WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - As the 2020 Get Fit With 6 Race and Wellness expo approaches, we want you to know that we are as invested in your fitness and health goals as you are. Many of the staff members in front of and behind the scenes have worked hard and, at times, struggled to reach their own fitness goals.
“I was a pretty big kid growing up. My family, and my parents loved me with food,” said WECT Sales Assistant Kelly Lott, who is one of the many people working behind the scenes to make the second annual Race and Wellness Expo come together.
A heart-to-heart talk about her struggles and a near run-in with the law “lit a fire” that inspired her lose about 50 lbs.
“I was still big from elementary school. I didn’t really get better until I was about 13 or 14 when the weight kind of balanced out," Lott explained. "But, then in college, there was the freshman 15, but for me it was like the freshman 40.”
Shortly after graduating college, she found herself at her heaviest, weighing over 200 lbs.
“I knew I was unhealthy I knew I needed to do something to change something,” Lott added.
Saturday, September 3, 2011, was a turning point for Lott. While en route to a co-worker’s wedding, she and another co-worker we discussing eating healthy. She explained to her travel companion that no matter what she did, she was unable to drop those excess pounds.
Leaving the conversation behind, both women watched their colleague and new husband celebrate the joys of the day. Imbibing on beer and wine, following a post-wedding after party, Lott deemed herself fit to drive home as her carpool-mate lay passed out in the back seat.
What happened next would set forth a period of self-realization and an inner desire for change.
“There was a checkpoint on the way home,” Lott explained. “He [a police officer] said, ‘Do you want to do a breathalyzer test for me?’”
Kelly blew a 0.08 — the limit deemed by law to be under the influence.
“He didn’t even tell me what it was, he just told me to get out of the car and I was freaking out at this point,” Lott said.
Lott explained the officer brought her to his police cruiser and asked her to wait a few minutes before he administered the breathalyzer test again. It was the same result.
“I ended up having to go to the station. I was in this room with three other people drunk out of their minds getting their rights read to them. At this point I’m sober as a bird,” she recalled.
After spending time in the police station, Lott’s blood alcohol content dropped below 0.08. The officer released her and she was never charged with DWI.
“That lit a fire in me,” she stated. "The next day I called my friend and I was like, “please come grocery shopping with me.”
Lott changed her diet, by cutting out fast food, soda, and sweet tea. Cooking her meals and eating whole foods, she lost ten pounds in one month.
“You know the first month I didn’t even step into a gym,” she noted. “Every week I was weighing myself... every week it was like, two pounds lost, two pounds lost, two pounds lost, and that was just getting me more motivated to keep doing it.”
Her weight loss continued, but despite shedding those unwanted pounds, Lott struggled with regaining her confidence.
“I needed the confidence and CrossFit and weightlifting did that for me," she said. “The most I was able to clean and jerk was 155 lbs. That’s around a little less than half my body weight. I can back squat 265 lbs. It’s cool; it just gives you that much confidence and not just at the gym but in real life.”
Armed with her new found confidence, Kelly continues her daily workout routine at Anytime Fitness. She admits that she still sees “Fat Kelly" in the mirror, but said she receives support from new-found friendships forged at the gym.
“It’s made my life richer — being fit and healthy and learning how to eat again and how to be active," Lott added. "I’ve made so many great friends, lifelong friends through that I still keep in touch with. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I wouldn’t change my journey for the world.”
If this is the year you want to take control of your health, stop by the Coastline Convention Center Saturday, January 25, starting at 10 a.m. You can find more information about the Get Fit With 6 5K and Wellness Expo here.