Editor’s note: Cathrine Shinn lost 100 pounds using Diet-to-Go, and has managed to maintain that weight loss for two years.* We regularly catch up with Cathrine to learn her tips and tricks for weight loss, healthy living and more!
Current weight: 230
Time since losing 110 pounds: Two years.
When you’re on a weight loss journey, there are times when you are going to reach plateaus. And there are times when you’re going feel hopeless.
But here’s the thing, sometimes you only need a few small changes to push past those moments and get yourself right back on track.
Cathrine’s been there — and she has made those changes to work wonders for her own weight loss journey.*
1) Rethink your goals.
Many of us start out by setting lofty weight loss goals. “I want to lose 50 pounds by summer.” Or, “My goal is to shed 10 pounds per month.”
But Cathrine found success in a very different way.
“I never had a goal of, ‘I’m going to lose 10 pounds,’” she said. “I didn’t set weight goals. I set goals about my eating.”
Cathrine set out by sticking exclusively to Diet-to-Go on the five-days-per-week, three-meals-per-day Balance plan.
“I truly just used Diet-to-Go,” she said. “That was the only thing I did. I wasn’t exercising. I ate the meal plan…and I didn’t eat anything else for those five days each week. On weekends, I was letting myself have whatever I wanted.”
2) Overcome your fear of exercising.
The gym can be intimidating. Fitness classes can be scary. The good news? You don’t have to go there until you’re ready.
“Move. You have to move,” Cathrine said. “Moving made all the difference for me. I didn’t start at a gym. I walked around the neighborhood where I didn’t think anyone would see me.”
Cathrine did that for weeks. And it worked. The next thing she knew, she was on the track to take things to the next level.
“Then it rained for a week, and I got really anxious,” Cathrine said.
3) Lean on your support network.
The rain, the weight she had already lost and consistency with walking meant Cathrine was ready. But she didn’t want to go it alone.
“I called a friend who had a gym membership,” she said. “He took me to the gym. We just walked on the treadmill. And that was all it took for me. Being there with a friend gave me the confidence to do it.”
Cathrine soon found her own gym, something that fit with her personality.
“I found a gym that fit me. It’s not fancy,” she said. “It’s weight machines and cardio machines. It was less intimidating that way. I don’t think I would have been comfortable in a fancier place. You have to find the place that’s right for you.”
4) Don’t lose too fast.
When you have a lot to lose, the weight can come off very quickly. That can be exciting, but it can also be a recipe for disaster.
“I lost 40 pounds in the first four months, 70 by nine months,” Cathrine said. “That last 30 pounds was really slow. There were times I’d get discouraged. There were times I’d tell myself that this was going to be like every other time, times I got bored and lost my commitment.
That thought process, she added, could have spelled disaster. Cathrine didn’t let it.
“I’ve had so many experiences losing weight and gaining it back,” she said. “But this time, I kept the structures in place throughout it, and I just kept going.”
And eventually, it paid off.
“The day I saw I’d lost 100 pounds, I wept — I wept tears of joy because I hadn’t given up,” she said. “It was just such a joyful moment.”
5) Analyze the data.
Calorie-tracking apps or food diaries are a critical component to success.
“One of the things that helped me most was data,” Cathrine said. “I was focused on when I was eating and why I was eating as much as what I was eating. I’ve always been an emotional eater…really feeling hunger again wasn’t something I felt for a long time. I was making sure I was eating because I was hungry, not because I was bored or sad.”
When things feel like they’re not moving in the direction you’d like them to, go back through what you’ve been eating. What small changes should you be making? What little things have crept in that may by sabotaging you?
6) Stay accountable.
There are going to be times that you’re going to forget why you started and want to give up. Or you may feel good about how far you come and say, “Ok, I’m done now!” Or maybe people have noticed your success and that makes you feel uncomfortable.
Cathrine said that is exactly the kind of thing she had to acknowledge and overcome.
“Talking to people about what I was doing was key,” Cathrine said. “In the past, when people would notice, that would slow me down. This time when people noticed and started saying, ‘You look so beautiful and you’ve so much weight!’ I’d talk to them about what I was doing. That kept me accountable.”
7) Remember, there are no shortcuts to weight loss.
Fad diets, pills, surgeries — they all come with promises of a quick, easy fix. And they are all nonsense.
“I’ve taken a lot of them over my life. I’ve tried every fad diet,” Cathrine said. “It took me until 60 to realize I had to change my relationship with food and change my relationship with movement. That took me 50 years to figure out — that the fad diets were only temporary, that I needed a permanent change to be healthy.”
Cathrine said she found that permanent change with Diet-to-Go.
“It’s the convenience of the food with Diet-to-Go. I like it. It’s delicious,” she said. “I don’t have to think about it. I know it’s healthy, I know it’s portioned right. And I enjoy it.”
She also found it with exercise.
“Your body, I finally realized that was goes in, it has to be burned off,” she said. “You’re fueling your body. I found a way to balance what I eat with my output…that’s my permanent change.”
8) Find unexpected motivation.
Think about the thing that bothered you most about your weight. Was it that something wouldn’t fit? Was it the way people looked at you? Was it just going out in public at all?
Cathrine used to be afraid to sit on chairs at restaurants for fear they’d break underneath her weight. She used to hate traveling because she’d have to ask for seatbelt extenders on the plane.
“One day, I took a photo of my seatbelt so I could see the pictures. It was so exciting!” Cathrine said. “I sent a photo to my sister.”
She used to wear only expandable clothes, too.
“These days, my motivation is in my closet — getting dressed and feeling confident,” Cathrine said. “That’s never been something I felt good about, but now I do get motivated by being able to get up, get dressed and feeling like I look attractive and am proud of myself. I carry myself differently because of that.”
What do you do when you feel like giving up? Share 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.