Throughout Kelsey Skolovy’s youth, she had always been very thin, even to the point she was teased by her classmates. Once she reached her early 20s, however, she got much less activity than her sports-filled high school years, and her sedentary job often led to her reaching fewer than 1,000 steps a day, she says. Her weight started creeping upward. Out of curiosity, she decided to step on a scale.
“I remember that day very clearly because I was 199.5 pounds,” says the now 36-year-old. “In my mind, I never thought I’d be over 200 pounds, but there I was: only a half-pound away.”
The Alberta, Canada, resident began playing squash with her sister and paying more attention to what she was eating, but when she got engaged, she and her fiancé didn’t leave much time to plan a wedding. Skolovy decided to undertake an extreme crash diet, which did take off some weight — but at a cost.
“Part of the directions for this diet were not to exercise, and I found out why,” she recalls. “I was eating so little that I had no energy. I was absolutely exhausted. After the wedding, I went back to eating normally and gained a bunch back very quickly.”
Surprised by that ferocious yo-yo effect, she downloaded MyFitnessPal to see how much she’d really been eating on the diet. When it turned out to be only about 700 calories a day, she promised herself never to do that again, and that meant she needed an entirely different strategy.
Since she had MyFitnessPal already, Skolovy began tracking her food and making a pivot toward a keto style of eating. Limiting her carbohydrate intake turned out to be a boon, especially since she had plenty of energy for workouts. The weight began coming off slowly, in a way that was sustainable, and she added strength training to her exercise mix.
“I didn’t set a goal in terms of how much weight to lose, it was more about how I wanted to feel, and that was strong,” she says. “Once I started lifting weights, it became a passion, and that’s when I decided to become a personal trainer. The experience of the extreme diet, and how fast it all came back on, made me realize it’s easy to do something that unsustainable. I wanted to help others take a different path.”
As she earned her personal trainer certification, Skolovy kept using MyFitnessPal to calculate her macros and adjust her eating based on her activity levels. And the more she moved, the more she loved the feeling of motion and building muscle.
She’s now down 45 pounds from that first scale-shock day, but more importantly, she’s created healthy habits she embraces. Plus, she feels strong and energetic — which was her goal from the start.
“At this point, I’ve been a full-time trainer for three years, and I love how rewarding it is to help people who may be where I was when I started,” she says. “It’s not just about a number on the scale, it’s about confidence and quality of life. I’m excited to build up my brand and my business, and see where it takes me.”