Kendra Bates of Marietta loses 116 pounds
Former weight: 268 pounds
Current weight: 152 pounds
Pounds lost: 116 pounds
Height: 5 feet 6 inches
Age: 40 years
How long she’s kept it off: She started March 2008 and reached 160 pounds in December 2009.
Personal life: “I have been fully supported by my husband of 21 years, James Bates, and our home-schooled children: Caleb 18, Aaron and Adam 15, Kenlee 8, Kenan 6, Jaycelyn 5, and Eliana 3,” says Bates. She’s a group fitness instructor at Anytime Fitness and lives in Marietta.
Turning point: “I hadn’t realized that I had gained so much weight. I knew it in my head, but it wasn’t until I saw [the before] picture that I realized it in my heart,” she says. She was diagnosed with MRSA of the mastoid bone, which is located directly behind the ears. “I was told that because I was allergic to all the antibiotics, if it entered my bloodstream, I would die. It was at this very moment I decided I could not die, I had a family to finish raising and my wonderful husband would go crazy trying to homeschool our children and work full-time. Thus began my journey to fight the disease and get myself back in shape.”
Diet plan: “As a registered nurse, I thought I knew how to eat but I must have slept through personal nutrition because I could give advice but not follow it,” she says. She joined SparkPeople.com and ate what she wanted, but in moderation.
Biggest challenge: “There were many times my calories would drop to 600 or so a day because I was afraid to eat for fear of gaining back or not losing,” she says. “[Eating more] was such a huge thing for me to grasp.”
How life has changed: “I am not sure it is the weight loss itself that allowed me to make these changes or the freedom Zumba offers me, or a combination of both, but I have found a new zeal for life. I look at each day as an adventure, a journey to be explored. I have been set free from the bondage of negative stinky thinking …”
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