Weight loss success: Colleen’s lost 250 pounds!

Weight loss success: Colleen’s lost 250 pounds!

Weight loss success: Colleen’s lost 250 pounds!

Colleen Tate used to weigh 435 pounds. The last time she shared her story, she’d lost 75 pounds. Today, it’s 250! Here’s how she reached her healthy weight.

Sheryl Kraft
Last updated:
5 min read
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Forty-three-year-old Colleen recalls hitting rock bottom when, after the back-to-back loss of her parents, she turned to her usual coping mechanism—emotional eating. Two years ago, when she joined Found, she weighed 435 pounds. “I was in rough shape, the heaviest I’d ever been in my life. My entire body hurt—I felt about 90 years old,” Colleen remembers, admitting that the excess weight rendered her “almost unrecognizable” in photographs of herself. But those photographs proved to be an “eye-opener” for her, prompting her to take action.

Every day, small things so many of us take for granted—like bending down, fitting into an airline seat, or walking a few steps—became just about insurmountable. “I was scared, afraid I’d become bedridden.” Colleen’s work as a respiratory therapist became increasingly challenging; her knees ached from being on her feet and, by the end of the day, her feet became so swollen (she refers to them as “marshmallow feet”) that it was difficult to walk. 

Colleen’s loss of 75 pounds was just the beginning of her transformation

Colleen’s last-ditch effort and subsequent 75-pound loss was a big gain. (We first shared her success story here.) She gained the conviction and stamina she had craved for so long and finally felt good enough to join a local gym, a place she always felt was intimidating and off-limits. As she lost more weight, she gained more strength and confidence, feeling more and more comfortable in her own skin. “What was once a challenging and boring task became as natural and automatic as taking a shower and brushing my teeth,” she says. “Now, I view the gym as a necessity rather than a chore.” 

As weeks turned to months, with mindful eating and exercise, Colleen’s body continued to change. She lost fat, gained muscle, and embraced what it meant to eat healthfully and respect her body. With each pound lost, her motivation grew stronger, which boosted her confidence, diminishing the embarrassment that plagued her for so long. 

Colleen today: A total loss of 250 pounds!

Colleen has lost another 175 pounds, for a total loss of 250 pounds—57% of her highest total body weight. Colleen’s beaten incredible odds: A woman with a BMI over 40 has a 1 in 677 chance of achieving a normal body weight, according to a study by researchers at King’s College London. 

While Mounjaro®, a GLP-1/GIP receptor agonist, was a key factor in curbing her appetite and  assisting in her weight loss, perhaps even more impactful and significant was the support and coaching that Found provided.  Once Colleen reached a weight she was happy with, she discontinued the medication with guidance from her Found provider.

Individual results vary among people using Found and Mounjaro to lose weight. One year after starting Found, users lost an average of 12% of their body weight (results are based on data from 1,773 users who were active for > 1 year and reported their weight weekly, on average). 

Prescriptions are up to a medical provider’s discretion. Also, it’s important to know that taking Mounjaro carries some risks. If you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma or multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, you should not take Mounjaro. Do not take Mounjaro if you have ever had thyroid cancer. Mounjaro can cause fetal harm. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant, do not take Mounjaro.  Find detailed side effect and risk information on our Mounjaro medication page. Prescriptions are at a medical provider’s discretion.  

Mounjaro is not the only medication Colleen stopped taking—she no longer needs the two meds she once used to control her high blood pressure. “My body is running phenomenally,” she says. “My A1C and blood work is fantastic! And all my aches and pains have disappeared.” 

“One of the most valuable lessons I learned with the fabulous coaches and community at Found is that you don’t need to be on a restrictive diet. I learned to eat a healthy variety of foods, and I can eat what I want while focusing on portion size,” Colleen says.“For the first time in my adult life, I can honestly say I am comfortable in my own skin.”

Colleen no longer struggles with her weight or self-doubt. “I never in a million years thought I’d be the weight I was in high school.” Yet, here she is, achieving what she thought was once impossible. What she describes as a “major transformation” includes not only a change in her body but also in her mind and everyday habits. 

Colleen has given away almost all of her plus-size clothing from that time, and she’s determined never to go back to swollen feet and feeling uncomfortable in her skin. But she’s saved a shirt and pair of pants as a reminder. “I wanted a real gauge of where I once was and how far I’ve come. I wanted to see the before and after— the shirts I used to wear would be big oversized pajama shirts!”  

Colleen is a real user paid for sharing her story. 


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Published date:
July 9, 2024
Ready to lose weight and live your healthiest life?
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Meet the author
Sheryl Kraft
Freelance health journalist
Sheryl Kraft's work has been published in AARP, Prevention, Chicago Tribune, CNBC, Parade, Everyday Health, HealthyWomen, Alloy Women's Health and more. She focuses on healthy aging, weight, menopause, cancer, beauty, nutrition, and fitness. Sheryl holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, and resides in her empty nest with her husband in Connecticut.

Sources

Alison Fildes, Judith Charlton, Caroline Rudisill, Peter Littlejohns, A. Toby Prevost, Martin C. Gulliford. Probability of an Obese Person Attaining Normal Body Weight: Cohort Study Using Electronic Health Records. American Journal of Public Health, 2015; e1 DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2015.302773  https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/full/10.2105/AJPH.2015.302773

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