This is a blog about how I completely transformed my body and my lifestyle without any diets, personal trainers, nutritionists, or surgery. I want to inspire other people who are on a pursuit of happiness and healthiness in their own lives, as well as offering some ‘foodspiration’ and ‘fitspiration’ to anyone who is interested. This first post is a brief history of my weight loss journey and a bit about how I got here.
The Beginning: A few years ago, I was a fat, sick, binge-drinking smoker who ate junk food and hated what she saw in the mirror. In the summer of 2009, my weight peaked at 210 lbs and I was buying size XXL clothes to try and hide how big I was. I made up excuses and did what every overweight person does and found ways to blame my situation rather than accepting the fact that it was completely my fault. You see, when you are overweight, the scariest part is facing reality and looking at yourself in the mirror for who you really are. When you admit that you have control over your body and what you eat, you then feel this sense of fear but also this great sense of empowerment. Once I admitted and accepted that I had control over my body and my weight, I began to make some changes. My moment of clarity was when I tried to go out for a run and couldn’t even make it to the end of the street and back. This was when I knew, I had to change.
One Step at a Time: Start Small. I started by increasing the amount of fibre in my diet and going to the gym to do about 30-45 minutes on the cross trainer about five days a week. I also started drinking more water and less soda and curbed my consumption of fast food. Through making these three simple, small changes, I was able to drop about 25 lbs in about two months.
Vegetables: One simple concept was a moment of complete enlightenment for me; there is an actual guide for your dietary needs. There are many diets and lifestyles out there; Atkins, Paleo, Primal, Vegan, Vegetarian, Raw Foods, Juicing, and the list goes on. All of these diets have one thing in common: eat more vegetables. Vegetables and nutrient-dense foods should make up the majority of your diet. It took me a long time to achieve this, and to be honest, I’m still working at it, but if you remember one thing, remember this. Green food is good food!
Clean Living: I quit smoking in 2010. I quit drinking soda and artificial drinks in 2013. I quit drinking coffee in 2014. Clean living is a lifestyle where you treat your body with respect and feed it things that are not filled with chemicals and damaging ingredients. Let me be very clear about something. I just ate Reese’s Pieces (my guilty pleasure)! I am not 100% clean but I hope that I can get as close to this goal as possible. I am so much closer to this goal than I was when I first started. My objective is not to buy any food in tins, cans, packets, tubes, or boxes. Most of my groceries are fresh produce, meat, eggs, fish, and foods that have not been processed.
Staying Active: When I started out, I couldn’t run a mile without stopping and gasping for breath. My first few trips to the gym in 2009 involved only the cross-trainer because that is all I could manage. When I took my first circuits class in 2010, I had to leave halfway through. In July 2012, I did my first Tough Mudder and in September 2014, I ran my first half marathon in 1:48. I had ZERO personal training. I figured it out on my own and I stayed committed and focused on my goal. I also walked everywhere and used minimal public transport. I try to exercise at least four times a week. Where there is a will, there is a way.
Today: Today, I am experimenting with the paleo and primal lifestyles because they are all about completely clean, unprocessed foods. I like trying new things but NOT “diets”! I do not believe in restricting myself. Restriction only leads to binging and guilt. I like a diet or lifestyle that I believe I can maintain in the long-term. I tried Crossfit last year but found it to be too risky in terms of injury. Right now, I am happy with Circuits, Spin Classes, weight lifting and running. I am considering employing a personal trainer to show me how to use weights properly and to help me rehabilitate my right shoulder injury. I am still working on curbing my treats (there are far too many…) and I am not ready to put on a bikini this summer. But hopefully, this blog will help me get to where I want to be.
You: I hope that you, the reader, enjoy reading this but most of all, I hope this blog helps you realise that you can achieve your own lifestyle goal if you want it badly enough. You all have a fire inside of you; a fierce determination waiting to be released. When you decide on a goal and you commit to it, amazing things can happen. Everybody has strength and courage inside, it is just a matter of finding them. This journey is not a straight path from point A to point B. This is a roller coaster of triumphs, failures, emotions, and challenges. There is no finish line but there are milestones along the way. This is a journey that we can continue for the rest of our lives. Let’s have fun while we are doing it.