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Long Island woman drops 102 lbs. by cutting soda, becoming ‘gym rat’

Kim Barbato, 34, of Huntington Station, is pictured

Kim Barbato, 34, of Huntington Station, is pictured in October 2015, when she weighed 355 pounds, and in a more recent photo, showing off her more than 100-pound weight loss. Photo Credit: Erikah Kopf; Alejandra Villa

Kim Barbato

34, Huntington Station

Occupation Library assistant at Touro Law School

Height 6 feet

BEFORE 355 pounds, October 2015

AFTER 253 pounds, May 2017

The last straw for Kim Barbato was trying on pants and discovering size 24 no longer fit, and size 26 was “ridiculously tight.”

“I could have gone to a size 28, but they were in the super-plus-size section. I said, ‘No way!’ I’m taking these size 26 home and making them fit.”

She decided to make small manageable changes and started by weaning herself off the four cans of soda she drank every day and substituting water, milk, sparkling juice or seltzer.

“That got the ball rolling for me,” says Barbato. Other changes included eating only fresh food, incorporating healthy alternatives, and planning her meals. She says many ailments like fatigue, stomach issues and aches and pains went away with the weight loss.

“I know this will stick. I’ve realized how important it is to eat right and stay active. It affects your health, your mental outlook, your emotions, and your work and social life,” says Barbato.

Breakfast is oatmeal with unsweetened almond milk and coffee. She has a banana or a granola bar midmorning. Lunch is a mesclun salad with chicken sausage, broccoli, cucumber and light salad dressings. She snacks on nonfat plain yogurt sometimes tossing in fresh berries or granola. Dinner is a protein like chicken, turkey or lean steak, quinoa and a half-plate of vegetables. She eats low-fat granola bars as a candy substitute and apple slices and peanut butter for a late-night snack. She drinks at least 60 ounces of water daily.

“I went from a total couch potato to total gym rat in a year,” says Barbato. She was afraid of the gym at first so a friend told her to find a beginners yoga video on YouTube. Then she started walking outdoors. When the weather got bad, she signed up at a gym. She goes there five to six times a week but also commits to doing at least 20 minutes of walking or yoga every day. At the gym, she does cardio and weights.

“I change it up to keep my metabolism on its toes,” says Barbato. “I like the elliptical and rowing machines . . . I’m stronger now than I’ve ever been.”

HER ADVICE

“If someone wants to lose weight, it must be their choice. This weight loss changed my life in every possible way and on every level. I tell people who decide to make changes that they won’t regret it. It’s the best decision I ever made.”

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