Katie, known as weightlossindresses, on Instagram lost 160 pounds naturally and became a marathoner in a little over two years! She is a teacher for gifted students, lives in Ohio, and recently got married. I had the privilege of sitting down with Katie as we discussed her journey from over 300 pounds to marathoner.
The Moment of Change
Q: What was your wake up call? The moment where you knew something needed to change?
A: There wasn’t necessarily one moment that served as a wake up call. My friends and family saw how heavy I was and would ask me if I was ready to lose weight, but I often told people that I wasn’t yet ready. One day, however, after having a Sunday funday with my friends eating and drinking literally anything I wanted, I decided okay, it’s time. I was ready to make a change. Let me be clear though. It’s not because I didn’t love myself. I just knew that it was the right time.
Q: How did you get started? What was the first thing you did?
A: I have a summer job where I watch two boys. This job includes breakfast and lunch provided for me by the family. Fortunately, this family is a healthy, active family. They always have a plethora of healthy choices available. This proved to be helpful when it came time for me to make healthy swaps as I was deciding on how to change my eating habits. I also knew that summer was a time to be active.
I really believe that my weight loss successes have been building throughout my life. For a lot of my life, my mom has been on Weight Watchers. I, therefore, have had a lot of exposure to weighing my food, making healthy swaps, walking more, and other success tips to help people lose unwanted pounds. I kept all of these things in the back of my head and I finally decided to go full speed ahead.
Stay Committed, but Flexible
Q: What do you do on the rough days? The days you don’t really feel like moving your body.
A: I really attribute a lot of my daily inspiration, motivation, and knowledge to the Instagram community. I call these people “my friends on the squares”. One day while scrolling through my feed, I stumbled upon this quote that has been a driving force for me. The quote read, “Stay committed to your decisions, but flexible in your approach.”
“Stay committed to your decisions, but flexible in your approach.” How Katie lost 160 pounds naturally and became a marathoner! #runstrongcommunity #runchatTweet
I committed to the decision to accomplish X, Y, or Z, but I stayed flexible in completing X, Y, or Z. Some days I focused on things out of order and other days I completed only X and Y while moving Z to another day. It all came down to being honest with myself. I knew that I had made this commitment, this choice, to lose weight.
I truly believe that being flexible and enjoying life is key. The times that I put a lot of guilt on myself and/or a lot of restriction were the times in which I was least successful. By implementing all of these things, I lost 160 pounds naturally!
Q: What is your go to meal or snack?
A: I am not a huge “snacker”. As for meals, I love cooking, but don’t love meal prepping. I don’t really have a go-to meal because I like to change it up a lot.
In case you haven’t noticed, my Instagram bio reads, “Runner, teacher, and ice cream lover!” Yes, I love ice cream. I don’t however classify this as a “snack”, instead it’s more of a staple.
In the heart of my weight loss, my friends and family would often question how I was losing weight. They worried that I was being unhealthy in my weight loss journey and losing too much weight all at once. To prove to them that I was doing just fine, I ate ice cream every day. Still to this day, I eat ice cream about four times a week.
Q: I have to ask, what is your favorite ice cream flavor?
A: I love everything. I am a seven on the enneagram, so I love everything! I, however, am on a kick right now with an ice cream from a local place made of dark, dark chocolate ice cream with some oreo pieces and marshmallows.
160 Pounds Lost and a Marathoner
Q: What are you most proud of in your weight loss and/or running journey?
A: When I first started running, I weighed 345 pounds. This was June 2017. That summer I started a couch to 5k program and ran my first 5k, in August 2017, just two months into my weight loss / running journey. I finished this 5k in 46:51 which is a 15:05 pace. Many people look at this time and think I walked the 3.1 mile course, but no, I gave it my all! I walked away from this 5k hooked on the magical race atmosphere!
I spent the next year in training for the Akron marathon relay. My first step was gathering a few friends and convincing them to train with me. I ended up doing the 10k portion of the marathon relay and now I was even more hooked than before!
After seeing the blue line that the race officials paint on the road for the Akron marathon, I knew that I wanted to follow the entire route of the Akron marathon. I wanted to be a marathoner! The desire for more was undeniable!
I don’t love running fast, but there’s a joy in me in running far! It’s so hard to believe that I have found something that I truly love. I used to hate the Akron marathon because it shut down my life for a day. Now, however, I love the Akron marathon!
To put my journey from couch potato to marathoner in perspective, I started my weight loss journey in June 2017. In August 2017, I completed my first 5k with a pace of 15:05 . I then officially became a marathoner in September 2019 with a pace of 11:52! I am so proud of this improvement in pace and distance!
Q: If you could give advice to anyone who is just starting out with getting healthier or running, what would you tell them?
No man is an island. We need other people. I did things backwards and essentially did this by myself. At a certain point, however, I knew I needed professionals; a running coach, a nutritionist, etc. Don’t be afraid to seek the help of a professional.
Also, I want others to know that we can’t hate ourselves thin and we can’t hate ourselves fast. You must show yourself a lot of love.
Q: Finally, what’s next for you Katie?
Recently, I’ve had a lot of conversations on Instagram about seasons of life. Your seasons are going to look different. As long as you are putting one foot in front of the other through the seasons, you are going to be alright.
Now that I’ve lost a bunch of weight (160 pounds to be exact) and completed a marathon, I myself have been asking, “What’s next?” I’ve concluded that I would like to PR my half marathon. In order to accomplish this goal, I have recently started working with a coach.
I am also going to continue to befriend, encourage, and be inspired by my friends on the gram.
You may follow along on Katie’s weight loss and running journey on Instagram at weightlossindresses. Have you lost a lot of pounds and/or have an inspirational running story? We’d love to feature you! To be the next featured runner, tag the Run Strong Community on Instagram and use hashtag #runstrongcommunity. We can’t wait to feature you!
Read about Stephanie’s own weight loss journey from couch potato to marathoner here.