Thursday, November 4, 2010

Losing It

We're so happy to have Katie Cowan at Bloom today talking about her journey back to her pre-baby body. Our friendship with Ms. Cowan dates back to our college days - we were roommates for a spell - it's been fun to stay connected in the blogosphere. We felt like we were celebrating her weight loss right along with her even though we're many miles apart. Thanks for being here and sharing your story, Katie...

I've never been a skinny girl. I look back now and want to hit my high school self and tell me that I am beautiful and curvy and that I should love myself because I was actually pretty darn cute. But not skinny. I probably looked my best in college, that magical time of life where you can focus entirely on YOU. Man those were lovely days.


Now I am a mother of 3, living in Los Angeles and finally learning to love my body. I gained close to 40 (OK maybe 50!) pounds with each pregnancy. I never worked very hard at losing too much weight between each baby. One day I realized it had been over a year since my son had been born and I was still wearing the SPANX I bought shortly after his birth. And I can't believe I am admitting this, but I couldn't even fit in the largest size of any designer jeans! To me this was a fate worse than death!

Before (It is no accident I chose such a small picture!)



I decided it was time. Time to work on me. I was 28 years old and I knew it would only get harder the older I got. And it worked! I have had some amazing success and I am here today to share the 3 (actually 4) things that have helped me achieve my goals.

1. Exercise. Let's be honest, you really can't lose weight and keep it off without it. I am pretty much the least athletic person I know. In junior high my friends talked me into joining a basketball league with them and lets just say I was the ONLY girl who never scored in any game. Totally embarrassing. So not only do I not play any sports whatsoever, I hate going to the gym. Too many people staring and just getting there and finding child care, it's just too much work. I would never do it. My sister suggested some work out videos her friends were into. They are only 20 minutes long and they shed fat like you wouldn't believe! If you are interested you can see my fave HERE. I just get up earlier than the kids and then it's over with and my day isn't interrupted. I found that for me as long as exercise isn't a hassle, I can get it done!

2. Eating less. That's all I did. I eat whatever I want, just half of the portion I was eating before. At first this was hard, but after a while my body got used to fewer calories and now that is just how I eat, and I have never felt better! This has been the hardest party of my new lifestyle but it has really been interesting to learn how to listen to my body's cues and to stop eating when I am actually full.

3. Support. It is nearly impossible to change your lifestyle and lose weight without others to join in or encourage you. My husband has been great during all of this. He never in all of our 9 years together made me feel anything less than beautiful but when I decided it was time to lose the weight he has been behind me 100%. He is great at cheering me on and celebrating with me when I reached a new milestone. My friends have also been very supportive, always telling me how great I look and how proud they are of me. They have also been doing the videos and we love to talk about all of the workouts we do!

4. Timing. All of this happened during an incredibly stressful time of my life. I was dealing with some pretty difficult issues and I know that it was partly because of this I succeeded this time around. Stepping on that scale every week was a really high point for me. It gave me a sense of control and satisfaction that I wasn't getting anywhere else. I have come to realize that it really has to be the right time for you mentally and emotionally for this to work.

My total weight loss was 40 pounds. I look and feel better that I have in many years. I am even thinner than I was when I got married!

After



There is simply no way anyone can lose weight exactly the way I did it. You have to find the things that motivate you. You have to look at your schedule and your self control. Maybe the gym or running or swimming is for you. Maybe you need a stricter diet, like Weight Watchers or something. I am just hoping that by sharing my experience you can get some ideas that can help you improve the way you live. Good luck!

-Katie

21 comments:

liz said...

We need to put those pictures side by side -- it doesn't even look like the same person! Amazing, Katie. I just started using that same video (for me it's not a weight issue, but a "finding my abs" issue) and it's the perfect thing because of the short time -- 20 minutes. I just can't find the time/energy/motivation to do an hour -- I was working out only once a week or so because I was trying to do too much. 20 minutes I can do every single day. But you have to work really hard for those 20, which is what JM makes you do. Love it. Thanks for sharing your story -- you look great!

Sally said...

Well shucks, I wasn't really wanting to get on my treadmill this morning but you've motivated me. So many people set out to eat right and excercise, but most of us give up after a week or two. Great job sticking with it! You look fantastic!

The Jensen Family said...

Katie--

You are amazing--inside and out! Good work!

Kari said...

I want an after picture of you in jeans!

LC (+1) said...

Katie, you're amazing. Not only because you lost all those lbs but because you're so open and real about it which inspires people instead of making them envious. Speaking of which, we need to hang out so I can get a little dose of that inspiration! :)

Honey said...

I LOVE this post! Thank you Katie, you look fabulous! What an accomplishment!

jordancristine said...

I like the idea of a video before the baby wakes up! Thanks for a good idea :)

Molly said...

Great post! I am trying to lose about 40 pounds myself. I love that you didn't do anything drastic, and it worked! YOu look great!

Rae. said...

Good job! You look great!

Spiresfam said...

Katie,

You are HOT!! Way to go! You have given me the kick in the butt I needed. I was wondering what other videos your sister suggested. Are they all Jillian ones?

bjahlstrom said...

I would like to add to this with an AMEN! I had about 40 pounds to lose, as well, and have been working on this goal for about a year. Off and on I'd try different things, but I have finally seen true results this past month.

I did just what Katie did...Jillian Michaels' 30-day Shred workout, 3 times a week, and eating about half of what I normally eat. I went from a size 16 to a 14 in just one month, and I'm amazed.

I tried watching my eating, or I'd try working out exclusively, but neither approach on its own offered results. The combination was key.

You're awesome, Katie, and I can't wait to join you in your success!

Katie said...

Jillian just came out with a new video a few months ago, "Shred it with weights." Love it too! Super hard! I also heard her Yoga video is great, really good for the days you need something a little less intense.

Thanks for all of the positive comments!

Kate said...

Wow Katie, you look awesome! I've been meaning to comment on your blog and tell you so, but never find the time! You are a motivation. And I love that you still eat what you want, just smaller portions. Because when I tell myself I can't have it, it's all I think about!

Way to go!

Laura said...

Great story! Thanks for sharing!

Chrissy said...

So proud, that's my sis!

Laurel said...

Katie, you are absolutely fabulous! Thanks for sharing your success and making it so accessable. You look amazing, but you have always been a beauty. xoxo

The Parkers said...

I am truly inspired and motivated now to get my act together and loose the 25 lbs I've been hanging onto. I would love to know, Katie, how many times a week you did that video (3 times? 5 times?) and if you mixed in any other workouts/videos with it? How long did it take you to see results and to get to your goal weight? I have been avoiding starting anything because I thought it would require so much work and thought, but your system makes it seem so simple. And one more thing--what are you doing now to maintain? Has your eating approach or workout schedule changed at all?

You look FANTASTIC by the way. A super hottie....you should be so proud of yourself! Thank you for sharing your story and for inspiring us all!

Katie said...

I exercise Monday-Friday, I need 2 days off for sure! I really just did the videos I have.

I continue to do the videos (my husband has been doing them with me lately!) I will occasionally go for a long walk and I intend to do some yoga once in a while. As far as eating, I have let myself eat more sweets than I allowed when I was really trying to lose the weight. But I just really try to watch my portion size.

I guess I wouldn't mind losing a few more pounds (it's addicting!) but I am really proud of my work. Thanks so much for the sweet comments!

Katie said...

Oh and I lost 5 pounds the first week! The it took me about 6 months to lose the 40 pounds! Not too bad, I saw results almost immediately!

Sandi said...

So proud of you Katie Girl. You are an inspiration in so many ways!

The Bell Family said...

You're a celebrity Katie! I'm so proud to call you my friend! It was so fun watching you shed those pounds. You always looked beautiful even before you started losing the weight, but what was the most amazing thing was how much more confident you were and how your personality changed the more the weight came off. I am so proud of you for sticking with it. You are inspiring so many women by sharing your story. Love you!