By Josh Saunders
An obese couple who lost a whopping 23 stone to fulfil their parenthood dream have beaten ‘unlikely odds’ and had a MIRACLE BABY.
Kelly Havel, 24, from Gerber in California, USA, was a hefty 26 stone (365lb) when she was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – a condition that can cause infertility and excessive weight gain.
After the diagnosis, doctors warned her it was ‘highly unlikely’ she would fall pregnant naturally and she was at higher risk of miscarriage.
But Kelly was determined to become a mother and knew her chances would be increased if she lost weight and so she embarked on a lifestyle transformation.
She switched her high sugar intake for healthy options and started exercising five times a week, which led her to lose a massive 14 stone (190lb) naturally.
Husband Justin, 28, was so inspired by his wife’s achievement that he started to diet too – going from chubby to chiselled after losing an impressive nine stone (130lb).
In total, the lean lovers lost an impressive 23 stone (322lb) and after falling pregnant naturally, they welcomed miracle baby McKena Rae into the world four-months-ago.
Kelly, a medical assistant, said: “One of my biggest fears was not being able to conceive and have my own child.
“I was told that the odds were heavily stacked against me because of my weight and having polycystic ovary syndrome.
“In addition to being scared that my genes wouldn’t work in my favour either, my mother and grandmother were only able to conceive one child each.
“I knew if I wanted to increase my chances of falling pregnant naturally I would have to lose weight and that became my motivation.
“Before I was just craving food to give me a sugar high, so I had to reprogram my brain to eat for long-lasting fuel not just that initial rush.
“I went from drinking Red Bulls and eating candy bars for breakfast to coffee without cream or sugar, egg whites and turkey sausage.
“I made more healthy choices, instead of going to the movies I would go for walks, hikes, park further away from stores and sneak exercise in where I could.
“During that time, we had been trying to conceive for the two years, then just after I bought medication to increase my fertility I found out I was pregnant.
“It was like a miracle, we had conceived my daughter without medication, despite the odds being heavily stacked against us.
“Now, every day I look at our daughter she is a constant reminder of everything me and my husband have achieved.”
Kelly was overweight since childhood, but maintains that bullying at school led her emotional eating to spiral out of control.
She also has PCOS, which as well as reducing fertility, makes it much easier for women to gain weight.
Kelly said: “I was overweight as a young child and put on increasing weight in high school, I was always overeating, my portion control was not great.
“It’s a domino effect, where you are tired from being overweight you don’t park far from grocery stores and don’t want to exercise, then you make a combination of poor diet choices.
“Due to my condition, you can gain up to 5lb from just one cheat meal whereas other people will only gain a pound.”
Before she decided to lose weight in 2014, she struggled to find clothing that would fit her and even basic tasks would tire her out.
Kelly added: “Because of my size there were very few stores I could shop from, if I ever had a social event it was really stressful as I wouldn’t have anything appropriate to wear.
“I would get hot and sweaty just from getting up and ready for work, it was exhausting and just embarrassing.”
After starting her transformation, husband Justin who weighed 24 stone (340lb) promised that if Kelly stick with it for nine-months he would start losing weight too.
Since then, he’s lost over nine stone (130lb) and went from round to ripped.
Kelly said: “My husband has been my rock, he’s been my cheerleader and has supported me all the way.
“Since he started dieting after our wedding, he has been very committed to the gym and looks incredible for it – he’s so ripped.”
Kelly was finally able to conceive last year, after struggling for the duration of her weight loss and sadly suffering one miscarriage.
She gave birth to adorable McKena Rae four months ago and says she feels like her little girl is a miracle.
Kelly said: “We had been trying for a long while, we had a pile of negative pregnancy tests.
“But one day I felt different and a little off, so I took the pregnancy test and it came back positive.
“Now we call her our little miracle baby, a baby after a miscarriage is called a rainbow baby, so she’s definitely a blessing.”
Collectively the couple have lost over 23 stone and they look so different they even retook their wedding photographs.
Husband Justin attributes his weight loss success to being inspired by his wife.
Justin, a HVAC technician, said: “The day we got married I decided to start losing weight to better my healthy and support my wife’s decision to lose weight.
“Her dedication and determination motivated me to lose weight, she was always a success to me even when the days were hard.
“Now I couldn’t be more excited to be McKena’s father, being married and having a child makes me the happiest I have ever been.”
The couple are now hoping to pass on their healthy habits to their daughter, as well as inspiring friends and family to lose weight too.
Kelly said: “Both my husband and I grew up morbidly obese, our goal is to be healthy for our daughter so she doesn’t have to follow in our path and has a healthy lifestyle.
“It’s hard to accept how much we’ve changed at times, but my husband reminds me I didn’t lose all this weight for nothing, it was for our baby.”
Breakfast – Starbucks or energy drink with fast food
Snack – candy bar or pretzel
Lunch – hamburger and French fries
Snack – candy, pretzel
Dinner – hamburger, spaghetti and garlic bread
Dessert – ice cream, candy, chocolate eat something sweet before bed
Breakfast – egg whites and turkey sausage and tomato
Snack – cheese stick
Lunch – tuna with avocado and crackers
Snack – yoghurt
Dinner – asparagus and steak or fish and squash