Cathrine Shinn has lost 100 pounds in the last 12 months and has quite an amazing story to share.
Check out her wonderful journey in an exclusive interview with Women Fitness below.
Highest weight – what month and year? 331.6, January 2017
Current weight – what year did you reach that weight? 233, January 2018
How tall are you? 5’9”
Current Age: 50
When did you realize that you needed to lose weight?
Ten years ago, a change in my career to a school administrator started a pattern of skipping breakfast, frequently not stopping for lunch, and then eating excessively when I arrived home late in the evening. I would occasionally stop for a breakfast sandwich on the way to work that was packed with fat. If I did eat during the day, the snacks tended to be high calorie, high sodium, high carbohydrate, highly processed snacks. Drinking wine or cocktail in the evenings was a frequent part of my routine. I had a fitness tracker and celebrated reaching 10,000 steps a day, but there were many days I did not meet that goal. Other than my steps, I did not include any additional exercise. After months of changing my lifestyle, I recreated a typical day and calculated that I could easily consume 3,000-4,000 calories a day. I ate when I was bored, sad, happy, angry, but never really paid attention to hunger. Over 10 years, I put on 100 pounds. The final month before I made significant changes in my life included Thanksgiving and Christmas. I gained my typical 10 pounds that I would regret, and lose during January, only to slowly put back on.
How has your weight loss journey been? What were the milestones that you had to overcome?
My job changed again in September 2016, and I went from a school based to a central office administrator, a primarily desk based position. In January 2017, I finished climbing the 10 steps to the front of my office building and had to stop to catch my breath. I was too embarrassed to walk in for fear a colleague would stop to talk and hear my heavy breathing, so I pretended to check something on my phone before entering. Having recently been diagnosed as pre-diabetic and was treated for high blood pressure, and with a father and sister who have developed type 2 diabetes, I decided something had to change. I was scared.
I have tried many diet plans and had some success with all. I understand portion size, nutrition and the simple math of calories in and out, but I couldn’t stick with anything for more than a few months. I’d been dreaming of a service that would send me real, prepared food that was healthy, nutritious, calorie and sodium controlled, portioned and delicious. In mid-January, I placed my first order from Diet-to-Go. It checked all my boxes. Every meal includes a protein, grain and fruit or vegetable, and only has to be heated to eat. No pills, shakes or freeze-dried processed food. I started with 1200 calories a day and breakfast, lunch and dinner, five days a week. The remaining two days I ate whatever I wanted, which typically meant eating with my old habits. In spite of this, I started noticing a significant weight loss. Without any additional changes to my routine, I’d lost 30 pounds by mid March 2017.
In April, a friend introduce me to the fitness app, Lose It! I started recording EVERYTHING I consumed, even on the “bad” days. Being honest and accountable for what I ate, and monitoring my calories, I was even more aware of calories in and out. I could plan my days or would make myself stop at each meal or snack and enter what I ate. Monitoring boosted my enthusiasm about my changing lifestyle. It became almost a game to stay at or under my calories each day. If I knew I was eating out, or as a holiday approached, I could save a few calories each day to compensate.
I stuck with both, and by January 2018, I shed about 100 pounds.
What is your fitness regime like?
I can honestly say I have never enjoyed working out and could not imagine finding the time. Never. Ever. It was not even a consideration when I started these changes in my life. I was too embarrassed to think of going to a gym. I didn’t even want to walk in my neighborhood. By August 2017, I’d lost about 65 pounds, but the calories I could eat each day to continue my weight loss were diminishing, and I like to eat! I was also unwilling to completely give up things I love, like an occasional glass of wine or a really delicious cheese. Late in August 2017, I started walking in my neighborhood 30 minutes a day.
I would typically do this early in the morning and in the dark. When I finished I would stretch on my deck under the stars. It was peaceful, and I started to fell stronger, physically and emotionally. After hitting a patch of rainy weather in September, I finally decided I needed the gym for back up. I joined the lowest cost gym I could find because I wasn’t sure I would use it. Since I joined, I have consistently gone to the gym a minimum of five days a week. I spend 30-50 minutes a day on cardio machines, primarily elliptical and arc trainers. I feel amazing and I feel stronger physically and emotionally every day. My coordination has also improved. I have recently added weight training to my routine two days a week. I have learned that I have to make this commitment to myself each morning. I am at the gym by 5:30 during the week and allow myself to sleep in on weekends, but almost always get there by 10:00. I think of it as taking care of myself before I take care of anyone else.
In a typical day, what do you take for breakfast-lunch-dinner? And what are your go-to healthy snacks?
I eat Diet-to-Go meals five days a week, supplementing with healthy, 100-200 calorie snacks occasionally. I focus on high protein, low sodium, low calorie snacks. On the other two days, I monitor portion size based on what I received in my prepared meals from Diet-to-Go. I also rely on gum and liquids. I drink at least 100 ounces of water and tea. I limit my alcohol consumption to two drinks a week.
Who/What do you consider the greatest motivation behind your healthy weight loss journey?
Myself. I hold myself accountable. Skipping workouts is not an option. Not recording what I consume is not an option. During Thanksgiving and Christmas, I traveled to our families lake house and was concerned about the extra calories of the holiday and being away from my gym routine. I found a local community center that allowed me to continue my routine, and encouraged the family to walk with me every day. This was my first holiday season in many years that I did not gain a pound!
What is your 2018 New Year Resolution to maintain a healthy & fit lifestyle?
Plan ahead and be accountable to stay on-track. I know not every lifestyle would easily lend itself to having prepared meals available. I have learned to portion and prepare meals similar to those delivered. Again, recording everything I consume as I consume it allows me to be honest about what I eat and to balance that with calories burned. It is okay to have that occasional slice of pizza, as long as you work it off!
For more such real inspiring stories, check out here.