Keila Hampton always wanted to get healthy, and she used getting passed over for a promotion at work as motivation to embark on her 15-month weight-loss journey. She started out small, making healthy changes to her daily routine and eventually creating a weight-loss community to hold herself accountable and inspire others. This is her story as told to POPSUGAR.
POPSUGAR: What made you start your journey?
Keila Hampton: I got passed up for a promotion at work and realized I needed to focus on me, and the one thing that I always wanted to do was to get healthy. I decided to start a YouTube channel where I would show my weight-loss journey to hold myself accountable and to help others that needed some motivation in sticking with their new, healthy lifestyle.
PS: What was your starting weight?
KH: My starting weight was 254 pounds. The highest I weighed was 275 pounds in high school.
PS: How much weight have you lost to date? How long did it take you to lose it?
KH: My current weight is 178 pounds and I've loss 76 pounds since January of 2017. It took me 15 months to lose that weight.
PS: Did you follow a specific diet? Why?
KH: I started the keto diet (low carb, high fat, moderate protein) because I work a sedentary job and wanted to find something that I could stick with long enough in order to lose enough weight before tackling the gym.
PS: Do you count calories?
KH: I do not count calories: Instead, I count macros. I listen to my body when I'm hungry and don't let calories dictate how much I should eat.
PS: What does a typical day of eating look like for you?
KH: I practice intermittent fasting, so I usually fast until noon. If I need a coffee fix to carry me over, I have coffee with one serving of half and half (it's 40 calories so it's still within the fasting window).
- Lunch: I try to have my bigger meal that consists of a protein source (chicken thighs, ground beef, salmon) with a veggie source (Brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower). I make a cream sauce to go on top of the veggies, typically a cheese or Alfredo sauce.
- Snacks: I've recently been obsessed with blueberries, walnuts, and macadamia nuts (nuts are perfect to get healthy fats in). I also love strawberries and homemade heavy cream, beef jerky, Babybel cheese and sugar-free chocolate (Lily's chocolate is one of my favorites).
- Dinner: I try to get my veggies in, so I will make a taco salad or a BLT wrap on a low-carb tortilla.
PS: Did you follow a specific training schedule?
KH: I didn't go to the gym for the first 9-10 months of my journey. I would just walk for 30 minutes on my lunch breaks. I got my gym membership in January of 2018 when I moved to a new apartment that did not have a gym in the building. The gym membership pushed me to try new workouts.
PS: How often do you exercise now? How do you keep your routine fresh and exciting?
KH: I work out at least four times a week. I created a routine that makes going to the gym easier. I have a coworker that goes with me on one of the days I'm training, and I have a class I go to on another day. I find it is harder to say no to the gym when someone else is depending on you. Find a buddy to push you to be more active.
PS: What are some non-scale victories you've had?
KH: I've been over 200 pounds since the age of 12 and, now, I can finally shop in the regular stores. I love dressing up, and heels were always so uncomfortable. I think the extra weight made heels a nightmare for me and now I can finally walk in heels comfortably.
PS: What advice or tips do you have for others on their journey?
KH: I always stress that this journey is a lifetime journey, so if you have fallen off the bandwagon of your healthy lifestyle, you have to remember to take it one day at a time. I believe that each day we have the opportunity to start fresh, and throughout my journey I have had many setbacks and I have felt like giving up. But those "failures" are just lessons that you need to make you stronger.