Like many young adults, Kaylin Gealy’s early 20s were full of changes. She graduated from college, bringing her softball tenure to an end. She also started a new career and replaced waitressing with a sedentary office job.
“I had a tough time adjusting,” she says. “I used to be pretty active, but once I graduated, I ate whatever I wanted, and eventually it caught up with me because I wasn’t being active.” The sedentary lifestyle took a toll on her health, leading to weight gain, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
At the time, Gealy’s weight hovered between 218 and 224 pounds. She spent the majority of her day at a desk, working as a data and document management technician. When she got home, she’d indulge in unhealthy foods, choosing to stay at home rather than go out with her friends. “All I did was eat, work and sleep,” she says. “I didn’t exercise, my social life was slowing down and I didn’t feel good. I had no energy.”
Eventually, Gealy decided she wanted to get back on track, but wasn’t sure where to start. Luckily, she stumbled upon the answer. While driving in her neighborhood, she noticed an old treadmill set out by the trash. Taking the discovery as a sign meant for her, she brought the treadmill home and began walking.
Hoping to pair her new exercise routine with better eating habits, Gealy began researching different diets. She tried several approaches, including intermittent fasting, eating just one meal a day, and even going vegan, but those strategies felt too restrictive and unsustainable. Then, she discovered MyFitnessPal.
“I saw the calorie-in/calorie-out weight-loss solution, and it was so helpful,” she says. “It asked me how active I was and helped me set goals. I could scan bar codes, track my exercise and weight loss, and adjust my macros to figure out what worked best. It was everything I needed in one spot.”
CLICK TO TWEET THIS ARTICLE > How @MyFitnessPal and daily walks helped a South Carolina woman lose 100 pounds. #myfitnesspal
By logging her food with MyFitnessPal, Gealy learned what foods were the most beneficial (or harmful) to her weight-loss goal. Her previous diet that consisted of baked goods and carbs has now transformed into a focus on protein and vegetables. She often makes recipes she finds on MyFitnessPal or creates her own with her favorite ingredients. A typical dinner might feature grilled chicken with a flavorful hot sauce marinade, plus roasted Brussels sprouts cooked in a skillet with some onions and bacon. Sometimes she’ll make big salads to get extra volume for minimal calories, saying she feels full and not like she’s depriving herself.
The side-of-the-road treadmill has since broken, but Gealy still walks 30–60 minutes per day, enjoying nature in her hometown of Greenville, South Carolina.
Today, Gealy weighs just over 120 pounds, down about 100 pounds from where she started three years ago. She lost the majority of the weight in two years and has been focused on maintenance since. Her blood pressure and cholesterol are back to healthy levels, and she’s regained the social life that took a backseat during her less-healthy years.
“I didn’t realize how much of life I was missing out on,” she says. “I’m 25 years old, so these are my prime years, and I was spending my nights eating pastries, watching TV and not even hanging out with my friends.” Now, she enjoys going to the lake, hiking and spending time with those friends. She also shares photos, recipes and positive insights from her journey on Instagram, which serve as encouragement to others hoping to make changes in their own lives.
“This is the healthiest and happiest I’ve ever been,” she says. “I’m experiencing a lot more of life now, and I’m glad that I took the weight loss slow because I wanted it to be sustainable and something I could stick with.”
She credits MyFitnessPal with giving her the knowledge and strategy required to make her transformation. She stresses that it wasn’t always easy and admits slipping on more than one occasion. The key is to brush it off, understand that it’s normal, and get back on track.
“Figure out what works best for your body and your lifestyle,” she says, noting you can lose weight without feeling restricted or resorting to unhealthy tactics. “There’s no reason to jump on a fad diet.”
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