SUCCESS STORY /Karen Uyttenhove, 64: From 284 pounds to 188 pounds

In the photo on the left, taken in 2017, Karen Uyttenhove weighed 284 pounds. In the photo on the right, taken in 2020, she weighed 188 pounds. (Photos contributed by Karen Uyttenhove)
In the photo on the left, taken in 2017, Karen Uyttenhove weighed 284 pounds. In the photo on the right, taken in 2020, she weighed 188 pounds. (Photos contributed by Karen Uyttenhove)

Karen Uyttenhove, 64, of Canton lost 96 pounds

Former weight: 284 pounds

Current weight: 188 pounds

Pounds lost: 96 pounds

Height: 5 feet 7 inches

Age: 64 years

How long she’s kept it off: “On Aug. 15, 2016, I began my weight-loss journey. I reached my goal September 2017. I kept it off for one year and then allowed old habits to creep in,” Uyttenhove said. “I have committed to my weight-loss journey and was recently accepted into the first-ever ‘The Biggest Transformation,’ which you can watch on YouTube, with Carmen O’Quinn.” Her daughter, O’Quinn, was featured in last week’s Success Story column.

Personal life: “I live in Canton, Ga., with my husband, Robert. We have been married for 43 years. We have Jax, our Yorkie,” Uyttenhove said. She is retired from working with an ambulance service, as well as teaching cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first-aid classes.

Turning point: “Nov. 5, 2014, I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer, diabetes, gastric reflux, fatty liver and high blood pressure. I was a walking time bomb,” Uyttenhove said. “After the shock and pity cry, I knew I had to do something. I began my own weight-loss journey and managed to lose 50 pounds. ... Eventually the weight came back and then some. I watched my daughter lose her weight. ... I finally reached out for her help.”

Diet plan: “I follow a system using portion control containers,” Uyttenhove said. She plans her meals, which include omelets with veggies and black beans, black bean burgers, and turkey spaghetti with zoodles.

Exercise routine: “I exercise six days a week, first thing in the morning, using Beachbody on Demand so I am able to work out from home,” Uyttenhove said. “I do cardio and lift weights. There is a trainer for every level and age.”

Biggest challenge: “Letting my mind get in the way,” Uyttenhove said.

How life has changed: “My husband was so proud of me — he had never seen me that small,” Uyttenhove said. “Being able to shop in any store, try on pretty, stylish clothes was something I had always wished for. I am able to do things with my grandbabies and not stand on the sidelines wishing I could. The aches and pains are gone, and my confidence is back. I have a goal to get into bodybuilding competition. I have gained some weight back, it’s called being human. However, I will never give up; if I fall, it’s OK, so long as I continue to fight for me and my goals. ... Never give up on yourself. It’s OK if you mess up, just start again and again until you get it right.”

ExploreRead previous AJC Success Stories

Share Your Success: Each week, Success Stories focuses on an individual’s unique weight-loss journey. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution does not endorse any specific weight-loss program but includes names and links for the benefit of readers who want further information. Have you lost weight successfully with a healthy lifestyle change? If you would like to share your story with our readers, please include your email address, phone number, and before and after photos (by mail or JPEG), and contact us at: Success Stories, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 223 Perimeter Center Parkway, Atlanta, GA, 30346-1301; or email reporter Michelle C. Brooks, ajcsuccessstories@gmail.com.

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