Find out how a working mom gained muscle and lost more than 50 pounds by getting smart about life choices and the tools needed to keep up her motivation.
Katie Blount, 36, is married and the mother of a two-year-old. She lives in Newman, Georgia, where she works as an administrative assistant. Last year, even in the midst of a busy life, she decided to get fit.
Pandemic shopping and party photos
Clothes-shopping, she’d noticed, had become a chore. “Since dressing rooms weren’t open because of Covid, I’d have to guess, then I’d just buy something, and take it home to try on,” she says. “And then I’d be like, ohhhhhhh, maybe I need like two sizes bigger, and then the two sizes bigger doesn’t fit and it’s like—oh boy.” Then came her child’s first birthday party: “I saw some pictures other people took of me. And I was like, oh my gosh, that’s me? I wouldn’t have recognized myself. So, between having a kid and a pandemic and working from home, I guess it all caught up to me.”
Her weight back then: around 190 lbs, give or take.
Counting calories had worked for her before, she reasoned, so why not again? She began using a calorie-counting app. She started saying “no” to junk food, especially of the salty variety: “I can crush a whole bag of chips.” She replaced Coke with water, ate lean meats, and added more fruits and vegetables into her diet. She dropped 20 pounds—but then hit a plateau.
Powering through a weight plateau
In the past, “seeing the number on the scale stay the same, I would have been like, what am I still doing here? This is a waste of time.” This time, though, she persevered. She kept up with the healthy eating. She did cardio. Weeks went by, but the scale didn’t budge. She became frustrated; she needed to try something different. But what? She thought of her scale: “I realized it was at least a decade old. And so I looked online, and read some reviews of smart scales.” She decided on getting a Withings Body+ scale.
“That,” she says, “is when things really started to get better.”
With Body+ Katie could see her body composition—percentages of muscle mass, fat, and water—and she began to understand “weight” in a more nuanced way. “I’d lost pounds, but I realized I’d probably lost muscle mass too,” she says. So she started strength training with a set of home dumbbells. Her muscle mass number rose, and her fat number began to fall. Her plateau was broken.
That was a new beginning, and she went on to lose another 35 pounds.
Today, it’s been almost a year since Katie first embarked on her fitness journey. She’s lost nearly 60 lbs: “I’m at the point where it’s a maintenance game,” she says. Taking a muscle vs fat approach to fitness has been, she says, a “cool new eye-opening experience.”
Starting, keeping on the path, and avo toast
Katie says the biggest challenge of her fitness journey was “the decision to do it, to start.”
A quote she stumbled upon online, she explains, helped her make that decision.
“It was about how time is going to pass either way. Like you can look down the road, six months from now, and you could have started something six months ago…or you can look down the road and be happier than you were then. Either way, time is going to pass.”
And when she looks down the road today? Any words of inspiration she can share, for people contemplating their own fitness journey?
“If I can do it, anybody can,” she says. “That’s a super cliche, I know, but I work from home, so the refrigerator is always right there. And I have a kid, so I’ll find myself thinking, ‘Yeah I’ll finish the Dino chicken nuggets.’ It’s a lot of temptation” —to eat badly, to stay on the sofa. But she resists, doing cardio on her bike or treadmill, strength-training three times a week, and saying “no” to nuggets—and “yes” to healthy eating.
And speaking of healthy eating: any recommendations there? Favorite dishes? New staples?
She takes a moment to think.
“Avocado toast,” she says after a pause. “I know it sounds cheesy. I mean these days you see ‘avocado toast’ everywhere. But you can put hot sauce on it, give it some kick.”
“I eat it,” she says, “all the time.”
Many thanks to Katie for sharing her health journey and best wishes for the road ahead! Do you have a story to share with us? We’d love to hear it. Reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org