How This Mom Lost 55 Pounds in 7 Months With WW
Hi! Tell us about yourself…why did you decide to start losing weight?
I got married in January 2019, and when I received my photos back, I was horrified at how BIG I looked. There wasn’t one picture I looked at where I was like “This is a great photo of me.” And that was a really sad realization, looking back on one of the greatest days of my life and having it overshadowed by my weight. I decided then and there (February 2019) to do what I should have done before my wedding–lose the weight.
I decided to give WW (formerly Weight Watchers) a try, and I really fell in love with the program. I was only on it for about 2 months before I found out I was pregnant! This was, of course, very exciting news, but it meant my weight loss journey had to take a back seat.
Fast forward to June 2020. We are in the middle of a pandemic; I have barely left my house since giving birth to my son over 6 months prior; and I am just fed up with myself, physically and emotionally. I was nowhere close to fitting into pre-pregnancy clothes, and my mood was constantly sour because I knew I wasn’t happy with where I was at.
I decided at that moment that I would get back on WW. So on June 29, 2020, I reactivated my membership! In my first few weeks, I really wanted to think about my “why.” Diets haven’t worked well for me in the past because I haven’t had the proper motivation. So I knew I needed something to ground me and push me to find that better version of myself. For me, that was my family–and the future additions I hoped to add into my family. I wanted to be the best version of myself for my son. I wanted to be a role model for him in every way I could be, including with my health. I also wanted to get to a place where I felt I could have a healthy pregnancy. Once I realized my goals and my why I never looked back!
What was your workout routine? Can you give us what a typical week looked like for you working out?
My whole life I have always incorporated some kind of daily physical activity. When I was growing up, that was tennis. As I got older, my workout routine transitioned to be gym based. Now, I am lucky enough to have a small home gym set up with a treadmill and weight bench so that I can do all of my workouts from the comfort of my own home.
I work out six days a week, and my workouts are heavily cardio-based. Every workout consists of about 45 minutes (give or take) on the treadmill, with variations of walking and running, and I try to incorporate a good bit of incline walking. Obviously, treadmill exercises aren’t the “sexiest” of cardio workouts, but I just turn my TV onto my favorite show and go!
About 3-4 days a week, I incorporate strength training. I always do my strength training before my cardio–I read somewhere that was how you were supposed to do it, so I’ve done it that way ever since! 🙂 Usually, this is just arms and back. I don’t do a whole lot of leg strength training.
With the program I am on, exercise is not a requirement, but a bonus. I work out for many different reasons: my physical health obviously, but also for my mental health. Even though I may not like exercising at the moment, I do it because I know I will feel better afterward. I think every person has to find what works for them and do it. Start small. 10-15 minutes of whatever exercise “regimen” you want to try for a week, and then build on that. I think starting too hard right out of the gate can create burn out really quickly, which is clearly not the goal. You have to work up to different levels of exercise for it to be sustainable.
What was your nutrition like? Can you give us what a typical day of eating looked like?
I follow WW, so my nutrition is simply whatever I want based on the points that I have. Point values are assigned to food by WW based on their nutrition information. But just because two things each have 100 calories, that does not mean that they are both the same number of points. WW looks to macros and ingredients in different items to determine the point values.
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Additionally, point values vary based on which plan you are on. I am on the blue plan. When I started my journey, I had 31 points allotted to me per day, with 42 weeklies (weeklies are “cushion” points are given to you each week that you may use as you see fit throughout the week). I now have 23 daily points, and still 42 weeklies. Your points go down as you lose weight. The logic follows: a 200-pound person needs X number of calories each day, but a 150-pound person needs Y, which is fewer than X because they have less mass. Some people on WW choose to track their calories along with their points, but I choose to just track my points!
I am not a huge breakfast eater, but I do still make sure that I eat something in the mornings to start my day. Because of this, I usually spend the fewest number of points for breakfast (0-4), more with lunch (4-8), and the most with dinner (6-12). Sometimes I will have a snack throughout the day – it just depends on my hunger levels and how many points I have left that day!
I am a big proponent of “pre-tracking,” meaning I go into the app before I eat anything for the day and make sure all meals and snacks are planned out. This not only makes things really easy for me when it comes time for that meal, but it also keeps me accountable to my day and not go overboard! I usually pre-track an entire week for grocery shopping purposes, but I really recommend pre-tracking each day to start because a whole week can be kind of overwhelming!
That being said, life happens! Last-minute things come up where a meal has to get pushed or removed entirely to accommodate other plans, or a surprise event comes up and you find yourself out to eat when you planned to eat at home. WW allows this flexibility, where, in my opinion, many other diet programs do not.
Some staples I keep in my house include bananas, grapes, protein shakes, eggs, low-calorie bread, cold cuts, low-calorie chips, broccoli, asparagus, salad fixings, and of course various lean proteins, like chicken, 96/4 ground beef, tilapia, etc. Because I pre-track all of my food, I know exactly what to buy at the grocery store, and I find that I am significantly less tempted to purchase items I know I don’t need and/or haven’t tracked. I am not a huge protein bar eater, and I do not take any supplements.
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How did you stay motivated to lose weight? Did you ever slip up?
I saw this quote floating around on Instagram, and it really resonated with me: Motivation gets you started, but determination keeps you going. I think everyone feels motivated in the beginning. It’s a fresh start, and the possibilities are endless! However, motivation fades over time. I am almost 7 months into this program, and it’s not as fresh and new as it was on day 1. However, this is where you have to kick your determination into gear–you have to want the results badly enough to fight through the lack of motivation to make it happen. Motivation is automatic; determination is fought for.
There have been plenty of days where I have wanted to say f*ck it and throw in the towel. I’ve had that happen more than once with both diet and exercise. But I try to do two things when that happens: (1) think back to my why. My family. Future healthy pregnanc(y/ies). Usually, this is enough to snap me out of it. If your why isn’t helping in these instances, you need a more compelling why. Otherwise, you’re never going to reach your goals. (2) if my why isn’t fully getting me back to the right mental state, I tell myself to give it a day, think about the “thing” that isn’t in the plan–whether it’s a meal/snack or a desire to not work out, etc.–and if I am still feeling that way the next day, then I will listen to my body and either not work out or I will work the indulgence into my day.
I think there’s a difference between being motivated and/or determined and refusing to allow yourself any “slips” or deviations from the plan. You can still have a desire to reach your goal and have bumps along the way. That’s literally life! But being aware of those bumps and making a conscious decision to get back on track after that bump occurs is the key to a healthy journey.
When did you start to notice progress?
I gain and lose weight the quickest in my face. This can be both a great and a terrible thing depending on which way the scale is moving LOL. So I started to notice changes in my face probably about a month in. I also was diligent about taking progress photos and measurements, plus of course weekly weigh-ins. The progress photos especially helped me see the progress when sometimes I otherwise couldn’t. I cannot stress enough how motivating progress photos are, so be sure to take them!
I don’t know that I ever had some huge “aha” moment with my weight loss, but I do remember two different people coming up to me within 24 hours telling me how great I looked and asking me if I lost weight. Your weight loss should be personal, but it certainly never hurts to have others acknowledge your progress.
Did you use any sort of trackers/apps/scales to track your progress?
As I’ve mentioned previously, I use the WW app to track my nutrition. All individual ingredients can be added, groceries can be scanned with the bar code, and recipes can be built (or discovered) all within the app. For my workouts, I use my Apple watch, and for my weight, I use the Renpho scale, which syncs to an app on your phone so you can see your various body metrics.
Are there any other fitness products that you used frequently?
I mainly use my treadmill and weight bench, but honestly, they’re not NECESSARY to succeed with weight loss. Every weight I use could be subbed with everyday household items that are roughly the same weight. And although I love my treadmill (and use it almost every day), it’s not a *must have*. I could always just go for a walk outside. Or when it’s too cold, there are free workout videos on YouTube.
Too often I see people getting FOMO over the latest and greatest workout gadget (looking at you Peloton!). That’s not to say they are not fantastic machines, but I feel like too many people put these things on a pedestal and when they can’t afford the item or its impracticality in their home, then they attribute their lack of weight loss to not having that thing. The only thing weight loss requires is no excuses.
Do you have any weight loss “hacks” or “secrets” that helped you succeed?
WATER, WATER, WATER! Did I mention water? I have a goal to drink 128 ounces of water a day, and I can feel it when I don’t drink enough. Not only does the water keep my body hydrated and flush out toxins, but it also keeps me from overeating and engaging in mindless snacking.
Also, anytime I feel “snacky,” but don’t have the points to spare, I tell myself I can have fruits or vegetables to satisfy that hunger. If those don’t sound appetizing, then I know I’m not truly hungry, and I just want to eat.
Do you have any fitness books/podcasts/websites that you’d recommend and why?
If I were to recommend any health-related content, it would be recipe creators, such as Skinnytaste, Pound Dropper, Skinnyish Dish, Emily Bites Blog, and Lite Cravings. These women have blogs and cookbooks and Instagram pages that I have heavily relied on in my health journey.
What is your best advice to beginners who are looking to lose weight?
Start with the attainable. If you are someone that has a lot of weight to lose, don’t focus so hard on that “end” goal. I definitely think there is merit in setting a goal weight, but let that be something you decide and then set aside. Focus instead on little goals along the way. My first goal was 10 pounds.
Hit 10 pounds, see how I felt, and hopefully feel motivated and/or determined enough to continue. 10 turned into 15, which turned into 25. And now here I am with 54 pounds lost. If I had sat there on day one and had my only goal be “lose 54 pounds,” do you know how far out of reach that would feel? As someone who has been on a diet her whole life, I have never lost 54 pounds at one time. But this time, my mindset has changed. My goals have changed. My reality has changed. And I’ve been so much more successful.
Where can we find more about you?
Check me out on Instagram! @katieinthekitchen. I love to interact with people and give advice where it’s requested. I share recipes, weigh-ins, tips & tricks, and occasionally some family content!
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