Family Status: Single
Occupation: Technical Writer
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona
Pounds or Inches Lost: I lost 90 pounds!
Starting Weight: 220 pounds
Current Weight: 130 pounds
Cathryn’s Weight Loss Story!
You’ve heard my story before. Chubby child grows up into a chubbier adult. I had always been overweight. But when I was 22 years old, my scale hit 220 pounds and the label “chubby” just didn’t describe me anymore at 5’7″. About 7 years ago, I used to be obese, unemployed, living with family, and miserable. I ate like a Mack truck and remember a time eating a whole box of cereal because everything else in the cupboard had already been devoured. I wore a size 18 and I didn’t know how to stop. Hate is a strong word, but I hated my body and worse yet, I hated myself.
So there I was, a plus size young woman dozing in front of the TV after having indulged a midafternoon snack. Disgusted by my laziness, I rose to my feet and found the biggest park nearby. I went there immediately and had the longest walk of my life. I reflected on what had become of my life so far and how I could have become so utterly unhappy. After my cathartic experience, I resolved to change my life and I did. I started walking everyday and began eating less. When I was able to jog, I jogged. Then when I was able to run, I ran. I got down to a respectable 160 pounds and wore a size 11. But I still felt chubby. I gave myself some credit for dropping 60 pounds, but I knew I wanted more.
That plateau weight of 160 lingered for 4 more years. I was working out at the gym and alternated with some boxing, cycling, and rollerblading for good measure. But I could not break through. I was frustrated. In fact, there had been regression moments when I felt more exasperated than usual and I’d yo-yo around 160 to 175. See, I had the workout down, but I never really “dieted”.
In January 2006, I decided to keep a log of my calories. I began using an online diet diary to log my daily caloric intake and exercise. I was shocked by how much I ate! So I created an actual eating plan and the pounds started melting off. Then, the next month, I discovered cardio kickboxing and it accelerated my weight loss. In 5 months, I lost 30 pounds and I was stronger, leaner, and healthier than I’d ever been!
Now, I eat sensibly and work out just as much as before. Maintaining my weight can be difficult at times, but I listen to my body because you only get one chance in life to make the most of things. So you want to know the secret to my success? Losing weight is hard and it’s not easy. But by understanding what you eat, being active, and some good ol’ fashion discipline and will power, you can do it! Hey, it sounds like a lot, but it’s not rocket science! Just start walking.
Cathryn’s Weight Loss Interview!
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
I’ve always been unhappy, but the worst was when I was about 21 years old.
What made you decide to lose weight?
About 7 years ago, I used to be obese, unemployed, living with family, and miserable. I ate like a Mack truck and remember a time eating a whole box of cereal because everything else in the cupboard had already been devoured. I wore a size 18 and I didn’t know how to stop. Hate is a strong word, but I hated my body and worse yet, I hated myself. So there I was, a plus size young woman dozing in front of the TV after having indulged a midafternoon snack. Disgusted by my laziness, I rose to my feet and found the biggest park nearby. I went there immediately and had the longest walk of my life.
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
Smaller portions of healthy food. Incorporating cardio kickboxing into my workouts.
What was most challenging about losing weight?
Eating well and eating right. I could exercise forever, but the most challenging part of losing weight is minimizing my portion size and eating healthier.
How long did it take you to start to see results?
For the first 60 pounds, it took less than a year. Then, I plateaued for 4 years. The last 30 pounds took about 5 months.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
If you deduct the 4 years of plateauing, about 1 1/2 years.
How long have you maintained your weight loss and how do you do it?
Almost 2 years. Maintaining my weight can be difficult at times, but I listen to my body because you only get one chance in life to make the most of things. I maintain by understanding what I eat, being active, and some good ol’ fashion discipline and will power.
How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
Overcoming my weight struggle was the hardest thing so far in my life. I’ve accomplished so much during and since the weight loss. I’ve gotten my bachelor’s degree, hiked the entire south rim of the Grand Canyon in a day (20 miles), and become a part time aerobics instructor!
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
ShapeFit.com has kept me current with the most current health and fitness news. I love reading ShapeFit’s articles, tips, and advice! I love learning new things about health and fitness!
Cathryn’s Weight Loss Tips!
Weight loss tip #1:
Listen to your body and don’t be so hard on yourself.
Weight loss tip #2:
You always have a choice. If you eat heavy for one meal, CHOOSE to eat lighter for the next one.
Weight loss tip #3:
Have fun working out! I found that I love group exercise classes. My favorites include Turbo Kick and Zumba!
Weight loss tip #4:
Try mini-meals throughout the day! Once you get used to it, it really helps curb cravings and overeating!
Weight loss tip #5:
Never give up! I gain 5-10 pounds all the time, but I don’t give up! I just keep at it! If you love food (like me), you just have to learn to compensate here and there!
Cathryn’s Weight Loss Eating Plan!
Oatmeal, piece of fruit and/or Dannon’s Light’n’Fit yogurt.
Chicken or fish with green salad or a wrap.
Same as lunch. Chicken or fish with green salad or a wrap.
Snacks or Mini Meals:
Baby Carrots, all kinds of fruits, steamed veggies, fat-free cottage cheese, sugar-free Jell-O, raisins, or rice cakes.
Cathryn’s Weight Loss Workouts!
Group Exercise classes like 24 Lift, 24 SET, Camp 24, Mat Pilates, Club Boxing Circuit, or Bodyworks.
Group Exercise classes like cardio kickboxing, Turbo Kick, cardio salsa like Zumba, or cycling. Other activities I like doing include the elliptical machine, hiking, indoor rock climbing, ice skating, inline skating, and jogging.