January 24, 2018

Weight Loss Wednesday: A Timeline of My Weight Loss (and Gain) (and Loss)...

As you all know by now, my weight fluctuates so much that it's nearly impossible to keep track of where I am in the moment. Even I get confused sometimes!

These pics are from 2009 (top left corner) at 253 pounds; and, moving clockwise, each 10 pound increment (finishing in the center at my goal weight of 133):

(I have a ton of weight loss comparison photos on my Photos page)

When people ask me how much weight I lost, or how long it took, or how I lost the weight, it's hard to give a concrete answer. With my weight fluctuating up to 30 pounds, I'm not sure how to answer some of those questions. (Here is a list of my Wednesday Weigh-ins. I try to update it at least once a month.)

I created the following "Weight Timeline" to at least keep track of it: my weight fluctuations and a few simple words of what was going on in my life at that time. My bipolar diagnosis really comes into play here--I have realized that I tend to lose weight when hypomanic, and gain weight when depressed. Now that my mood is more stable, I'm hoping to see those fluctuations go away or at least become minimal.

I'm going to start this timeline from the start of my weight loss in 2009. It would take forever to sort out everything before that! (Information about the app that I used to create these can be found at the bottom of this post)

So, here it is... the ever-lasting, honest, somewhat humiliating timeline of my weight...

2009

I started my weight loss journey at 253 pounds on August 19, 2009. I counted Weight Watchers' Points, doing the program on my own (meaning I didn't go to meetings or weigh in at the centers, or anything like that). I stayed binge-free and lost weight every single week for a full year. (The little dots along the blue lines are the actual weigh-ins. The line follows an average rather than the exact number.)



2010

Continued to lose weight. Struggled a little with binge eating in the fall. In November, I fell and severely broke my jaw. Had my jaws wired shut while they healed, and reached a low of 128.



2011

Trained to run my first half-marathon, gained weight in the process. I gained a LOT of weight on family vacation to Tennessee in April. I made a summer challenge for myself, and got my weight back down. Had a short depressive episode, gaining the weight back. Cut back on calories to get my weight back down, knowing I would have skin removal surgery in November.



2012

Started training to run my first marathon, and definitely ate too much. Another short depressive period, and then became hypomanic in fall. I followed the Weight Watchers Flex Plan diligently and dropped the weight rather quickly, reaching my goal weight on 12/12/12.



2013

The most stable year I've had--about a 10 pound range throughout the year. Did Hanson's Marathon Method to train for the Chicago Marathon, and I could pretty much eat whatever I wanted because I was running so much. I didn't count calories during training, and maintained my weight pretty well. Ran a PR in the Chicago Marathon, and was in fantastic shape. Became depressed after the race.



2014

Struggled with depression and my weight quite a bit. The anxiety I felt due to my blog and social media comments really got to me, and I developed several unhealthy habits to try to deal with it.



2015

Had a stress fracture from late 2014 until fall 2015. In the fall, I started counting calories and I became hypomanic. I started training hard to PR my 10K in April, and I felt unstoppable--on top of the world. Got back down to goal before the end of the year.



2016

Still hypomanic to start the year, I was training hard and counting my calories. I hit my all-time lowest (unofficial) adult weight of 121 in February. I ran a PR in the 5K, and then my goal race 10K. After the 10K, I fell into the most severe depression I've experienced. It got really bad in December 2016/January 2017. I didn't weigh in, and I didn't care about myself enough to try to lose the weight. My memory of the whole year is kind of fuzzy.



2017

Reached a point in my depression of sheer desperation. Was finally able to get in to see a psychiatrist (there was a nine-month waiting list!) who diagnosed me with bipolar. I started on the correct medication, and I felt a million times better. I went on a quest to do what makes me happy, and to discover my happiest life.



2018

It's only January, so there isn't much to say yet. Over the holidays, I fell out of a nice routine (routine is critical to managing my bipolar disorder) and I've been struggling for about six weeks. My weight has gone up by about 10 pounds, and I'm sure it's because I've been eating too much (and out of routine). I just started a challenge with a close friend today, so I am hoping that will help me to get back to the good habits I'd developed last year.


Here is the timeline of my entire journey--from August 19, 2009 to January 24, 2018.



2009 vs 2017

Happy Scale

The graphs in this post were created on the app called Happy Scale. It's only available on iOS right now (the developer says he is very sorry, and hopes to have it available for Android in the future). I wrote a brief review of this app a while ago, and I continue to use it to log my weigh-ins.

Several of the features that were available on the free version back then are now only available on the premium version ($4.99). Russ, the developer of the app, generously gave me some codes to give away on the blog, though! The code is good for the premium version of the Happy Scale app.

To enter a giveaway for one of four codes, please just leave a comment on this post before January 31, 2018 at 9:00 AM ET. I will randomly select four commenters as winners. I will post the winners that evening, and then the winners will have to email me and I'll send you the codes.

Man, the last eight years have been quite the journey... haha!
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37 comments:

  1. I love your analytical mind. I’d love a code! It might help get my baby weight off this year!

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  2. Wow, that is quite the journey. I've been a blog follower of yours for 7 years, & continue to be inspired, no matter what weight you are :) So awesome that you've kept the majority of the weight off for all that time, you really are a star.

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  3. I’m struggling with depression big time right now. Have been seeing therapists for a while. Do you see a therapist regularly or is medication the main regulator for the ups and downs? I don’t think I’m bipolar but my depression is not sustainable. Just not happy. Rarely truly happy and super tired of it. I’m on meds too but my doc for that is terrible and doesn’t care about helping me to find something better medication wise.

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  4. I've been reading your blog for more than 5 years. You continue to inspire me in more ways than you'll ever know. I'm so grateful for your openness because it is helping me live my best life, finally, at 44. Thank you. -Tracy S

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  5. I love that app! I noticed that your weight does fluctuate quite a bit, but still stays under 160. That's great! I have been overweight for my whole life (I'm 50) and reached the 190s, just twice before. I have been stuck here for almost a year, but the best thing is that I really haven't gained. I left WW and have started listening to Heather at the Half Size Me community (loved your interview with Ric). I finally realize I can do what works best for me! I took a deliberate maintenance break and will go back to eating at caloric deficit next week. It's exciting to think that I will finally breakthrough and actually get to a healthy weight. I haven't worn a size smaller than a 16 since 1982!!

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  6. I've always loved following your journey. I feel like my graphs would look similar except now I'm holding at a steady upwards climb unfortunately :( I recently got a WW subscription though so I'm trying again! Thank you for the chance to win the giveaway! The app sounds interesting!!

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  7. Ive been using the free version of Happy Scale since August when I began my weight loss journey. Have lost 32 lbs and love the app.

    Been following your blog for years, but just don’t comment very often. You are truly an inspiration. Never giving up and continuing to push forward.

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  8. It's so interesting to see those numbers now with the explanation behind them! I remember reading along your journey and everything that happened, and it makes so much more sense now that you've had your diagnosis! I have a few months to go back and catch up on, I hope everything is going great, Katie! :D

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  9. It’s amazing to see your progress. So inspiring. Thanks for sharing! :)

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  10. App sounds interesting! I think you've done excellent at maintaining though - maintaining at 80-100 lbs of any amount of weight loss should be counted as a success!

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  11. I think this post really shows the normal seasons of life. You might have a little more notable up and down stretches that you can point to specifically because of your bipolar, but seems like just about everyone has those up and down times in their life. Some years are great. Some not so much. I think the important thing is to keep moving forward, keep changing, keep growing. Make the best choices you can and do things that bring fulfillment to your life. Seems like you have made so many wonderful discoveries about yourself over the past years, and building on those discoveries will bring you to even more fulfillment and happiness over the coming years. Thanks for sharing your journey and life with all of your blog followers. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there like that!

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  12. I use the free version of this app and would love the premium :)

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  13. What a great post! This illustrates exactly that we are SO much more than our weight. Life is real and it affects the number on the scale whether we want it to or not, and that's why it's so important that we NOT define ourselves by that number. Thanks for sharing! That app looks pretty interesting, too...I'm definitely going to check it out!

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  14. I love this. I have never heard of the happy scale and I hope you use it. :)
    Kathryn

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  15. For a numbers geek, I'm sure it was cool to see all that data coming together! Neat app!

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  16. Wow, what a great app!

    But...your post is even better than the app giveaway. Thank you for sharing so much, it's hugely helpful to so many. I think this post goes to show that weight is just one aspect of our life. Just one. Not the only one, and not the most important one.

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  17. Thanks for the update and the info. I appreciate that you put your life out there for all to read - you pass along great food, products & ideas!!

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  18. I wish I had done a better job of keeping track of my losses. I had it all on Sparkpeople and then I changed my tracker and it's all gone.
    The app sounds great!

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  19. Thank you for the great info and post. I'd love to win the premium version of this app. It looks great!

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  20. Love this post. I’m going to check this app out!

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  21. That last graph shows the real story. Sure, there are some ups and downs along the way but you're a LONG way from where you started. And I think you're amazing.

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  22. I think you've done wonderfully well since you first lost weight and that might be easier for you to see if all your graphs were scaled from 120 to 250. Good luck with the new challenge.

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  23. Thank you for sharing your weight loss journey with all of us! I've been reading your blog for 4 years and appreciate your candor. --Emilie F

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  24. I used the Happy Scale free version in the past. I think you mentioned it before. Great post. It’s nice to see a journey through data. That’s right up my alley.

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  25. I was looking at your charts and planning my comment to ask about what app you used. As soon as I got the name I Abandoned reading and went to download it. (Free version) and then came back to finish your post. I can’t wait to see my full weight loss journey!! Yes sign me up for the free code give away!!

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  26. I have been using the free version of Happy Scale and would love to upgrade!

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  27. I want 2018 to be the year I get to my goal weight. Any help would much appreciated for a free code. Going to go get the free version now. Thank you for all your posts.

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  28. Love your blog. Need to get off these last few pounds and would love Happy Scale

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  29. Like you, I've been up and down since my 178-lb. weight loss which I started also in 2009. I would love to have the scale app to chart my progress just to keep track of where I've been and where I'm going.

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  30. I’d love a code - hopefully the app will help me shed some of the 49 pounds I need to lose!

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  31. What a cool app. I love graphs like that, and I'd love a code.

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  32. I ADORE happy scale! My friend I lost weight with introduced me to it and I’ve used the free version since 2013! My weight is way up right now. I have no concept whatsoever as to maintain.

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  33. What a great post! I love the reminder that everything is a journey. Thank you for posting!

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  34. Your chart helps me see weight loss as the rollercoaster it is. Thanks for sharing.

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  35. I have loved the free version of Happy Scale for years! It helps me see patterns, and start to understand myself a bit better.

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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! :) (I had to turn on comment moderation due to a ton of spam comments; but I will approve your comment asap!)

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