Name Karen Reynolds
Age: 23
Status: Single
Occupation: Manager
Location: London, U.K.
Height: 5’6″
Starting weight: 265
Current weight: 205
Starting waist size: 39″
Current waist size: 34″

The Lifestyle

I grew up eating fast food and Chinese food and drinking tons of soda. I was always on the chubby side, but I played volleyball and danced, and I was happy.


My weight hovered in the 215 pounds until I got pregnant. I gained 50 pounds, but lost most of it by walking with my stroller after I had my son. But when I got pregnant again a year later, my weight shot back up and stayed there.


I felt so uncomfortable in my body. My feet were swollen all the time and I often woke up gasping for air in the middle of the night.

The change

I decided to cut out soda and fast food, and tried to follow the Paleo diet. I wanted to change immediately.


I ate super healthy for a few days—chicken, vegetables—but eventually I crashed and ate everything in sight. I tried to follow workout DVDs at home, but I quit when I didn’t see any results.

The number on the scale kept creeping up.

I also stopped telling myself I would start eating healthy and work out on Monday to justify having a lazy, junk-filled weekend. I realized that if I wanted to make a change, I had to start that day.


I began meal prepping on Sundays, ditched the strict rules of Paleo, and went for healthy snacks like celery and hummus. I got back to the gym and did workouts that I used to do for softball in college. I lifted weights and did intervals on the treadmill. What began as two or three gym sessions a week became five. I even started swimming for extra cardio.

I stopped telling myself I would start eating healthy and work out on Monday.

After a year, I’d lost almost 50 pounds. I went back for my checkup, excited about the progress I’d made. But my doctor was concerned about my fluttering heart rate, which was something I’d brushed off. After three months of doctors and tests, I was diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia, which means that my heartbeat was irregular because of an extra nerve passageway in my heart. I was a ticking time bomb for a heart attack.