KUNA - Even though we are still three weeks from the new year, it's never too early to start thinking about bettering yourself. One of the most popular resolutions is to lose weight. But whether you want to lose five pounds or 105 pounds, shedding weight is not easy.
Katie Hug weighed 270 pounds. She was battling depression and anxiety, and was not in a good place.
"I never wanted to do anything active at all," Hug said.
The weight gain really started snowballing after the birth of her last child and it didn't stop. She was drinking eight to 12 cans of soda a day, eating processed food and fast food. She did not realize and did not care that she was consuming 5,000 calories a day.
"It just didn't phase me," Hug said. "I was in my own little zone, my depressed rut."
Until one day six years ago.
"I was at a doctor's appointment and it was almost like she was trying to get through to me saying, 'You know you're morbidly obese, right,'" Hug said.
Another voice influenced her, too.
"It kind of came down to me and God and that was it," she said. "'You need to change your life or this is going to end up killing you. The way you're eating, your lifestyle is not OK.'"
She started with small changes. She cut out soda completely and started tracking her calories with the app My Fitness Pal.
After four to six months, Hug had lost 40 pounds.
"It came off slowly," she said. "I wasn't really exercising a ton. But once you start to see results, it's kind of fun. And I started feeling better, and as weight starts coming off, you want to do more."
She did more, but took baby steps. She began doing a 15 minute workout video at home.
"And it was so hard. It was so hard," Hug said. "I had to fight myself to get through everyday. And all of a sudden that became easy."
Hug increased her exercise by walking around the neighborhood. Soon after that she began running, all while still tracking her calories.
After another 18 to 20 months, she had lost 100 pounds and was feeling great. Exercise became natural endorphins to fight off the depression and anxiety. Feeling better on the inside meant better relationships with her kids and husband.
"It's kind of lightened up all our lives," Hug said. "I think when mom's healthy, everything else rolls."
By 2015 she was down to 137 pounds, having lost about 140 pounds over six years."I feel good inside, that's the biggest thing," she said. "I'm not worried about the number. I'm not stressed about the number on the scale. If I feel good in here, then we're good."
Hug continues to eat healthy. She preps her lunches for the week, to avoid that "last-minute, I'm starving" fast food drive-thru. She tries to eat a lot of protein, but never cut out her favorite foods. She just enjoys them in moderation.
"My big thing was I didn't want to cut out anything because I didn't want the weight to come right back on if I started eating it again," Hug said.
Her weight loss is now her career. She's a certified personal trainer and a health and wellness coach. You'll even see her during regular appearances on KTVB's News at Four.
"It's been a huge blessing in my life to help other people," Hug said. "So like I've been coming in and helping at KTVB and I think that's great. People need to be able to see, you know visual with recipes and tips. I'm in the process of writing a book. So yeah, I think it's going to be good."
At 270 pounds, she never imagined that she would become an inspiration for others. But that voice, her faith, is telling her it's what she's meant to be doing.
"I know God put me in this spot for a reason," Hug said. "And I'm going to go with it."