“My health started to decline as I got older,” Kuns said. “When I reached 46 years old, my doctor said I was prediabetic.”
It was time for Kuns to decide to take control of his health and his relationship with food. Over the years there has been almost every diet plan market available.
“I would lose a little and gain more weight,” Kuns said. “I actually considered bariatric surgery, but my insurance couldn’t cover it.”
Kuns was like more than an estimated 90% of people who diet lose weight and then regain all the weight after the end of the diet plan. He realized that unless he changed his attitude and lifestyle, he would never lose the excess weight, which would lead to more health issues.
“I felt like I needed healing inside,” Kuns said. “Anytime you see a person going through a major weight loss, they have to find out why they’re using food in the first place.”
For years, Kuns was embarrassed to go to the gym and exercise physically in front of other people. But at age 46, he found a local Zumba studio in Vandalia and it made all the difference.
“I had been going to Zumba for three years and had lost about 60 pounds since they closed their doors,” Kuns said.
In the spring of 2018, Kuns started looking for a gym and found MPower in Vandalia, which offers master classes in boxing, sports performance, Taekwondo, fitness, kickboxing, self-defense and TRX.
“I knew I needed to start strength training to help make a difference in my weight loss,” Kuns said. “So I worked with the coaches at MPower and lost more weight.”
Today at age 53, Kuns has lost more than 120 pounds and is exploring new forms of exercise, including boxing. But adding physical activity to her lifestyle wasn’t the only change Kuns needed to successfully lose weight.
“I was addicted to big Diet Cokes and would get them every morning from McDonald’s,” Kuns said. “I eat a lot of food, too, and I found that diet soda is really just as bad as regular food and can make it too much.”
With a busy life and a job teaching fourth grade in Huber Heights, Kuns knew she needed to make small changes. The first thing he did was throw out his daily Diet Coke, replacing it with more water.
“I got headaches at first, but eventually they stopped,” he said. I drink a gallon of water a day now and I have a container to measure my drinking. Even my students notice if I don’t drink enough!”
Instead of trying and failing on another fad diet, Kuns decided to generally eliminate processed foods from his diet and limit his carbohydrates.
“Now I’m 53 and post-menopausal, it’s just really hard to lose weight and keep it off,” Kuns said.
He is working with a nutritionist to gradually increase his caloric intake to help his body get back on track after so many years of restrictive calorie intake. It basically works to establish a healthier relationship with food.
“I try to trust the process and I’m not afraid to eat bread or pasta now,” said Kuns.
Kuns also seeks help in becoming a better role model for her two sons and her students, who she said have a much healthier view of what a woman’s body should look like than she did at the same age.
“Back in the 70′s and 80′ when I was growing up, the female body was surprisingly thin,” Kuns said. “It was hard to be surrounded by him and not feel bad about myself.”
Kuns said the journey to weight loss took time and he calls it a “work in progress.”
“I had so much shame and body hatred that I knew to honor and respect my body,” Kuns said. “I’m still working on it and I need to lose another 40 to 50 pounds. I want people to know that it’s never too late to repair your relationship with your body and start living a healthy lifestyle.