Kimberly Barrett Verrastro never thought of her weight as a problem until she hit her late teens. “Growing up, I was always the skinny girl,” Verrastro tells Shape. “But after graduating high school, that changed out of the blue and the weight started to creep on. I also wasn’t aware that the antidepressant and anti-anxiety meds I was taking caused weight gain, which contributed to the spike.”
When she went in for a routine checkup a few years later, her blood tests raised some red flags with her doctors. “I was just 24 years old and they told me I had high cholesterol, which was pretty concerning,” she said. “Without exploring other options, the doctors suggested that I go on cholesterol medication, but I wasn’t having any of that.