Katie Zephir: 106 Pounds Lighter
The 700 Club
September 1, 2010
TROUBLE WITH HER WEIGHT
Katie was never really overweight growing up, but she was always a bit larger than the other kids her age. In high school, she started to struggle with her weight. Even though she was athletic, she felt the need to constantly watch exactly what she ate and was worried about her size.
After graduation, Katie started cosmetology school, which is where she picked up most of her bad eating habits. “I ate fast food for every meal while in cosmetology school, then stayed up late at night and hung out with my friends 'till all hours of the night where we would end our night with a huge pizza or Taco Bell,” says Katie.
Her weight continued to climb slowly, but Katie, then 19, tried all kinds of diets, from Atkins to the Cabbage Soup Diet. Regardless of what she did, she never really lost weight, and she didn't make any lifestyle changes. After a few weeks being on a diet, she would give up and fall right back into her old eating habits. She ate whatever she wanted, mostly fast food, and didn't exercise at all.
She met Chris in November of 2003. They dated for about eight months and got engaged August 2004. She weighed 193 pounds. “I was just amazed that I was that large, but even still, I didn't have complete success. I got down to about 180 for our wedding day, then very quickly settled into that married life comfort zone,” she says.
Soon Katie put those 13 pounds back on, plus a little more. She became pregnant with their first child, Maddison Elisabeth, in January 2006. When she stepped on the scale for her first prenatal visit, her jaw hit the floor. “I was 202 pounds and just mortified,” she says, “but clearly I didn't stay mortified long.” During her pregnancy, Katie gained 60 more pounds.
Shortly after moving into their new home, Katie became pregnant with their son, Thomas O'Neal and started that pregnancy at 230 pounds. After Thomas was born, Katie weighed 260 pounds. “This was when a small light bulb started going off and saying, 'Katie you are closer to 300 pounds than you are to 200',” she says.
GETTING IT TOGETHER
Katie started Weight Watchers and was slowly taking off weight. Then she mentioned that she wanted to start running to lose weight. “Boy did my family laugh at me! But the real laughter was when I said, not only do I want to start running, but I want to run a half marathon,” says Katie. In November 2008, she ran her first race, a 5K, without training.
At this point Katie was feeling inspired, so in May 2009, Katie registered for the Rock 'n Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon. She said she could barely walk upstairs in their house without getting out of breath. She looked up some information on interval running and got up the next morning and started running. She started slowly at first by running two minutes then walking for three minutes.
Katie slowly reached her training goals. Then in September 2009, Katie ran the half-marathon in 3 hours and 4 minutes. She weighed in that morning at 199 pounds. She was so inspired and proud of herself that she continued to run. Since then Katie has added weight training and spinning to her regime. She has competed in a few shorter races since then and also completed a sprint triathalon in March 2010 (300 meter swim, 10 mile bike and 5k run).
Katie simply changed the way she ate. “I never have deprived myself of something. I still ate whatever I wanted. I just have smaller portions and definitely make smarter choices,” she says. She eats lean proteins such as chicken, low-fat hamburger, lean steak and ground turkey. She eats fruit, drinks protein shakes and smoothies and has stopped drinking regular sodas.
Her exercise regime includes weight training three or four times a week and cardio four or five times a week. “I've gone on small breaks and not exercised for a month, but I very quickly see a difference in how I feel not only physically but mentally,” says Katie. “I feel that I've definitely made this a lifestyle change and think it's even influenced my husband a little bit to get back in the gym. He's working out all the time, eating healthy, and has even decided that he would like to run the 2010 half marathon with me."
As of May 1, it has been one year since Katie started running, and she has lost a total of 106 pounds, and 56 inches.
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