“Losing weight is hard, but not giving up is harder.”
That’s the mantra adopted by Sandi, a young woman from Kentucky who is inspiring thousands by sharing her weight-loss journey on her popular Instagram page. Over the past two years, Sandi has pushed herself to change her entire way of life, and the results are staggering.
At her heaviest, Sandi weighed in at 420 pounds.
Unable to walk and embarrassed to leave the house, Sandi felt utterly hopeless. In addition to her food addiction and binge-eating issues, Sandi has a host of medical conditions that make it difficult for her to lose weight and exercise. Not only is she legally blind, but she suffers from polycystic ovary syndrome, thyroid disease, depression, and anxiety.
Yet in the end, nothing could stop her from changing her life for the better.
As Sandi explained:
I used to be the girl that didn’t leave her house because i hated how much weight i had gain. I was embarrassed. It hurt to walk, clothes didn’t fit me, always in doctor offices, and the list goes on. When I step on the scale and saw I was over 400 pounds I knew I needed to change or I was going to die.
Reaching her breaking point, Sandi started investigating the best way to lose weight in a healthy manner. She decided that counting calories and starting to take short walks each day was the way to go. Eventually, she and her doctor agreed that gastric sleeve surgery was the best option for her, and she underwent that operation on July 11, 2016.
Sometimes you have to fall down in order to get back up. I spent so much time struggling with fad diets to lose weight. Everyone always ask me what motivated me to actually wanted to lose weight. And I guess a lot of things played into me wanting to get this weight off. I was embarrassed to leave my house because of my weight, I could barely walk anymore, my health had just went downhill, and the list goes on. When I started my weight-loss journey I knew this time things were going to be different this time I wasn’t going to give up. I didn’t care how many times that I was going to fall down I was going to stand back up and keep going.
After her surgery, Sandi continued to work tirelessly to fight her way towards better health. She carefully planned out her diet, prepping dozens of meals and snacks for the week so that she’d stay on track when things got hectic. She hit the gym every day, and soon the weight began to melt away.
Sandi also spent a lot of time working on her mental health, finally addressing the food addiction and binging episodes that had plagued her for years. She uses her Instagram as a way to not only reach out and inspire others, but to keep herself accountable by putting her personal goals front and center.
Today, Sandi has lost an amazing 240 pounds. She weighs a healthy 175 pounds, going from a size 5x dress size to a women’s medium.
If I could tell you about anything about weight loss it’s 80% diet and 20% working out. You can’t outrun a bad diet. Since day one of my weight-loss journey I have started tracking all my calorie intake and working out daily.
When I was at my highest weight I lived in sweatshirts. No matter if it was summer or winter. It could be 100 degrees outside and I would still be in a sweatshirt. I was so uncomfortable with my body. When I started my weightloss journey and lost my first 30 pounds I started taking more photos of myself. I never took a good look at what I looked like because I hated seeing myself in mirrors.
Self love is really hard to have. I still struggle with it. I’m down over 200 pounds and still finding things I wish I could change about myself. But one thing I can tell you is I’m happy I started my weightloss journey. I’m more happy and comfortable now…At the end of the day I love my body, lose skin, and all.
Sandi admits that the past year has been difficult, and going from eating an entire pizza by herself to someone who closely monitors every calorie she takes in has been a tremendous challenge. But it’s all worth it when she looks in the mirror and sees an entirely new person staring back at her.
Sandi continues to inspire others and share what worked for her, never shying away from the fact that she once weighed 420 pounds. She’s not ashamed anymore, she’s proud of all that she has accomplished — and she’s finally optimistic about her future.
“I’m actually living life instead of watching others live theirs. Losing weight is hard but not giving up is harder.”
Well done, Sandi! It’s so inspiring to see someone who has overcome all the odds and fought so hard to be healthy. Please share this story to encourage everyone to take those first steps towards wellness today.