Courtesy Kaitlyn Smith
March 30, 2015 06:50 AM

Having once tipped the scales at more than 400 lbs., 19-year-old Kaitlyn Smith from Portland, Tennessee, lost 208 lbs. through diet and exercise. One thing she hasn’t been able to lose is the excess skin, a common side effect of extreme weight loss. As she gears up for, and then undergoes, several skin removal surgeries, Smith will be sharing her story at PEOPLE.com. Come back every week for updates on her inspirational journey. You can also check out Kaitlyn’s website and follow her on Facebook.

I cannot believe it’s been a little over a month since my first surgery. I’m healing up nicely and my incisions look amazing. The weirdest part is having the inside stitches poking out. I finally got that last tube out from when I was in the hospital, and it feels so good not to have a tube hanging down – or a not-so-cute drainage bag.

I have been crazy bored. I went from working as a cashier and exercising every day and having a busy schedule to doing nothing but recovering. I seriously miss SWEATING AND FEELING THE BURN! I am able to walk now (which counts as mild cardio) and it kicks my butt. It blows my mind how I went from being able to run to getting sore from walking one mile. Once I am done with all my surgeries I’ll be defining and toning my body for sure. I can’t wait to be given the green light when that day comes.

I have not gotten on a scale yet. Some days I’m more swollen then others, depending on what I do throughout the day. I honestly don’t know if I want to weigh myself until after all three surgeries are complete and I am fully healed… we’ll see! In the meantime I am just focusing on mild cardio and eating 100% healthy: fruit, veggies, salads and my Shakeology shakes.

I love all the positive comments and vibes that people are sending me from around the world. I’m trying to keep people updated. They are curious about how my clothes are fitting. Well, I am going to have to buy a new wardrobe by the end of my surgeries! Some clothes are a lot more loose now, while others fit my new form.

We will be leaving on April 22 for the second surgery and I am so excited to go back to Miami. I am still fundraising to help cover travel costs. This has been a crazy adventure, but so worth it.

Kaitlyn

This Woman Lost 208 Lbs. – Here’s What She’s Doing Next

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