Scary diagnosis inspires Indianapolis woman to change life, lose 100 pounds

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 8, 2015)-- Katie Feltman is a proud gym rat. She’s a devoted exercise enthusiast, and with a 100 pound weight loss behind her, she’s got nothing but exercise on her mind.

Like a lot of folks who battle obesity, her story starts as a young girl.

“I battled weight as a kid and was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease,” says Feltman.

Then in 2007, she suffered a back injury and gained 100 pounds in 18 months. Combine that with helping her sick mother and a high stress job, Katie was on the road to disaster.

But it was a fateful visit to her doctor in 2011 that sent her over the edge.  He diagnosed her with a fatty liver, prehypertension, pre-diabetes.  She was also taking medicine for acid reflux and her thyroid was out of control.

“My dad died way too young, so I knew I had to do something,” says Feltman.

She dropped 40 pounds pretty quickly by enrolling in an exercise boot camp at her work.  After several months, though, she began to plateau.  That’s when she joined the National Institute of Fitness and Sport on the IUPUI campus.  There she met fitness trainer Tony Maloney, who recognized Katie needed extra support.

“He makes you believe in yourself, for me that was the switch that I needed to turn back on.”

That relationship helped Katie gain confidence.  She quit hating her own body and moved to new levels of fitness and strength.

Today, it’s not a scale that tracks her weight, but a Bod Pod, a water based body mass index device that gives her a clear idea of how much muscle she’s gained in relation to fat she’s lost. She also checks with Maloney every 90 days to review her goals.

“Sundays are devoted to cooking,” says Feltman. “I prep for the week. That way I have no excuses.”

Katie works out with a fitness group two to three times a week at NIFS.   But what keeps her going is a truth which works for her.

“If you don’t care about yourself, you can’t respect your body and you feel a lot of hatred, you’re not going to be motivated to take care of yourself.”

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