I began my journey about a little over two years ago September of 2013 when I had realized I had gained a substantial amount of weight through my college days. I had this belief that all I had to do was take the stairs when went to work and it would keep me in shape. How terribly wrong I was. I hadn’t really realized that the stuff I was eating was the source of my troubles. I ate things that I grew up knowing, things like a bowl of rice every night or it might be pasta or making a sandwich for myself. Every body ate that kind of stuff. But what I hadn’t realized was that I was inputting more calories than I was burning off. Just because I take the stairs at work doesn’t mean I’m burning the appropriate amount of calories needed.
I weighed almost 150 pounds (a hefty 147 to be exact if you’re wondering) and I had blindly told myself that I wasn’t overweight and that I was fit as a needle. I couldn’t fathom the thought that I was even slightly chubby that I still looked like the fit person I was when I was in high school (I did dance for four years on top of color guard practice). It wasn’t until one summer, looking through some candid beach pictures my friend had taken of me. I was left shocked and aghast, I didn’t recognize the person in the photo. My face was round and pudgy (and sporting a grinning double chin), my body looked bloated in the small polka dot bikini swimsuit. To be honest, I disgusted at myself. It was then I knew that it was time for a change.
I consulted a friend and he had recommended a new diet called the ‘paleo diet’ that worked really well for him. I did my own research and it looked awfully difficult. No grains, dairy, or processed sugars. It was basically a meat and vegetables diet. I LOVED bread (especially pizza) and it almost left my breathless thinking I had to give that up. But I was determined. Every hesitation was a step backwards, not forwards and I was not about to let that happen to me. I wasn’t going to give up. I cut a plethora of simple carbs and sweets from my life (rice, pasta, bread, chips, soda, junk food, etc.) and started a very basic meals that consisted of mostly salads, and occasionally grilled steaks. It was hard, but I knew it was going to be worth it.
I also got a gym pass for myself. Which was ironic because I hated the gym. I hated the idea of daily repetition that would bore me to no end. I hated the way the gym smelled so rank sometimes, I hated the idea of sweaty equipment and it paralyzed me when I would think about all the germs I would be bringing home with me, hated how dirty the gym was, and mostly I hated the effort I would have to put it to make this work. But a new gym was being built right down the street from my boyfriend’s place, everything would be clean and new, and the price was ridiculously low for all the amenities that came with it (not to mention the manager there is super anal on cleanliness). I took a deep breath and cast aside my fears and worries, if I was going to do this, I was going to do this correctly.
I got down to 110 (107 being my lowest) from 147 which was a whooping 37-40 pounds. I was so proud of myself and the results that I decided that I really want to make a lifestyle change. I made a decision not to eat heavy carbs and junk food from here on out until the day I die, although that didn’t mean I was going to strip myself of days where I do treat myself. You do deserve a treat every once in a while. Once I week I would let myself have a cheat snack (small bag of chips or a mini candy bar of the like) but always strictly looking at the labels and calculate how much calories/fats/sodium I would be ingesting for that particular snack.
I also now hit the gym 8-10 hours a week a share between yoga (inner strength) and lifting weights (outside muscles). My initial fear of repetition actually was the one thing that kept me sane. The drum of repetition helped with staying consistent, but mostly I found that I loved the burn of a great workout and that sheen of hard work dripping from my face and body was the best (it’s a great excuse to purchase cute workout clothes).
Losing weight is probably going to one of the toughest challenges you’re going to face, but maintaining that healthy lifestyle is going to be twice as hard. It’s one of the main reasons why I hate when people ask me to help or offer suggestion when I know 95% of the time they will fail half way through and make excuses as to why they couldn’t do it this time, they’ll definitely start next year. That’s why this whole “new year, new me” thing is such bullshit to me. If you’re not going to commit now, when will you ever?
Are you really ready to give it up? If there’s any hesitation or the answer is no, you mind as well stick to what you’re doing now and learn to accept the fact that your body image isn’t as ideal as you want it to be. Learn to love the way you are and know that everything is a choice.