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Izzie Lost 135 Pounds Without "Any Form of Strenuous Exercise"

PopSugar logo PopSugar 8/11/2017 Dominique Astorino

Izzie: Before

Izzie Kennedy was diagnosed with a rare liver disease at just 14 years old, and her doctor told her that drastic weight-loss measures were necessary to save her life.

Instead of opting in for surgery, Izzie turned to her mom for advice - she introduced her to a weight-loss program called Slimming World, which changed the course of her life for the better. With this program, alongside a more active lifestyle (with simple movements!), she was able to get healthy and combat her liver disease.

POPSUGAR: What made you decide to start your weight-loss journey?

Izzie Kennedy: At the age of 14, I was diagnosed with a form of liver disease, which I was told could be greatly improved by losing weight. The doctor at the hospital informed me that unless I took measures to significantly reduce my weight, the next step that would be considered was weight-loss surgery. While I recognize this is an option for lots of people, for me personally, this acted as the real trigger for beginning my weight-loss journey, as I didn't want to undergo such a life-changing operation at such a young age.

During middle school, I had turned to food for comfort as a way of coping through a difficult family separation. On my way home from school, I would buy things like biscuits and sweets from the local shop and simply eat to eat, which at the time seemed to offer some form of solace. This was the time that my weight began spiraling out of control, and in the five years I was at middle school, I gained around 112 pounds, weighing around 290 pounds by the age of 15.

PS: What's your favorite way to work out?

IK: I have a beautiful Labrador called Millie, who I love to walk for miles and miles a day with my friends at the beach. At my biggest, I couldn't even walk for more than a minute due to various health conditions complicated by my weight. Now, I tend to get in over 10,000 steps per day!

PS: What's your weekly exercise schedule?

IK: I don't really do any form of really strenuous exercise, so it's mainly just walking and running. During stressful periods in my life - for example, taking my exams - I find running to be a great stress reliever!

Izzie: After

PS: How do you keep workouts exciting?

IK: I'm very lucky to live in an area that is surrounded both by beautiful countryside as well as having the beach practically on my doorstep, so finding new local walks to go on with friends really helps me get out of the house and keep active. 

PS: How much weight have you lost?

IK: To date, my total weight loss is 135 pounds.

PS: What was the first big difference, other than the number on the scale, that really made you feel proud and excited?

IK: Around six months after starting Slimming World, I had a follow-up appointment with the liver specialists. At this point I had lost around 30 pounds, but I was told that my liver condition had already begun improving and this simply gave me the boost I needed to continue on in my journey.

PS: How do you track your weight loss?

IK: I weigh in each and every week, as well as attend my Slimming World group. I find the group support that you receive hugely important. Being able to discuss and share recipe ideas with other people who are in the same situation as you helps keep the journey exciting, and at times that you may be finding staying on track difficult, there is always someone there to help lift your spirits.

PS: What's a typical day of meals and snacks?

IK: Breakfast: poached eggs and baked beans with grilled mushrooms and tomatoes on whole-wheat toast. Midmorning: some fruit like a banana or apple. Lunch: a baked potato filled with tuna and sweet corn and a big side salad. Midafternoon: A fat-free yogurt and some strawberries. Dinner: fajita rice bowl with salad. Evening: Oreo ice cream sandwich or a snack-size chocolate bar.

PS: Do you count calories? What's the range of calories you eat per day?

IK: No, I did try this before starting Slimming World, but I personally became too focused on the numbers and it really seemed to take away the enjoyment of both cooking and eating. I simply eat until I feel satisfied, filling up on "Free Foods" such as fruit and vegetables, lean meat, pasta, and rice.

Before-and-After Weight-Loss Izzie Kennedy © Izzie Kennedy Before-and-After Weight-Loss Izzie Kennedy Izzie: Before and After

PS: What are the healthy staples that are always in your fridge?

IK: It's so important to me that my fridge is always filled with fresh fruit and vegetables, as when life is manic, it makes it so much easier to reach in and choose something healthy!

PS: Do you use a fitness tracker?

IK: I only really use the step counter on my iPhone, which has really helped to illustrate to me the difference in activity levels before and after my weight loss. At my biggest, my average step count was around 1,500 and it's now usually well over 10,000 per day! I now look forward to exercise, whereas before absolutely any kind of movement was so tough.

PS: What advice do you have for anyone starting out on a weight-loss journey?

IK: I remember standing where you are now. It feels like there is no hope and that the whole world is against you. All I can say is that I hope you can find belief in yourself because I truly feel that you can do anything you put your mind to, and there is a whole community of people waiting to support you every step of the way.

Slideshow: Get inspired by these incredible weight loss transformations (Provided by People)

Brittany Greenslit: Lost 109 Lbs.: <p>The office worker weighed 236 lbs. by the time she was pregnant with her first child due to poor eating habits and a lack of physical activity. After complications from her c-section left her depressed, Greenslit, now 27, started walking and doing Pilates and yoga to help lift her mood. As soon as she was well enough, she began doing <a href="http://people.com/tag/jillian-michaels/">Jillian Michaels’</a> workout DVDs. "No matter how sore I was after the workouts, I always showed up the next day ready for more," Greenslit <a href="http://people.com/bodies/weight-loss-success-stories-brittany-greenslit-lost-109-lbs/">told PEOPLE</a>. "Her saying ‘Unless you faint, puke or die, keep going!’ became my motto.” <strong>What She Eats Now:</strong> Greenslit eats lots of fruits, veggies and protein. If she goes out, she orders a chicken salad instead of her former go-to order of a cheeseburger and French fries. <strong>Her Workouts Now: </strong>The St. Cloud, Minnesota-based mom-of-two mixes up Jillian Michaels workout DVDs and running. <strong>Her Best Weight Loss Tip: </strong>“When I’m challenged, I don’t back down.”</p> Get Inspired by These Incredible Weight Loss Transformations

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