Kerry’s Health, Fat Loss,
and Fitness Journey.
Hi, let me introduce myself to you. My name is Kerry Thuett, and do I have a story to tell!! It could be summed up in one statement: “I have lost 165 pounds!!!” Or, I could write an entire book. Anyone that has ever struggled with being “over-fat” knows that the struggle is real. You know that the words “I have lost 165 pounds” were the result of a long and complex journey.
I’d love to share a bit of that journey with you.
Learning That “Fat” Was Bad
My first impression of body image and its importance occurred when I was 9. A girlfriend of mine (that was also 9 and really thin) mentioned how she didn’t like it when she sat in a desk wearing shorts. This baffled me. She went on to say that her leg “spread out” in her inner thigh area, and it made her legs look fat. From that point on I began to notice the same thing. In the beginning I wasn’t sure why either of us cared – but, I decided that it MUST be important or she would not have made it an issue. It was then that I learned that “fat” was bad.
I was not lazy or stupid!
Over the next eight years I gained weight at a steady pace, and at my high school graduation I weighed 160 pounds. Being 5’2” and strong, I wasn’t considered obese, but I was certainly larger than the other girls my age.
Sadly, society often assumes that overweight people are somehow lazy or stupid. I was not lazy or stupid!
During those eight years I was very active. I played basketball, softball, ran track, did gymnastics, water and snow skied, and participated in the marching band. I was no slacker in life, but I still put on weight in spite of my level of activity. In addition to being physically active I competed in piano and trumpet performance, as well as science, calculator, typing and math contests, and I graduated second in my class. I was the “smart girl”, and I was in no way lazy.
The Food Relationship
My relationship with food was an unhealthy one, but one that I enjoyed. I would sneak around in order to eat additional food, hiding the true amount of food I ate. It just never seemed like the amount of food that others were eating was enough for me. I would enjoy lunch with my friends and then slink off to the local convenience store to stock up on candy and chips to enjoy later. I’d eat the after-school snack that my mom had prepared, and then I’d hide in my room and eat the snacks that I had bought. There were even times when I would double up on the amounts that I brought home so that I could have a snack between dinner and bed time.
Things did not improve when I left for college. As a matter of fact – all HELL broke loose!!! There were no limits to what I could buy and consume. Food was constantly available in the dorm and on campus. I also had the freedom of a checking account, a car, and the big city, all of which allowed me to eat anywhere and everywhere – anytime!! Let’s not forget all the social events that went along with being a member of the “Goin’ Band from Raiderland” and being in a sorority. Food was EVERYWHERE – that “Freshman 15” turned to the “Freshman 45” in no time.
Here is what a typical day of food looked like for me in college:
Breakfast: Three hashbrowns with butter, two sausage egg biscuits, and orange juice from McDonalds.
French toast sticks and hashbrown bites with maple syrup from Burger King.
Lunch: Mashed potatoes, two grilled cheese sandwiches, and ice cream.
2nd Lunch (after band practice): French fries with honey mustard, chips and salsa, and a coke.
Afternoon snack: Six tacos from Taco Villa and a Choco-taco.
Dinner: Fried cheese sticks, hamburger, and onion rings.
Is it any wonder that I weighed 280 pounds when I graduated college?!?
During my college years, I continued to be physically active. I was in the marching, concert, and brass bands. I was in sorority and served as the social chair, the Vice President, and then President over the years. I went out dancing several times a month, and I worked out three times a week at a hospital athletic facility, all while receiving a duel bachelor’s degree in Biology and Math. But, no amount of activity could undo the negative results caused by the quality and quantity of food that I was consuming.
All Time High – 300 lbs!
I got married the year I graduated college and was married for four years. During that time there were not a lot of changes as far as my eating and lifestyle were concerned. I continued to eat and sneak a lot of food, all the while remaining active. In a day I could eat four hash browns, two sausage egg cheese croissants, coffee, lasagna and garlic bread, several packages of Reese’s cups, a pint or two of ice cream, cheese enchiladas, chips and salsa, flour tortillas with refried beans, Mexican rice, and sopapillas. I would still have those times that I would buy food after work and hide it in our extra bedroom so that I could eat it in the middle of the night. I can recall sneaking to the extra bedroom after my husband had gone to bed and eating the stashed food – of course then I’d have to take the trash out to the dumpster in the middle of the night to dispose of the evidence!. I continued to work out though. We had a home gym with a Stairmaster, weight bench, and full set of dumbbells, and I used them at least four days a week. I was super busy too. In addition to teaching high school biology, I was a music director at a church, taught private piano, trumpet, and voice lessons, was in a jazz band, was a DJ, and wrote, directed, and produced a musical.
Do you see a pattern? Eat a lot, work out hard, and lead a full stressful life.
After four years of marriage, I divorced and began attending Texas Tech University where I received a Master’s degree in Environmental Toxicology. It continued to be the same story – different day; eat a lot, work out hard, and lead a full stressful life. The only difference – now I was 20 pounds heavier and at my all-time high of 300 pounds!!
After I completed my Master’s degree, I went to Texas A&M to work on a PhD in neurotoxicology. It was then that I made a decision to get some weight off. I had two baby nephews that I wanted to run and play with, and I wanted to be the “cool” aunt. That just wasn’t going to happen while weighing 300 pounds, and so, I started “dieting”. The diets I tried over the next eight years were: Atkins, Weight Watchers, South Beach, low-fat, low-calorie (500 – 1000 calories), Dallas Diet, Richard Simmons Deal-a-Meal, Susan Powter’s Stop the Insanity, Jenny Craig, The Zone, Nutrisystem, Beverly Hills, grapefruit, Slim-Fast. I also hired personal trainers and worked out with them three days a week for the entire eight years, as well as doing a yoga class, a Pilates class, a Zumba class, and a kick-boxing class weekly. At the end of that eight year PhD program, I was on the “right track”, and I had lost a WHOPPING 40 POUNDS!!!! Wait, what?!? After all of that, I was only down to 260 pounds. REALLY???? How could I work out that hard and eat that “healthy” for 8 YEARS and only lose 40 pounds?? WHAT WAS GOING ON??!!
The “Experts” Recommend…
At this point, I was beginning a career as a toxicological scientist. Up until now, it had never occurred to me that the “experts” and the “peer-reviewed research” and the “recommendations” of the FDA, EPA, USDA, and other “leaders” in the health and fitness industry – just might be WRONG. As a human health risk assessment consultant who worked as an expert witness in litigation, I was able to see first-hand that two highly educated and qualified scientists could read the exact same research studies and come to completely different conclusions. Not only did they reach different conclusions, they believed their own conclusion so deeply that they were willing to get on the stand and swear an oath to God and country that their “evidenced-based opinion” was truth!!! Ding, ding, ding!!! I realized that everything, or at least a good portion of what I currently “knew” about health, fat loss, and exercise could be WRONG! That is when I said to myself, “Girl, you ARE the expert. You don’t have four science degrees and a PhD for nothing. Get out there, do some research, use yourself as a lab rat, and figure out what the heck is going on.”
I went out and did just that – I became my own “expert”.
Let me quickly sum up the next six years:
• I dropped from 260 lbs to 180 lbs in a little over two years. I experimented with various nutrition and exercise programs that I created for myself, most of which were based on the most current and up-to-date peer-reviewed scientific literature, NOT the standard recommendations and common knowledge.
• I dropped from 180 lbs to 135 lbs in nine months after I figured out “the answer” for me. If I had to put a label on this way of eating, I would call it a primal, carb-cycling program – giving major recognition to John Kiefer’s “CarbNite Solution”, Rob Wolff’s “Paleo Solution”, and Mark Sisson’s “Primal Blueprint”. I do a combination of these plans, plus other things I learned to tweak specifically for my genetic, goals, and psychological makeup.
• I learned how to exercise correctly, which was, interestingly enough, less often, shorter lengths of time, with slower and heavier activity. In addition to my own research of the most up-to-date peer reviewed scientific literature, I owe much of my knowledge gain to excellent coaches and mentors: Alex Navarro, Kristin Newman, Lauren Fairbanks, Nick Garcia, and Dutch Lowey, as well as information provided in John Kiefer’s “Shockwave Protocol” and Mark Sisson’s “Primal Blueprint”.
• I am faster, stronger, and more fabulously shaped than I have ever been in my life. Currently I am a size 4, but strong! None of this “skinny-fat” that is prevalent in our society right alongside the obese.
• I began to sleep 8 to 9 hours nightly – yay blue-blocker glasses!
Doctor, Heal Thyself!
In addition to losing fat, I was “cured” of some common ailments – whoop!! These changes began happening BEFORE the weight came off. Therefore, these changes are due to the change in food quality and selection, NOT from weight loss itself. I had no more:
• arthritis in my hands, feet, and knees; stopped taking Mobic and Advil for pain.
• underactive thyroid; stopped taking thyroid medication
• depression; stopped taking Wellbutrin
• heart burn and acid reflux; stopped taking Maalox and Tums nightly
• fatty deposits in my eyes
• lipomas – fatty tumors in my legs and breasts
My Philosophy – Food Is Fuel
I live what I believe. I believe what I teach,
and I teach what I live. The F3s!
Fully Fueled Fitness: Think of life as having four fuels. I call them F3s. They are:
• F1 Food: this is the gas for the engine of our body machine
• F2 Fitness: this is the manipulation and motion of the moving components that keep our body machine from seizing up, rusting, and falling apart (NOTE: this is NOT a way to burn more gas)
• F3 Fun: this is the relaxation, play, prayer, meditation, and happiness that brings us joy, lowers our stress, clears our outlook, and helps us make good decisions in other areas of our lives; it helps all parts of the engine work in a coordinated manner
• s Sleep: this is rejuvenation, healing, and repair; all engines need routine maintenance, and our body machines are no different; repair happens while we sleep
These four fuels of life are the basis for what I teach my clients regarding nutrition, strength and conditioning, and lifestyle. I employ them each daily in my own life.
I live what I believe, I believe what I teach, and I teach what I live. The F3s!
Hopefully this portion of my story has given you some insight into who I am and what I believe. I have so much more that I want to share with you; not only tons of information, lessons, and struggles, but also the amazing things I learn each day about myself, life, and how to help others on their journey to health, wellness, and hotness!!!
If you want to know more about how I can help you with your fat loss, strength, conditioning, and health and lifestyle improvement goals, please contact me by by clicking on the Email Icon below and sending me a personal email. And please follow me on Social Media by clicking on the Facebook, Twitter or Instagram Icon’s below.
Have a wonderful fully fueled day!
WAKE UP WITH DETERMINATION, GO TO BED WITH SATISFACTION.