Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Interview With Katie From

I asked Katie to do an interview for me because I have found her inspiring for so many years. I started following her on and eventually checked out her blog. She blogs daily and has a large following. In 2009, she decided to lose the weight. Over the course of sixteen months, she dropped an astonishing 125 lbs by adjusting portions of the foods she normally ate, making a few healthy changes, and counting calories. She didn't start running until she had lose 60 lbs because it hindered her weight loss, which she found out wasn't uncommon or even a negative thing. I hope you'll check out her blog and get inspired!

Your blog has become very popular, what prompted you to start a blog about your journey?
I'd actually been blogging since 2000, but it was a very small blog site, and I only had a handful of readers. I actually switched over to Blogger because it was easier to add photos, and I was shocked at how many readers I was getting! I've always liked to keep a journal, even when I was a kid, so my blog is really just an online journal where I document my day. It's really not very interesting, so I'm surprised people read it ;)

What is your weight loss story? When did you realize it was time for a change?
I was overweight or obese for my entire life, and after having kids, I was at my heaviest of 253 pounds. In 2009, my eldest son wanted to learn to ride a bike, and needed me to run alongside him while he practiced. I couldn't even make it down the street, and I felt like a horrible mom. I vowed that I would lose the weight to be able to help my younger son when it was his turn.

How did you get started?
First, I started by counting Weight Watchers Points. I didn't join the program, but I had all the materials from the several (dozen) times I had joined before. I didn't start exercising until after I'd lost 60 pounds--I hated exercise, and I wanted to lose the weight in a way that didn't make me completely miserable. I basically just ate the foods I liked, but I measured them out and counted the Points in them.

How did you keep motivated and determined?
At first, I was 100% focused on a trip I had planned for early May 2010. It would be my third year going with friends and family, and I didn't want to be "the fat friend" yet again. Whenever I was having a weak moment, I would imagine how good I would feel on that trip at a "normal" size. After the trip came and went, I had been working on it so long that I just didn't want to give up!

What was your biggest challenge about losing weight?
The hardest part was dealing with social situations. At a party or get-together, I wanted to feel "normal", and eat and drink what everyone else was having. But I knew I needed to stay focused if I wanted to reach my goal, so I worked around it. I would plan ahead (planning is crucial!), and sometimes eat before going.

How did you handle set backs?
I kept reminding myself that this is a lifestyle change--which means I'm going to be dealing with it for the rest of my life! So I knew I'd have to find a way to get through the tough times, and that over time, it would get easier to deal with them.

How do you celebrate your accomplishments?
While I was losing weight, I loved getting new clothes in smaller sizes. I could go to the thrift store, spend $40, and have a whole new wardrobe! When I lost 100 pounds, my sister treated me to a makeover--new hair and make-up. It was so fun!

When you look at your before and after pictures, how do you feel?
I feel proud. Before losing the weight, I used to look at before and after photos of people, and I thought, "I could never do that!". It just seemed so impossible. But now, seeing my photo comparisons, I AM one of those people, and it's kind of mind-blowing to me!

You have open about binge eating, what have you done to overcome this disorder? 
I don't consider myself "over" the binge eating. I still deal with it day by day, hour by hour, and sometimes minute by minute. The urges are there, and sometimes I give in--but I never give up. I learn something new each time I do have a binge, and it helps me to pass next time. Something that has helped a lot is that I became a runner, and I have running goals. The morning after a binge, I always feel like total crap--and that leads to a crappy run. So I try to keep in mind how I want to feel the next day.

Running is a big part of your life, how did you get started?
I started out by just running as far as I could (which wasn't far--less than 1/10th of a mile!) and then walking until I'd reached 30 minutes. The next time, I'd try to run a little farther than last time, and walk. I didn't do intervals, which are popular with Couch to 5K'ers. When I tried that, I found myself always dreading the next interval, so I just got all the running out of the way in the beginning of the workout. I progressed pretty quickly, especially once I learned that if I slowed down my pace, I could go a lot farther.

Do you enjoy any other type of exercise and/or cross training?
The "right" answer would be that I love cross training--but to be honest, I just don't enjoy biking or swimming, or anything like that. I do enjoy going for walks when the weather is nice, but other than that, I just run.

Tell us about your Ragnar Relay experience.
I was emailing with a reader of mine named Rik. We started talking about Ragnar Relay races, and we had the idea to put together a team of strangers like us (who had lost a lot of weight and become runners). I invited several blog readers to join the team, and within a few days, we had a team of 12. We got to know each other via Facebook for a year before the race, and in January 2013, we all met in person in Miami, Florida. We ran from Miami to Key West (200-ish miles) and it was a blast! There was a film crew capturing the whole thing to turn it into a documentary (release date is yet to be determined).

Tell us about your Runner's World shoot from earlier this year.
Runner's World is my very favorite magazine, and I was SO excited when they asked me to take part in the weight loss issue (April 2014)! They featured a few others from my Ragnar Relay team, also. They sent a photographer to my house for a photo shoot, and he took literally hundreds of pictures. It was so fun! They just used two photos for the magazine.

Are you training for a race now?
The next race that I'll really train for is the Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini Marathon. I'm hoping to train really hard and get a PR at that race (my current half marathon PR is 1:52:07). My pace got a lot slower this year, because I haven't trained hard at all, so it's going to take some work to get there.

What is your ultimate running/fitness goal? 
I really just want to look and feel my best while running, and always try to better myself. I've reached my biggest goal, which was a sub-2:00 half-marathon.

Childhood obesity is growing at an alarming rate. How are you teaching your family about healthy living?
I'm hoping to just lead by example. My kids see me running, and they are pretty impressed--they even did a 5K over the summer! Whenever I bring home a medal from a race, they decide they want to run, too ;)  We don't eat fast food, or have soda in the house, or any sort of habits that I wouldn't want my kids to have. I hope that they will develop healthy habits of their own.

How do you encourage your family to get active? 
My kids grumble about it, but a few times a week, I just announce that we're going for a walk. I don't give them a choice! But usually once we're out walking, they really enjoy it and they'll even thank me for taking them out for a walk. I encourage them to play sports, but I don't force it. I tell them to try something, and if they don't enjoy it, they don't have to do it again. My elder son did cross country for the first time this year, and he loved it!

Weight loss can be overwhelming for some, what is your advice for people who are looking to start a healthy lifestyle and lose weight?
Only make changes that you're willing to live with forever! I can't stress this enough. If you make changes that are very drastic, they'll be unsustainable. I wasn't willing to eat 1200 calories a day forever, so I didn't eat just 1200 calories a day to lose the weight. I wasn't willing to workout 6 days a week forever, so I chose a number that was do-able for me: 3 days per week.

Any tips for people when they eat out? 
If it's a special occasion, I think it's fine to splurge! I just wouldn't order a drink, AND appetizer, AND dessert in the same meal. I would choose just one or two of those things. If you're eating out for convenience, then I would treat it just as you would a meal at home. If you wouldn't eat an appetizer at home, then don't have it at the restaurant.

Tell us about Motivational Mondays.
I get a lot of email from readers, and I love reading about their accomplishments. Several times when I read them, I would think, "People need to read this! It's so inspiring!" So one day, I had the idea to share the accomplishments of my readers to hopefully motivate others. Now, people write about something they are proud of (finish a race, losing weight, etc), and I post a photo and a description of what it is they are proud of. It's inspiring to see all those stories!


Race: The Rockford Half Marathon in Illinois. I surprised my sister by going out there for her first half marathon, and I ran it with her. The course was great, the race was VERY well organized, I loved getting to run with my sister, and it was just a great day.

Medal: I like my Ragnar Relay medals, because they double as bottle openers! ;)

Running shoe: Altra Paradigm

Running store: I either buy my stuff online, or when I need clothes, I go to Dunham's.

Way to relax: On a lazy day, I love to sit with my feet up, my cat on my lap, drink wine, and watch Lifetime movies.

Athlete: Bart Yasso. He's got some AWESOME stories about races that he's done.

Recovery meal: Mexican food

TV show: Shameless on Showtime

Movie: American Pie

Book: This is embarrassing, but I have to go with Twilight

Singer/Band: Either Eminem or Blink 182

Mantra: Determination always trumps motivation

Guilty pleasure: Tuna Helper (so weird, I know)

City: I don't know that I have a favorite... but Key West was pretty awesome!

Country: USA!

Racing Memory: Running a sub-50 10K at the Shamrock 'n' Roll in March 2013. I was thinking I'd run about 52:00-53:00 at best, and it never even occurred to me that I'd finish under 50 minutes!

I want to thank Katie for sharing her story and taking the time to do this interview. I appreciate her time because I know she is crazy busy! I hope you enjoyed my interview with Katie, and you can follow her on her blog, FaceBookTwitter and Instagram. Here is a video she made for her 100 lbs lost one year anniversary, it is super motivating!

1 comment :

  1. Thanks so much for sharing. This girl is the only reason I started running and even crazy enough to sign up for a marathon. She is amazing!