First of all, the disclaimer for the fact that a huge part of the information that I absorbed came from Reddit, so I can not say anything revolutionary. In addition, weight loss and health are not the things that I feel I understood. I am always in the development process.
I am a woman, 26 years old, 5 & # 39; 7 "and 135 pounds. My highest weight was 196 pounds.
This is my (long) story about imperfection and bad habits and how I learned from them.
Let's go back 10 years:
My youngest year in high school, I got on my mom’s scales to see that the number had reached 193 pounds. I could not believe it. I knew that I was not quite right when I said that I weighed about 150 pounds, but I could not believe that I had almost fifty pounds. I was devastated. I was not a lazy person – I was very active in many extracurricular programs (such as newspaper, theater, etc.). I had good grades and a strong appetite for books and carbohydrates. And suddenly, these sedentary activities and the love of pasta and peanut butter looked in my face when I realized that my 5 & # 39; 7-inch frame carried almost 200 pounds. That night I decided to run. I did not do this in a complete block until I felt that I was breathless and I risk collapsing. The idea of going to college, feeling uncomfortable in my body, scared me, but the idea of going on a diet was also horrifying. Especially in a family filled with young athletes, my house was full of pasta, bacon, potatoes … everything that I liked to eat in tons. And with such limited control over the food I had available, I made “trendy” diets such as Atkins, South Beach, etc., completely inaccessible to me. Not to mention that a hot lunch at my school was not what I would call "healthy." I felt really lost. About two months later I sighed a little, feeling completely unable to control weight and lack of fitness. I overeated after trying to eat “good” all day. I cried while shopping in a prom dress. I realized that my 12/13 size pants no longer fit. I knew how I flinched as I climbed the stairs. And two months later, when I climbed onto the scales, frightened by what I saw, I looked at a number equal to 196 pounds, and just completely got inside.
I had a membership in the YMCA and I had Reddit. And these were really the only tools that I had to work with. Even after I entered a health and physiology lesson in high school, I really did not know what I should eat, calories mattered, or how to start looking at food that I consumed critically. I just started by eating the recommended servings and did not go back a few seconds; ate one frozen burrito instead of three, ate one bowl of pasta with cheese, etc., and I lost about two pounds a month, but I no longer felt what was really happening to my body or what I really should be consuming.
So, I found several weight loss subs, and although ten years ago Reddit looked very different, LoseIt was still here, and most of the information that I got back then now has the same spread. I read about counting calories, not relying on exercise for weight loss, about what the normal rate of weight loss is, and randomly dived.
At first it was very hard. I had to overestimate many of my deep-rooted habits, for example, ordering Venti lattes, have a hot lunch every day, take bags with Gardettos and eat them as a serving of snacks during extracurricular activities. I started to bring lunch every day. Either yogurt, fruit and cheese sticks, a turkey and cream cheese sandwich, or soup. Everyday. I almost completely stopped snacking, ordered all my coffee with skim milk and tried to train at least once a week. And … it worked! Pounds were slowly pounding, and I felt really good. I could run more than a block before stopping, my clothes came a little freer, and the migraines that I often received came less often.
I continued, keeping this lie at 150 pounds as my goal. I wanted to be able to say that and to be absolutely true.
By the end of my senior year, I was comfortable in the 150 range. My graduation graduation I fit into a size 8 dress. I could wear carriers. I was not always so tired or rude. And I said to myself: “Here it is! Now this is my lifestyle! "
And it kind of was. I went to college and, fortunately, there was a really nice salad bar in our dining room. I got my first smartphone and downloaded MyFitnessPal. I sometimes used the campus gym (only when I was really doing elliptical or cycling). I felt good, but I was also in a fairly easily controlled environment. I didn’t have tons of spending money, so I was not going to eat or buy tons of extra food. I walked around the campus a lot because my classes were quite far apart. Freshman 15 did not curse me.
After college, I returned to my hometown and started working as a server. My weight fluctuated. I had constant access to food (especially free bread). I would spend months without training. I turned 21 years old, and anyone who worked in a restaurant knows that restaurant people communicate outside working hours, getting drunk together. I did not have weights, but when I felt that my clothes were not suitable, I would do a cool cycle if I tracked calories and worked again. Fortunately, this work kept me on my feet, so I think it helped a little restrain weight gain.
And this is the cycle that I got into. I never gained all the weight back, but I had tricks of the old (bad) habits when I gained 10 pounds, and then went crazy and lost those 10 pounds. I also realized how easy it was for me to drink. If I were tired, sad or not feeling great, I would just eat. I became hungry. I could eat almost all of the pizza if I were feeling bad. And, although these cases were never close enough for me to really suffer from significant weight gain, I realized that I was using food as a support to help with the lowest points.
So, at 22, I had to re-evaluate my relationship with food. I had about 152 pounds, so I did not gain excess weight, but I was stuck in a cycle: to do very well and very badly – with food. I decided that I would cook more (as an addict from the food network, it was really fun). I learned to cross stitch. I changed the job. I made a conscious effort to save money and consume fewer calories without meeting my friends so often. I cleaned my apartment more often. I went into therapy to cope with some hidden anxiety and PTSD, which I felt had contributed to many of my negative habits. I found a friend to go to the gym, so I felt responsible. And gradually my mental state in relation to my body was not “not getting fat, not getting fat, not getting fat”, but “doing what is best for you in the long term, and not what is beautiful now.”
I decided that in the end I would like to be healthier and away from the “overweight” BMI. I calculated that 135 pounds would be a worthy goal, right in the middle of my healthy weight range. I learned to love cycling and black coffee, and then fell in love. I met my current husband, who was a marathon runner and an ardent skier, and it seemed to me that our lifestyle was really mixed up, and not just our personalities. We loved long hikes, we learned to go snowshoeing, and we both started to gain weight because we loved to bake and cook together, and I did NOT want to tell him how I still tried to count calories. We went to breweries, drank wine with our pasta, I suddenly had to buy one size bigger than I usually did, and my scale reached 157. My migraines returned slowly, I felt more sluggish, I cleaned less, and I realized , I walked in the opposite direction to where I wanted to be. I was devastated. I had no idea how to tell him that our wonderful life together really had a negative effect on my health goals.
Then he suggested. And I was so happy. We celebrated. And I hit 160 pounds. Which puts me right on the line between healthy weight and being overweight. And I knew I had to do better.
We spoke. I cried. He said that he loved me, and he was also embarrassed due to a slight increase in weight. I started running, started tracking again, and aimed at 135 pounds and ran 5 kg in half an hour. I used everything I could to keep myself in control. I was listening to the Half-size me podcast. I started going for lunch. We ate a lot less, and when we cooked, I decided to know which ingredients and track them (and fired olive oil)
I got married a year later. September 28, 2019. 135 pounds. 5k every 26 minutes. Sleep well, feel good, and feel very, very happy.
This is a long story, but here is the takeaway TLDR:
You never control what you eat. Even if you feel not, it is. Serving sizes, choice of snacks, etc. – it all depends on you.
Exercise helps, but actually does more to achieve health goals than to lose weight. Exercise anyway.
Goals may change, this is normal.
Bad habits can sneak up on us when we are not looking. Always be prepared to overestimate what you are doing and whether it works for you or against you.
Sometimes we gain weight because we are sad. Sometimes we gain weight when we are happy.
Health is not a number on a scale. If you only want to lose weight, you can do this without taking care of yourself. You deserve better than that.
Be prepared to protect yourself, both yourself and other people. It takes a lot and a lot of practice.
Your value is not in your weight, but when treating our body with respect, we remind ourselves of our own value.
If you are stuck in a cycle of weight loss and weight gain, interrupt this cycle as you need. Start a new habit, try to get rid of an old bad habit, set a new goal. Any change to the template can be very helpful.
Learn and surround yourself with positive influences. Find podcasts, use online forums, find friends in the gym. The more fully you approach the search for a healthier lifestyle, the more it adheres to.
I am under development. I am the one who needs a goal to keep myself informed. I would like to run faster and be stronger. I would like to observe my diet and achieve macro goals. I still count calories. I sit around 1400-1600 for maintenance and allow myself to move when I need it.
Whoever wants to hear this, go on. Traveling does not have a destination, but it will change you. I am so grateful for the body that I have now. And I look forward to giving him the best chance for a long, healthy life that I can.
EDIT to add photos before / after if anyone is interested.
before + after