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Obese Mom Decides to Get Healthy for Her Daughter, Looks Unrecognizable After Shedding 175lb

BY Louise Chambers TIMEJuly 18, 2023 PRINT

A single mom, who had struggled with obesity since childhood, has overhauled her unhealthy lifestyle to be a better mom for her 4-year-old daughter. She is also sharing the hidden struggle of life in her new body after losing a massive 175 pounds (79.3 kilograms).

Kimberly Nestorick, 27, from northeastern Pennsylvania, is a retail sales associate, content creator, and mom to daughter, Everly, 4. After trying and failing to lose weight multiple times, she opted for vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery in 2016 and lost over 100 pounds (45 kilograms) over the course of a year. Then she became pregnant and regained all her former excess weight, plus more.

“I think the rapid weight gain was from a multitude of things,” Ms. Nestorick told The Epoch Times. “I was in an unhealthy relationship that was mentally draining and exhausting, I was so focused on taking care of everyone else that I was neglecting myself, then COVID happened, and the world shut down.”

Epoch Times Photo
Kimberly Nestorick before and after losing weight. (Courtesy of Kimberly Nestorick)
Epoch Times Photo
Kimberly Nestorick says being a mom to her daughter is “the greatest gift.” (Courtesy of Kimberly Nestorick)

A Big Regret

At her lowest point, Ms. Nestorick was not exercising at all. She stayed home with her daughter, streaming content on Twitch, and ordering takeaway food up to three times a day. Her favorite order was five-piece spicy chicken tenders with Cajun fries, rice, a biscuit, and sweet tea.

“My coffee addiction played a role in my calorie intake as well,” she said. “I would get a large iced coffee or latte every day with a flavor, sweetener, and cream. The calories added up pretty quickly.”

Ms. Nestorick was unable to run around and play with her toddler, let alone carry her for long. She avoided outings, feeling too self-conscious.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Kimberly Nestorick)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Kimberly Nestorick)

“I didn’t even want pictures of us together for the first three years of her life,” she said. “It’s a big regret of mine, so if I can offer anyone advice, it would be to get in the pictures, no matter how bad you feel about yourself or your appearance.”

Everything changed on July 8, 2021, when Ms. Nestorick consented to a photo with her daughter at the Jim Thorpe train station in Pennsylvania, taken by her mom. Her mom tagged the photo on Facebook.

“I was so mortified I had asked her to take it down,” Ms. Nestorick said. “I couldn’t even recognize myself. … That’s when I knew I had to start making some serious lifestyle changes if I wanted to be around to raise and care for my little girl.”

Discovering a Love for Healthy Cooking

The next day, she braved the scales. The 5-foot-tall mom had reached 308 pounds (140 kilograms). “I knew I was gaining weight, I just didn’t realize how big I had actually gotten,” she said.

She immediately made a major change, swapping her daily takeaways for meals at home, and discovered a love for cooking. She knew her new diet had to be realistic and sustainable, but “learning how to eat for my body and not for my head” was challenging.

“I love food,” she said, “I didn’t get to 308 pounds [140 kilograms] by not enjoying it. So truly learning what my body needed was hard for me.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Kimberly Nestorick)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Kimberly Nestorick)

The mom worked with a nutritionist for three months and learned to track her calorie intake, a “time-consuming and annoying” process, but one through which she really took stock of the foods she ate. She even transformed her coffee addiction by switching to zero-calorie skinny syrups and limiting the amount of cream.

“I am still learning every day,” she said. “As for exercise, I mainly do cardio. I love the elliptical and I feel like it is therapeutic. I crank up the resistance to ten, and I turn on a show on Hulu for an hour and get my workout in.”

‘I Stayed Consistent’

Ms. Nestorick was supported by family and friends as her weight loss journey progressed and sought advice from content creators. She had “so much self-doubt” that she never imagined she would become an influencer herself. It wasn’t until she lost over 100 pounds (45 kilograms) that she began sharing it on her social media.

“I thought I would fail, as I had before, but I’m so thankful I didn’t,” she said. “It’s a mental battle every single day, and something you definitely have to work on is your mental health to be successful.

“Motivation comes in waves, and honestly I didn’t stay motivated most of my journey. But, I stayed consistent; I constantly reminded myself of my goals. I knew the only way to reach [my goals] was to stay disciplined.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Kimberly Nestorick)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Kimberly Nestorick)

A Healthy Parent

At the time of writing, Ms. Nestorick weighs 133 pounds (60 kilograms). She is aiming to lose 5 more pounds to reach a healthy BMI and is sticking to the “one day at a time” motto that has worked for her so far.

“I could only control today, and that’s what I did,” she said.

She clocks 10,000 steps a day and is now mindful enough about her food choices not to need to track calories. But there’s a dark side to massive weight loss: Ms. Nestorick is left with a large amount of excess skin and still feels judged for her appearance.

She said, “I still feel like I am living in a deflated version of my 308-pound [140-kilogram] body. It’s hard waking up and looking in the mirror and still seeing that girl, after working so hard for two years to lose the weight. I think that is what’s holding me back from reaching my goal weight at the moment.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Kimberly Nestorick)

With around 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of loose skin on her stomach alone, Ms. Nestorick is planning to save enough money for skin removal surgery and has a fundraiser set up. She says hundreds of kind-hearted online strangers have “generously donated” to help her reach her goal.

“But truly, I would take the extra skin over being the old version of me any day. The old me was unhealthy, ashamed of herself, and unhappy,” Ms. Nestorick said.

Since beating the unhealthy habits of a lifetime, the single mom is proud to call herself a healthy parent.

“I can run around with my daughter, and I can carry her without sweating profusely,” she said. “I can walk up my steps without being winded. I can do household chores and not be exhausted. I can wear clothing that I actually enjoy and find flattering.”

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Louise Chambers is a writer, born and raised in London, England. She covers inspiring news and human interest stories.
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