My Journey Up

Age 13 Allow me to introduce you to Katie, age 13. Yes, that is a young me standing ever so proudly in those ugly green jean shorts. This my friends is the closest I remember being to a single digit size. Those shorts were a size 11 and I weighed about 155 lbs. Forget the fact that I can’t breath and I need that oversized shirt to hide the muffin top. I was darn proud of those shorts at an age when it was very hard to be proud of my appearance. I would love to have a time machine and go back to that time and tell that girl how beautiful she is. Oh well, life moved on for her. Age 17

Fast forward 4 years to one of the happiest times in Katie’s life – Senior year at Overlea High School. At this point I am probably the healthiest I have ever been and the most comfortable in my own skin. I exercise, though not consistently, and my eating wasn’t so bad. Even though that dress had to be cut down from a size 18 to fit me and I weighed about 186 lbs it wasn’t until college that the true battle of the bulge began.

Freshman year I actually started out losing the Freshman-15 instead of gaining it. Got myself back down into a nice size 14 jean. Then the late winter/early spring came and I went through a bad break-up. My weight started to creap back up. Throughout my college experience I would go in and out of eating healthy and exercising. At this time I discovered Tae Bo and the FIRM. Everytime I would consistenly use one of these systems I would see great results, but my biggest issue with the exercise was that I would jump in head first. Beginner’s modifications? Who needed them? Not me. Yes me! I would either burn out on the exercise or I would get sidelined by an injury and I would lose all the progress I had made. Age 20

I stayed active at Villa Julie by participating in lots of service activities, but without a proper diet and consistent exercise my weight continued to increase. As you can see in the all too flattering butt shot to the right, by the time I graduated college I had also graduated into a size 18 jean. Things would only get worse from here because next up for me was grad school.

As I studied for my graduate degree I also worked full-time, so the 4-years I spent at Hopkina pretty much kept me camped out in a chair staring at a computer screen. In those 4 years I expanded my mind in ways that I had only ever dreamed of before and I also expanded my waist line to fit into size 20 pants. They were size 20 Women’s Plus Stretch jeans from Old Navy. That meant that in “real” size they were at least a 22 and I should have been in a size higher as apparent by the nice tummy roll I have while standing next to Rob Zombie. I was 25 in this picture, and at my highest weight…yet.Age 25

Yes, just when you think I have come to the end of my tale it comes time for me to buy my first home. Ahhh, the life of a bachelorette. See, if your single and living alone there is no one to witness when you buy a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and eat the entire thing in one sitting. If there are no witnesses there aren’t any calories right? Wrong!

In November of 2005 I went to see a Rhuematologist because my bloodwork showed an elevated C-Reactive Protein level in my blood. That is the indicator that was real big in the news a couple years ago because elevated levels were being seen right before people had heart attacks. At this office visit I tipped the scale at 254 lbs. The doctor checked me from head to toe and you know what she told me? You guessed it – LOSE WEIGHT! You would think that would be enough to get me to change my life. Nope, not at all, but we’re getting warmer.

early December 2005

Actually that is not entirely true. I did try to eat a little healthier for probably about a week. Then again I slid back into my old habits and gained a few more lbs. Just in time for my friend’s wedding. She was absolutely beautiful in all of her pictures, but me…not so much. These pictures were one contributing factor to my weight loss, but it wasn’t the straw that broke the camel’s back. early December 2005

Around Christmas the guy I was dating at the time held his annual Christmas party. The whole event was caught on tape and for the first time in a long time I got to see how other people saw me. The image to the left in from that video. So in the end I didn’t make the decision to lose weight because my health was in jeopardy. I made it because I looked awful. Vein? Yes. But now that I have lost weight I continue to exercise and eat right because I want to be the healthiest I can be.