I had the privilege of hosting our second interview as part of our “Weigh Down Lifestyle Stories” portion! In this second story, I interviewed Kim Alviano, who has been part of the Weigh Down Lifestyle almost since the very beginning.
I think you’re going to love this interview, and hopefully you can learn a thing or two as well 🙂
Welcome Kim and thank you so much for doing this interview with me, so that your story can help and motivate other women in their weight loss journey.
We are so happy that you’re willing to share your story with us and we know that in the Weigh Down Lifestyle you have done extremely well, in fact, getting to your target weight loss goal all without being on a diet and without stepping on a scale. WOW! I just love that part of your journey 🙂
We have women in the Weigh Down Lifestyle from all over North America, and today we are celebrating Kim Alviano, from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. She has been with the Weigh Down Lifestyle for approximately two years now and is enjoying living a happy, healthy lifestyle with God at the center of her journey.
So Kim, why don’t you start off by telling us a little bit about yourself…
Tell us a little bit about your growing up life in terms of your childhood, your health and weight loss.
Well…Firstly, you need to understand that I didn’t have a very good childhood. I was the oldest of six kids and I have a sister that’s exactly 10 months younger than me. My mother would blame me for everything so I was always trying to prove my worth; I was trying to be good. I tried to keep their marriage together. I tried to be perfect. So I grew up like that and, of course, I would say I was the scapegoat. For anything that went wrong, I was the one punished.
We didn’t have much in the way of treats or anything like that. There was only one parent working and so when it was a treat day, it was like having pizza, or my dad would give us a nickel to go to the store and buy candy.
So when I grew up and was on my own, it was hard moving from house to house because I didn’t feel comfortable with myself. I wasn’t perfect. I didn’t feel comfortable with where I was going to live. I always felt drawn back to the way I grew up because that’s the only way I knew how to live.
So whenever I got paid, it was like walking down to Woolworth’s – some of you may remember the Woolworth Store, it’s not here anymore, but I could get a 1/4 pound of smarties for a quarter! We would walk there so that was my exercise to get there. That was in downtown Guelph.
I lived in the country and so we walked downtown and walked home and that would take us about an hour and a half to walk. But I would bring my little bowl of smarties home and I was so proud that I walked and was able to get that treat.
Since I was deprived of so much, that became the focus for me when I started working. I had a paycheck and I would treat myself. I thought there was nothing wrong with treating myself. I am on the petite side; I’m 5-feet 2-inches, but I started gaining weight as I got older. I gained 42 pounds when I had my child, so I weighed more than my husband at that time.
From there, it took me like 20-odd years to get back to where I was when I was a teenager. I lost all the weight, but then I gained it all back again. It had been yo-yo dieting and then I started getting heavy because sweets became my life. I ate more sweets than normal or regular food because good food was too expensive to buy.
You know, it’s cheaper to buy candy than it is to buy fruit and vegetables!
So I became and I still call myself a chocoholic! I gained weight and I didn’t feel comfortable with myself any longer.
Then one day I saw your website or something on my Facebook and the ad said it was really inexpensive to join your program, so that’s when I started with the Weigh Down Lifestyle. I started making the recipes and I really enjoyed most of them, and my husband eats the food too. I tried some recipes with my kids too and they have enjoyed the food as well.
So I do not enjoy the scale and I don’t use the scale at all. I actually threw it out because whenever I got on the scale… if I even gained one pound I would feel defeated and go and buy myself a chocolate bar. I would eat the whole bar or a bag of chips. It would be like a trigger for me.
Whenever I gained weight, I would just go to sweets for comfort. So I threw the scale out! Also, the doctor was always hounding me telling me “you gotta lose the weight, you gotta lose that belly, you gotta do this and you gotta do that.” I was borderline with high blood pressure and the doctor wanted to put me on pills. However, I have an allergic reaction to most drugs so I didn’t want to go on pills, so I tried to do it by controlling what I ate.
I do like vegetables. I have to admit that I’m not a very good fruit eater; I have to be in the mood to eat fruit, but I do like bananas so I mix up bananas with other fruits, like blueberries and raspberries and strawberries. I also have trouble digesting a lot of raw vegetables, so I do cook a lot of them rather than eat them raw. I like to make soups and stews, or stirfry veggies together, like cabbage and zucchini.
I just try to incorporate a lot more vegetables into my day. I’m not a very big meat eater, and I like that the recipes in the Weigh Down Lifestyle can substitute beans for meat. I enjoy the beans and rice mixtures and the quinoa and I will cook meat for my husband, but I tend to go for the bean options more for myself.
I don’t use the scale at home at all. I have been weighed at the doctor’s office and that’s how I knew that I lost weight on the Weigh Down Lifestyle. I knew I was in the 150s at that time, and when I went back to the doctors I was in the 130s. I also just knew I had lost weight because I measured. I lost about 28 inches just measuring.
Kim, that is really incredible! You’ve done fabulous on the Weigh Down Lifestyle journey. From what I understand, you grew up in a home where you didn’t eat very healthy and you were often triggered to go to sweets for comfort. You said that it didn’t matter whether you were frustrated or happy, you always went for chocolate.
When you would step on a scale and if you had gained a little bit, the scale totally defeated you. You would immediately go for a sugary treat or something like that. The scale would totally bring you down and your mood would change with the number on the scale. Is that right?
Yes, that’s right.
In the Weigh Down Lifestyle Community, we talk so much about how we have non-scale victories and how they are so much more important than the scale victories. We all want to fit into the clothes that are sitting in our closet waiting for us to get back into. We all want to be able to move easily and to do the things that we want to do, like travel or go for walks, or go on another adventure, or to be able to get up and down off the floor with our grandkids. We want to sleep better and have more energy.
I know you’re a grandma as well, and we want to be able to play and run after our grandkids. It’s being healthy and being able to do these things that truly make us happier; it’s the non-scale victories that we want and not just the number on the scale. We want to fit into those clothes; we want to get off the medications; we want to have lower blood pressure; we don’t want to become diabetic; we want to feel good about ourselves and have more confidence.
We just love the non-scale victories!
So it’s amazing that you did this journey without being on the scale. We’re excited that you did it! You continued to lose inches. You continued to fit back into the clothes that were sitting in your closet.
Going forward, we know you’re going to continue this lifestyle. So tell us…
What are your biggest non-scale victories?
Well, I got back into a dress that I had when the kids got married. They had chosen this dress for me and I shared that picture with you. I felt like a beached whale walking down the aisle with the bulges. My goal was to get into that dress! Well when I went and tried that dress on again…and I also shared that picture with you, it was very big on me. 🙂 So I did get into it again and that was the biggest win.
I don’t have that dress anymore because there’s no way I would wear it again, so yeah, that was my goal. That was the biggest goal that I had for myself and just healthier eating was my other goal.
I’m still doing the 10 day challenges. I still have my Smoothie Days every 10 days, unless I’m on vacation.
I have tried a few other new dishes, which I have given to you, to see if you can implement them into the Weigh Down Lifestyle plan. I know I can make healthier choices and I can just tweak it to make it healthier. For instance, I will use gluten-free or healthy crackers, rather than unhealthy crackers with not-so-good ingredients in them. I like the extra crunch it gives the food too.
I still do crave chocolate sometimes, but on Smoothie Days I don’t eat any chocolate. It’s been tough lately, because I have lost quite a few people close to me lately, and it’s tough for me to stay away from chocolate when I’m going through a hard emotional time.
These emotional times are a trigger for me but I’m trying to still choose the healthy recipes or yogurt and fruit. I just try to eat more of that and in the Weigh Down Lifestyle we talk a lot about eating our emotions.
We all have stresses in our life. You have stress; I have stress. We all have stuff that comes at us at different times or different phases in our lives. You have lost loved ones and you have illness in the family right now going on. Those are really big stressors.
How has the way down lifestyle helped you become aware of eating your emotions?
I would say just being mindful, although my mind is not always mindful. It seems to go back to the way I was and that means that I’m not even thinking. So I’ve got to be more aware, and I keep on exercising. I keep moving my body and going on my bike or I’ll run on the spot. I’m trying to keep myself motivated to keep on going.
We always say it’s progress over perfection and we all know that when we try to be perfect, we fall down. No one is perfect, and so it’s about progress. When you look back to your Weigh Down Lifestyle journey, if you look back to when you first started, you have had huge success! You have made huge progress even if you’ve fallen down!
You say you’re still addicted to sugar sometimes but you know this is true. When we fall down and we can still look up… we can still get up! You’re still getting up again. You’re doing it!
You’ve had so much progress that you have reached your target goal! WOW!!! And you’ve been maintaining your target goal for a long time now. We are so super excited for you. We are super proud of you that you have stuck with it and been consistent. You kept getting back on the wagon even if you had fallen down. You got up again. It’s just like children…they fall down when they’re learning to walk. In fact, they fall down continually.
I was with my granddaughter yesterday and she fell down and cried, but what happened? She got up again and she ran again. We can learn so much from little children. They fall down and keep on getting back up. We can do that too and we can keep moving forward. Even if we move two steps forward and one step back, we are still ahead.
Kim….you have done that throughout this journey. You have continually been progressing even if you’ve fallen down. You’ve gotten up and moved forward and yes, maybe you fall down again, but you know you will get up again and keep going. I’m just super proud of you for sticking with it!
You are a Beautiful Woman Chosen For Greatness. You have a lot of gifts and talents and you have what it takes to live the Weigh Down Lifestyle. You’re living proof that it is doable, and that we don’t have to be perfect.
I have one more question. We believe that it’s crucial that God is in the midst of our Weigh Down Lifestyle and we don’t believe we could do it without God. The Bible talks about a chord of three is not easily broken. These three strands of chord in the Weigh Down Lifestyle are God, You and the Weigh Down Lifestyle Community.
What does it mean for you to invite God into your weight loss journey?
Well I pray every morning that God will help me to stay focused on what I’m doing. Then I also pray at night asking for forgiveness if I haven’t been listening. I want to make myself aware of my mishaps.
You have told me about how you struggle with being a perfectionist, but it’s continually learning to uncross the wires in our minds so that we don’t go back to the unhealthy habits, but rather focusing on the healthy habits that are beneficial to our bodies. I know you’re working on your healthy habits continually and when you invite God into the journey like you do, praying every morning and praying again at night, you’re doing exactly what you need to do. You are reaping the rewards of a healthy lifestyle.
You’ve reached your target goal and you have maintained your target goal for over a year already. WOW! Kudos to you Kim – you’ve just done so well on the Weigh Down Lifestyle.
I want to commend you. You need to give yourself a pat on the back. So thank you for doing this interview. Thank you for sharing and thank you for being a part of uplifting and motivating all the other women here. I know that when they hear your story, how you shed your weight with Progress Over Perfection, this will totally inspire them to move forward in their own weight loss journey. With God in the journey…it is POSSIBLE.
I really hope you enjoyed reading or watching that interview with Kim. She is absolutely amazing!
So here’s a question. What is your biggest takeaway from this interview? Tell me in the comments below!
And remember, you are a woman chosen for greatness! We believe in you!
Congratulations Kim , I understand the effects that emotional eating takes on our lives and our childhood experiences can cause us to turn to junk food and like Kim said we are good enough and need to love ourselves even though others may have left us scared we can still become a winner with God on our side through the journey !
Yes, thanks for sharing Shelia! We can still become a winner with God!
My biggest takeaway, is that Kim never gave up. Yes, she stumbled and fell but got up again. Progress not perfection.
Amen, Yvonne! Progress not perfection!