On this page, you can read about my personal weight loss story and my before and after weight loss journey.
Actually, I don't blame you at all if you came here to find out more about the real person behind this website... The "About" page is usually one of the first that I visit on any informational website. After all, you're probably wondering what makes me such an "authority" on the topic of weight loss, right? Well, I don't know if I'd really call myself an authority, but I AM going through the weight loss struggle myself, right now.
So, although I really don't enjoy talking about myself that much, I always build one of these pages as soon as I get a new website going. But, on this site, it's especially important... since the site is meant to be all about weight loss success and I hope to be one of those personal weight loss success stories myself one day!
Hi there... my name is Kathi MacNaughton and I am a 50ish married woman, living currently in beautiful Boise, Idaho. I say, "currently" because this is the 4th place I've lived in the last 5 years, though I stayed for about 13 years in each of my 2 previous adult homes. And I'm not really sure that Boise is where I'm going to spend the rest of my life, either. I guess you could say I'm a bit of a nomad...
I am a registered nurse by background, having spent the better part of my career in nursing administration at a home health agency. It was a career I loved for a long time, but eventually, I was meant to move on and become someone new. I dabbled with technical writing and technical support for a clinical software company.
Then I spent a couple of years learning to write health education web-based materials for the layperson, which I loved. But I didn't love the corporate politics and bull**** that went along with it. So, in 2002, I became a freelance writer and web entrepreneur, and I've never looked back!
These days, most of my writing is for myself... I specialize in creating informational websites on a wide variety of topics, including resume writing, motor scooters, online home business, and quick, easy dinners, among others. I LOVE what I do, and if you want to know more about that aspect of my life, check out my page on your own home business.
OK, I'm going to bare my soul here... in hopes you will realize I'm a lot like you. I've been a shrimp all my life, measuring in at under 5 feet... and shrinking, unfortunately. I was never as tiny around as my mother though, who didn't even weigh 100 pounds when pregnant! I have a bigger frame than she does. I remember being all upset in college when I gained a couple of pounds and went "way" up to 105 pounds!
But as the years went on and I had 2 kids, I did gain a few pounds here and there. I remember weighing in at a mall for some reason with my dad one time at 117 pounds and he commented on he couldn't believe I weighed that much. Jeez... that was humiliating and made me feel very fat. But I guess when your wife never even got up to 100 pounds pregnant, it's understandable... sort of.
In the mid 1990s, I gained up to around 135 pounds, which may not sound like much if you're taller than me, but at my height, it made me overweight. Some of the ladies I worked with joined Weight Watchers, so I did it along with them and ended up losing about 20 pounds in 8 months. I was ecstatic, and my weight stayed pretty good for the next few years.
By 1998, I'd gotten a bit heavier, but not as heavy as I'd been before Weight Watchers. Then I met my future husband and everything changed. I met him in karate class, which I'd been attending twice a week, and he immediately inspired me to attend an extra class or two each week (which I was glad to do, just to be near him!). What can I say? I was in love.
At the time, I was also taking a couple of Jazzercise classes every week (aerobics) with my teenaged daughter. And then, my new love introduced me to country dancing, which we did 3 to 4 times a week, usually for 4 to 5 hours at a pop. And when we went dancing, we danced to nearly every song.
Before I knew it, without even trying, I'd lost about 15 pounds. It was the tiniest I'd been in years! And all that without making one change in how I ate. Not that I was a terribly unhealthy eater, but I did eat fast food at least once a week. Point is, I lost the weight simply by becoming more active, without thinking about what I was eating at all. Sure wish that's where my weight loss success story about Kathi ended... but it was not to be...
My Jim and I are adventurers, and so in 2005, with our 4 kids grown, we started a cross country journey. Jim had decided to change careers from system engineering to teaching high school math. And as I mentioned above, I had started my own freelance writing and website development business, which I loved, but which also required long hours sitting in front of a computer.
Though Jim and I had both lived in southern NJ near Philadelphia, PA for 2 to 3 decades, neither one of was from there (he from western PA and me from western NY), nor had we planned to live out our lives there. In the years since we'd met, we'd discovered a mutual love for the western mountains and had explored various places we could live.
So, in late 2005, we moved to Missoula, Montana, a place that instantly felt like home to us. Unfortunately, when Jim couldn't find a permanent teaching position there (it's a very competitive job market there), we had to move to where the jobs were... in rural central Idaho. We hated it there and then my mother — who lived in southern Idaho in the city of Boise — started having major health problems.
In the summer of 2007, we moved to Boise. It was the right move for many reasons. But all that moving around was stressful. And when Mom ended up going in and out of the hospital 5 times in 10 months and then had to move in with us in a too tiny house (all that we could afford), things got really stressful. One of the results of all that stress was my weight ballooning.
A couple of other factors were at play too. I don't know if you're aware, but teachers get paid peanuts and my home business is still pretty new and growing. So for a couple years there, we really didn't have much money and we certainly couldn't afford to buy as much healthy food as we'd have liked. We ended up eating a lot of hot dogs, mac n' cheese and the like.
Also, once Mom's health went downhill, we were no longer able to get get away and do all the hiking and backpacking we'd once done. Actually, we haven't done any of that since moving west, partly because of Mom and partly because for 3 summers, we were too busy moving and packing and looking for jobs (Jim).
Also, while still in NJ, we finished our karate training, having attained black belts. Although we continued on a less frequent basis for a while, by the time we moved away from NJ, we'd quit going. At the same time, we haven't been able to locate a really great dancing place anywhere we've lived out west. It's disappointing, because we both love to dance and we miss it.
And then the third factor is that I hit menopause while living in Missoula. Menopause, and the hormonal changes that go along with it, can definitely lead to a slowing of your metabolism and weight gain. At the same time, I've been working night and day to build my business the last 4 years, so I didn't make time for as much exercise as I should have.
And so, to finish up this story about Kathi, here I am in the late winter of 2010, 50 pounds overweight! Aaargh... I just can't believe I let it get this far. I hate how I look and I hate how I feel. Jim and I finally got married in June of 2009 (after 10 years together), and I desperately wanted to lose weight for the wedding. I tried, but I only had 3 months and it just didn't really happen. So I was a fat, though happy, bride.
But in the fall, we finally decided to join our local Y. Actually, the year before, we'd joined a Planet Fitness a bit closer to us and I went regularly for a few months, but it bored me, as all they have there are cardio and weight training machines. I like classes. The Y offers yoga, a form of aerobic dancing called Zumba and kickboxing, among many other offerings, including a 1/12 mile track and a pool.
Shortly after I joined the Y, I started watching Biggest Loser on TV for some reason, and I have to say it captivated me. I found it very inspirational and motivating. Even though my weight isn't close to most of the contestants' (thank goodness), I could definitely relate to their struggles.
That led me to the Biggest Loser Club website, where you can make use of a lot of the same tools they use on the show and also get tons of support from people like you, who are trying to lose. It looked pretty interesting and the cost was reasonable.
I'm learning that a crucial part of any weight loss program is accountability. So, one of the reasons I'm chronicling my weight loss journey here on this site is to make myself accountable. I'll be posting here regularly, as well as on my blog. This will definitely be a learning experience for me, but I'm hoping that my frank and open sharing of the good and the bad will also help other 50ish women like me to embrace weight loss journeys of their own.
I can't say I'm a complete weight loss success story yet... but I plan to be! So now you know more about my personal weight loss journey and why I built this website.
By the way, if you've ever wanted to build a website yourself, you ought to check into Site Build It; it's how I built this site and all of my other successful information sites and I highly recommend it.
Click the links below to read each of the updates to my story. For more detail, check out my weight loss journal blog, but for monthly updates, this page will give you an overview.
Please Note: The box below is only for ME to type in my new updates. If you want to submit your own weight loss success story, then visit our Share Your Story page.
Update August 2011
Still having trouble posting here regularly... it's been a busy summer... I became a grandmother! I have the most adorable little baby grandson EVER... …
Overdue Update & Recommitment to My Weight Loss Journey
OK, ashamed as I am to admit it, I stumbled in my weight loss journey and I just stopped trying. I hit a plateau I couldn't seem to get off of and so I …
Update June 26, 2010
Time for an update. Actually, I should have written this a while back, but I've been struggling with juggling all my virtual balls in the air, of late. …
May 20 - What a Difference a Couple of Months Makes!
Actually, it's been almost 3 months since I last posted here... oops! But here's the good news... I've lost 24 pounds since I started this journey! Yay …
3/31/10 - Found My Motivation & Getting Results!
I've been in my weight loss plan for over 2 months now and I'm happy to say I'm losing weight steadily, though slowly, and I'm feeling great! I haven't …
February 22 - Motivation
Well, I'm one month into my weight loss program, and I'm struggling just a bit with motivation. At my weigh in on Friday, I didn't lose. Then the weekend …
Let's Get This Story Started!
No time like the present to get the weight loss journey story started. So, you already read above... I'm fat. I weigh more than I want to or should, from …