200 Pounds Later, This Woman Feels Like an Entirely New Person


Ask Katherine C., an event planner and daycare worker in Bullhead City, AZ, how long she’s struggled with her weight and she quickly answers: My entire life. “Even as a kid people would ask me if I had a thyroid problem because of my weight,” she says. “But the reality was that food was a huge comfort to me. I was bullied a lot in school and found happiness in sweets, soda, and other delicious food.” Indulging made her feel good in the moment, but Katherine would feel horrible afterwards. “I’d always tell myself that next week, I’d stop eating that way and go on a diet,” she says. “But then someone would say something mean to me and I’d go right back to my old habits.”

A few years ago, Katherine had what should have been a wake-up call—her doctor diagnosed her with diabetes—but it just made her more depressed, turning yet again to food for comfort. It wasn’t until a year and a half ago that she finally heard the words that would change her life forever. “I’d been trying to have a baby and went through three miscarriages,” she says. “My doctor told me bluntly that I needed to lose 200 pounds to even try again. I was tall—6’4”—but weighed 525 pounds and wanted a kid more than anything. I was determined to do exactly what my doctor said to me.”

Katherine went home that day and took out a Fitbit Charge HR that her brother had given her six months earlier—still in its package. She strapped it onto her wrist and took her dog for a walk. “I got home from that first walk and could instantly tell how much better I felt,” she says. “I wanted to keep feeling that way—it was incredibly motivational.” Katherine discovered that she really responded to the daily challenges. “I love competition and didn’t want to let other people walk more than me,” she says. “I also hated seeing the color red in the app if I failed to meet a daily goal—every day I had to hit all of them.”

Katherine started out trying to hit 5,000 steps a day, then just kept increasing her goal until it was 25,000 steps a day. “The first week I went on a run I just tried to get to the end of my block—I thought my neighbors were going to call 911 on me!” she says. “Then I started running the two miles to and from my gym and now I do that twice a day. I can run 10 miles without stopping.”

All of that activity wouldn’t help her reach her goal if Katherine also didn’t tackle her relationship with food. “I made changes to my diet slowly—gradually cutting out sweets, red meat, and soda,” she says. “It got to the point where if one day I went back to eating the way I used to, I felt sick.” And where before, she’d find comfort in food, she learned to find it in friends. “I discovered a whole Fitbit community out there and they were so supportive of me,” she says. “We gave each other tips and advice and encouragement when we slipped up. They helped me see that I wasn’t going through this alone.”

Katherine kept her eye on her goal and her weight started dropping. In 18 months, Katherine had lost 203 pounds—exactly what her doctor advised her to do. “I went back to see him and he got emotional when he saw how far I’d come,” she says. “He gave me his blessing to start trying again for a baby, which is such an amazing feeling. Never again will I promise myself that I’ll start being healthy next week—there’s no way I can go back to the way I was before.”

Katherine’s Advice for Others

Get your family involved

“I work two jobs, which doesn’t give me a lot of time to spend with my husband and sister,” she says. “I realized I can combine quality time with exercising so I got them both Fitbit trackers. Now we talk about steps and what we’ve eaten—it’s something we can do together.”

Make your favorite foods from scratch

“I still give myself cheat days, but I also figured out how much healthier your favorite dishes can be if you make them yourself instead of buying them already prepared,” she says. “So while before I used to buy frozen lasagna, I now make it myself using a healthy recipe I found online.”

Don’t wait to show off your hard work

“I still want to lose some weight and a lot of people who weigh 322 pounds might want to cover up their bodies, but not me,” she says. “I wear shorts and dresses—I feel good about what I’ve accomplished!”


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