Sunday, April 3, 2011

FAQ #1: How did you lose the weight?

Whenever people learn that I've lost a large amount of weight, the first thing they want to know is HOW I did it. So I will dedicate this post to answering that question and get it out of the way now.

The short answer is: diet and exercise. Sorry to disappoint, but I did not take any magic pills or eat magic food. I did not sit on my couch all day and stuff my face with food and lose weight! Shocking, right? I actually put in a LOT of hard work, dedication, and made lots of sacrifices to get where I am now--and it was all worth it.

Now, if I still have your attention, I'll give you some details.

I am a binge eater, and when I was fat, I ate a LOT of food in one sitting. I ate restaurant food very often, cooked fattening meals at home, and in order to "relax" at night, I would eat large amounts of comfort foods. In August 2009, at 253 pounds, I once again made a decision to lose the weight. I'd made the decision at least a thousand times before, but for some reason, this time I was very determined to stick it out to the end. I wanted to quit so many times, but I persevered and in December 2010, I weighed in at 128 pounds (125 pounds lost). My ultimate goal is to weigh 126 pounds, because that will officially be "half" my size. I am currently sitting at 139 ish pounds, and seeing that gain is scary. I've decided to create this maintenance blog to help me have some accountability and finally get down to my ultimate goal.

As far as the changes I made to my diet? I did not cut out carbs, or eat just fish and broccoli. I didn't live on salads for 16 months. In fact, I only ate maybe two salads the entire time I was losing weight, because I just wasn't a big fan of salad. I cut back on my portions by weighing and measuring my food, and counting the calories/WW points in my food (I did not join WW or join their online program--I just found counting points easier to keep track of in my head). At first, I ate all the usual stuff that I was eating before--I just ate less of it and counted those calories. Over many months, I began to make healthier changes (because I WANTED to, not because I felt like I HAD to). I was eating roughly 1400-1600 calories per day.

I did not exercise until after I'd lost about 60 pounds. Then I began training to walk a half-marathon. I also decided that I wanted to try to RUN a 5k race--something I thought was an impossible goal at the time. I began running 3 times per week (I'll explain how I got started running in another post) and doing a long walk on the weekends to prep for both races at the same time.

I walked the half-marathon in May 2010 and finished in 3:23. In October, I ran my first 5k race and finished in 27:16. I was hooked on running by this point, and I kept at it. I currently run 3-4 days per week, anywhere from 3 to 8 miles usually. It has definitely been helpful in maintaining my weight loss.

22 comments:

  1. Can't wait to hear more about how you got started running!!

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  2. So a guy in my class started weight watchers this summer. I guess it's totally changed now?! He said they are not just telling you that you can eat "low fat" anything. The fruits and veggies are considered "free", they want you to eat a certain amount of good fats and oils, and i guess it's more balanced now than before. I did WW in 2002/2003, so it's been quite a while.

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  3. You're amazing... never discount this accomplishment!

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  4. You are amazing. Thanks for sharing your journey!

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  5. So excited for you! I love that you did this weight lose "on your own". So many think they can't do it. I have lost 60 lbs in the past year and I am still about 10 lbs from my "goal" weight. I did it through diet and exercise and also with the help of my doctor (who was my biggest cheerleader and support) and my best friend who is a runner. She was so patient with me and trudged out the very slow walks that started me out. I couldn't have done it without her! Congratulations on this accomplishment, it takes so much to "Just Do It" :)

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  6. did you eat 1400-1600 calories throughout your whole weight loss? or did you decrease the calories at some point?

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  7. I actually ate more like 1800 when I first started losing, and gradually decreased to 1400-1600. If I eat less than 1400 a day, I feel like I'm STARVING, so I don't do that.

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  8. I am counting my calories and I'm at about 1500-1700 a day and have about 50 more pounds to loose and I'm at a plateau!! Its making me crazy I feel I have been doing everything right and I work with a personal trainer and not seeing any results on the scale for about a week now! any suggestions? Did you hit some plateaus as well?

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  9. I think a week is a little early to consider it an actual plateau--sometimes you just might have weeks like that! I would give it another week and see what happens, and then after that maybe change it up a little (a little less calories maybe?) I would ask your personal trainer what they recommend.

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  10. I am amazed!! I am 5'5 and weigh 256, I hate it!!! I gained so much weight after I had my son and it isnt going anywhere, (nor am i helping it)....what did you first do? what are your meal plans?

    where the hell should i start?

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    1. I didn't follow a particular meal plan--I just counted calories, eating whatever I chose to eat and measuring out my portions.

      It can be overwhelming to start, but just make small changes that are easy to make--and they really add up over time.

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    2. I get overwhelmed and give up...I have been good all week without binging and drinking more water, i guess this is a good start.

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  11. Hey Katie! So I found your blog a month or so ago, and it has been such an inspiration for me! I decided to give running a try, and I love it! I just wanted to thank you for your awesome example and great advice!

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  12. hello slim katie!!! answer us!

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  13. So inspiring! Thank you for sharing your journey with us! As an overweight woman, it is certainly appreciated and helps provide the motivation to get off my rump and DO something about it. Keep running for those cookies, you look amazing!

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  14. you are truly an inspiration! thank you!!!! there is hope.

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  15. Thank you. I was so scared that I would have to only eat certain things. I was feeling discouraged. After losing twenty pounds just by lifting weights I've hit a plateau and I was feeling discouraged. But just reading this tiny blog really has made me feel better. Thank you so much, and good luck on the rest of your journey

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  16. I am overweight, very overweight, and I ate 1200 calories (I tracked it and logged everything I ate) consistently for weeks and only gained more weight...but you ate more calories and lost. A person can only try for so long before this whole struggle defeats them. I am very happy for you that you found your balance, great job!

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  17. Congrats on your accomplishment! I just had one question. Why did you choose to lose 60lbs before starting an exercise program? Any particular reason?

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    1. It wasn't really a conscious decision to lose 60 pounds first. I just hated exercising, and I'd always failed at past attempts. This time around, I wanted to do things differently--make small changes that I could live with forever. Eventually, I started walking in order to train to walk a half-marathon. That formed the habit, and I just kept going with it!

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  18. Hi. I just stumbled across your blog right now (via Pinterest). I am so amazed by your accomplishments!! I hope I can lose as much weight as you! I am determined to lose weight. I am going to start researching on WW points, and recipes so that I can hopefully lose as much as you!!! Thank you for being an inspiration to me! :)

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)