Introduced by Amy
Katie and I met at church, and I got to know her better when I was called to be her visiting teacher (where women go to each other's homes so everyone gets visited, helped, and loved.) Katie is soft-spoken and kind. She was so great to talk to, because she was so sincere. I loved her relationship with her daughter. I wish I could have spent more time getting to know her, because she moved soon after, but we stayed friends on facebook. She started telling about her weight-loss goals, and I was SO impressed! She graciously agreed to tell her story! This girl is strong and has come a long way. I am SO proud of her for taking charge of her health, rather than becoming a victim to it!
Enjoy Katie's story and be inspired!
First of all, I am not a fitness expert. Not even close. I am just a mom, who found herself overweight and unhappy and decided to make some changes. I am also not sponsored in any way—this is just my story, and some tips I’ve learned that might help you, too.
|Before (August 2012)|
You’ll probably assume that, like many moms, I’m trying to lose the baby weight. But the truth is, I’m losing the pre-baby weight. Between getting married and getting pregnant, I gained 40 pounds in less than 2 years. I am 5’6” and at my heaviest was about 180 pounds. I also have a short torso and carry my weight in my stomach. This male-pattern obesity is higher risk for long-term health problems. In November 2009 I was diagnosed with insulin resistance (pre-diabetes). In 2011, after I finished breastfeeding my daughter, I took my doctor’s advice and joined MyFitnessPal.com, which is a calorie counting website and mobile app. I had good success for a couple months and lost about 15 pounds. Then I let life get in the way, stopped counting calories and gained back to 175.
In September 2012 my daughter turned 2 and I knew I needed to get on track and lose the weight. We started talking about having another baby, and I knew I needed to be healthier first. When we were trying to conceive our daughter I struggled with infertility because of my weight, and I didn’t want to go through that again.
I got back on My Fitness Pal on September 16, 2012, and I have tracked my food (and occasional exercise) every day since. In 4 months I have lost 31 pounds and counting. I have gone from size 12 jeans to size 6, and have lost a total of 24 inches comparing these measurements:
Pecs (above the bust)
Bust/chest (fullest part of the bust)
Ribs (bra strap, under the bust)
Waist (narrowest point, above navel)
Abdomen (belly pooch, just under navel for me)
Hips (fullest part of the butt)
Left/right upper thigh (just below the butt cheek)
Left/right lower thigh (2 inches above the kneecap)
Left/right calf (at fullest point)
Left/right upper arm (3 inches from armpit)
My advice is simple. I have no secrets. I am not paleo or veggie or South Beach or hCG. Weight loss does not require expensive trainers or programs. It simply requires self-control and moderation. I don’t assume that my advice will work for everyone, in every situation, but this is what has helped me and I hope something here will benefit you.
· Set realistic, short-term goals. My first attempt at weight loss failed in part because I only set a long-term goal. I wanted to lose 50 pounds in a year. A year was a long time away when those Oreos were staring me in the face. Setting and achieving short-term goals will give you the momentum to keep going! Realistic weight loss is an average of 1-2 pounds a week.
· Reward yourself. I have had great success by setting up a reward system. I decided to pay myself $5/pound, which I could use for clothes once I met my goal. This satisfied my need for instant gratification, and I kept my money in a glass jar on the fridge as a great visual of my progress. I also drew a chart showing my weight loss and money earned. I have it up on the fridge door and it’s an excellent reminder!
|During my weight-loss path...|
· Drink your water! Drinking enough water helps prevent water retention. It is also the simplest detox. It really helps flush your system. You need at least 64 ounces of water daily, and you should work toward drinking half your body weight in ounces. I am 144 pounds, so I should try for 72 ounces of water daily. I drink and refill my 20 oz bottle throughout the day. On a good day I drink 20 oz when I wake up, 20 oz at lunchtime, 20 oz in the afternoon, and 20 oz with dinner. I don’t chug it, but keep drinking on my bottle until I’ve finished, then refill and stick it back in the fridge.
· Eat homemade. Most restaurant food and processed, packaged meals are excessively high in calories and sodium. Cook at home and control exactly what you’re eating.
· Make sustainable changes to your diet. The truth is that almost any diet will help you lose weight. But in my opinion if you choose an extreme diet (i.e. meal replacement, pills/supplements, juice fasts), you will not learn how to eat healthy and are more likely to regain the weight. This is why I really believe in food diaries/calorie counting. Make gradual changes to your current diet, and you will make natural improvements and learn to eat healthy for a lifetime.
· Keep a food diary. You don’t need to jump into a strict calorie goal immediately, just start by recording everything you eat. I highly recommend MyFitnessPal.com for this, but there are many other websites as well. Or you can simply write it in a notebook! Record your food and calories. Use measuring cups or a kitchen scale to learn correct portions. Work on proper portions and cutting out junk food. This happened naturally for me because I hate “wasting” my calories on junky snacks! Gradually cut down your calorie intake. A great thing about My Fitness Pal is that it will calculate a calorie goal for you based on height, weight, age and activity level.
· Treat yourself. You don’t need to completely eliminate your favorites, but a treat should be just that—a treat! Allowing your favorites in moderation helps prevent you from feeling deprived and abandoning your diet.
· Take it one day at a time. Keep a positive attitude, and don’t let one moment’s splurge throw you off track. If you have a bad day, and give in to emotional eating, don’t give up! What really matters is what you do next. Instead of beating yourself up, and giving in to further emotional eating, move on! Start fresh and strive to do better. [insert pic, don’t give up]
· Find “IT” – your personal drive and motivation. We all want to look good and feel good, but if that were enough, we’d all be fit! So find that something extra that will push you to make a change! If it’s nothing obvious, try writing a list of why you want to lose weight. Writing helps organize your thoughts and feelings, and you’re likely to learn something about yourself.
· Find a support group for accountability and encouragement. This is huge! I am a member of an online parenting forum and found a group of moms trying to lose 25 pounds or more. I joined in and have gotten great support and advice. I also decided to post my weight loss goals and progress on Facebook. I have received so much love and support from family and friends, and I’ve been able to inspire others to try for their own fitness goals.
If I can do it, you can do it too. I mean that wholeheartedly. I am not a personal trainer or a health nut. I love sweets and junk and hate exercise. I am lazy and already overwhelmed with my 2-year-old. But I decided that I deserve to be healthy. I slowly made changes to my diet. I established small habits every day that have added up to a huge improvement in my health. No more excuses! Make a change today!
What has helped you to get healthy and lose weight? What is your "IT"?