April 09, 2020

Finally Facing the Scale

I'm really going to be vulnerable in this post, so please be respectful (and I know you will--my biggest cheerleaders are people I've never even met!)

I'm also not looking for dieting advice. This is just an introspection on my part. Anyway, with that said...

When I lost 125 pounds back in 2009-2010, I never imagined that this is where I'd be today. Until a minute ago, I didn't even have any current photos of myself to share because I haven't taken any in months. So, I just now went into the bathroom to take a selfie.

This is my "quarantine uniform"--black stretchy pants and a baggy sweatshirt. (At least my hair is clean... I just got out of the shower)

Back in 2010, after having lost 125 pounds, I was ecstatic. I was wearing a size 4, which is something I never even thought was possible. I had started running--first just 30 seconds or so, and then minutes, and then double digit minutes, and eventually, I was following a 10K program. The October before I reached 125 pounds lost, I ran my first 10K race at a 9:23/mile pace. That was just about five months after I started running!

I felt in complete control of my eating habits and my weight. I was still scared to death of gaining the weight back, but I think that's normal for anyone who loses a large amount of weight. I had planned to continue counting Weight Watchers Points for as long as I needed.

A big change that happened at that time was when I broke my jaw. It really screwed up my eating habits and caused a HUGE restrict/binge cycle afterward. When my jaw was broken, my jaw was wired shut so I couldn't open my teeth at all. I had to have nothing but liquids for SIX WEEKS.

I had a lot of smoothies and puréed soups. When the wires came off, I still had a hard time opening my mouth, and it took me forever just to eat a few minuscule bites of food, but I wanted to eat it ALL--cookies with frosting, ice cream, pizza, all the things I missed out on for so long.

It didn't take long at all for my weight to jump back up. And from then on, I had SUCH a hard time committing to getting back to counting my Weight Watchers Points.

And you know the story from there... I started Runs for Cookies in April of 2011, when I was getting back up in the mid-140's.

For the next seven years or so, you know I've had more ups and downs with my weight than Oprah. Until a couple of years ago, though, I felt I had it under control for the most part. I never imagined that I would be here, right now, weighing 179 pounds.

Yes, folks. One hundred seventy nine pounds. 179.

I would scream in caps lock, "WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?" But I know when it happened. It happened each time I made the choice to "start tomorrow" or "just this once won't make a difference". It happened when I decided to go against my "Golden Rule for Weight Loss" a couple of times.

It is terrifying for me to admit that number on the scale. I'm extremely embarrassed and I feel like a failure to myself. I worked SO DAMN HARD for so long to lose the weight and then to keep it off.

And the part I feel worst about is that Jerry had gained right along with me. I make most of the food choices in the house (I choose what to cook for dinner, I do the grocery shopping, I ask him to pick up pizza on his way home sometimes after I've had a busy day.) He's at his heaviest in 10 years as well.

We have said several times that we "need to get it together" and "make a plan". We'll do good for a day or two, but then it's right back to where we were before.

When I was losing 125 pounds, I was thrilled with the little goals I set for myself--hitting new "decades" of weight loss--the 240's, 230's, 220's, and so on. And you know what? When I reached 179 pounds (today's weight) back then, I was ecstatic! Getting under 180 was such an enormous accomplishment.

I want to feel that way again. Ideally, I would wipe my slate totally clean, not looking at the past at all, and just start from here. Today my weight is 179. Maybe next week, it'll be 177--and that's something to get excited about. Maybe in a month, I'll see 169.

Even if I don't lose weight, I want to at least feel like I'm giving it my best. I don't want to cheat myself. I know it will be hard to adjust to eating differently again. But there is no better time than now, with this "Stay At Home" order (which was just extended to April 30th).

Something else I did a lot of when I was losing weight was to use my hands a lot--playing cards, knitting, crocheting, etc. That kept me mindless snacking.

I also used to get my runs done first thing in the morning, so their weren't weighing over my head all day. It helped me feel so good! I used to run before I even ate breakfast. I miss being a morning person.

I know that this post is sounding very repetitious. I write a post like this about once a month or two months, with goals and plans for getting my weight back down. I want this to be different.

Instead of challenging myself to 90 days, or a month, or even a week, I'm going to challenge myself for just three days. For the next three days:

*Drink a quart of water immediately when waking up. Get dressed in running clothes.
*Run 2 miles, starting within 30 minutes of waking up.
*Count calories on Cronometer.
*Take Joey for a two mile walk.
*Knit, crochet, do a puzzle, play a game, or anything else that is "hands on" in the evenings to avoid snacking.
*Cook a family dinner each day.
*Get dressed in "real" clothes and do my hair and make-up every day. Even though I'm not going anywhere, it makes me feel better about myself.
(Bonus): Write in a journal. I'm not sure I'll be able to stick with this one, but I will try. Maybe if I make it a routine to do while I eat breakfast after my run.

FOR JUST THREE DAYS, I should be able to do this! My hope is that I'll feel good enough to want to continue. If I can eventually get a two-week streak going, I just might be able to go long-term. It's just starting that's the hard part.

Just like running, once you get your foot out the door, it's not so bad.

I want to do this. I need to do this. I'm tired of feeling bad about "letting myself go". The number on the scale was a shocker (but again, not really--I'm certainly not invincible to junk food!)

I'll revisit this after three days and we'll see how it goes!


  1. Katie thank you for sharing this. I am in a similar space and it is nice to see honest words out there. I've followed your blog for a long time and love how honest you are. Keep doing your best and know that you have many who support you. It does not matter what the number on the scale is, it is a tool, information to do what you wish with it. If it helps you monitor your progress great, but remember you are more than the number. What I also love about your post is your goals. They are healthy and not only good for physical health but also mental health. I'm rooting for you and myself! Thank you for sharing all your ups and downs. Makes people like me not feel alone in this constant journey!

    By the way the pictures is just fine.

    Take care and good luck.

  2. Congratulations for admitting that number, it's a really difficult but important thing. I love the positive goals. You can do it. I think it's much easier to do something every day (positive) rather than not do something all day (negative) if makes sense. Also congratulations for posting every day so far this year, it's more than 3 months.

  3. Sending love. So many things happen to us. On the one hand, gaining weight isn't the end of the world, on the other hand I understand how it can feel that way. I've had so many weight ups and downs myself. I love your three day plan. I also love how it is for three days.
    Here are my thoughts, for what it's worth:
    1) You did have a tremendous accomplishment getting down to size 4, that was amazing! Anything that happens now does NOT diminish that accomplishment. You are not "erasing" past successes. What happened then is different from what is happening now.
    2) What we "identify as" matters - how we think of ourselves. Changing our thinking is not a quick fix - it requires a lot of wrestling with ideas. One thing that really helps me is "self-therapy" I use a journal and write about some idea I'm wrestling with.
    Anyhow - my thoughts on the issues. Please know there is nothing wrong with you - you are taking care of your health, your family, pursuing hobbies, so many other things. You are doing great!

  4. I always appreciate your honest posts! Its so personal and and I know so many of us can relate! I too am at my highest weight in years but honestly, it's kind of stopped bothering me! I'm just making conscience efforts to stay healthy, just like your goals! Working out 5-6 days a week, making sure I'm eating fruits and veggies, trying to get enough water in during the day. It helps! My doctor is baffled by my weight too because all my numbers are great! Its just this stubborn weight that refuses to go down lol. It can be so frustrating, so I totally get it!

    You just have to stay positive and take it one day at time! Just do what makes you happy and what works for you!! I'm always here to cheer you on! <3

  5. I'm a long time reader, first time commenter...I started reading your blog in 2011 when I joined WW for the first time and decided to lose the 70 pounds I was hanging on to for several years. Your blog was very motivating and I even got into running (I don't run now, haha!). I have since gotten married, had two kids, and gained back 55 of those pounds. I have always appreciated your honesty about your challenges with keeping the weight off as mine have been similar and it makes me feel less alone with my weight struggles. Last November I vowed to get serious and lose this weight. I joined WW again and it was working. At the end of January at age 34 I was blindsided with a breast cancer diagnosis. I had to put weight loss on hold because I'm going through chemo and just trying to navigate those challenges. This summer I will have a double mastectomy and later reconstructive surgery. I am upset for many reasons, one of which being that I will not be at a healthy weight going into my surgeries, which adds an increased risk of complications. All this to say, you never, ever know what is going to happen in life and there is no day but today to get back to a healthy weight. I know I took my health and body for granted. Weight loss seems even harder now that we are all in quarantine but I hope you can do it!! Your 3-day strategy sounds like a good plan. Good luck!

  6. Sending hugs your way. It's amazing how the weight loss/maintenance struggle can just overwhelm us with such intensity when we aren't "on". Starting back is so hard, but taking it one day at a time (or 3 - haha) is the best way. I know you can reach your 3 day goal and look forward to reading your follow-up post. Stay strong my friend!

  7. Thank you for sharing! I just signed up for ww two days ago...I had forgotten reading ages ago that you also used ww. Jigsaw puzzles - great time-suck and keeps hands occupied bc you don’t want to get the pieces messy! Good luck. You can do this!

  8. I'm right there with you. I'm going to go right now and hit the treadmill (after a big glass of water) and then shower and get dressed and put on makeup! I need to get inspired so badly. I'm at my highest weight ever and no clothes that fit. I keep putting off getting started because of the pandemic, but I've worked from home for over two years so it's really nothing different other than my business is dead and no work to do. It's just another excuse to be lazy for me. So I'm going to join you in your goals! Let's do this!

  9. I started following you in 2010 when I was on my own weight loss journey. I lost 100 lb on WW. After losing the weight, I quit tracking and counting points. Over the next four years, I found myself back up 40 lbs and totally frustrated and down in the dumps. I TOTALLY get where you are. Three years ago, I decided to give WW another try, was successful, and a year ago became an employee. I finally figured out that for me, I needed the structure and mindset shift. Not everyone is the same. What works for me isn't for everyone, but you are not alone in your feelings. Thank you for being transparent. It is refreshing and appreciated. I am definitely cheering for you.

  10. Hi Katie! We were friends on Sparkpeople and you really inspired me in many ways back then and throughout the years. I have yo-yoed and I am hoping this is finally the time I reach my goals. I recently signed onto Sparkpeople again and immediately clicked on you for motivation and it led me here. Once again, we are on the same page and reading your blog made me emotional because we share many of the same emotions. We got this girl!!

  11. Even though you are 4 pounds apart on these two photos I feel like you look smaller on the right. Maybe it's the black pants? Who knows? But yes, I hear you...lots of snacking and buying of "treats" around here which we wouldn't do as much of but I know it's because we are all seeking comfort foods more often.

    I am a person that needs to change things up...any time I have tried to go back and redo the diet that worked before I get bored shortly thereafter and fall off the motivational train. After all the diets I have been on I can't think of any more so I am kind of just "winging" it...and the pounds have crept on here too.

  12. Hi Katie. I feel like my weight parallels yours. I haven’t been on the scale since our “shelter in place” mandate cancelled our WW meeting. My last weigh in, I was at 167. I am sure that it’s higher now! I noticed a roll on my gut when I walked past a mirror yesterday. (I did not have this roll a few weeks ago.). I am a teacher who has had to learn a whole new way of teaching. The stress has not only caused me to eat more, but I am going through some bottles of wine, too! Ugh!

    I really like your list of changes that you are going to make. I would really like to spend the next few months getting some control over my eating habits and weight, since every other part of my life feels so out of control!!

    Thanks for your honesty and openness. I followed your blog religiously when I was losing my 100 pounds. You inspired me so much during that time! And, now, you are inspiring me again!! Thank you!!

  13. You are so brave and so real. Thank you!

  14. I to am a life long weight watcher, recently I’d let some of my old habits creep in. Decided last we to bit the bullet and face the scales, to my delight I had only put in 200 grams(I was already 2kgs over my goal weight). Because of the small gain I continued eating the same way, this morning I hoped on the scales to find I had put on an additional 1.5kgs ��. It appears as though I can’t continue to eat the way I was.
    On a side note I read a book years ago about changing your mindset and it said commit to 4 days and another 4 days etc until it becomes natural. So I think you are on to something with your 3 day plan.

  15. Hi, I just watched the movie and decided to check out you blog. I am down 97 pounds the last of which I lost on WW. I have been on maintenance for 6 months and I swear it is harder then when I was actively trying to lose. I know one slip and I will be back to where I was so am always reading things for motivation. At 65 I don't run, but I ride bikes and when we can get out more after our isolation love to hike and ride. I want to stay fit forever.

  16. Katie, I have followed you since 2010 and admire you I will be checking back in 3 days and going to follow your lead. You did this once before and you'll do it again!!!

  17. I have followed you for a very long time. Take care of yourself and get healthy whatever that weight happens to be on the scale. You seem to be a good person so focus on your good qualities which seem to be many!

  18. I recently discovered your walk to run program and it is the first one that has worked for me and has not lead to injury by ramping up too fast. But today's blog is even more inspirational because of its vulnerability. Thank you for sharing.

  19. We are all rooting for you. Your plan is sound and doable. Hang in there!

  20. I feel like we are in the same boat! I’m weighing in at 183, after having lost 68 lbs. I was 159 and feeling great when I got diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. We can do this, Katie! I know it!!!!

  21. I really appreciate all that you put out there. I'm struggling to find motivation to change my habits during quarantine, even though I'd started some good habits before quarantine. Thank you for being so vulnerable so often! You really help me see where I might be struggling too.

  22. Katie I've been following you for years and have lived the same life of ups and downs for all of my life. I saw this post when I was recently struggling and it helped put me in the right frame of mind:
    "If I quit now, I will soon be back to where I started. And when I started, I was desperately wishing to be where I am now."
    You know this already but a reminder never hurts. I look you will never give up!

  23. Hi Katie! You can SO do this! On the days when you are just really not feeling it, commit to only ONE day at a time. You can do anything for just one day, right? Even now I still love watching your decades video, with you flying!!! I want to get my life back, too. And I remember one of your Good tips to stack the deck in my/our favor: Don't drink any calories. As much as possible, keep everything zero calorie. You so got this! One, or 3, days at a time! Kick butt, mama!

  24. I've been reading your blog for a super long time, and one of the things I love most about it is that you are so very human, and you own that to the nth degree. Even when you hit your "lows" you STILL inspire others. Maybe even more so then, because we see you pull yourself up again and again and encourage others to do the same. Life happens to everyone, and you're not supposed to be perfect just because you write a ridiculously awesome blog. So thank you for sharing it all. You WILL reach your next goals, whatever they may be!


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