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Minnesota woman loses 117 pounds after losing her job during COVID


After hitting a low point in her life amid the COVID pandemic, a Minnesota woman vowed to improve her health and lifestyle, which ultimately led her to lose about half her weight bodily.

Like so many other Americans, Katie Schmitt, 43, of Rochester, was fired from her job in June 2020, during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic.

She had worked, by then, at the same nonprofit for 10 years, she said.

“I was thrown into a different life during the pandemic,” Schmitt told Fox News Digital in an interview. “It was a really dark time, I think for a lot of people, and I really felt that.”

It was then that Schmitt began to assess his goals for the future.

“In doing so, I realized my weight would hold me back,” Schmitt said.

At the time, Schmitt said she was about 100 pounds overweight, had high blood pressure, and lacked energy. She also struggled with depression after losing family members, she said.

“I just felt terrible,” Schmitt said.

“Developing Self-Care Habits and Skills”

So, after researching various weight loss programs and methods, Schmitt said she landed on WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers), joining in November 2020. At the time, she weighed 240 pounds.

Schmitt had tried weight loss strategies before, but often stopped after less than a month. This time, she made a plan and stuck to it.

“I said, ‘I’m going to follow this beyond these three weeks and during this three-week period I’m going to be on the right track with myself,’” Schmitt said, adding that she is checked every hour. base.

Katie Schmitt has made her weight loss journey a healing goal rather than focusing on a specific number.
Katie Schmitt

“I was like, ‘Am I really hungry? Is it real hunger or if I have a cup of tea, will that be a better option for me right now? “Or maybe I just feel a little anxious and need to go for a walk,” Schmitt said.

In those times when she thought eating would make her feel better, she looked for other options.

“It was really about developing those habits and those self-care skills,” Schmitt said. “I had a list of options printed, [showing] what else i [could] do more than eat.

Schmitt’s secret was to make her journey more about healing than weight loss.

She first focused on her sleeping and eating habits. She made it a point not to look at the number on the scale either.

“I know it sounds crazy, but that’s really what happened to me,” she said.

Eventually, Schmitt got into the activity by adding 10-minute walks to her daily routine.

“My knees ached, my hips ached, my body ached from carrying that extra weight and so it was really important for me to start moving. But I knew I couldn’t just go from zero to 100 miles per hour,” Schmitt said.

“Rewarded with better energy”

Schmitt began to focus on what she brought into her life – including getting more sunshine and reading poetry – rather than what she was restricting or suppressing.

“I created in my art studio. I was basically finding ways to pass the time while I was on this journey to make it feel better, it was beautiful,” she added. “It was really important to me, to create something beautiful and not just exercise and food.”

Schmitt challenged the common misconception — something she’d heard all her life — that weight loss is “difficult.” Instead, she wrote lists in her journal about positive habits and self-care.

“I believed it,” Schmitt said of the idea that losing weight is hard. “I thought, ‘Well, then, this isn’t for me. I can’t do it because it’s hard.

“I said, ‘How can I make it easier for myself? “”

Katie Schmitt also shot a commercial for WW, formerly WeightWatchers.
Weigh Observers

As she lost weight, Schmitt said she was motivated to keep going because of how she felt. “I was rewarded with better energy [and] feel better,” Schmitt said.

Although the coronavirus pandemic has been difficult for Schmitt, she said losing weight was actually a way to “control something in my life.”

“That health and wellness piece was something I could hold on to, to get me through some of these things that were out of our control during this time,” Schmitt said of the pandemic.

One of the challenges for Schmitt, as she worked to lose weight during the pandemic, was isolation from friends and family – but having the support of her husband was essential.

“My wife was really important,” Schmitt said. “He was on board to help prepare the food, he would eat the food I was cooking… We were together, on those terms.”

Schmitt said she also relies on the WW app’s social media feature, where she follows and talks to people who have overcome some of the same challenges she was trying to overcome.

“For me, that was it,” Schmitt said. “I was asking people questions, people who were on the same weight loss journey…these are the people who have done it.”

“It feels really good”

Schmitt said her original goal was to lose 100 pounds.

Once she hit her initial weight goal of 140, Schmitt decided to drop another five pounds to see how she felt.

When she did, Schmitt said she wondered, “How does this feel on my body? Do I feel like it’s hard to maintain? Do I feel healthy? Do I have the energy?

After that, Schmitt lost another five pounds and asked himself the same questions.

She did it a third time before settling on her current weight.

Today, Schmitt weighs around 123 pounds — so she’s lost 117 pounds from her starting weight in November 2020.

person on scale with striped socks
Katie Schmitt now weighs 123 pounds.
Getty Images

Schmitt said she has been able to maintain her weight between 123 and 125 pounds for the past three months.

“It’s a lot easier than I thought at this point,” Schmitt said.

“It feels really good,” she added. “I am at a healthy BMI [body mass index]my blood pressure is falling [and] my doctor is very happy.

“Time will pass anyway”

Schmitt has advice for those seeking a lifestyle change.

Be “gentle with yourself,” she said. “You can’t hate yourself slim,” she said, later adding, “Let your body set the pace.”

“I remember thinking, ‘I’m in this big hole, I have to find a way to dig in and I want it done tomorrow. I don’t want to live like this anymore,’” Schmitt said.

“The reality was that time would pass anyway,” she continued. “And I have a choice during this time to get my health back, or I can continue to eat badly and not exercise and not feel good.”

Schmitt also suggested looking at weight loss as a way of life rather than a short-term fix or program to follow.

“I think this is an opportunity…You can re-imagine what weight loss looks like,” Schmitt said.

“It doesn’t have to look like an exercise video,” she added. “You can decide what it looks like for you.”

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