Get it, girl! Mom Kayla Martin will never forget the moment that she was body-shamed on a flight from New Zealand to Australia, but thankfully she was able to turn what was the most embarrassing moment of her life into the motivation she needed to kick-start her weight loss journey. Now, the mom-of-three has lost 77 pounds and she's exclusively opening up to Life & Style about her experience — and she's giving other busy, working moms like herself some advice on how they can begin their own weight loss journeys.
As Kayla explained in a recent Instagram post, she was called out by a flight attendant — loud enough for the entire plane to hear — that because of her size, she would need to use a seatbelt extension that is usually reserved for mothers traveling with their children, and that next time she should book two seats to fit more comfortably.
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⛔⚠️MY FAT SHAMING STORY⚠️⛔ . . #TRANSFORMATIONTUESDAY . . I remember taking the left side pic at AKL airport, ready to fly to Aus. I was so self conscious and had this huge ass jacket on ready to fly to SUNNY QLD of all places. I thought maybe if I covered my body, people wouldn't see what was blatantly obvious. To make matters worse when I went onto the airplane I couldn't fit the seat belt. The airline hostess found it appropriate to announce in the middle of a quiet plane that due to my size, i would need to use the seat belt extension that mums travelling w babies needed and maybe next time I should consider booking 2 seats to accommodate for my size to ensure a more "comfterble" flight for myself and other passengers. The feeling of pure embarrassment and shame is something I'll never forget. I loved myself so little back then that I let that airline hostess treat me that way. I belived I wasn't deserving of the same respect that she was showing the rest of the passengers because in my head, I was worth less than every skinny person on that plane. But as i know now, that was the furtherest thing from the truth and I wish my old self could have seen and known what i do now. The day I started LOVING myself enough to start taking care of ME and nourishing my body was the day I turned a new page. Both my physical and mental health have transformed so much since then and I am so PROUD. The girl on the right side is alot healthier, a whole lot happier and has so much confidence now (maybe a lil too much 😂). More importantly she LOVES HERSELF! Don't forget babes, no matter your size or shape, colour or culture, you are worth just as much as everyone else. Love yourself enough to take a stand for yourself and doing things for YOU. The rest will start to fall into place from there. I am a walking testament to that.
"It was the first time I had dealt with something like that from a complete stranger and in such a public space," Kayla told Life & Style. "I felt so insecure and worthless in that particular moment. I felt like I was worth less than every other 'normal sized' person on that plane."
Later that year, Kayla gave birth to her daughter and that, along with the incident on the plan, gave her all the motivation she needed to focus on her health. She started slow, first cutting junk foods and sugary food then started incorporating more fresh, whole foods into every meal. At the same time, she started exercising four to five times a week by going for a 30-45 minute walk around her local lake. After she gained more confidence, Kayla joined a gym and started working out using an exercise plan that was written for her by a personal trainer.
"I'm still in the process of losing more weight so I am continuing with my usual clean eating and regular exercise, but I usually step my cardio up a notch every so often to keep challenging myself," Kayla explained.
As for other moms who want to start their weight loss, but don't know where to begin, Kayla has some great advice. "Start small! Don't overwhelm yourself with everything all at once. Start by making little healthy lifestyle changes and slowly incorporate better choices into your everyday life until it becomes a routine," she said. "Also, have a good support system. Find those people who support and motivate you unconditionally and never let them go! I would be nothing without the guidance and support from my friends and family."