Sunday, August 5, 2012

A little of my history

I don't have any Q&A's to post, so I decided to do something a little different today and write about my history with my weight. I don't know that I've ever really written it all out in one spot before (other than my memoir, and who knows if anything will ever happen with that!). Since my Ragnar team has all shared their stories, I will go ahead and share mine (in a nutshell). I'm a little nervous to post this, because it's pretty personal, but I feel like I share everything else, so I might as well!


5th grade (I think)
Cliche of all cliches, I was overweight or obese my entire adult life, and most of my childhood. The first I can recall of someone calling attention to my size was in the fourth grade--a boy named Richard gave me the nickname "Shamu" (and he was probably 10 pounds heavier than I was!). That is when I remember going on my first diet.

I experimented with all kinds of diets, usually some form of whatever diet my mom was on (Slim Fast, counting fat grams, Weight Watchers, etc.). I don't remember ever losing much weight on the diets, however. I do remember being very ashamed of my weight, and it was around that time that I started binge eating. I would sneak Kudos bars from my grandma's cupboard and eat them very fast, so nobody would catch me. I don't know why I worried about it, because I'm sure my grandma would have given them to me if I'd asked.

I didn't know what depression was at the time, but in retrospect, it was around that time that I started feeling depressed. I didn't want to go anywhere, or do anything, and I just wasn't happy. I remember finding a book in my mom's dresser titled, "Helping Your Depressed Teenager". It was then that I started reading about depression, and realized that I had it.
8th grade graduation
I never made excuses for my weight, knowing that it was because I was eating too much. My family (all "normal" sized) never said a word about my weight, good or bad, but I was teased in school. In high school, my family moved (my parents found their "dream house"), and I started at a new school in 10th grade. I loved it, because I wasn't teased anymore for my weight, and I made some great friends.
The "Kindred Klan"... my favorite friends in high school!
In 11th grade, I was writing a story for the school newspaper, and I had to go to other schools in the county to interview randomly selected students for the story. At one of the schools, a boy caught my eye--I thought he was cute, and he was very funny. I was at a friend's house many months later, when I saw the boy again. I learned his name was Jerry, and we exchanged phone numbers.

He called me the next day, and we went out. I knew on our first date that he was the boy I was going to marry (again with the cliches!). I had never even had a boyfriend before, but I was sure he was "the one". We fell into the habit of eating lots of fast food and watching movies, and as a consequence, we both put on some weight.

Then I went to college, and with the freedom of living on campus came the freedom of eating whatever I wanted. There was food everywhere, and I had a prepaid card that I could use to buy whatever I wanted. I gained a lot of weight in college, thanks to the food on campus and lots of alcohol. Jerry and I got engaged when I was 20 years old, and I was determined not to be a fat bride. I dieted my way down to 160 pounds for my wedding day (actually reaching an all-time low of 152 for one day, then gaining 8 pounds before the wedding). The day after the wedding, I started eating and just couldn't stop.

I was gaining weight very quickly. I became pregnant with Noah just a couple of months after the wedding, so I used the pregnancy as an excuse for my rapid weight gain. I kept telling myself that I would lose it after the baby was born, because breastfeeding burns tons of calories (or so I'd read). I was 228 when I delivered Noah. And ironically, my milk never came in--I wasn't able to breastfeed, which I was banking on to help me lose some weight.

I started Nutrisystem and got down to about 180 when I became pregnant with Eli. I tried so hard not to gain so much weight, but I was 271 the day I delivered Eli. I couldn't believe I had let myself get that big! And again, my milk never came in (despite the fact that I even took a lactation drug to help), so breastfeeding was out.
The day we brought Eli home from the hospital
My depression got worse and worse, especially after I had Eli. I was too embarrassed to let my friends see me, and how much weight I'd gained, so I quit talking to a lot of them. For a couple of years, I was a homebody, avoiding any social situations. I went to see a therapist, but the therapist knew absolutely nothing about binge eating disorder. Literally... the therapist asked if I had an eating disorder (going down the list of medical questions) and I said yes, binge eating disorder. She looked confused, so I explained. Then she said, "Oh, but you don't have a real eating disorder, like making yourself throw up?" Needless to say, that was the last time I saw her ;)
With my little brother, just before he left for Iraq
My weight settled around 250 pounds for a couple of years. Being obese like that was extremely difficult--physically, mentally, and socially. One day in August 2009, my sister was visiting, and we decided to take the training wheels off of Noah's bicycle and teach him to ride. He wanted me to run up and down the street next to his bike while he learned.

I'd barely moved at all when I was huffing and puffing and felt like I would collapse. I couldn't believe how out of shape I was, although I was 253 pounds at the time, and I felt like the worst mom ever. I had to ask my sister to take over, and I sat and watched as she taught my son to ride a bike. I was so mad at myself, and I vowed that when it was Eli's turn to learn to ride a two-wheeler, I was going to be the one to teach him. (And I did! You can see that video on this post)

That was my turning point, and over the next 16 months, I lost 125 pounds. I'd never been so determined in my life to finally reach a "normal" weight. The only thing that was really different this time is that I started running--and I set running goals to keep me motivated. When I lost weight before, I never exercised. This time, I got hooked on running, and that is how I'm able to keep the weight off. Here is the video of my transformation (you may have seen this before):

I still struggle with binge eating, and I hope to someday overcome it. I tend to binge when I get really stressed or anxious. I also still struggle with depression--I have good days, and bad days; good weeks, and bad weeks. But I've learned that as bad as I may feel one day, I will almost surely feel better in a day or two. If I'm feeling really down, I know that going for a run ALWAYS makes me feel better.

Starting this blog has done wonders for my self-confidence. I'm still very much an introvert, but I've "met" so many amazing people because of this blog, that I'm feeling more confident in social situations. It has also opened up a lot of opportunities for me (The Dr. Oz Show, The Ragnar Relay Project, being named a Fitterati for Fitness magazine, and tons more). Those are all things the "old" me never would have done!

60 comments:

  1. You == Amazing!

    Great story, lots of hard work and great results!

    Congrats.

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  2. Great post! I love reading what you write each day. Even though I do not struggle currently with weight, I find your blog by far the most relatable healthy living/fitness blog I have found. I have been trying to get into a regular running routine and some other blogs seem so impossible and discouraging. Right now an "easy 12 mile run" is not something I can even imagine, so it is great to read about both the ups and downs of running from someone so real and honest! I actually have a Q&A for you - what kind of headphones or music player do you use when you run? I can NOT find some that will stay in my ears! I love the distraction music or a podcast brings but the constant annoyance with the headphones drives me nuts! Thanks again for your motivational post like always and congratulations on your healthy lifestyle changes!

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  3. Thank you for sharing! Your story is amazing!
    I especially loved your video. What a transformation!

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  4. Great post! What an inspiration you are!

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  5. I just wanted to say thanks for commenting on my blog. It felt like someone famous had read and made a comment :). Your blog was one of the first blogs that I started reading regularly and it motivated to continue my running. My blog has been a great tool for my weight loss so far and I don't think I would have started it if it wasn't for you. Thank you!

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  6. I could have written part of your post Katie! Despite having had lap-band in 2005 and losing 100lbs, I still struggle with what I call binge or stress eating. I decided this year that enough was enough and despite working at a school for social work and having tons of "experts" on hand, nobody had a clue to help me. One professor did refer me to our University's psych department that has a eating disorder section but because I don't binge and purge or am bulemic or anorexic, they couldn't help me. It's very frustrating to say the least to want the help but to not be able to find it. I do my best to avoid triggers to avoid binges or stress but having to work full-time and having a husband and four year old, life can get the best of me at times. I do run and have completed a few 5Ks, an 8K and doing a 10k next month despite weighing 220lbs and would like to lose about 90 more. You are truly an inspiration and your blog is the highlight of my day. Keep up the good work Katie!

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  7. Great story!! times a million!! I'm so glad to have heard the "whole story". Binge eating is sure a friggin bitch, that's all I have to say. And just so you know, you've helped me a lot with it as well as many others. Knowing that someone else controls it (99% of the time) definitely helps.

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  8. I love your blog. You're such an amazing woman and a big inspiration to all of us. :)

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  9. How did you get past the point of binge eating to lose the weight? I also have depressions and right now we are suffering from the bad economy and it seems like as soon as something good happens in our lives something just as bad or worse hits. And I deal with it with food. We don't have insurance/money for a therapist. I'm so sick of binging and sick of being fat. yes, I know, this is in my control. But what do you do when binge eating feels so OUT of control. I love my husband and daughter but I don't like anything else about our life and food is the bright spot.

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    1. I can completely understand what you're talking about. That seems to happen to us a lot, too--as soon as everything seems to be going well, something hits us hard and it's overwhelming. Food was always the "bright spot" for me, too. I started to try and find other things I could look forward to--wearing smaller clothes, for example, instead of food. But I also controlled the binge eating by fitting in a treat every single day. I always have dessert (and not a "healthy" dessert, either... I mean a real dessert). It's something that I look forward to all day. I've just tried to find anything thing I can to make me happy or give me that "high" feeling that I got from food. Here is a post that talks about some other tips that helped me... http://www.runsforcookies.com/2011/08/faq-3-how-did-you-stop-binge-eating.html

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  10. You have a great story I feel the same way in so many areas, I had lost 70 lbs and this time around I started running too, i had kept it off for a good 5 years, Depression is a factor for me also, now I have to have abdominal surgery on August 13th and I am registered for a 1/2 marathon on Oct 21st I may have to walk it I dont know, I have gained about 25lbs this past year and I really dont like it :-( I have quit running etc because of my health and weight gain triggers depression ugh, I just have to set mu sites on keep on keeping on! You are an inspiration!

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  11. Thank you so much for sharing. I am totally inspired by you. I too have found running on this weight loss journey. I have gained and lost over the years and this time i am down almost 75 of the 100lbs i need to lose to get to my goal weight. I also have problems with binging. I have all my life and was feeling quite weak at this moment and wanting to binge, but it was time to read your post (part of my evening routine) and what you wrote about has helped me not head for the kitchen! THANKS!
    You are a constant inspiration and keep me motivated! I don't know if you realize how much your words help me.
    so thank you once again!
    Cat

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  12. You are amazing and the biggest inspiration! This is one blog that i check every single day...keep up the good work!:)

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  13. Katie, my response is similar to those who have commented before me but it bears repeating. You are so are so easy to relate to and that makes you incredibly inspiring. It's one thing to have a blog and "talk the talk" but you don't do that. You "walk the walk" and share with us, your readers, your world. You've accomplished so much and the fact that you're honest with us about the good things along your journey as well as things you've struggled with and continue to struggle with is very brave. You've touched so many lives, including mine. Thank you for that.

    Bridgette

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  14. You are an inspiration to me!! Your life is very similar to mine!! I have struggled with my weight my whole life!!! I come from a good family and have a wonderful husband and two children. My husband loves me so much and would NEVER say anything about my weight even though I know it has to bother him!!! I binge eat as well and I don't know why? I think about food from the time I get up until I go to bed! I know that most people do not think about food that way. I am a food addict!!! I am determined to get my weight off and change my life!!!!! I have started to run. I am taking it slow and I am determined to complete a 5k in November. I started the couch to 5k and I am on week 3. It is difficult at 267lbs to run but I feel determined to get this weight off! I want to enjoy my family and not feel like I sit life on the sidelines! I look forward to reading your posts! It gives me the courage to keep on going!!! Thank you so much for sharing your story. You are part of my journey...if it was not for you I may not have decided that I wanted to be a runner! :)

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  15. Thank you for sharing all this with us, it was an inspiration read. I really adore your wedding picture, I love to see more peeks of your gorgeous wedding dress or to see Jerry in a tux! :D

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  16. Awesome post! Good motivation to get me out the door today ;)

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  17. needless to say..have become ur fan all over again♡

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  18. Great pictures! You truly are an inspiration. Great job Katie! I've been following you awhile and loved this post. Tell your husband great post as well - very funny!

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  19. I really enjoy reading your blog. I feel like I know you through reading your blog. My story is a little opposite, where I was very thin all my life, but after kids and menopause the weight just sits there. I run because I don't have any other equipment -- running is free...but with a full time job, sometimes it is difficult to fit the run in. I am struggling with my weight right now, with my bmi in the overweight range...I need to lose 15 pounds just to get in the proper zone. Your blog helps me stay focused. Thanks again for sharing your story. You simply ROCK!

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  20. Thank you for sharing. Your story is so inspirational. I have been struggling with my weight and body image for my entire life. Even more so after starting to have babies 5 years ago. I have been hearing a lot about a book called the beck diet solution, which I'm getting today. It isn't a diet plan but uses cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to eliminate bad eating patterns and habits. Have you heard of it?

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  21. Katie- I agree with all the PP!!!!! Thanks for sharing your history and I LOVE your blog!!!!!!:-)
    ~Laura

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  22. Thank you for having the courage to write about about your binge eating disorder (and for shedding light of the fact that it IS an eating disorder!) I started blogging in my attempt to get fit (http://fat-to-fit-ko.blogspot.com.) and haven't quite worked up the courage to spell it all out. I too am a runner, and too, have had a incredibly hard time losing weight because of bingeing. You rock for sharing all of this! :)

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  23. Thank you for sharing your story. You are an amazing person and a great inspiration! I love your blog ;)

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  24. Thanks for your story and your blog! You are such an inspiration and I love reading every night! Also your husbands race story had me laughing out loud. So funny!! Again thanks for your blog!!!

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  25. So proud of you! You have been such a light on my WLJ.

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  26. I'm glad you shared this! This is what most people want to know and you've inspired me to write a post about my story in the next few months.

    I think one of the hardest things in a new relationship is the weight gain. I had the same thing happen to me! Generally, you are just so happy and caught up in everything, that you don't think about anything. Then there are dates which often include lots of dining out... and that does the same.

    Thank you for sharing!

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  27. LOVED seeing the old pictures, and reading your story. Like you, I was pudgy almost my entire life before becoming morbidly obese (or as someone pointed out, at my weight I was actually SUPER morbidly obese) in adulthood. I still struggle....I ate way too much Sunday while on vacation. We went to a buffet, which I have tried to avoid for the last two and a half years, and now I know why. I ate and ate and ate. I haven't been that full in a long time. I think the secret to keeping the weight off (like there's really a secret) is to not let the derails keep you off track. You just have to hop right back on the train and keep doing what you were doing! Why am I telling you this--obviously you know exactly what you are doing. Thanks for sharing this story and if you ever get the memoir published, I'm going to be first in line to BUY IT!
    Pam

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  28. Katie you are an inspiration. :)

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  29. I love seeing your older pictures :) They add so much to your wonderful story!

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  30. Katie

    Thank you for sharing your history with me. We all have history .... and struggles, plese don't ever think you're alone.

    You'll always be on my list of heros ...

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  31. This is such a fantastic post. I think so many of us can relate to this struggle!! In my case, you help me see that I can end this cycle and get healthy!!!

    Training for a half marathon right now! I won't be able to run it, but I am going to walk that thing like nobody's business! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  32. Every time you post something more about your life I think, "Yep. Totally." It's crazy how parallel our lives are, and since I've seen something to that effect written from a bunch of other people as well, it just reinforces to me how wonderful it is to know that I am not alone in this battle. (Also? I remember sneaking spoonfuls of Cool Whip at my grandma's house. WTH?) Keep on keepin' on, Katie.

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  33. Wonderful post. I've been reading your blog for about a year now, so I know most of the story, but I still find it so inspirational. I always read your blog because you are such an excellent writer - and I'm not even a runner!

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  34. I commend you for putting yourself out there to help others by posting this, Katie. It's a story that I'm sure sounds very familiar to many (many familiarities in there for me as well) and you are by far, not alone. You've done amazing things with your life and will just continue to shine, wherever life takes you. xoxo

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  35. Katie, I've been reading your blog everyday for over a year. This has been my favorite post. You are so sweet, honest and down to earth. It is heartwarming to read your words, and I'm sure everyone who reads your blog is inspired. Keep up the good work!!!

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  36. You are amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your story and for being such an inspiration for those of as struggling with binge eating.

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  37. Thanks for sharing, Katie. You are such an inspiration to so many, probably because we can all identify with some aspect of your story, be it feeling low or sneaking things from the cupboard and snaffling it quickly. It's more common than the broader public realises. PS - your brother is cute!

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  38. Thank you so much for sharing more of your story. I could relate to a good deal of it. I think it's always a good thing to see where you were to keep you on track to where you want to go.

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  39. Thank you for sharing this story, video has tears in my coffee. Very inspiring. The pictorial of you 10lbs at a time is VERY helpful, because I am down 38lbs and sometimes I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and think I haven't accomplished much. Thank you!

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  40. So proud of you for posting this!! It's hard, but it's also so amazing to share your story. I always like reading these because so often I can relate to how people felt. Other than the hubby and children, are stories are pretty similar! :)

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  41. Thank you for sharing! I know it was hard but so appreciated! Many of us can relate to so many different aspects of your journey!
    Looking back on my own life I too realize now that I had been depressed. Something I still struggle with off and on. I'm still struggling with my weight and haven't found the alternative to binging when life throws thing off. The hard part is now having a 19yo daughter in the same boat that I was. She needs to lose 65+ lbs and I feel is also struggling with depression. The hard part is I can't make the change for her, I just have to make it for myself and hope she sees the example and wants it too.
    Thanks again!

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  42. As always, you are an inspiration, Katie!

    Dede

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  43. It was so good to hear "Katie's story." This is why we feel welcome and safe here. You are honest and REAL. It gives us hope that if you've gone through things that we have and *made it,* that we can make it, too. Thank you for telling us your story! And don't you dare give up on the book! :D

    ~Lise from Indy

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  44. Wow Katie what an amazing journey. True inspiration. You have really come a long way. Keep it up :)

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  45. Wow you are an inspiration! You've had such an amazing journey.

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  46. Thank you for sharing even more of yourself!

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  47. I just started my weight loss journey 10 days ago. I went out looking for inspirational blogs, and I found yours. You're amazing! Thanks for sharing your personal history. It gives me confidence that I can finally get to a healthy weight once and for all.

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  48. I had left a comment on here earlier. You helped give me the courage to write about my own struggles with binge eating. (http://fat-to-fit-ko.blogspot.com/2012/08/its-not-all-sunshines-and-rainbows.html) I can't thank you enough for that. So inspiring. Thanks again!!

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  49. This is wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing. You said that you watch The Biggest Loser to encourage you while exercising. I check in and watch your 125-pound weight loss and 1-year weight maintenance videos when I get discouraged. You are a true inspiration. And, now that you've shared your story, I feel even better. I've struggled w/weight my whole life...and I've had depression since childhood. I've overcome half of a binging/purging disorder...I don't throw up any more, but I still struggle with the binging. And now, I've lost 50 pounds and am getting ready for my first 5k. I still have a ways to go, and then a lifetime of maintenance, but I feel really good for the first time in a long time. Anyway, thank you. You have no idea how much your blog has helped me along the way.
    Jen

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  50. It is amazing how similar our stories are. Childhood obesity, moms with their own body issues, marriage to our first boyfriends, etc. However, your story is a success and I am still struggling on my journey. Thank you for showing that it is possible!

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  51. I'm sure you hear it every day, but your story is SO inspiring. I'm sitting at 245 right now with seven pounds lost and the only thing driving me right now is the picture I have in my head of having a healthy and active family. I have a VERY busy little boy (21mo) and I simply HAVE TO be able to keep up with him.
    Anyway, thank you so much for sharing your story. You're so brave and strong and beautiful! God bless!

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  52. Stephanie JacksonApril 29, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    Wow I can relate to your story so much!!! I had twins and was 230lbs when I delivered, got down to 180 when I got pregnant again, and was 240lbs when I delivered. I am currently 226 but just started to diet and run the C25k. I am so determined to be a "normal" size again! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I hope I can share one just like it soon :)

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  53. Just came across your blog, very inspiration, especially coz I also have binge eating problem so it's nice to see someone who also struggles or struggled with that but still succeeded in losing weight. Now I believe I can do this and I wanna pick up running! :)

    -Vicky

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  54. Last night I was searching the web for hydration pack reviews and I stumbled across your blog. I've only had the time to read a few posts and your "about me" tab, but it feels like you've been inside my head!!! I've never heard of "binge eating disorder"-though that's EXACTLY what I do. I always wish that I would be able to throw up after b/c then I would have a diagnosable disorder and could get help.
    Nonetheless, this is something I have struggled with my entire adult life, so I am really looking forward to reading your story.

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  55. This popped up on the link within today. I've never seen this post before i don't think! i'm feeling in such a rut since I keep going up and just feeling blah. I've also taken a break from running? Probably not such a coincidence I'm thinking.

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  56. I had the same dress in pink as your eighth grade graduation dress!

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  57. Stumbled across your blog while searching for healthy recipes on Pinterest! You are so amazing!!!! Keep up the wonderfully good work :) I love running too, although I let myself get out of shape when we moved to another state, and then I got pregnant. I don’t feel in good enough shape to run during this pregnancy! But after the baby comes, I am excited to get back into it! You are an inspiration!

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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! :)