A mother-of-eight who suffered a heart attack during her weight loss journey has revealed how she shed 150 pounds in just one year by intermittent fasting and counting calories.
Katie Silva, 42, from Niceville, Florida, started gaining weight after the birth of her fourth child Ethan in 2003. She had six kids in the span of nine years and turned to food for comfort while struggling with postpartum depression.
With so many young children to look after, the stay-at-home mom found it hard to be active, so she continued to gain weight until she tipped the scales at 345 pounds.
‘I did my best to stay afloat, to keep the children loved and well cared for, but in the process, lost myself,’ Katie said. ‘My care was my lowest priority, and food became my only comfort.’
Incredible: Katie Silva, 42, from Niceville, Florida, has gone from 345 pounds (left) to 195 pounds (right) in just one year
Amazing: The mother of eight lost a total of 150 pounds by counting calories, following a low-carb diet, and intermittent fasting
‘So, I ate. I ate when I was sad. I ate when I was angry. I ate when I was lonely. I ate when I was stressed. I ate and ate and ate. I was disgusted with myself. Not necessarily with my body, but with my lack of willpower,’ she explained.
‘I knew I had a toxic relationship with food. I knew it was unhealthy. I knew I needed to change, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. No matter how much I wanted to, I just never stuck with it.
‘I would binge on food, then hate myself for it, which just led to binging even more. It was a horrible cycle that I seemed powerless to end, which just deepened the resentment I had for myself.’
Katie’s self-hatred was only exacerbated by the toxic relationship she had with a group of women she thought were her friends when she was in her mid-20s.
‘We would all hang out with our kids, and occasionally would go out without the children,’ she recalled. ‘We all made plans to meet up for dinner. I showed up at the restaurant at the agreed-upon time, only to find out that they had changed the reservation and had had lunch together, instead, and didn’t tell me.
Hard to handle: Katie (pictured before she lost weight) had six of her kids in the span of nine years, and she started gaining weight after the birth of her fourth child Ethan in 2003
Challenges: Katie turned to food for comfort while struggling with postpartum depression, and she continued to gain weight until she tipped the scales at 345 pounds
‘When I confronted the woman I thought I was closest to, asking her why they had done those things, she blamed my weight and said I really just didn’t fit in with the rest of them. This was a huge blow to my self-esteem and my feeling of self-worth.’
Katie withdrew into herself, not trusting people enough to make new friends, and she became lonelier and lonelier.
‘My once-outgoing personality turned inward and from that point forward, I really felt like people didn’t want to be around me, and that if they were being friendly with me, were only doing so to be nice,’ she said.
‘I couldn’t put myself out there and get hurt like that again, so I stopped trying to make friends, and made it difficult for people to get close to me.’
She added that she even found it hard to go to events with her kids because she wanted to avoid attracting attention.
Dedicated: On October 1, 2020, she decided out of the blue she was going to lose weight and quickly lost 50 pounds
Plan: Katie followed a low-carb diet and allowed herself 1,100 to 1,400 calories per day. She only ate between noon and 6 p.m. while intermittent fasting
‘Before I lost the weight, I was in almost constant pain. My back muscles would seize up so badly at times that I couldn’t walk without the assistance of a walker and was on pain medication almost constantly.
‘I had even stopped attending my children’s school performances and activities because I didn’t fit well in chairs and hated feeling like I was infringing on other people’s space, and really, it just hurt to sit in bleachers and on hard chairs for an hour at a time.’
Katie recounted how humiliated she was when a teacher asked all of the parents to take a seat at a ‘back to school night,’ and she couldn’t comply.
‘The seats had desks connected to the chair. I did not fit between the desk and the chair, so I stood, while the rest of the parents sat,’ she explained. ‘The teacher singled me out and pointed to a seat and said, “There is an open seat right here.”
‘Now, I was facing two of my biggest horrors, not physically fitting into a space that I was supposed to occupy, and being the center of attention. I cried, stammered that I thought I had the wrong class, and left the room as quickly as possible.’
New lifestyle: Katie also started working out and competed in virtual races to help pose weight
Loss: Katie lost 100 pounds in under six months, but then found out she was pregnant. She ended up losing the baby and suffered a heart attack while in the hospital
After years of struggling with her weight, Katie became determined last year to change her life once and for all.
‘On October 1, 2020, in the middle of the day, I randomly decided I was going to lose weight,’ she said. ‘No planning, no waiting for Monday. I just decided I was going to start right that second. I got on the scale and it read 345 pounds.’
Katie started counting calories, allowing herself 1,100 to 1,400 calories and less than 35 net carbs per day. She only ate between noon and 6 p.m. while intermittent fasting, and she prioritized drinking a minimum of one gallon of water every day.
The mom cut out most processed foods and simple carbs, and she tried to make sure that all of her meals and snacks incorporated some type of protein.
She also exercised five days a week, keeping her workouts varied. She used an ergometer to compete in virtual races, rode her Peleton bike, and did strength training.
‘Through a calorie deficit, with the aid of a low carb diet and intermittent fasting, I lost 100 pounds in just under six months,’ Katie said. ‘Around that time, I found out I was pregnant.
Challenges: Katie said losing the baby saved her life because her doctor told her it was ‘only a matter of time’ before she had a heart attack
Setback: Exercise was limited after her heart attack, so she had to focus on nutrition to lose the rest of the weight, but she was not deterred
‘Unfortunately, during my second trimester, I lost the baby, and complications from that led to surgery that same day. Upon waking from surgery, I suffered a heart attack. I was told that had I not been in the hospital when it happened, I would have died.
‘My cardiologist said that it was only a matter of time before I had the heart attack, but the complications and the surgery were likely the tipping point for why it happened when it did. Basically, losing my child saved my life.’
Katie explained that exercise was limited after her heart attack, so she had to focus on nutrition to lose the rest of the weight. Her brush with death made her realize she wanted to be as healthy as possible rather than just lose weight.
‘I was given a second chance at life, and I was going to make sure I did everything I could to make sure that life was as long as possible,’ she said. ‘I had children starting kindergarten, children graduating high school, children getting married, and I wasn’t about to miss those things.’
One year after she started her weight loss journey, Katie stepped on the scale and learned she weighed 195 pounds – exactly 150-pounds less than she was when she started.
‘I am happier and healthier now than I have been in more than twenty years,’ she said. ‘I can now hike with my family, get on the floor and play with my children, pick my little ones up and spin them in the air.
Focused: Katie’s brush with death made her realize she wanted to be as healthy as possible rather than just lose weight
Support system: The mom said her eight kids are so proud of her success
‘I can fit in a kayak, swing with my kids without worrying about breaking the swing, and go on roller coasters without the fear of being kicked off for being too big.
‘I am more present in the lives of my children because I can physically do the things I didn’t used to be able to do with them.
‘When I was overweight, I tried to make myself small. I stayed quiet and as unobtrusive as possible so people wouldn’t notice me,’ she admitted.
‘I had a fear of my children being embarrassed by me because of my weight, so I made sure that when I was around them, I was as demure as possible so as not to draw attention to myself.
I even held back laughter because it might be too loud and people would notice me. That has all changed now that I have lost weight. I am back to my bigger-than-life self.’
Katie is now living her life to the fullest, but she wishes that she hadn’t cared what people thought about her weight.
Meeting her goal: One year after she started her weight loss journey, Katie stepped on the scale and learned she weighed 195 pounds – exactly 150-pounds less than her starting weight
Success: ‘I am happier and healthier now than I have been in more than twenty years,’ Katie said of her weight loss
‘I am happier and more comfortable in my body now, but am upset at all of the time I wasted worrying about what other people thought of me and my weight,’ she said.
‘I am frustrated that I missed out on so many things because of the stories I told myself in my head about how other people thought of my weight.
‘However, I am also so proud of myself and the things I have accomplished. I have worked so hard to overcome the mental obstacles that I had put in place.
‘I have worked so hard to fix my relationship with food, as well as my relationship with myself. I never realized how strong I was and what I was capable of.’
She added that her kids – Caitlin, 23, Emma, 21, Cole, 19, Ethan 18, Serapia, 16, Clay, 14, Clara, five, and Victoria, four – are proud of her too.
‘One of my daughters told me the other day, “You lost 150 pounds in a year. That’s an entire adult human being. That’s freaking amazing,”‘ she said. ‘Mostly though, my children comment on how much happier I seem now than I have in the past.
‘They comment on how much I laugh and how they are still getting used to that, and how “cringe” I am when I dance in public. I secretly think they love it, though.’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk