Kayla McKoy

Junios Smith | April 26th, 2018
Kayla McKoy (Photos by  Mykel Media Company)

Kayla McKoy (Photos by Mykel Media Company)

It took some time and dedication, but Kayla McKoy is on track. McKoy has been working on a weight loss journey since November 2017 and is on track to reach a goal on April 29, dropping 45 pounds in the timeframe. McKoy, a former basketball player and cheerleader at East Bladen High School and a Liberal Studies major from North Carolina A&T, said she’s been described by others as a motivator, something she’s proving even further with her weight loss journey.

“I love inspiring and uplifting others because I feel like that is my purpose in life,” McKoy said. “People would also say that I am kind, patient, creative, and detail oriented. When I am not working and spending time with my family, I enjoy creating gifts, writing poetry and books, reading, dancing, and doing photography.”

McKoy has inspired others as an artist and writer, but took an introspective look in her own life for the weight loss journey. “Everyone has to figure out what inspires them,” McKoy said. “My pictures from high school and old jeans that I could no longer fit into inspired me to lose weight. I had been wanting to get back to a similar size for years. I looked so much healthier and happier back then. My family also inspired and motivated me to lose weight. I would not have been able to do this without them. Knowing that I could one day live a long, great life inspired me to get my body and health together. Many people desire to lose weight for the summertime and they fail sometimes because they want it quick — so they choose fad diets. I wanted something that would be a complete lifestyle change.”

“I wanted to look good for myself but the thought of my mom telling me, ‘You are going to be a beautiful bride one day’, rang in my head throughout the journey. I knew that if I wanted to like how I look on my wedding day then I was going to need to work hard to look the way I desired to look. I think that it is a great thing to have certain life events to look forward to, because that is motivation in itself.”

McKoy said she didn’t have a problem with her weight growing up due to a high metabolism and active lifestyle. In 2009, McKoy had her first daughter, Kaydence, and another, Lyric, three years later. As she struggled to find a consistent way to keep weight off, McKoy said she wanted to keep at it for her family and self-confidence.

“I also began my weight loss journey because I wasn’t happy or satisfied with what I saw in the mirror,” McKoy said. “I have been trying to lose weight for about eight years. I got tired of not feeling beautiful even when my family told me I was. I got tired of not liking how I looked in pictures. I got tired of not loving myself. I knew that my health could decline if I kept following the same path. My mom warned me about diabetes running in the family. So many thoughts consumed my mind. I was tired all of the time and I wanted to feel great and have more than enough energy for my children.”

McKoy took a more simplistic approach with losing weight, refraining from the aid of wraps, pills and unnatural methods. McKoy began her journey at 205 pounds and has made tremendous strides since.

“I basically merged a few methods together to get the results I have gotten and am still getting,” McKoy said. “In November 2017, I began going to the gym again. I began going one to two times a day, three to four days a week. I spent 30 minutes to two hours each visit to the gym. I combined cardio with weight lifting. I found that the weight lifting really cut down the fat a lot and it helped me gain muscle.

I have been eating mostly vegetables, fruits, nuts, and meat. I cut down a lot on my carbohydrates. I stopped adding sugars and salts to my foods and noticed a huge difference in my mid-section. I have chosen to eat more baked and sautéed foods verses fried foods. I also stopped drinking juices. My diet consists of only water, green tea and black coffee as my beverages.”

McKoy said meal prepping and intermittent fasting have assisted majorly. McKoy said she started fasting to kick off 2018 after doing extensive research prior to, and has been consistent with it.

“With intermittent fasting, I ‘skip breakfast’ and eat my first meal around 11:00 a.m. each day,” McKoy said. “My eating window is from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. each day and my fasting period is from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 a.m. During my fasting time I only consume water, green tea and/or black coffee.”

McKoy said she’s learned plenty about herself during her process.

“I have learned that I am strong,” McKoy said. “I have learned that I do have self-control and that I can accomplish anything if I stay dedicated and set my mind to it. The only thing that I changed this time that I haven’t changed in the past when I wasn’t successful was my mindset. The day that my life changed was the day in November of last year when I decided that I was not going to give up again. I was going to succeed this time. I was determined. My mind was made up and I began to believe again.”

McKoy said anyone looking to follow in her footsteps must be willing to keep going, even through trials and tribulations.

“Even if you fail at times, do not stop and most certainly do not give up,” McKoy said. “Do a lot of research, because your health is valuable. If you fall, get back up and start where you left off. Over the years I have given up so many times. I don’t want you to go through that same challenge. You have a choice. Choose to make it right. Your health is counting on you to win.”

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