Who: Kimberly Olson
Occupation: Seafood monger
City: St. Catharines, Ont.
By The Numbers: 260 pounds at my heaviest, currently 149 pounds, for a total weight loss of 111 pounds.
The Weight Gain: As a child I would always be that little girl with the round cheeks, and the older I got, the rounder my body got. I was always active in sports, but my body just seemed to keep getting bigger. I really started to gain weight in high school and college, and I was not educated in proper eating habits.
I would stock up on junk food and hide it in my room. At one point, I tried the LA Weight Loss Diet and lost about 10 pounds, but did not stick with it because I found it too expensive. I also was embarrassed to tell my friends about it and tell them why I couldn't eat certain foods or why I was only allowed to eat a certain amount.
Final Straw: It was a picture I saw of myself sitting at a patio with a bunch of my friends. I hated the way I looked. I was embarrassed and humiliated and knew I had to do something to change myself.
But the final straw was around the age of 24 and I wanted to go skydiving with a friend but the skydiving place had a weight discretion — I had to lose about 20 pounds to be able to skydive.
The Plan of Attack: I started by gaining knowledge about which foods to eat and how much to eat. I also started slowly working out by playing sports (baseball, dodgeball), joining a local aquafit class, and dusting off the treadmill in my basement and walking on it for a half hour each day. In the first year I would say I lost about 50 pounds. .
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The Exercise Factor: I joined the gym for the third or fourth time in my life. Over the last year, I hired a personal trainer and worked out with him about once to twice a week.
I always thought I was fit because of all the sports I played in my life, but I was wrong — I had no strength. I am currently getting stronger and more fit. I can start to see some muscles in my body that were covered by fat before.
During the winter and fall, I play dodgeball and ball hockey and work out with my trainer once to twice a week, and try to go to the gym solo as well. During the spring and summer, I play ball hockey and I am on four baseball teams. Again, I work out with my trainer once or twice a week, and once or twice a week alone.
My trainer has me doing a wide variety of workouts, from leg days (which include, squats, lunges, dead lifts), upper body day (biceps, triceps, chest, back, pull-ups, push-ups), ab workouts (sit-ups, crunches, leg raises, side-to-sides) and circuit day, when we use TRX straps, kettlebells, robes, a medicine ball and a stepper.
The Food Element: I started eating more protein with my meals, more vegetables, less fruit and got rid of the junk food in my bedroom. I found out the protein doesn’t have to be just meat but it can come from beans, fish, lentils, etc. as well.
I wouldn’t say I gave up everything for good, but I definitely stopped buying and hiding the chips, cookies and chocolate bars in my room.
The Current Day-to-Day: Today I am working full-time, hitting the gym one to four times a week, playing sports and riding my bike now that the weather is nice.
I educate myself about better food options, I seek guidance from others, I work out with someone who teaches me something new all the time and who challenges me. I understand what my body can and can not handle.
My advice for you is that you can do it. If you want to change yourself, you can change yourself. It takes courage, hard work and time.
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