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Posted on Jan 10, 2012 in Honey, I Shrunk the Series! | 19 comments

Honey, I Shrunk the Series: Katie for Life

Happy Tuesday, all! If you live in the area, I hope you weren’t accosted by the terrible, first-snow-of-the-season traffic that befell me last night, haha. I love snow, but I do NOT love snow commuting, that’s for sure.

So you guys have all heard the origins of my weight loss story time and time again, and I am so grateful for how kind and supportive everyone has been in receiving it. Of course, I only provide one perspective of how this kind of health journey can take shape! Many of you have accomplished far more than I have in terms of your weight loss, and I can only imagine how inspirational your journeys are. Thus, Honey, I Shrunk the Series has been born! Cut me some slack on the title — you know how much I love the corny.

So today, instead of more continuous drivel from yours truly, I thought it’d be great to showcase others who have had similar struggles. First up, we have Katie from Katie for Life!

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He's not mine, but isn't he the cutest?

For as long as I can remember, I have always struggled with my weight. I went to a private grade school and in 5th grade, the other girls made fun of me, because I had to start wearing a skirt – a privilege reserved for girls in sixth grade and up – because the jumpers didn’t fit me anymore. Girls can be so harsh. Between the seventh and twelfth grades, I dieted on and off, trying my best to get small enough to fit into the all-the-rage clothes at the hottest stores, but I always ended up gaining back what I lost … and more.

Senior Prom, May 2007

Then, I hit the road for my first year of college. While most kids gain the dreaded Freshman 15, the pressure of fitting in and looking as good as all the other scantily clad girls prancing from house party to house party encouraged me to lose weight. I crash dieted, over-exercised, and successfully dropped about 30 pounds.

College 2008 (Another baby!)

For me, the end of high school and beginning of college was a very unhealthy period in my life, both physically and emotionally. I invested myself in an almost-five year relationship with an individual who showed a complete and utter disregard for my feelings. To put it simply, he cheated on me, pointed out each and every one of my imperfections, and made me feel worthless. To make matters worse, I was unhappy being away from home and realized that the “giant university” college experience didn’t suit me at all. However, I put my feelings on the back burner, because I didn’t want to leave the “love of my life.”

College 2008

At the end of 2008, I made a decision – a decision that I believe led the way for many more positive changes in my life. I decided to transfer to a schools and move back home. Although I remained in that toxic relationship for years to come – and my unhealthy relationship with food still lingers – I truly believed that I finally started to see the bigger picture and realized that the importance of putting myself first in order to be there for everyone else.

College 2009

Still, living at home meant that I constantly surrounded by food. The house was stocked with every snack food imaginable, and I showed no restraint. I ate when I was hungry; I ate when I was bored; I ate when I was sad over the latest disagreement in my now-long-distance relationship. Basically, I ate too often, and I ate too much. I wasn’t as educated about eating disorders and healthy eating habits back then; I now know that there’s a name for the eating that I did, and sometimes still do: binge eating disorder. During the 2009 holiday season, I took a trip to Australia with my mom to visit her fiance. It was an amazing trip that I was insanely lucky to take, but I couldn’t help but feel self-conscious for three weeks straight.

Australia, 2009-2010

The once-in-a-lifetime experience of holding a precious little koala … and a picture that I was embarrassed to show anyone. In reality, I couldn’t stand to look at almost every picture from this trip. It was the beginning of a much needed wake up call. Still, the changes didn’t begin immediately. I continued working out semi-regularly. I was a Jazzercise instructor, after all. I had taken Jazzercise classes on-and-off since age 15 and became certified in 2008. Still, these well-rounded workouts were negated by my out-of-control eating. In April 2010, I attended a Jazzercise Convention in New Orleans. Surrounded by healthy women, I felt a blimp and decided that I needed to make a change.

April 2010

The next month, my mom and I joined Weight Watchers. I vowed to carefully count points and work out daily. I was dedicated – more committed that I had ever been to anything in my whole life. In fact, looking back, I was probably a little bit manic about it. But I lost over 60 pounds by my 21st birthday on September 21st, 2010.

I felt beautiful, confident, and healthy! Even better, pounds and inches weren’t the only thing that I got rid of. I also found the strength to close the book on my relationship from hell, and in August 2010, I can confidently say that I met the real love of my life.

Jazzercise Convention, Las Vegas, June 2011

In October, I walked 5 miles for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, feeling fit and fabulous. I was a mere six pounds from the WW goal weight. I even had the opportunity to share my weight loss story on a local morning TV show.

Unfortunately, in September of that year, I gave myself the “week off” to celebrate my birthday, and since then, I don’t feel like I been able to completely reel-in my eating habits. I am fully aware that this could have a lot to do with the fact that my weight loss journey was 100% healthy eating with ZERO indulgences. Even weight maintenance has not been easy. I still fight and give-in to the urge to binge eat. Since reaching my lowest weight, I have gained a little over ten pounds back. But I’m not giving up the fight.

After attending a second Jazzercise Convention in June 2011, I decided to resign as a Jazzercise instructor for various reasons. I still belong to a gym, but working out is by no means second nature to me. I know how important it is, but I still struggle with the motivation to do it on a regular basis.

I started my blog, Katie for Life, in October of last year, but only recently began blogging regularly – several times per week for me. I’ve tried writing about my eating and workouts in a past blog, but found that these aren’t the types of topics that I want to engage in with my readers. Instead, you will find open and honest posts about the struggles and triumphs of an average girl navigating the world of healthy living.

Most recently, on a trip to NYC in December 2011

Although my blog is relatively new, I have plans for innumerable posts about topics that I am hopeful that many of you can relate to. I truly want Katie for Life to be a safe and supportive community for all. At 22 years old, I am still learning and growing every single day, so I know that I can gain from your interaction as much as, if not more than, you might benefit from reading my posts. I recently shared my goals for 2012, and I’d love to know what yours are as well. Please stop on over, and say hello! Talk to you soon!

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See what I mean? Inspiring. Thanks so much for sharing, Katie! 🙂

If you would like to your weight loss story to be included as part of Honey, I Shrunk the Series!, please email me at gretchen@honeyishrunkthegretchen.com.

PS: Just a final reminder that the winner of the Hello Hydration giveaway will be drawn tomorrow, so get your entries in!

19 Comments

    • Thanks Ashley, I appreciate the kind words!

  1. Hi Katie!
    This is great…Gretchen I found your blog through Beth’s and now Katie’s blog through yours…Ah the interwebs of healthy living! Beautious!

    • This is so true! I actually found Gretchen’s blog through Beth’s too!

  2. Thanks for sharing, Katie! A great post! I will definitely be checking out your personal blog.

    While I haven’t endured the struggle of being severely overweight, while I was in college I gained about 20-25 pounds and felt miserable. In the past 2 years I started training for mini marathons and that, paired with an eating makeover, helped me lose about 20 pounds. I feel great, but I live in constant fear of gaining that weight back. Knowing how to maintain my weight is very difficult for me. I work out all the time because of my running, but I still struggle with properly fueling my body because I’m scared of gaining weight back. So I totally understand how you feel about that!

    • I think that’s something that all people who have struggled with their weight for a long time live with: the constant fear that we will put it all back on, that we will revert. I mean, just look at the weight I’ve gained in barely 2 months of “taking a break”! It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that for me, I know that paying attention to my eating and exercise habits will be a lifelong thing. Which kind of sucks, but in the end, I mean, it’s definitely worth it.

      • I just hate how much of my focus it steals! I should be enjoying how good I feel, not obsessing over it. I know that proper diet and exercise are things I will always have to be conscious of, but I would eventually like to find a better balance between thinking about it and just saying, “Screw it. I love me today.” Ya know? Blogs like yours definitely help! 🙂

        • Courtney, I can totally relate to how you are feeling. If you look at my goals for 2012, you’ll see that I suffer from the same negative self-talk. Ever since I lost weight and gained a little bit back, I am terrified of “getting fat” again. It is a mindset that really takes over and a constant, difficult battle. It is great to have an online community of support to turn to. 🙂

  3. I’ll have to check out her blog. A similar thing happened to me – I lost about 40 lbs by eating very strictly (although I still drank beer and that didn’t seem to affect me for some reason) and then when I kind of loosened up, I gained 10-15 back. It’s frustrating!

    • Finding that balance is so hard. Like, you know me, I don’t like calorie counting. I only do it because I’m still trying to lose a fairly significant amount of weight. But after the past couple months of not doing it and gaining weight back, it makes me wonder if I’m going to have to keep such close tabs on my intake forever… and that is just so horrifying I don’t want to think about it anymore. Gah!

      • Ugh, I think we are all in the same boat. I often wonder if there will ever be a day where I can “loosen up” and not gain weight, but I don’t think so. It’s not really fair, but I think that is how the cookie crumbles for some us. At least we’re in it together!

  4. Great story and so much motivation- great job and keep it up!

  5. I love the idea for the series! In the end, what do we women (eerr, people, I guess, but, we seem to be female-dominated ’round these here parts..) who are striving to make healthy changes have, if we don’t have support? I know that if I didn’t have support (I’m not kidding. No support = a million failed attempts as losing weight and being healthy in the past) like my friends, fellow bloggers, etc., I wouldn’t be able to do this. Feeling like you’re alone in the journey is the fastest way to get to the point where you feel like giving up.

    So here’s to support! Hurray!

  6. wow katie! I felt the same way as a kid growing up and I was in a 6 yearhell relationship.I am STILL trying to lose the weight but I am defianly going to check out your blog!

    • It sounds like we can relate in a lot of ways. I look forward to “getting to know you” online! 🙂

  7. I love this new series Gretchen! Someday (hopefully before Oct ’12) I will request to have my story shared as well – I hope you’re still maintaining this series by then!!

  8. Gretchen, I love this idea for a series! What a great way to help all of us struggling with weight loss and maintenance to keep on track!!!

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