Editor’s note: Cathrine Shinn lost 100 pounds using Diet-to-Go, and has managed to maintain that weight loss for a year.* This year, we’ll regularly catch up with Cathrine to learn her tips and tricks for weight loss, healthy living and more!
Current weight: 226
Time Since Losing 100 pounds: One year, 2 months
Cathrine’s goal is not necessarily to lose weight. For her, the goal is to maintain her 100-plus pound weight loss — and do so for at least five years.
“Everything you read says if you can maintain it for five years, you’re good,” Cathrine said. “If I lose weight, good, but my goal is maintenance.”
Cathrine said it’s that mindset that kept her going when she recently underwent a medical procedure common with women who experience significant weight loss.
“I was so peaceful with it because I knew my body was stronger than it’s ever been in my adult life,” she said, adding that the surgery went smoothly and she has since bounce backed.
Losing weight and getting to this point has been one of the most important, life-changing experiences she’s ever done.
And along the way, Cathrine learned things that she still holds on today.
“I just cannot tell you how different my life is,” Cathrine said. “I still think about it every day…just the day-to-day things, like getting on an airplane and buckling my seatbelt, or finding a place to sit and no longer worrying,’Can I fit in that chair?’ Those are things that caused me anxiety, that kept me from doing certain things. … I don’t worry about those things anymore.”
Here are 10 Unexpected Things Cathrine Learned From a 100-pound Weight Loss (and Maintenance):
1. I had not realized how bad I felt until I started to feel better.
“The more I felt better, the more I wanted to feel better. Of course in my head, I knew if I lost weight I’d feel better, but I had no idea just how much better I’d feel physically and mentally.”
2. Commitment to writing everything down, every day, is key.
“I can’t just go through a day and not be accountable. I have to be accountable to myself. I’m still writing down what I drink, what I eat and when I exercise.
That’s something I used as a tool from the start. If I let that go, that’s when I know I’ll start to lose weight. That’s one thing Diet-to-Go continues to help me with … the portion sizes are constant reminders of what a portion of chicken looks like, here’s how much of a grain and here’s how much vegetables to eat every meal.”
3. Protein keeps me satisfied longer.
“I need to get a good deal of protein during the day. If I don’t when I get home, I have that insatiable hunger.
Some of my go-to breakfasts that are higher in protein and lower in calories. I definitely monitor the protein I get during the day. … I love that you can see all that on [myDiettogo]. You can see all the nutritional value and build on that.
When I first started, I took the menu as it came. Then I started to find some favorite things. Then I started planning. Some of the things I loved were higher in calories … so I’m more intentional about what I order, because I want as much fuel as I can get.”
4. Prepared snacks are healthier and satisfy my cravings.
“I won’t just make a snack, I’ll make it and portion it. For example, I’ll make a fat-free cream cheese with chopped olives. … If I have it and I portion it out ahead of time…I won’t take an entire container.
I try and do 100-calorie snacks or less with some protein so it fills it out more. I do that with fruit, too. If I have some cantaloupe or strawberries portioned out, I know I can satisfy a sweet craving.
5. Planning ahead helps me find balance.
“If I know I’m eating out a lot, I definitely look for days where I need to increase my cardio because I know I’m going to eat less healthy food with more calories.
6. I don’t deprive myself — but I do it strategically.
“When I have a craving I stop myself and write it down. Once that list gets to 5-10 things, sometimes I’ll go back when I’m not hungry…and I’ll look at that list and see what I was craving most, and I’ll let myself have it. That stops me and makes me think, ‘Do I really want this?’ … I know I can have things occasionally, I just can’t overdo it.”
7. I’m adamant about drinking water.
“I drink water — in whatever form. During the day, I’m very intentional about drinking at least 10 8-ounce glasses of water. I have also found I really like herbal teas, like mint and ginger, to mix things up.”
8. Chewing sugarfree, flavored gum keeps me on-point.
“I chewed flavored gum, especially when I first started. I found some of the craziest flavors to enjoy, and that kept me from snacking. I’d chew one piece for 30 minutes, and it’d help take away the craving.”
9. I sleep enough to feel rested, no matter what.
“Most of the world doesn’t go the sleep at 9 p.m. But I got to the gym in the morning. That’s been a challenge, but it’s something I’ve been committed to. So, I do it, and I get enough sleep. I still don’t know if it’s ‘I get enough sleep and lost weight, ‘or the other way around, but it worked for me.
When I was tired, 2 p.m. would roll around, and that’s when I’d go for chips, or a candy bar or something at work, and it’s because I was tired.”
10. I plan non-food-and-drink social events.
“Most of the time, when I’d get together socially with friends, it would revolve around food or beverages: wine tastings, dinner, at a bar … that kind of thing, I very intentionally invited people to activities different than things that revolved around food and beverages.
When I’m missing someone who I haven’t seen for a while, I’ll say, ‘Let’s meet by the lake and go for a walk.’”
Did you lose weight and learn something special? Help support others by sharing it in the comments below!
Author: Caitlin H
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.