How I Lost 85 Pounds And Found My Running Shoes

When I first came across Katie Johnson’s Blog Fit Living Daily I was totally inspired by Katie’s phenomenal transformation but what is most inspiring about Katie is her warm-heartedness and her desire to reach out to and encourage others to become involved in their own weight loss. As an ambassador for fitness and weight loss; Katie has created a platform for others who are walking the weight loss path where they can go for support and encouragement. This is what Katie had to say about it;

I started Anonymous Dieter Posts to help people express themselves when they’re losing weight, when people in their lives don’t want to listen. I intend it to be a sort of sounding board where people can read how much alike we all actually are during the weight loss process.

Katie’s amazing transformation, her desire to help others achieve their weight loss goals by offering support and teaching self-belief and her love affair with running encouraged me to request a guest post from Katie for Top Running Tips. So without further ado…

How I Lost 85 Pounds And Found My Running Shoes – A Guest Post By Katie Johnson

I sat there thinking about the horrible, terrible second option: I was going to have to lose weight and a lot of it.

On December 24 of 2009, a little over a year ago, I was a tight size 22 and 283 pounds. I was flying home from a business trip with my husband and could barely buckle my seatbelt in my middle seat. My fat spilling over the armrest, I was in pure misery.

I watched a young woman in a seat across the aisle that was of average size. She had so much room in her seat. Oh, how I envied her.

On that long, boring 5 hour flight, I thought, while I tried not to move. I figured I’d just have to stop traveling with my husband; there was nothing else I could do.

Well, my husband travels ¾ of the year, so to not ever travel with him would mean I wouldn’t see him. How can you continue a healthy 30 year marriage if you never see each other?

I sat there thinking about the horrible, terrible second option: I was going to have to lose weight and a lot of it.

When I got home, I looked for books by people who had successfully lost a lot of pounds and found Shauna Reid’s, “The Adventures of Diet Girl.” Shauna lost 175 pounds over 5 year’s time. She took a long time to lose the weight but she never quit.

That taught me something huge. If I just started and I didn’t quit, I couldn’t fail. I would take my time.

Weight loss is actually a giant growth process, you have to go through the process to lose the weight and keep it off. Losing the pounds isn’t enough. If you don’t change who you are and what you think and do, you’ll gain it all back.

I connected with other weight loss bloggers and learned that every one of us has the same struggles, the same doubts and pretty much the same problems. I realized that I wasn’t unique.

I got it. Every single thing that happens, good or bad, is simply a learning experience. Learn from it and push on. There is no failing if you simply refuse to quit.

Taking The First Steps

That’s not the lifestyle I wanted to live.

I began on December 28 with a goal in mind of just 15 or 20 pounds. Although I hadn’t been able to lose anything for the past decade; I figured that if I could somehow pull that off, then at least I wouldn’t look as puffy in the face. Maybe I could fit more comfortably in a plane seat.

There was no way I could look at the over 100 pounds I actually needed to lose. 15-20 was already too much for my mind to handle.

I laid down the law in my journal: I’d do some form of exercise every day, even if I despised it, but I’d pick something that I wouldn’t suffer over. I’d work toward eating only whole foods with a mindset of giving up all fast food and processed foods forever, not just for awhile.

I knew I had to make a true change of heart and habit. I envisioned myself as a slender, healthy person. I refused to entertain fantasies of decadent foods.

If a thought popped into my mind that was unhelpful, I’d immediately picture myself eating a healthy dinner or out running in the desert in my size medium running pants.

I couldn’t afford to allow thoughts of eating bad foods into my head. That’s not the lifestyle I wanted to live. It was all about re-training my mind and my expectations for myself and my picture of my future.

Three Things To Cement Commitment

I started out with tiny steps: Stop eating this, start eating that, take a 20 minute walk as slowly as I wanted to go. I promised myself that if I ever felt overwhelmed or trapped by something I was doing, that I would have enough compassion for myself to look at my options and see how I could change whatever was bothering me. That one tool helped me almost more than anything else.I wrote in my journal daily without stopping to correct grammar or spelling. I just let it all out on the page.I blogged about my experiences at, Fit Living Daily, named as a daily reminder that I wasn’t looking to lose pounds only, I wanted to develop a Fit Life that I lived DAILY.

A Love Affair With Running

…I’m not focusing on the pounds anymore.

A few months ago, I hired an online trainer for a few months. One of the first things I told her I wanted to work into my fitness program was to run one mile, even if I never ran more than that. She laid out an easy walk/run program for me and when I hit that mile goal, she asked if a 5K might be a goal in my future.

“No way. Ha! Nooo. Hmm. Hmm.” The thought would NOT leave my mind for days.

I bought the Couch to 5K app for my phone and said; “I’ll just try it.” (Are you starting to notice a pattern here? Apparently I tend to tip-toe into almost everything.)

The C25K program was so hard at first but it was only 3 days a week, which was no-pressure. I ran 3 days and walked 4 days and in week 3, I was running along, enjoying the view, forgetting about how hard it was to run. Then; I realized it wasn’t hard!

Just for kicks, I had to look up 5Ks. Before I knew it, I’d signed up for the Cupid’s Chase 5K, 6 weeks out. With much fear, I trained for and ran that race. I’m a very slow runner. I had a goal of 45 minutes going in but I ran it in 40:40 and came in 3rd of 4 for my age group.

I’m 198 pounds and a size 13 now. I still have about 20 pounds to lose but I’m not focusing on the pounds anymore. I’m committed to building muscle, running well and getting into great shape.

I figure the pounds will come off as a bi-product of the fitness,
 but even if they don’t, I’m not too worried. In truth, I would eat well and keep my weight down JUST so I could run. I love it that much. It feels like I’ve come home and I don’t ever want to leave again.

A Love Affair With Running

Connect With Katie

Check out Katie’s blog Fit Living Daily or Anonymous Dieter Posts and you can connect with Katie on Twitter @fitlivingdaily