Everyone hits crossroads in life at times.
For wellness blogger Karen “KJ” Luther, it was when she returned home from Target, where she had gone to buy a scale after dropping her son off at school. She got home, stripped down and stepped on the scale. She got on and off, on and off — what felt like 30 times.
“It said 387. There’s no nice way to say it. I was gigantic. I was in a 5X men’s shirt, and I’m a short, little thing — 5 feet, 5 inches and one eighth of an inch. At that moment, I just can’t even describe everything that went through my head all at once. I went and got back in my car, and I was headed back to buy bottles of sleeping pills.”
As fate would have it, she passed a utility truck blocking the right-hand side of the road, the lane she needed to get to the drugstore. An impatient driver, she went straight instead along a road that went past a community recreation center. She decided to stop and join.
Thirteen years later, Luther, 42, wears a size 10, has fitness certifications and has begun to amass a social media following, advising others on what to do when they hit crossroads in their lives. It’s one reason she’s an ambassador for MUSC Hollings Cancer Center’s LOWVELO fundraising event to be held Nov. 6. The St. Louis, Missouri, mom joined the virtual Home Team.
Although there’s no magic formula for weight loss, Luther says making the next right choice each day is key for sustained results. Photo provided
Luther, a friend of LOWVELO rider recruiter Shannon Rice, said she liked what the event stood for and that all participants’ funds — 100% — go to cancer research.
Cancer has hit Luther’s family hard and, even though she’s adopted, she knows obesity is linked to certain cancers. Research shows that excess body fat may increase the risk for several cancers, including colorectal, post-menopausal breast, uterine, esophageal, kidney and pancreatic.
It’s one thing to know it. But it’s a different story to do something about it.
That day in the gym, she only lasted five minutes, but she kept going back. She decided to learn all she could about wellness and fitness and to understand more about what she was eating and its effects on her body. She committed to making lifestyle changes based on what she was learning about the science of nutrition, instead of trying out fads.