My name is Katie Hopkins, and I am 24 years old. I am from Tallahassee, Florida, and I am an operations consultant for the state. I did keto for a year and then switched to a more standard way of eating and lost 135 pounds in less than two years.
I grew up being a super active person. I played sports all year round and never really had to worry about what I ate or how I was going to get my exercise for the day. But once I got to college and no longer had the daily exercise from sports, I started to put on weight.
I kept the same eating habits even though I was not doing anything to burn those calories anymore. And before I started my weight loss journey, my biggest issues were with portion control and not being able to truly commit to losing weight.
From 2013 to 2018, I gained about 100 pounds. At my heaviest weight was 333 pounds, and I was 22 at the time.
My turning point was when I moved to Tallahassee from Fort Myers in July of 2018.
I moved to be closer to family, but I also moved because I felt like I was stuck in a rut where I was. I felt like the change of scenery would really give me the push I needed to start my weight loss journey. I knew I needed to take control of my health, and this was the perfect way to do so.
I was tired of feeling tired all the time, wishing I looked different, and always feeling defeated. Once I made the move to Tallahassee, I had a complete mindset reset and said to myself, “This is the time you actually do this. No quitting, no excuses. The only one keeping you from your goals is you.”
At the beginning of my weight loss journey, I chose to follow the keto diet. I chose it because I had seen so many success stories and people losing huge amounts of weight. I felt like it was the best choice for me at the time because it gave me a way to really focus on what I was putting into my body, and most of the foods that are keto-friendly, I already really liked.
I turned to YouTube for most of my keto info. I followed keto YouTubers for food ideas, reviews, and just support in general. I lost my first 100 pounds on keto.
I switched to a more standard diet about six months ago.
I felt like I got as much as I could out of keto and I was ready for a new challenge and way of eating. I now eat a higher-carb diet, as opposed to keto, which is high-fat and low-carb. I enjoy eating this way now because I don’t feel quite as limited, especially going out to eat, as I did on keto. I have so many more healthy foods I can eat now.
Here's what typical day of eating looks like for me during the work week.
- Breakfast: Breakfast sandwich (one egg, three egg whites, two slices of sprouted wheat bread, a slice of cheese, two slices turkey bacon) and coffee with almond milk creamer
- Lunch: 6 oz. chicken breast, ¼ cup rice, a cup of broccoli, feta cheese
- Snacks: Some sort of protein bar
- Dinner: Turkey burger, whole-wheat bun, slice of cheese, spinach salad with fat-free vinaigrette dressing, feta cheese
- Dessert: Chocolate protein powder with almond milk
In the beginning of my journey, I exercised three to four times a week for about 30 minutes.
While eating had always been a bit of a struggle for me, exercise was not. Now, I exercise a lot more. Now that I have control over my eating, exercise has become a bigger focus for me. I love it because it relieves stress, and I love pushing myself to get stronger and faster.
A typical week of exercise for me consists of two to three days of strength training and one to two days of running or another type of cardio. I also really enjoy lifting weights at the gym and improving my strength.
Running used to be something I hated, but I have really come to love it. It makes me push myself hard. There is no better feeling for me than beating my fastest time or longest distance.
These three changes helped me see the most noticeable results in my weight loss.
- Change one: I became consistent. I had to accept the fact that weight loss would not happen overnight, and there would be times when I had a bad day of eating. But if you can have those days and not let it turn into a week, you will be successful.
- Change two: I ate the things I liked. I believe the reason I was so successful in losing weight is because I let myself eat what I want. I never felt deprived of eating something. I just made sure that I made it fit in my day instead of letting it become an entire day of bad eating.
- Change three: I followed people who inspire me. One of the things that helped me along the way was finding people who had similar journeys to me on Instagram and YouTube. They helped inspire me to keep going and keep the end goal in sight. It really is helpful to find people you can relate to when it comes to weight loss.
I have lost a total of 135 pounds. It has taken me one year and 10 months.
I know the feeling of thinking it will never happen for you. I always thought I would always be bigger and that losing weight would never happen for me. But that kind of mindset is what kept me from even starting. Once I decided that no matter what, I was going to change my life, everything changed. It was like something finally clicked in my head.
Losing weight has changed my life so much. I have learned to love myself again. Before, I felt like my weight defined me. I truly feel like losing weight has allowed me to become my true self. I am more confident than ever before, and I now have complete control over my health and happiness.