Getting a Derailed Weight-Loss Back on Track

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Hello. My name is Kris and I struggle with my weight. Admitting the problem is the first step, right? If you’ve been around her for awhile, you may have heard my weight-loss story. The Monday before Thanksgiving 2009, I weighed in at 220 pounds. I’m 5’ tall. That is morbidly obese.

Getting a Derailed Weight-Loss Back on Track

I got on the treadmill that morning for one reason – to stubbornly prove that I could not lose weight so that I’d quit feeling guilty for not doing it. There was just one problem. I lost 4 pounds that week.

So much for not being able to lose weight. I mean, if I could lose 4 pounds the week of Thanksgiving, there really weren’t any excuses. So I got myself a bodybugg and the journey began.

I blew my first big goal out of the water, exceeding my 50 pound weight-loss by the end of June 2010 by 5 pounds. I continued steadily losing weight, ultimately reaching a 90 pound weight-loss, just 5 pounds over my ultimate goal weight.

Two Years

I was happy where I was and decided to quit fighting for the 5 pounds and just enjoy being the thinnest and healthiest I’d been in nearly 2 decades. I maintained for quite a while, but last year, I started gaining.

I tried, half-heartedly, to get back on track with no success – until last week when I went in for my annual health risk assessment check up. Seeing the numbers on the scale that proved things really were as bad as I feared was hard, but it was also exactly what I needed. I did what I did that first time – I started making changes immediately. No waiting until Monday. No making excuses.

Weight-loss tools

I came home and charged up my Fitbit and ordered a new Fitbook. I logged back in to My Fitness Pal and started logging my food. Since last Wednesday I have done things like:

  • Logged my food every day
  • Gotten serious about my workouts – including running an extra hill last week and running the whole 3 miles with only two really short walk breaks yesterday
  • Started wearing my Fitbit to log my steps – My husband got me the new Fitbit Flex as an anniversary gift. Only when your wife is serious about losing weight can you get a gift like that without getting into trouble.
  • Made the very unhealthy dessert for which I already had ingredients (for a dinner with extended family last week), but I only ate one cookie bar and sent all the rest with Brianna to share with her friends at the play she was in. (Brian and Josh were a little upset since I had forgotten that they’d had to leave before dessert, but I couldn’t work up any feelings of guilt. I asked Brian if he’d rather have a cookie or a skinny wife.)
  • Bought ingredients for a healthy dessert option for this week’s dinner
  • Been at or under my calorie goal every day 
  • Made a healthy breakfast Saturday morning instead of the normal unhealthy one (It included an omelet with spinach, mushrooms, and feta cheese. Yum!)
  • Only ate 2 pieces of pizza (the only option) at a church dinner/meeting Sunday afternoon
  • Did not eat a cupcake at said church dinner
  • Ate only 1 BBQ sandwich, no chips, and one small dessert (among many, many options) and some fruit at our small group meeting (a serious stumbling block to weight loss because there are so many yummy food and dessert choices. This year, I think I’m going to make it my goal to take one healthy option each week.)
  • Did a strength workout Monday morning with another on schedule for today
  • I’ve gone back to allowing myself only one tea refill again (I’ve been pushing the envelope with two refills a lot lately.)

I am so excited about where I am right now! I haven’t felt this way in months. It feels so good to be eating healthy again. I have noticed that I haven’t felt sluggish and drained like I had for the past few weeks…which could also be due to the fact that I’ve started taking an iron supplement (mine is frequently low), but the healthy food choices and exercise can’t hurt.

self-portrait 2011

One of my all-time favorite photos of myself – I want to get back to this.

I’m back on track and I’m inviting you along – even if only to hold me accountable. I did so much better when I had my weight-loss blog and the accountability that came with it. I plan on updating each Wednesday. If y’all don’t see an update, I’d love it if you’d ask me how I’m doing.

Have you successfully lost weight? Do you need to lose weight? I’d love to hear your story.

+ posts

Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. I used the bodybugg with great success also. I have decided to get back on track once again as well so my husband renewed my gym membership for me for my birthday this year. Good luck, stay strong…I will be thinking of you while I am sweating out some of this garbage I have allowed myself for the past couple of years.

  2. I’m right there with you Kris. I have been working on it slowly the past month and have lost almost 5 lbs so I’m thinking I need to update my blog too. I think it’s a great way to keep myself accountable and you inspire me to put it out there. 🙂 Thanks so much and praying for you! Asking if you can do the same for me!

  3. I’m so proud of you Kris and agree it’s so encouraging to share alongside others your….mine, etc. health journey. I love your openness with your struggles because we all have them in some area and can all improve.

    I’m always striving to live a healthier lifestyle. I have the fitness-end down, but not being a great cook, or particularly enjoying it, I struggle to find healthy and easy dinners for my family. I also struggle with snacking on less than nutritious foods and drinking enough water. But it does feel so good to be healthy and fit. Thanks for the reminder. So, I will join you in your health endeavors. 🙂

    1. Have you checked out the site Skinny Taste? I love her recipes because they’re healthier versions of things normal people eat. Many of her recipes have become family favorites. I’m eagerly awaiting her cookbook that’s coming out next month.

  4. Your right Kris, being honest with yourself is always the first step! Looks like you are back on track. I recently had to do the same, now I’m back to where I should be and much happier :-).

    I know that it can be difficult to share your struggle with weight with the world, but I’m glad you do as I enjoy reading it and I know you have encouraged many others in the process!

  5. Good for you! I printed off your Do or Do Not challenge posts a couple weeks ago and they have been a huge help to me! I have no idea if I’ve lost any weight but I feel better than I have in a long time! I will look forward to seeing your posts!

    1. I’m so glad to know the challenges have been helpful for you! You don’t know how that makes me smile. Thanks for letting me know.

  6. I’m so glad you’re sharing! I need to make changes! Life has been crazy (of course) and my weight loss stalled months ago. The big crazy – I’ve had 10 pregnancies with 7 living babies in the last 11 years (and one more baby came 2 years before that). My current little ones are 3, 2, and 1. I’ve lost all the weight I gained in the last baby’s pregnancy but am still overweight (weight is 189 lbs on 5’4″ me). Now, adding to the crazy, in the last 2.5 years my 2 year old has had 14 surgeries, more than 200 doctors appointments, and those things may slow, but won’t really ever go away because of his medical needs.

    How do I make time to exercise around homeschooling? How do I eat healthy for me when I’m cooking mass quantities for our family of 10 and don’t want to make 2 different meals (we already deal with food allergies. Absolutely no egg, soy, or artificial food dyes here.) Just thinking about the changes I need to make drains what energy I have left.

    Ahem, did I really just share all that? Kris, just know you are not alone and I would love to hear any advice, motivation, or encouragement you have to share as well as the commiseration! Want to open a blog with me about losing weight? 😉

    1. Wow, that’s a lot going on, Tristan. I can imagine that it is overwhelming. One thing you said really stuck out to me: “Just thinking about the changes I need to make drains what energy I have left.”

      What about, instead of thinking about all you’d like to change, you just picked one thing to focus on now? That might be finding healthier meal options that your entire family would enjoy, finding meals that would be healthier for you with little prep, or getting more active. Are there activities you could enjoy as a family, like taking a walk together, hula hooping, or jumping rope?

      If you just focused on one change until you had it down, I think it would be less overwhelming. Then, you’d probably feel more empowered to change a second thing. I hope that helps!

  7. Kris, I started this past week, too. I, too, saw my weight at the doctor’s office and was disgusted with myself. How did that happen?!? Anyway, your posts/updates will motivate me, too, so keep ’em coming! Good luck! 🙂

  8. Good for you for getting back on track! I want you to know that I was inspired by you and your journey. I am a homeschooing mom and needed to lose weight. I read your story back in September of 2012 and got started. Thank you for that inspiration! I have lost 50 pounds and have managed to keep it off. Keeping it off is a journey in itself! I look forward to reading your updates each week!

  9. In January 2011, I started my weight loss journey. By January 2012, I had lost 34.4 pounds. I lose weight very slowly and I always have. I felt healthy and strong.
    In July 2013, we moved nearly 1,000 miles and since our move I have not been consistent in prepping my food or working out. I guess I don’t handle change or transition well.
    Reality hit me HARD. I felt disgusted and angry at myself. But now I’m over my pity party and ready to do something about it. I am shopping and cooking healthier, and prepping my food. I am also getting some consistency back in my workouts.
    I am so excited you are sharing because in doing so, you are helping me be more accountable to my goals. Thank you!

  10. Wow, your story is so amazing! I remember when you were losing (long time reader here, but not a big blog commenter) but I didn’t realise it was so much. That’s awesome!

    I’d love to share my family’s weight loss story 🙂 My hubby and I were gradually and steadily gaining. He was overweight and I was in the high range for my BMI, soon to be overweight. We got a big wake up call when he was diagnosed with fatty liver disease and told that he was on the road to type 2 diabetes.

    We started losing together by removing refined sugar and committing to eating a minimum of 8 fruit and veg servings per day. In three weeks I lost 5 pounds and he lost 8. We also felt the best we had in a long time!

    Long story short, we watch the film Forks Over Knives and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (free online). We also read The China Study and Eat to Live. We were so blown away by the research and stories of others that we transitioned our whole family into a whole foods, plant based diet.,

    We’re at nine months now. It was hard for the first three and steadily got easier. Eating this way is our new normal and we absolutely love it. My husband has lost 42 pounds so far, no longer has fatty liver disease, got rid of his chronic hip and foot pain, no longer needs prescription meds for heartburn (despite a hiatus hernia), rarely snores anymore, and has seen a big improvement in his seasonal allergies (he used to take antihistamines full time). He also has the most amazing energy and stamina.

    I have lost 30 pounds and weigh almost what I did in high school. I went from size 12 to size 4 pants. My lifelong daily struggle with hypoglycemic episodes is over, my skin is smoother and clearer, I have so much energy I was able to overcome my serious caffeine addiction, and I’ve seen a huge and life changing improvement in my “female issues”. People regularly tell me that I look years younger than I used to.

    Note: all of this happened with absolutely no counting calories, measuring portions, or exercise. Both of us did not feel well enough to exercise, but my husband has recently taken up running again and we are trying to get our whole family more active now that we ALL feel better.

    My children have experienced a HUGE improvement in their asthma and seasonal allergies. In fact, my doctor has approved me weaning them off of the inhaled steroid they take every night. My daughter, who was always pale with dark circles under her eyes is now rosy and healthy looking. One of my sons no longer has eczema, which used to cover the entire surface of both his legs.

    My extended family has watched our transformation with amazement and now they are changing their diets too. My father’s blood pressure has started to come down. My mother, who has struggled with severe chronic pain and exhaustion for 14 years is now outside gardening for a couple hours a day on top of housework and cooking. Now my in-laws and sister are getting on board and I try to support them all as much as I can.

    Sorry this is so long, but I LOVE to share our story when others ask 🙂 Hopefully some of the information here will help someone else who is struggling. There is hope!

    1. I love that you shared this. We eat a plant strong diet as well and my favorite part about it is that it ended the struggle with calories, hunger, sugar highs and lows, etc. We just eat as much as we’re hungry for and because we’re eating healthy food, it’s naturally filling and satisfying.

  11. So exciting! I struggle, up down up down. And I found your site during your weight loss journey, and I just so happen to homeschool too. I was disappointed when I saw you stop writing about it, I’m thrilled you’ll be writing again! Thanks!
    -mom who just had 4th baby, and ready to get fit again 🙂

  12. I just wanted to let you know that back in January I read one of your posts about losing weight, setting realistic goals, and running. I started right away I am 5’6 and my beginning weight was 240 today I weigh 179. I started watching my carb intake, praying for will power over food and exercising everyday. I also try to run 2-3x per week.. I have improved my 5K time from 43m on Ash Wednesday to 30:40m last week. I have 4 children and also home school. I cant believe how different I feel. Thank you for your inspiring story.

  13. Well done, Kris. It sounds like a sterling start and your determination is palpable. I wish you the very best over the next few weeks.
    I’m down twenty pounds so far and my goal next week is to stop my evening snacking whilst watching Castle reruns. Now, I’m sure somebody else was to blame for introducing me to Castle in the first place…..

    1. That somebody never told you to start snacking while you watched. 😉 Sounds like a good goal. Snacking that has become a habit (while sitting in front of the computer, for example {ahem}) can be hard to break, but I know you can do it!

  14. I’m not trying to lose weight, but I am trying to get back in shape. I have a pretty good diastasis recti going since I have had 5 pregnancies and 3 living babies in the past 4 years. I have finally started to get in the swing of working out again thanks to Fit2b Studio. I am trying not to let the last 3 days of being sick in bed derail my efforts so I definitely look forward to your posts.

  15. I followed your weight loss blog and have missed your updates!
    I finally reached my goal last year, but within a few months I was packing the pounds back on. I go through times where I just don’t care and want to eat whatever I want. It can be such a struggle!
    Now I’m doing The Daniel Fast that ends Monday and I feel so good! plan to continue eating this way most if the time. I’m thinking 80/20 so I can still have treats occasionally.
    You’re an inspiration and I’m glad you’re back at it!

    1. I can relate to going through those times when you just don’t care and want to eat whatever. I just came out of that. You’re right – it is such a struggle!

  16. Sending my cheers through a comment this morning…read your post and wanted to let you know that you were part of my inspiration to lose weight 18 months ago. I am keeping it all off so far with just a good eating routine and daily walking. 65 pounds lighter makes your life different in so many ways…my husband and I don’t want to ever go back and it helps that we are in it together. Thanks so much Kris.

    1. Thank you so much, Barb. I saw a photo of you recently on your blog and was noticing how great you look. It feels great, doesn’t it? I can’t believe I let myself slide this far, knowing what I know about the difference in how I feel. Still, better a little slide than all the way back. I never, ever want to go back. That’s what motivates me.

    1. That’s probably true for me, too. I’d rather do the extra work involved and not give up my tea, though.

  17. Kris, thank you so much for your very transparent post! I don’t think I could’ve shared my weight struggles with the world and I admire your courage to do so… I lots a significant amount of weight in 2009 and every day seems to be a battle to keep it off. It probably doesn’t help that I’m a food blogger:) I try to balance healthy meals and snacks with occasional treats so I don’t feel deprived and eat uncontrollably. Exercise is a definite priority and I make sure to schedule it every day(I write it into our school planner), otherwise it just won’t get done. I’ll be happy to keep you accountable:) thanks again for sharing!

  18. I would like to join you in healthier living! I had a crazy year and slowly I put on 10 pounds. I have noticed my clothes aren’t as comfortable and my arms wave in the breeze. Haha! I want to lose 10 pounds. I used to be able to control my weight by managing what I eat, but that has all changed after turning 40. My husband and I are thinking of purchasing the fitbit. My weakness is my coffee in the morning. I add a bit too much coffee creamer. I have to eat gluten free also, so when I make something delicious, I tend to over do. These are the areas I need to work on.

  19. I love your transparentcy! I’m on week two of eating the Trim Healthy Mama way and I’m pretty sure I’m losing weight, but I won’t check until Monday. I am feeling better physically, and the second week has been easier than the first. Lots of salads, nuts and lean meats over here. Looking forward to cheering you on, and being encouraged by you as well.

    1. I seriously debated THM. I have several friends who have done really well on it. Right now I’m just trying to get back to what worked for me the first time. I’m still debating, though.

  20. I’d like to join you as well. Transparency. In August of 2008 I began to attend 12 step meetings for overeating, weighing in at 240 I think could have been higher. Oh so difficult but by April of 2009 I had lost 60 lbs. In 2010 we moved and the weight started to creep up, a radical hysterectomy with stage 4 endometriosis and even higher. After drug therapy of 6 months to reduce the endo gained 30lbs lost the weight from that so down to 195 and it has started back up again 207 after a busy summer with little planning food wise and sporadic exercise. My priorities – Making peace with exercise and doing things I love – walking, tap dancing and bike riding. Making fun exercise a priority 5x a week at least 30 minutes. My husband is doing this with me so he is running. Logging my food every day. Planning meals that are filled with veggies. Drinking plenty of water 1/2 body weight so 103 ounces a day.

      1. I’ll get my post up today and post every wednesday as well. I’m also tracking with myfitnesspal if you would like to add me as a friend would love it. 🙂 My email is above.


  21. Kris, you inspired me back then to get serious about weight loss too. I weighed 289 at 5′ 8″ in March of 2012. I found out I had severe fatty liver disease, my cholesterol was over 300 with super high LDL, and my triglycerides were outrageous. I had been eating loads of whole grains and dried beans, plus going vegan to work on my cholesterol but it just got so much worse. I would starve myself, I would make myself throw up, I would work hard to eat under 1000 calories…but all I got was weight gain and more liver problems. In fact, most of my health issues showed up after I went extreme in the dieting (low cal, low fat, etc.)

    Long story short, at the encouragement of a nutritionist I met at a wedding that weekend, I went totally opposite, and now eat lower carb, with primarily fresh vegetables, some fruit, and meat, and absolutely positively no sugar/sweeteners or refined carbs (apart from occasional stevia made from home grown). I cut my whole carbs back too, since I was over doing those. I eat probably four or five times what I used to eat. I kinda sorta follow THM and kinda sorta follow Whole 30. Basically I made something that works for me.

    Last month, we had annual physicals. I have lost just under 80 pounds, my total cholesterol is now under what my LDL used to be, My LDL is virtually non-existent. I have no more heart burn, I have no more fatty liver, and everyone insists my skin looks 20 years younger. My obgyn asked what I am doing differently in my “skin regimen” (LOL — like I have a skin regimen!). I want to lose about 40 more. Right now I have to go to the share shop and buy new-to-me clothes every month or so because I’m losing it so quickly. The doctor was amazed.

    Hubby has now lost 55 pounds, and looks great too. .

  22. I remember when you first started losing weight, I wanted to try too but I think I honestly wasn’t miserable enough. A little over a year ago I started Trim Healthy Mama and have lost 60 lbs with very little exercise. I have about 20 more to go, and I know that I NEED to exercise to get rid of the last bit. It is just actually making that habit that is so hard for me.

    I did want to share with you a new tool that I love, it is an app called TwoGrand (based on 2000 calorie a day diet recommendation). Instead of the typical hoop jumping required to keep a food log, you just take a picture. It isn’t really for calorie counting but it does really help you see where you could be eating healthier. You can also keep track of your water intake and log your exercise. In addition, you can follow people who are eating like you (low-carb or low-fat or etc), see what they eat and get more ideas for your meals. I have no connection to the app developers just enjoy the app (I am pretty sure it is free anyway.)

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