Editor’s note: Cathrine Shinn in 2017 lost 100 pounds using Diet-to-Go. We followed Cathrine’s story through 2018 with our blog series “Cathrine’s Corner” because we know if Cathrine can do it, so can you!*
To bring in the New Year, we caught up with Cathrine to learn her three biggest tips for maintaining weight loss and living happy and healthy.
Current weight: 220.6
Overall Goal: Maintenance
For Cathrine Shinn — an administrative executive for a school in Maryland — losing weight was only half the battle. The 50-year-old has lost hundreds of pounds over the years, but the weight always crept back on.
“It’s much harder to maintain [weight] than lose it,” Cathrine said. “For me, the pattern that I always noticed is that when people started to notice I lost weight … that’s always been a time when I stopped focusing on my goals.”
Cathrine said she never liked the attention, and it subconsciously led to her not being as committed.
But when Cathrine signed up for Diet-to-Go in January 2017, things were different.
Cathrine had recently visited her doctor, where she was diagnosed as pre-diabetic and told her A1C was a tenth of a point away from having to take medication, something she’d seen her father and youngest sister do and did not want for herself. The A1C test measures the glucose (blood sugar) in a person’s blood. An A1C level below 5.7 percent is considered normal. An A1C between 5.7 and 6.4 percent signals prediabetes. Type 2 Diabetes is diagnosed when the A1C is over 6.5 percent, according to Everyday Health.
“I begged [my doctor] to try one more time on my own. She told me she’d wait and recheck me in March of 2017,” Cathrine said. “That was the catalyst.”
That was in November of 2016 — and the rest is history. Cathrine spent 2017 losing more than 100 pounds. She avoided the medication, reversed her pre-diabetes and found a level of happiness and healthfulness that she never knew she could have.
“When I think of my life, every single moment and how much my life has changed, I think of Diet-to-Go. It really has changed my life,” Cathrine said.
That kind of success is exactly why we asked Cathrine to share with us her best tips for maintaining weight loss. She had three:
1) Find a meal plan that works.
“I’m still ordering food from DTG. For me, for my lifestyle, it’s food that delicious, nutritious, and it’s something I don’t have to think about putting together,” Cathrine said. “I don’t have to worry that I forgot to pack something, and then grab something unhealthy.”
(Check out Diet-to-Go meal plans at diettogo.com/meal-plans.)
2) Exercise — but find something you enjoy to do so you are more likely to stick to it.
“I exercise…exercise…exercise … which I’ve hated my entire life. I’ve never even enjoyed a sporting activity,” Cathrine said.
Cathrine said after she lost 70 pounds, the number of calories she could take in and continue to lose weight kept dwindling.
“I really like food, and I do like an occasional cocktail,” Cathrine said. “The only way to incorporate those was to burn some calories.”
Cathrine started walking around her neighborhood and eventually joined a health club.
“I do 30 to 45 minutes of cardio — I’m talk heart-pumping, sweating cardio — depending on my weight bearing routine. And I go to the gym five days of the week,” Cathrine said.
Cathrine even took her routine to another level last summer by training for her first 5K.
“I have to do things to keep it interesting,” she said.
At the gym, she tends to gravitate toward the arc trainer.
“I’d have a playlist. I’d manually make it easier or harder. There were songs I’d power through and give it my all,” she said.
She also started rotating routines, such as trying a new prescribed routine on the machine every nine days.
“It doesn’t feel as boring,” Cathrine said. “Some people can’t do what I can do on [the arc trainer]. That makes me feel so stinkin’ strong.”
Exercising has led to a major boost in her self-esteem overall, too.
“Being more physically fit has helped incredibly with my confidence,” she said. “I don’t mind getting attention for being strong or physically fit.”
“It took me 50 years to get there. But for some reason it just came together this time,” she added.
3) Stay accountable.
“I get that through the app Lose It, where I write down everything I eat. I write down the calories in and every time I exercise that gets recorded,” Cathrine said
Cathrine added that having all the Diet-to-Go meals already pre-programmed makes it even easier.
“That monitoring for me of what I was eating, when I was eating it and what I was burning, that has kept me accountable,” she said. “I’m conscious of it, if I’m making a decision at work..in my mind, I’ve entered it into my app. I know if I put that donut it, it’s going to take away what I did that morning. And I’m not willing to make that choice.”
Cathrine said she also keeps a healthy fear of the time when she weighed 330 pounds, especially because she has lost weight and gained it back several times in her life.
“I know if I think I’m too tired to exercise, or if I don’t log something, I know that’s a tiny step back to where I was: unhappy and unhealthy. And I don’t want to be back there,” she said.
BONUS TIP: Don’t beat yourself up
“I used to think of eating as either you’re eating right or you’re cheating,” Cathrine said. “I used to beat myself up when I was ‘cheating,’ eating ice cream or pizza. I’d get so down on myself for making a bad choice, it would put me into a spiral of making more bad choices.”
But with exercise and flexibility, Cathrine has found a healthy balance to avoid that spiral.
“I’ve been able to not get so down on myself if I make less-than-healthy choices because I can pull that back with some activity,” she said.
*Weight loss results may vary. Results not guaranteed.
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.