Weight Loss + Mind Gain: My Journey Back to Health, Happiness and Resilience

eat move Sep 11, 2022

Since moving to the U.S. from Canada eight years ago, I gained 22 pounds. On my small five-foot frame, that is a significant and noticeable weight gain.

The weight gain was insidious and it wreaked havoc on my physical and mental health – not to mention my wallet – as I needed to buy a new wardrobe to accommodate my changing sizes from what had always been a petite frame!

And, while I do maintain an active lifestyle and don’t drink alcohol, coffee, or sugary drinks like fruit juices and sodas, I now believe that the weight gain was primarily due to the extreme stress I endured, which included: moving to a new country in mid-life, a new marriage that subsequently didn’t work out, extensive business travel, COVID, and the death of a beloved dog. 

Stress affects cortisol levels (leading to weight gain) and mine seemed to be skyrocketing. The result:

  • Mindless eating, snacking, and overeating
  • Cravings for sweets, fatty and salty foods
  • Increased blood sugar levels (pre-diabetes)
  • Higher amount of belly fat
  • Debilitating plantar fasciitis (on both feet sequentially, lasting 6 months on each foot, leading me to be unable to exercise, dance, or move in a way that was healthy and useful to me)
  • Shift from osteopenia to osteoporosis (in my hip and spine)
  • Thyroid disorder (causing rapid weight loss and subsequent weight gain)
  • Sleep apnea (causing brain fog which affected my memory)
  • Urinary issues (increased urination frequency)
  • Anxiety and mild depression
  • Facial skin changes (tone, elasticity, wrinkles …)

All of this resulted also in disrupted sleep patterns and low energy levels, impacting my ability to embody the high-level wellness (peak performance, vitality, and full engagement) that I teach as part of my online self-care program as well as in my professional speaking.

Hitting My Bottom: Making A Needed Change

Want some real truth? A shameful thing for me in all of this was that I was known as "Dr. Kim" - the self-care guru and picture-perfect healthy person in the meetings & events industry. Yet, I was feeling like an imposter because I did not feel mentally or physically healthy or fit. It's only now, reflecting back on my life since moving to the U.S. looking at photos of my increasing weight, and having self-medicated my way through my stress and anxiety, that I realize how unhealthy I really was! It was time for a change.

Committed to making lifestyle changes, particularly over the past 6+ months, I am now happy to report that I am back to my pre-move weight and pre-marriage size and that I am feeling (and looking!) like - at almost 58 years old - the fountain of youth! This includes:

  • Feeling mentally and physically fit
  • Off-the-chart energy levels
  • Radiant skin
  • Buoyant mood
  • Petite, lean, muscular physique
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Refreshed emotional agility

And, importantly, all - and I mean ALL - of my physical health conditions disappeared:

  • Pre-diabetes reduced (blood glucose levels are better)
  • Thyroid disorder cleared up (subacute thyroiditis)
  • Sleep apnea gone (no longer need to use a CPAP machine)
  • Osteoporosis improved (increased bone mass and reversed osteoporosis in my spine though the osteoporosis in my hip remains)
  • Urinary issues resolved (and no more medications needed)
  • Plantar fasciitis gone (happy feet to help me walk my way back to wellness)

(modeling my new dance shoes at a recent DC dance event)

You Can Do it Too!

So, how did I lose weight and reshape my body and mind? It was NOT with a fad or extreme diet!

There are a variety of ways (many of which you may have heard before but, trust me, they are all crucially important and needed):

  1. Mindful, intuitive eating:

  • No sugar, refined white flour, or processed food snacks
  • Whole foods (whole grains, high fiber, pescetarian diet)
  • Portion control and/or small but frequent meals

 2. Regular, daily exercise, through a combination of:

  • Vinyasa power yoga (4-5 times a week)
  • Salsa dancing (admittedly, I’ve become a salsaholic)
  • Power and pole walking
  • Cycling
  • Swimming (freestyle, with hand mitts for added resistance training)
  • Weight training

Plus, daily mindfulness and good sleep hygiene practice (which includes my weighted blanket, blue light blocking glasses, and a sleep eye mask) and… well … personal professional therapy, including taking Jay Shetty’s Life Coaching Certification program as part of my personal healing.

Let’s Work on Your Journey Together

Even though it may seem overwhelming, I KNOW you can do this too. With my 25+ years as a health behavior scientist, gerontologist, and wellness/life coach, I will motivate you to accomplish the steps that you need to take – and get you the results that you deserve! 

Let’s work together to get you where you want to be. Today, you can invest in my EAT online course for only $47! This “healthy eating 101” course is part of my bigger Byte-Size Wellness Academy program and focuses on the fundamentals of food and healthy eating - delivered in short, digestible bytes. Each video lesson is short - under 10 minutes - and can be done when it’s convenient for you.

“I highly recommend Dr. Kim as she also helped me realize the boundaries I set and keep with myself are important to stay grounded in body, mind, and soul. When I keep those boundaries with myself I actually have more to give and am open to really listening to others.”
(Testimonial from a client)

Healthy Living Needn’t Be Hard Work

This EAT course is developed by a team of registered dietitians. In 10 short video lessons, I demystify diets and show you tried and true ways to eat healthy over the long-term through lifestyle nutrition - made quick and easy. You will discover the importance of whole foods that keep you feeling full while nourishing your brain and body. Real food. Real evidence. Real results

Click HERE for a sneak peek at the course.

And, when you invest in EAT, you will also receive 3 bonus downloadable takeaways:  

  • Fundamentals of Food Reference Guide
  • Beverage Myth Busters Guide
  • Reference Guide to Nuts and Seeds

I KNOW you can achieve a healthy weight and gain a healthy mind and body in the process. We will work together to achieve your goals and dreams. Click HERE to enroll in the EAT course. Questions? Hit REPLY or click HERE to schedule a Zoom meeting.

As an aside, I feel privileged to share my thoughts, learnings, and health-based solutions with you through my emails and blog posts – regardless of whether or not you enroll in my program for your own personal use. As such, I want to leave you with two very kind notes and glowing endorsements from regular readers. I’m so glad that my words and actions resonate with people.

“Just as ‘what you hear can change how you feel,’ what you read can change how you feel as well. Your emails are super uplifting and instantly change the way I feel at any given moment. For this, I am grateful and I know other readers feel the same as well.
- Reader 1

"I just want to say that although we never connected professionally I absolutely love reading your positive emails and how they can relate to all of us! Thank you for continuing to send them to me, I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate them and how much I grow from them."
- Reader 2

Be well,

PS: I am always open to suggestions for my writings, teachings, and coaching. Hit REPLY to share what’s on your mind.

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