East Kentucky native graces cover of People

By Andrea Saddler - [email protected]

LEXINGTON – Losing car keys, favorite sneakers, a wallet or an article of clothing is easy to do on a regular basis. Losing weight, however, can be one of the biggest challenges of a person’s life, especially if they have spent the majority of their life struggling with weight. But one woman with area ties has managed to conquer the challenge and her story is now known worldwide.

People magazine reached out to the executives at Weight Watchers to ask them to nominate women who had experienced success on their program and lost over 100 pounds.

When Weight Watcher’s Leader Cindy Brown found out about the request from People magazine, she immediately knew who she wanted to nominate. The sweet and spunky Karyl Justice Mullins that sat in her meetings every Tuesday evening was the individual Brown had in mind.

A graduate of Shelby Valley High School, the once sweet and spunky mom of two teenagers, over the past three years has transformed into a thin, healthy fit individual. She works out five times a week doing kickboxing, running and PiYo, a mix of Pilates and Yoga. She also trains with weights four times a week and averages running over 40 miles every seven days.

Needless to say, Mullins has been in the middle of a fire storm these past few weeks. The issue of People magazine with her appearing on the cover was released July 25. Mullins only participant representing Weight Watchers to be chosen for the People magazine cover story.

“Each of us used different means and techniques to lose the weight,” Mullins said. “I, of course, represented Weight Watchers. Others utilized Jenny Craig, the app fitness pal, and one lady just got interested in body building.”

Mullins’ mother, Karen Justice, owned a beauty shop at Harold in Floyd County for many years. Mullins works as a stylist in Lexington, working as a pet groomer. The wife and mother is humbled by all the attention and recognition she has received because of the promotion.

“I just want to use this recognition and experience to be an example to other individuals struggling with their weight,” Mullins added. “Being embarrassed to wear sleeveless shirts and shorts, and hiding behind baggy clothes that make you look three times larger is not a happy place to be. One day at a time was the key to my success. Planning too far in advance can sometimes get overwhelming and it’s easier to just quit rather than spend 30 to 60 minutes figuring out how you got off track.”

Mullins comes from a large Eastern Kentucky family with a brother and two sisters. Her brother, James Justice, is also into body building and powerlifting. He was named Mr. Louisville in the early 90s.

Mullins is married to her high school sweetheart, Jeremy Mullins, whom she says is her biggest supporter.

“He is very proud and knows what a struggle it was to get where I am,” Karyl Mullins commented. “We turned our basement into a gym with all the equipment we need to work out. We work out together as often as possible and we both have recently taken up powerlifting. He was a powerlifter in high school. I have never even been to a powerlifting competition. We are scheduled to compete in our first powerlifting competition in September. My brother James is also competing in that competition.”

The next goal on Karyl Mullins’ bucket list is to celebrate her 40th birthday by competing in the Iron Man Triathlon in 2018. She is already training for the event where she will be challenged to bike, swim and finish by running 26.2 miles.


By Andrea Saddler

[email protected]

Andrea Saddler is a reporter for The Floyd County Times. She can be reached at (606) 886-8506.

Andrea Saddler is a reporter for The Floyd County Times. She can be reached at (606) 886-8506.

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