I am Katherine Beneby!
Welcome to my life. This is my story about weight loss and for the first time I am writing about my weight loss journey. I hope this helps someone who may be struggling in this area.
I remember when, in grades 5 and 6, I was teased for being “fat”. Whether eating my lunch or simply sitting in a chair, there would be a joke. Thankfully, I had a good support system at home to help me build my confidence and handle the uncomfortable moments at school.
High school was somewhat better, but I was glad to have those days behind me when in 2012 I left Nassau to go to university in the United States.
Before leaving, I had my annual checkup. When I went on the scale I was over 400 lbs. I couldn’t believe it. I never actually followed my weight and thought, “How did you even get to this kind of weight in your 20s”? This was a true wake-up call and the start of my story about weight loss.
Once I got settled abroad, I began working out at my university’s Wellness Centre and watching my food. Without an official plan, I just tried to find my way. I eventually got a trainer who helped me to further reach my goals with a basic diet plan and three days of physical training per week.
When I came home to visit during Christmas I was already seeing a difference, and others were as well. By the time I graduated in 2014, it was obvious that I had dropped a lot of weight.
So there I was, at the lightest in my life with over 100lbs lost. I should have been happy, but often lived with the fear of putting the weight back on. And guess what? I did!
Between 2016 and 2018, I regained my weight. Although I moved back home with a greater awareness of healthy living, I had less control than at university. I easily fell back into old habits of not preparing healthy home-cooked meals and exercising. The result? Eventually, I was at almost 400lbs again.
I made attempts to take my weight in hand when I joined a workout program where I was required to work out at least twice a day, but this didn’t work for me. The scale barely moved, and I would be lethargic most days because of the intensity of my workouts.
I remember lying in bed one night in October 2018. I wasn’t happy with how I looked or felt. “Enough was enough.” I knew I needed to explore other options. I started by researching local nutritionists and locked in with one that I felt would be a good fit for me.
This decision changed my life. Food and nutrition are everything. It doesn’t matter how much you exercise, if you don’t learn how to manage your food you will be wasting your time. My nutrition coach equipped me with the knowledge, tools, and resources needed to succeed. I learned about food combinations, different ways to eat, and had tutorials on how to make healthy drinks and meals. I also got the right equipment (a blender, food processor, etc.) to add creativity to my meal preparation.
Other programs gave me basic food and nutrition tips with more focus on exercise, but coaching provided a deeper understanding of food and nutrition. I’ve learned the importance of nutrition over exercise the long and hard way.
So, here’s what I learned after losing 100 lbs, twice:
Guard your thoughts and emotions
Instead of feeding my fears, I place my energy on speaking life and affirming myself. I say things like, “I will keep the weight off” and “I will be in the best shape of my life by 30.” Our thoughts play a key part in our actions. Willpower and determination are needed to stay the course.
Experience makes a difference
The first time I was just trying to find my way. The second time I had the benefit of past knowledge paired with proper structure and support. Knowing what went wrong the first time made it more possible to achieve and maintain my goals.
Equip yourself with knowledge, tools, and resources
I understand the science of nutrition better than before. Also experiencing different ways to eat and knowing how it impacts my body has been empowering and solidified my commitment to continuing a healthy lifestyle going forward.
Don’t beat up on yourself
Many times on this journey I’ve been hard on myself – when the scale doesn’t move, or when I put on weight. I’m learning to not take it too seriously and enjoy the journey.
Consistency is the key for weight loss
In anything in life, consistency makes a difference in continued growth. A lot of people see me now and say, “Girl you look so good; tell me your secret,” and don’t realize this has been an up-and-down journey for over 10 years.
Love yourself wholeheartedly
The first time I lost weight I got a lot of compliments, but I didn’t have true happiness within. Don’t put your happiness and fulfillment on the scale, instead do the work of loving yourself in whatever state you are in physically.
I know this will be an ongoing battle, but I am prepared to stick with it because I am worth the fight and so are you. Don’t ever give up on yourself and redefine your story about weight loss.
By Katherine Beneby for The Evolving Woman Magazine
View the entire magazine here: https://issuu.com/duquesab/docs/evolving_woman_mag_june_2021
Get to work with Duquesa Dean to elevate your physical, mental, and emotional health.