personally see the true extent of her body transformation. She admits that it causes some discomfort and gets in the way of day to day activities. She is due to have the skin removed on September 16, 2019.
Kara says one of the hardest things about this journey is trying to maintain exercise on a regular basis especially due to her size it was particularly difficult for her to workout.
Since losing the weight Kara has enjoyed a lot of positive feedback from those around her.
“Excess skin affects my ability to truly see and accept how much weight I’ve actually lost. It can be a bit of a pain because it gets caught when I turn in my bed at night and it makes me feel self-conscious in other ways between the sheets if you know what I mean,” she said.
“It does sometimes make it hard for me to look past the obesity and it’s harder to remain active because it bounces around and hurts my back and abdomen. I do try to use compression clothing to keep things in place, but it only helps a little bit.
“I have an appointment on September 16, 2019 to have this removed though so we will see what it’s like after that.
“It’s easy to lose the habit of an exercise regime, especially when you start out and you’re as big as I was. It takes a lot to move around at that size. When you miss one day it’s easy for it to become two and then three.
“I’ve received a lot of compliments though, this has been really nice. People tell me I look totally different and even younger than I did before. Looking younger can never be a bad thing can it?”
Kara posts about her journey through Instagram @karabear_rny and uses it as a platform to inspire and encourage others.
“First and foremost evaluate yourself. Start reflecting on parts of your life you might not have before, so track your food intake, track your activity output and track your moods etc,” Kara said.
“Try to find patterns or trigger spots that lead to binging or not exercising. Try to address these first and then start tracking your calories. Next create a deficit so you’re eating less food than you need to maintain your weight. Then start to increase your exercise.
“It’s important to really know yourself and where your weak spots are. Address these as early as possible and you will soon find success.”
You can follow Kara’s journey on Instagram.