Gaining weight is easy to do when you’re suffering from a broken heart.
When Kenzi Groft of Lexington, Kentucky, was a teenager, she was a student-athlete who hoped to someday be the sort of person who inspires others to greatness. She was a hard worker with dreams of playing softball in college, but then during her junior year, everything went south.
First, a broken wrist sidelined her from pitching on the school’s softball team, but her true “kryptonite” ended up being the heartbreak of being dumped by her high school boyfriend. They’d been together for quite some time, so she was absolutely heartbroken when they broke up.
She found herself falling into depression, and her only comfort was found in food.
“I started emotionally eating, I lost all motivation to do anything,” she said. “Five pounds up went to 10, then 30, then 100! I was spiraling out of control but I was so blinded by emotion and food that I never noticed.”
Kenzi suffered through her final two years of high school. As she approached her graduation date, she found herself weighing nearly 300 pounds. She never played softball anymore, because it was just not feasible at her size.
At nearly 300 pounds I could hardly go up the stairs, let alone run a mile or pitch a full game. I got made fun of, I had no friends, I was depressed and took all my anger and sadness out on food.
After graduation, Kenzi went to college but suffered the same humiliation and isolation she’d felt in high school. Her self-esteem was at an all-time low, which made making new friends impossible. She took up smoking cigarettes and ate about 4,000 calories each day. She only made it about four months before dropping out.
Back at home, Kenzi saw her doctor and learned that at age 18, she tipped the scales at 305 pounds.
I was at a huge risk for blood clots and I had to get my gallbladder removed. I had kidney stones. He basically told me at the rate that I was going that I was going to die before I turned 30. I had horrible ovarian cysts and my acid reflux kept sending me to the ER. I could hardly fit in my car anymore. I couldn’t go up the stairs without losing my breath … I was extremely obese and very depressed. I wasn’t someone I would ever look up to, I was the exact opposite. I was my own worst nightmare. So, I decided to change it.
Kenzi made small adjustments and added exercise back into her routine. Still, losing weight felt like an insurmountable obstacle. She kept cheating on her diet, and she knew she wasn’t trying hard enough.
When a severe stomach ulcer landed her in the hospital, she nearly died from complications. While hospitalized for two weeks, she lost 30 pounds, which lit a fire in her to continue her momentum once she was released.
I ramped everything up, I went on a strict diet of proteins and vegetables and actually started TRYING. Soon the weight began melting off of me. I got a personal trainer and began working with her 4 days a week. I joined a slow pitch softball team to make exercising a little more fun and to finally step on the field again. I started watching workout videos and walking my dogs, taking them to the dog park and running and playing with them.
Kenzi says she felt driven to make her family proud of her, and to be proud of herself, too. Once she hit 180 pounds, she felt more like her old self than she had in years. Unfortunately, like many people who lose a lot of weight, she suffered from excess skin that required surgery to remove.
After a tummy tuck that removed 20 pounds of extra skin, Kenzi finally feels like herself again! “I went from being 305 pounds to 150 and I have never been happier. My self-esteem is great … Instead of being introverted and scared I came out of my shell.”
Kenzi is happier than ever before, working as a haunted house actress and fulfilling her dream of helping animals. She finally feels ready and able to move on and experience all that life has to offer!
I want people to realize that they can do this as well. It was so hard for me at first, most of the time I could hardly get out of bed let alone go to the gym. The food cravings were almost overwhelming, they distracted my thoughts and haunted my dreams, I thought I could never get over the need for junk food but I did. I thought I could never lose weight, that I would always be miserable with myself and never change. But I did. And I know that you can do it too.
Congratulations on your new lease on life, Kenzi! You look amazing, and you’re definitely an inspiration to many.
Share this beautiful young woman’s story to inspire others.