Caitlin Daugherty - December Member of the Month

I had always been overweight growing up. I never took any interest in sports and found comfort in my mom's home cooked meals or fast food with friends. Things only got worse in college when I began overeating with lack of control due to stress and other reasons. I hit my highest weight in college at roughly 215 pounds. Once I graduated in 2015, my bad eating habits stuck around but I started vigorous exercise, cut out soda and managed to lose about 20 pounds as my first attempt to “get back under 200 pounds” which I realized in the last year was the wrong mindset going into weight loss because I hit a ‘comfort level’ of being just under 200 pounds. When I hit 195 pounds, something inside me (that ‘comfort level’) told me it was ok to drink soda from time to time, to stop doing the elliptical as often, to eat out here and there until eventually I fell right back into my old ways and over the next few years leading up to January 2019 I gained the weight back. The difference this time was that I was living on my own with the ability to cook my own meals and work out with no judgement. Honestly I didn’t have the initial intention to lose weight again - at least not this significantly. I bought Just Dance 2019 for my game console on a whim and simply spent my free time dancing. I would do routines for about an hour each night and I noticed I was losing weight and feeling great. I was still eating poorly so it wasn’t until a few weeks after that I decided to download MyFitnessPal, calculate my caloric deficit, and get serious about my journey. I began taking progress pictures and weighing myself once I had already lost 10-15 pounds. I cut out soda again but this time I replaced it with seltzer water which has now become a staple in my life. I began making healthier replacements for my meals, like chickpea pasta, and introduced more protein into my diet. Eventually I bought a scale and started weighing out my portions. I created a routine of foods I knew would nourish my body, meet my macro percentage goal for the day and keep me full. Food became my friend, not my crutch, and aided me in my lifestyle change. I changed my view of food to fuel instead of desire. Getting out of that mentality was my first accomplishment because what I learned next was that your diet is the biggest contributing factor to weight loss. Stick to your caloric deficit, eat protein and energy rich foods to power you through your day, hit your macros and watch the weight shed. I continued to dance for the endorphins but soon transitioned into jogging once my endurance was strengthened.

I continued this routine and lost about 55 pounds when I decided to join Anchor in early September 2019. I had just hit my first goal of reaching 160 pounds and made the decision to introduce strength training into my routine to build muscle, metabolism and in turn shed the remaining pounds until my main goal of losing 80 pounds. I was ready to bring mindfulness and awareness to how I treat my body for the remainder of my life so that I could avoid falling into old patterns. I had just learned that food was fuel - I knew how to physically nourish myself - but it was time to learn how to mentally nourish myself, build my confidence and explore what my new body could do. I would learn in the weeks to come how my body handles pressure, balance, and how much I can (literally) carry. I started lifting 16 kg and worked my way up to 28 kg; I still surprise myself every day with how strong my body is now. During the 6 week transformation challenge at Anchor I set my intention in yoga to practice “discipline”. That was the word that constantly popped into my head and the feeling it gave me each time was “empowerment”. Both words mean a lot to me through this journey and gave me strength to push forward. A few months ago I struggled with seeing myself (physically and mentally) as 215 pounds when I was actually 160 pounds but I can honestly say that Anchor has helped me shape how I see myself now. I see myself as a stronger, more confident and healthier person. Although the number on the scale is still significant to me as I strive to reach my final goal (with only 13 pounds to go!) I no longer wake up every morning to weigh myself nor do I look at myself in the mirror and struggle to see the physical changes because Anchor has helped me feel the mental and physical changes within myself.