My whole life I've been called fat. I can recall every single time that someone has said that word to me. I remember my grandpa telling me to watch what I'm eating then proceeded to say "MOOOOO." Calling me a cow was almost worse than just calling me fat. I remember staring in the mirror in 4th grade wondering why I had a fat roll around my tummy and my friends didn't. I remember wearing sweatshirts EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. because I wanted to hide my body. I remember my first crush saying he didn't like me because I was fat. I remember breaking down in tears all through high school because I was FAT. This process hasn't just been a physical change for me. I've had to change my thought process. I had to learn to love myself the way I was first. Then I started the process of changing my physical appearance. And not because I wanted to be "skinny." But because I wanted to be FIT. I wanted to know what my body could do. I wanted to know how far I could push myself. I wanted to be able to run and run and not get tired. I wanted to know what it was like to be the fit friend! I wanted to be able to walk into a room and feel confident about myself and about my body. So let me tell you how I did it.
I've always had a bit of chunk on me. I've never been really thin. But my story begins when I was 16. I had gotten up to the highest weight I've ever been. Almost 200 pounds. But I was in denial. I looked in the mirror and thought, "no, I'm not that fat." It wasn't until the summer going into my senior year that I really took a look at my lifestyle. I was playing tennis with my brother and his girlfriend. Everyone was having fun. But me? I was dying. I couldn't keep up and eventually I hit the sidelines watching my family and friends have fun while I sat there trying to catch my breath. I smoked, I drank, and I ate. That's about all. After the vacation, my grandma sent us pictures... And this was the first one of me.
This was a major wake up call. But still, I was in denial. Long story short, my mom was the one to tell me that I needed to lose weight. I was depressed, sick and fat. Time to make changes. So I joined Weight Watchers. I liked it because I got to eat whatever I wanted. In moderation, of course. I lost 20 pounds from WW then plateaued. I started falling back into old habits and I felt hungry all the time. I gained the weight back within a few months. Looking back now, this is the time that I can pinpoint all my medical issues. I went back to being depressed, sick and fat. The summer before going off the college, I got back on track and lost the weight again. Not all of it, but a majority. Soon after I had started college, the freshman 15 found me. Expect it was closer to the freshman 25. I didn't understand it. I was eating all my healthy whole grains and I didn't think I was eating very much. But yet, I was gaining more and more weight. I was constantly fatigued. I couldn't concentrate. I felt like I was in a fog all the time. And my worst nightmare... I developed acne. Bad acne. I was so sick. After my first year of college I was fat again. I was sick. And I was falling back into extremely bad habits. Summer 2012 I started my research. I started going to doctor after doctor trying to figure out why I was fat and sick. Turns out I was hypothyroid. Hypothyroid causes the metabolism to slow down causing weight loss to be a struggle. It was also throwing my hormones out of wack. Even after all the medications, I still felt awful. That's when I found Primal. My life has been forever changed. At the beginning of 2013 is when I made a vow to never go back to my old ways. From my experience, this is what I know. My medical problems disappeared. My irritable bowel syndrome? Gone. My hormonal problems? Gone. My Acne? POOF! Gone. My fatigue? Gone. I felt amazing. My health was my priority but my weight loss was a bonus. Weight fell off almost effortlessly and I never felt hungry. I learned to listen to my body's hunger signals. Was I really hungry? Or was I just bored? My life was back on track.
So this brings me to today. 30 pounds lighter and a hell of a lot happier. Of course, I'm not where I want to be yet, but I work at it everyday. I'm always trying new things. Cleanses, fasting, new recipes, new fad meal plans. Always focusing on being better, but always eating like a cave man. Thank you, Primal!
What I've learned about healthy lifestyles:
1) GET OFF WHEAT!!! This is so stinkin important I cannot begin to stress this. One piece of bread spikes your blood sugar more than a tablespoon of table sugar. Spike in blood sugar= weight gain (in simple terms). Stop eating wheat. Now.
2) Drink half your body weight in ounces. Water Water Water! So important in clearing out toxins and aiding in hunger satisfaction.
3) Don't overdue yourself with chronic cardio and exercise.
4) Don't beat yourself up over a missed workout
5) Eat a good meal and take a walk. Walk as often as you can.
6) Play. Go play ultimate Frisbee or go for a run with your dog. Have FUN exercising!
7) Eat your favorite meal once a week. This stops you from binging in the middle of the week.
8) Get off of starches (ie, potatoes, rice, corn) These have the same effects as wheat.
9) Lose the sugar
10) Get rid of pop, even diet.
11) If you can leave it on the shelf for a week without it getting moldy or gross, DON'T EAT IT! Remember, the longer it's shelf life, the shorter yours will be.
12) Have fun with food. Try new things.
13) RELAX! Find time in your busy schedule to relax and wind down. Increased cortisol levels leads to weight gain over time.
All in all, I will always be trying to improve myself. Always trying to be better. But weight loss is a life long commitment. Success doesn't come easy. It's full of ups and downs. I still have self esteem issues and I will probably never be 100% comfortable with myself but I'm working at it every day. My goal is to inspire people to be the best that they can be. I've made so many changes this year. Looking back a year ago, I don't even recognize myself. This has not only been a physical change for me, it's been a mental change. I'm learning how to love myself. I still struggle with my old food addiction and I sure as hell miss doughnuts, but I always have to remember that it's just NOT worth it. Happy and Healthy is my lifestyle now (: