Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Shifting weight loss gears

It's August, and this month has a special meaning to me. The anniversary of the start of my weight loss journey is coming up--on August 19th, 2009, I saw 253 pounds on the scale, and that is the day I started losing the weight. A week from tomorrow will be SIX YEARS since that day! I cannot believe it was so long ago; but then again, it feels like another lifetime.

253 pounds (size 24) versus 133 pounds (size 4)
Anyway, the anniversary is bittersweet for me. I have successfully kept off most of the weight I lost, and I'm a much healthier person than I was back then. On the other hand, I'm not where I'd like to be. I'm always striving to get back to my official goal weight of 133, but I think my "happy weight" is anything under 143. Once I hit 143, my clothes get uncomfortably tight, and I just don't feel comfortable in my own skin.

Right now, at 156, I am not happy with my body. Yes, I am a thousand times happier with my body than I was six years ago; but I know I will feel much better if I lose 10-20 pounds.

A recent full-body shot: 156 pounds (size 8)
This same thing happened in 2012--on September 10, 2012, I joined Weight Watchers again because my weight had reached 156. I did great with the program, and reached my goal weight of 133 on December 12, 2012. Here is a "before and after" from the 2012 weight loss with Weight Watchers:

August 2012 and November 2012 (those last
10-20 pounds make a big difference)
If you've read my blog, you know the rest of the story: I maintained 130-135 for an entire year. After Mark died in March 2014 is when I really started the emotional eating again, and I gained back the weight I'd taken off in 2012. I've been struggling ever since to stay committed long enough to get back to goal.

[Side note]: I'm not happy to see that I'm back to where I started in 2012; but, I still don't consider myself a "failure". I've kept off a huge chunk of weight for a long time now! Recently, a reader pointed out to me that I am too hard on myself sometimes, and that lots of people would love to have my body as it is now. I never really thought of that, but that comment was eye-opening for me. It's true: when I first started losing weight, my "happy weight" was 185; and I would have KILLED to be under 160! At that time, I had no idea that it was even possible for me to see a number less than that.

Then at 253 versus now at 156
What I'm getting at is that I know I am definitely too hard on myself sometimes, and I'd like to try to stop that attitude. I tend to focus on my flaws, which will make me feel bad about myself no matter what. I want to lose the weight because I know I looked better and felt better at a lower weight; but at the same time, I do look good now. I think I'm pretty, actually (something that's hard to say out loud no matter what my weight is). And according to all the numbers at my recent physical, I am healthy. Dropping the extra weight would just be a nice bonus.

Sorry--these thoughts are all over the place, and I almost can't type them fast enough! Thinking about how well I did in 2012 has been really motivating me to do it again--giving it 100% effort, like I did before. The problem is, I'm getting burned out on Weight Watchers. In 2012, I started the new WW program, and it was refreshing to me! But now that I've been doing it on and off for three years, I really feel like I want a change.

Last year, I experimented with intuitive eating. It worked well for maintaining my weight, but I wasn't able to lose weight doing it. I think I do much better with structure...which leads me to calorie counting. I've done it in the past with SparkPeople, and it works just as well as Weight Watchers did. And it's really the same concept (eating less food); it would just be a new, refreshing way for me to hopefully lose this weight.

SparkPeople recommends that I eat 1200-1550 calories per day. I know from past experiences that I have to eat on the higher end of that--more like 1500-1800--to be happy and not feel deprived. On the days that I exercise, I'll add some extra calories, too.

Since I like to set goals and challenges for myself, I'd like to challenge myself to give the calorie counting 100% effort for six weeks. After that, I can reevaluate and see how I like it and how it's working. But for now, I'll focus on the next six weeks. I'd really love to drop 10 pounds before the marathon in October, which is about 9 weeks away. And I'd be over the moon to be back at my goal weight in 2015. The weight doesn't come off as quickly as it used to, but all I can do is my best effort and see what happens!

39 comments:

  1. Have you tried the my fitness pal app? It's the best I have used and really keeps me motivated.

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  2. Have you tried the my fitness pal app? It's the best I have used and really keeps me motivated.

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  3. Have you been sitting in my kitchen lately?!? I'm doing the same thing. I've done WW for years and lately (as in ALL of 2015) I just can't seem to drop any weight. I recently decided to start counting calories! I have a marathon in November and would love to drop 10-15 pounds.

    I think I'm about 20 years older than you, and let me tell you, everything I've heard about it getting harder to lose weight as you get older is 100% true!

    You do look great, Katie! Good luck!

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  4. Have you thought about trying the 21 day fix program? This would be something different. It helps you learn better portion control of fruits, veggies, carbs, proteins and fats. Portion control is the thing I struggle with most.

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  5. I actually redownloaded the SparkPeople app today! I suck at counting calories (points work better for me) but I still love the app.

    You look fantastic at the weight you are at! It's great that you can see how pretty you are. Good luck with your goals :)

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  6. You motivate me. I have read all of your blogs but never commented. I love reading your posts. 3 years ago I lost 30 pounds and over the last year I have slowly put 10 back on. I constantly say this is the week I'm going to start to get back on track and then after a bad day I just give up. I've used calorie counting and that seems to work best for me. Im going to give my best effort for the next 6 weeks. I have a half marathon at the end of September and would love to be down even 5 by then. I'd feel so much better. I'd love to be back to my goal weight by the time I need to start wearing all my fall clothes. Tonight your post really hit me. It's what I've got to do. Thanks for being so honest, motivational and inspiring.

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  7. I love hearing your thought process on all of this. It is just hard- no matter what. Most of the best things in life are. Marriage, parenting, a job you love- they all require work and readjusting your approach on occasion.

    Best of luck as you move forward toward your goal! You have a lot of support:)

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  8. I'm fighting the same battle...losing those last 10-20 pounds, so I really identify with the struggles you're facing! I like your challenge and I'm going to commit to it as well.

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  9. I can totally relate to this - gaining back weight lost AND being wayyyy too hard on myself. Katie, everything you share on your blog is so motivating and you have so much to be proud of, I know you'll get back to where you're most comfortable because you really do never give up, live looked to your blog more than once on my journey. You've done amazingly well for (almost) 6 years, I can't wait to see what 100% is for you, seems to me like it would be 250% to others, haha - either way, good luck with the next 6 weeks, I wish you all the best!!

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  10. I second the recommendation for MyFitnessPal. If you pay for the 'premium' version, it has a very nice built in system for setting and counting macros (which would help to balance your carbs/protein/fat a bit better for your marathon training).

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  11. I am a pretty new follower of your blog, and I have enjoyed reading your posts thus far! I am in the middle of my weight loss journey. I just started in June and decided to give AdvoCare's 24 Day Challenge a try. I ended up losing 10 pounds and over 5 inches just in those 24 days. I still have about 40 pounds to go. I am definitely still using some of the AdvoCare products to help. I would love to talk to you more about some of the products if you're interested.

    Keep posting - It's very motivating!!

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  12. I understand your feelings and frustrations. If you are able to happy with who you are right now, and feel good...great. That's fantastic. But honestly, if you truly feel better physically 10-20 pounds lighter, by all means work towards it.

    I think you look fantastic as you are now. You have come such a long way. But you need to be happy with you. Not just how you look, but how you feel. So do what you need to do to feel your best. The rest will fall into place. My two cents :)

    But thank you for posting this. And all of us are our own worst enemy :)

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  13. Great post, Katie. There's nothing like a weight loss anniversary to get you motivated and excited again to lose weight. You used to also post your Wednesday Weigh-In's. You should seriously consider posting them again. I sense it kept you motivated and kept you honest during your weight loss journey.

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  14. It's great to know about your up's and downs as you go through your weight loss journey. It just shows that no one is perfect and sometimes, we do commit mistakes and fall off the wagon from our diet. But the important thing is you're moving forward! That's the spirit! Never lose hope! I hope you will be able to achieve your weight loss goal this time!

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  15. I'm doing MFP! I lost 45 lbs on WW 3 years ago and slowly gained back 30 last year. I had an amazing leader at WW which I'll definitely give credit to for some of my success. I've since moved far and don't have a lot of meeting options and wasn't very successful with the online going it alone. So I signed up with a dietician for my motivation and doing MFP since I'm paying for that (though I do still like the point system). The first couple weeks were frustrating with no loss but I've been playing with my calorie goal and think I found the spot where I should be (around 1500). I'm also making myself stick to it and stay in range no matter what the scale says for all of August. Theoretically the results should show if I'm creating a deficit. Sometimes they just don't show when we want!!

    Good luck! I can't wait to get back where I was (and then finish what I started because 100lbs down is my ultimate goal. Also aiming for around 135 at 5'7)

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  16. I like SparkPeople. Pretty sure that's how I found you!
    I lost 80lbs using it (I've since regained 70) and found counting WW points an extra unwanted step vs counting calories. The thing I liked about WW is that you earn extra activity points BUT SP recently changed their tracker compatibility and now I get an extra calorie allowance based on my Fitbit!

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  17. Katie, you're such an inspiration and I love the honest way in which you share your journey. As one who's about to start her own journey, I love reading what you have to say.

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  18. You're a star - I know you can do it! I'll be right there beside you, supporting you & completing me own journey. I lost 21kg in 2013, doing WW, but have gained about 3/4 of that back. Starting a new training programme tomorrow, looking forward to getting fit again - and losing weight in the process. We've got this! :)

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  19. I know you're probably sick of hearing it at this point, I've seen previous comments say the same thing, but I really highly recommend trying My Fitness Pal. Especially if you're looking for a change of pace! I love it, it's very similar to Spark People but the community is awesome and the food database is huge! Plus, you can sync your Fitbit right to the app to help you track your exercise calories. It's a great motivator when you add friends on the app. I decided to keep my diary as a public (to friends only) diary so when I want to eat something that is definitely considered junk food, I have to think about it, like do I really want everyone to see I ate this? Either way, I know you'll be successful!

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  20. I need to learn to like my body the way it is too. See I feel comfortable with a weight under 139..after that stuff gets tight. I have been hoovering 143-147 for MONTHS now and I keep gaining and losing the same 5-7 lbs. It gets frustrating. I partnered with another women in my company on facebook and we started a Motivational Weight Loss Group.. so hopefully this is the push Ill need to really get to where I need to be. But, like you said about yourself, I need to start liking myself now because Im not the same 205 lb girl I used to be. xoxo

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  21. Thanks for sharing this Katie. Best of luck in getting to your goals. Just don't forget how much better off you are compared to that start back in 2009. I am in a similar place to you, my weight isn't "too bad" but I know I would look my best by losing more and struggle to eat in a way that will let me achieve that goal. We can both do it!

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  22. I'm up from my goal weight as well, and going to Weight Watchers just bugs me, but the only reason I think I might go back is the meetings. And the official weigh-in. I think it's those things more than how I decide to lose the weight. If I count points, calories or carbs or even going to JC for their meals (and counselor/weigh-in)....it's more about support that gets me motivated.
    Online used to work for me, but now I seem to need more of the personal touch. I've thought about seeing a Dietician, but really, it's not like I don't know what to do, I just need that push that I only get from those meetings, and hearing other success and struggles.

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  23. I hope that you really do take time to celebrate your many accomplishments! You deserve it!

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  24. I think you are very pretty, but I also think it is okay to be tough on yourself. We should all expect great things from ourselves and that only happens if we see what is really going on in our lives. Tough doesn't have to be negative. So be tough and see the good. I have just started using My Fitness Pal again. I will stick to it for 60 days along with you. As always you are an inspiration.

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  25. I get your posts in my email and usually read on my phone and find it less convenient to comment there. So, here I am at my computer and wanted to let you know I'm rooting for you and you're quite the inspiration.

    Keep up the good work!

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  26. I ate intuitively for a while which was maintaining my weight loss of 40 lbs but with some new stressors in my life (being a stay at home mom can be tough some days) I just can't eat intuitively anymore. I started binge eating in the evenings after my daughter had gone to sleep. I gained about 10 pounds this summer and I need a change! I just started back with Sparkpeople tracking this week and I think it will help me get back on track. We can do this!!

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  27. Katie something else you may want to look into is counting Macros. For some people it is too much yet it works wonders for others. So far it is helping me get my post wedding weight off I gained almost 40 pounds after getting married. Good luck I hope you find something that works well for you. Kait - Birmingham, AL

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  28. Katie, I love how honest and open you are. After meeting you I know that you're a beautiful person inside and out, so no need to be so hard on yourself. You're active and your body enables you to do so many things. Don't lose sight of how wonderful it is to have the healthy body you have now. Best of luck on your journey.

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  29. First I want to say, I agree you look fantastic and the additional weight just gives you breathing room and a bonus! You have done fantastic to maintain a huge loss over the years and to inspire many of us out here watching a realistic, honest, journey. Along with teaching us about new products and lots of interesting things. (Thank You) Have you ever tried Tops for a refreshing program. Way less expensive than WW and is a very inspiring and fun place to be. A year membership is 24.00 dollars and just 1.00 a week. They have games to encourage and it is a lot of fun! Also get a Topps Magazine!

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    1. As a TOPS member, I can say the membership has gone up. It is 32.00 per year now. Our chapter dues are 1.00 a week. It is a lot of fun, can be as competitive as you make it, but always supportive. Pat

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  30. You and I have about the same weight loss anniversary!! I too started in August 2009! I was 218 at my first WW meeting, but had been walking before then, so at my height I was over 220. I made it down to 145, but after going through two pregnancies, I am not there any more. and my hopes of getting back there are dwindling. If I am at 155 (top of my "healthy weight range") I am happy. Lately I've been closer to 160. You are truly an inspiration, and I read your blog daily :)

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  31. Katie--You do look great. Like you, I feel badly because I have regained, only I have gained lots more than you--close to 50 pounds from my lowest weight, but I still don't feel like a failure, because I weigh so much less than I did in Dec. of 2009 (328 lbs.). I think it's important to keep changing things up too. I used Spark for my original weight loss. When I stalled there, my sons and I did a Biggest Loser Family challenge that helped me to get to my goal weight in April 2011. When I regained last year, I joined some Diet Bets and that helped me get back to goal.....but that too has lost its effectiveness. So now I am floundering again. You know my situation, husband with Stage 4 cancer, so much uncertainty and fear in my life, and food provides comfort. Good luck with the calorie counting. Maybe I'll try that too.
    Oh, and I've always thought you are very pretty, that dark hair, your pretty eyes and sweet smile. Plus from reading your blog all these years, I think you're pretty on the inside too, and that's where it really matters.
    This is a journey we're on and there is no END.
    Pam

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  32. I've struggled with weight for years and years myself and have finally gotten into a weigh tloss groove, but you're right that there's no need to be hard on yourself. You've come a very long way, and all of our journeys have plenty of ups and downs. Just keep striving as you do and you'll find an approach that suits you. You're beautiful at every weight, and your honesty with your struggles are relatable to so many of us :)

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  33. Sounds like you read my mind. I've been battling the same 15, now 20 pounds since having my thyroid out 2 years ago. I've also had some challenges with running and went to see Jeff Galloway the other day. I'll be hoping to lose the 15 pounds and stick to the 15 week training plan I have for my half in November! Thanks for keeping it real and the constant motivation Katie.

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  34. You can do it Katie!!!!! I love your honesty so much. I think mixing it up with Weight Watchers and calorie counting makes total sense... if you are bored with Weight Watchers it will be hard to stick to. I can't wait to follow along with your progress and hear about your October marathon! Man, I miss running so much (I'm 9 months pregnant so my own weight loss/running adventure has taken a back seat) and reading your blog lets me live vicariously through you and your goals :) Keep it up woman!!

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  35. Hi Katie. I don't comment often but I've been your reader since 2012. You are always so real and inspiring and it's true, a lot of us would love to be fighting 10-20 pounds instead of the 100 pounds I have to lose right now. I weigh 258 right now and I always think of you because you used to weigh 253. I always say, Katie used to weigh this much and look at her now. That could be me. Thank yoi for always sharing. I hope it never stops. Good luck on your journey. You are very beautiful and always look great. Even when you were around my weight :)

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  36. Thanks for posting such honesty. I have had (and currently have) circumstances that have slowed down my progress to drop weight. Like you, I'm 33, and have noticed that my metabolism has slowed down noticeably (not that it was fast to begin with!), so I’m up against that too. Regardless of how you feel about yourself, you are an inspiration to others! Hang in there =)

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  37. Beauty is as beauty does, and you've got that in spades Katie!
    I've been using the WW app on my phone and love it. Trying to do this with small changes I can maintain after I've lost the weight. It's frustrating for the loss to be slow, but it's happening.
    The Motivational Monday posts always give me much-needed inspiration. I hope your change-up is the boost you need!

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  38. Goals are great and you as always are an inspiration! I just wrapped up thirty days of tracking and am onto my next goal of 30 days.

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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! :)