Two Years of Healthy Living – The Lessons, Set Backs and What my current MEALS look like after being diagnosed with IBS!
May 1 2011 was the day I decided I was going to change my life. Wow, two years. What a DIFFERENCE two years makes! I’ve seen results, the lowest weight lost was 33 lbs, I’ve fluctuated between the 20-30 lb mark but thankfully have never gained all / most of the weight back. My life has changed dramatically in these 2 months: I was diagnosed with pre-systolic ventricular heart beats (Fall 2011), my best friend became my boyfriend (Fall 2011), I joined Tone It Up (Fall 2011), I graduated undergrad (Spring 2012), I travelled Europe (Summer 2012), I moved across Canada for grad school (Summer/Fall 2012), I moved in with my boyfriend (Summer/Fall 2012), I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Winter 2012), and I moved back home for this upcoming summer while my boyfriend is in a different city for the summer for an amazing job opportunity (Spring 2013). All these changes brought on different adventures and weight management issues. I gained 10 lbs from traveling Europe – NO IDEA HOW since we walked at least 20km a DAY. I experienced horrible stomach pains since April 2012 and to say the least, after losing 33lbs from December 2011 to May 2012 – these stomach pains were no joke. Everything made me sick. 20/30 days in Europe I was sick with stomach pain, and when I started grad school the first 3 months were stomach hell – had no energy to work out, everything made me sick, and life just sucked. Then I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome and it felt like I had to start all over again. Certain things I loved to eat now made me so sick I actually went to the emergency room one night in pain. After much trial and error, I have found several food groups I cannot eat, and several that some cannot eat / should not eat often (like beans) but are amazing for me and my stomach – which again, doesn’t make any sense. To say the least, the one thing that has for sure happened in two years is I am stronger, mentally, physically, I can handle so much more these days. I’ve worked in an amazing routine where I’ve had more energy the past 2 months than I have in a year. My muscle development is phenomenal, and while my weight fluctuates, most of my clothes still fit great (except for the couple I bought at the -30 mark, but those I will get into this summer I am sure of it!). The best part is getting back on the horse is a lot easier than it would have been 4 years ago. I know so much more now about what to eat, what to do, and exercise just gets easier from working out 5-7 days a week for 2 years. When I started working out, lunges killed me, I could do 8 and then be on the ground with a leg cramp, now, even when I have taken things slow, I can still get up to over 20 lunges no problem. *this is progress – you might not see it, but you can feel it, be proud*. So, I have some great information I want to share. I hope to inspire those who have too, gone through some epic events the past couple of years – this is for you.
1. Food is more important than people let on
Jillian Michaels’ ends most of her DVDs by saying something along the lines of “if you go eat that pizza, you will undo everything you just worked for”. I would always get pissed off “but what if it’s just ONE piece?!”. Food matters. But here’s the secret: portion control, cheat meals, and finding creative ways to love your food will make it all worth it.
I see a lot of tweets coming in from ladies who just confessed to a huge binge fest (I’m guilty of this too). Binges often happen from limiting yourself something you love for far too long that you legit go crazy and eat every freaking thing. To prevent this, it is actually important to include cheat, portion controlled meals in your diet. Some have cheat days on Saturdays, some have a cheat meal once or twice a month – it varies, but all the people who I’ve seen go on to lose epic weight and stay fit have cheat, controlled, meals.
For me, I freaking LOVE CRABS! Pasta, bread, rice, fries or anything potato basically… I’ll eat it all. I know how terrible McDonalds is, but offer me their hash browns and I’ll kill for them. I freaking love them!!! So. How do I fill this craving? Whole wheat pasta about once a week, whole wheat bread for a sandwich at lunch a couple times a week, white rice when I’m making a dinner for 2 (brown rice just isn’t worth it), and fries when I’m out for lunch with a friend. Whole wheat items are healthy cheats you can add to your lunches and is actually recommended by a lot of fitness plans. A lot of people are going completely wheat free – this is fine, but unless you’re Celiac you kind of don’t actually need to. BUT everyone is different, I know people who cut out wheat and have been feeling a lot better – when my stomach is upset I actually EAT wheat and feel better (2 pcs of ww toast) so it depends what you’ve got going on. Carbs are actually incredibly important to fuel your body – just finding the best way to do it (whole wheat, beans, fruit, veggies) is the trick.
2. If you don’t like it, don’t bother
I hate grapefruit, I hate having a salad as my whole meal (they’re called side salads for a reason) and I freaking love cheese.
The past 2 years I learnt what I’ll give up, what I’ll take up and what I refuse to budge on.
i. The things I gave up completely are: milk, pop (was never a big pop drinker), artificial sugar (ie. candy, cookies, and adding it to my tea), white bread, condiments
ii. The things I mostly gave up are: chips, popcorn, red meat, white pasta, potato products (hash browns, fries, etc), butter, salt, shake and bake, sausage
*when I say mostly I mean I gave up a lot compared to how much I WAS eating – but I still munch here and there – especially movie theater popcorn (went without it for 6 months, my longest record, saw over 5 moves in theatre during that time, was horrible lol).
iii. Things that are recommended to eat but I refuse: grapefruit (upsets my IBS), huge salads (no thanks, give me some carbs please), coconut water, tofu, and 5 egg whites in 1 serving (who can afford that?). I learned that I don’t need to eat these bad boys because there’s better options for me out there anyway (sounds like a bad relationship lol).
iv. I have learnt to portion control because I cannot live without: cheese!!!! and basically everything in the “mostly” category, but cheese specifically I eat about 5 times a week – I know, I’ve heard the bad rep, but I freaking love it, love it on EVERYTHING, and just refuse to give it up – this inhibits my progress, maybe, but it sure as hell prevents me from bingeing!
v. Things I eat now I that didn’t 2 years ago: FRUIT!!! I have so much fruit now! whole wheat products, ALMOND MILK!!!!! flax seed, chia seed, spinach, protein powder, protein bars (Luna, Lara, etc), water!! (I never ever drank water before I signed up with Tone It Up)
Here’s the thing: I. Love. Food. and I’m legit, always hungry!! I’m just never full. A salad just doesn’t do it for me – I need some carbs at lunch, I need to eat a huge plate of veggies for dinner, I need snacks, I need my fruit smoothie for my second meal – I NEED POTATOS ONCE A MONTH!!!! so I do.
I learned that I can give up a lot, but not everything, and certainly not all at once. So, to show kind of what my meals look like, check it out:
*meals show one or the other per meal, not all at once and includes drinking at least 70 ounces of water a day – after 2 years of trial and error, this works for me*
Meal 1: organic cereal with unsweetened almond milk; greek yogurt with berries & flax meal; breakfast sandwich with either ww english muffin or ww toast with egg whites and a little cheese; ww french toast with ww bread and egg whites and portion controlled real maple syrup;
Meal 2: 1 apple or 1 banana if I am on the go; or 1 fruit smoothie mixed with chia seeds if I will be home most of the day
Meal 3: organic soup with 1/4 cup of quinoa and kidney beans added; ww sandwich with chicken breast and veggies; 1/4-1/2 cup of quinoa with kidney beans some veggies and portion controlled butter chicken sauce and cheese (amazing- at least twice a week); greek qunioa with 1/2 cup of quinoa tomato cucumber feta cheese and greek dressing; if it wasn’t in the AM then breakfast sandwich from Meal 1
Meal 4: depends how much I have eating at this point but usually; protein bar; if I missed my fruit smoothie I’ll have it now (if I didn’t eat any other fruit that day); cucumber celery & carrots sometimes with some hummus or just plain; if I haven’t had carbs yet then 1 pc or ww bread of half a English muffin with tomato and avocado
Meal 5: this is usually the same, 4 ounces of protein with approx 2 cups of veggies, some options are; 4 wings and asparagus, chicken breast and veggies, chicken thigh and veggies, edamame and veggies, shrimp and veggies, steak and veggies, tilapia (or other fish) and veggies – its all really the same, everyday. I often have my cheat meals here at meal 5 because I get so bored. Add in some pasta, potato, etc to some of these dishes.
Meal 6: depends what’s going on – if it is post work out then 1 pc of bread with jam or honey; if it’s just the end of a day then herbal tea; if I’m really craving something then hot air popcorn with seasoning salt.
So I mix and match – if I had a breakfast sandwich for M1 I’ll have quinoa for lunch instead of a second sandwich with no cheese, etc. I move things around, keep it interesting, but it’s usually a rotation between all these meals, with some cheats, going out to see friends for lunch here and there.
3. Be realistic about who you are, and where you come from
Rather if it is a mental thing, or some childhood addiction I’m not sure, but I love greasy terrible food that is most likely microwaveable, so to go from that to having 90% of my meals not come from a box was a HUGE learning curve for me, not just what to buy, but how to freaking cook it! My whole life we had the same thing for dinner, chicken, rice and veggies just about every single night. Sometimes we had a roast, some pork chops, some homemade mac and cheese, but it was usually the same thing. Then on weekends, Saturday and Sunday we had 2 eggs, 2 pcs of bacon and hash browns. It was just my mom and I for most of my life, she worked 3 jobs, and I was busy with school and sports and mostly staying out of trouble – we ate fine, my mom never bought chips or ice cream, popcorn has always been our treat of choice, but it added up, the carbs, my love for eating everything on my plate with extra cheese sauce, eating out with friends once we could drive, and then moving away for undergrad = freshman 30 (not just 15). I never learned how to cook because I didn’t need to, and when I moved for undergrad I had a pass at the dining center and just cooked what I knew how (mostly soup and pasta). The last 2 years I had to completely learn everything. But I wasn’t alone. Joining Tone It Up was the best decision I ever made – found so much support and connection to other people and just finally had an outlet to ask questions and actually get the proper answers to it.
I love food, but I love to work out too, I have always been active, did all the school sports, etc. So getting back into shape near the end of undergrad was way freaking easier than changing my eating because I have some weird sickness where I just love the horrible food out there – this isn’t trickery from tv ads, or from fast food chains, or from laziness, I actually enjoy the taste LOL so, I’ve learned to work hard, eat what I love (in moderation) and if it’s deep fried, I try to pass on it. With having IBS now, it has become a lot easier to pass up certain things because I know for sure it will make me sick and I HATE feeling like that so it’s gotten better, but I still freaking love hamburger helper so once a month, is ok
4. Here’s another truth…Keeping Fit and Having Fun is what will keep you going. Some love their booty calls, I personally do not enjoy booty calls (AM fasted cardio work outs), some love lifting weights, some do not… some love one type of exercise, some dabble into a couple of other exercises, but overall what you love is what will help you keep going because the truth is… you will stop doing what you hate and you will stick to what you love.
I’m going to use my own example to explain this. I don’t like doing booty calls because (1) I hate showering twice a day (2) I hate showering in the morning period (3) In order not to shower I don’t work out hard enough and it just becomes a waste of time (4) I find that some days I get too much energy and I can’t focus on the homework I need to do (5) I hate waking up earlier than I need to. So, overall, I don’t do booty calls unless it’s for the 5 or 7 Day Slim Down or after a holiday weekend with a lot of eating… I’ll suck it up, shower twice a day, and burn an extra couple hundred calories.
But what is significantly important about this, is I know booty calls are not sustainable for me. Change means being uncomfortable right? So I get extra uncomfortable in my PM workouts, because I can sustain my PM workouts. Do you see what I mean? When it comes specifically to time, develop a program you know you can commit to.
Now, when it comes to types of exercises, every program argues that change is key. So you plan a program that fits your specific weekly schedule. Do you feel you need extra time with your weight training than you do with your cardio? Then plan that. Change things up at a minimum every two weeks – I personally change my program every week because it keeps things exciting, and I find changing my goals each week keeps me going. What’s great about the 90 day programs (such as Jillian Michaels” Body Revolution, P90X, etc), is each week is different so the programs can really help you get uncomfortable, experience change, and learn how to incorporate exercise into a sustainable program. But I find for me, 90 days following 1 persons plan = boorrriinnngggg. So I usually just steal from a couple of days, add it in here and there, and do my own thing. I’ve always kind of been defiant like that “you want me to do what? I’ll show you!”. I love work out DVDs, love all cardio (except long distance running these days with my bad knee and just purely not enjoying it lol). I like to sweat hard, get in and out, and keep it under 60 minutes.
5. Myth I need to confront: working out twice a day is key to weight loss
Yes and no. It depends. If you do a booty call and a PM work out you will lose more weight faster (granted you’re eating right) but will you do this everyday for the rest of your life? if yes, then wow, that is epic, and you will truly have an amazing epic body. But I hate working out in the morning (as mentioned) so my 2 a days include a 30 min walk at lunch, and then an intense 30-50 minute PM work out. This works for me and I LOVE doing it. But you really don’t need to work out twice a day – in fact, some actually suggest not doing it!
The truth is: it’s all about you and what you will sustain. What do you want your day to look like? I love my lunch walks because it gets me away from whatever I’m working on, gets me away from a desk / table, and lets me just enjoy my thoughts for 30 minutes. I’ve worked out some major problems during these walks (including picking which grad school I would attend after 5 offers came in!!). Then your PMWO you give it YOUR ALL!!! HIIT training, weights, circuits, DVDs, whatever it is, get in, give it your 100% and then leave with a smile. If you only want / can work out once a day that is FINE you do not NEED to do twice a day, just find something you love!!! If you can sustain working out once a day and are committed to that, then that is amazing and go for it – if you’re doing AM and PM work outs and you got the time and energy, then best to ya – for me, I can sustain my walks and my PMWOs – and I’ve seen great success with this.
6. Customize everything
In March 2012 I injured my hand. Pulled a tendon and got a ganglion cyst right in the middle of the top of my left hand. Couldn’t lift weights for 5 weeks, it was horribly painful, no push ups, no burpees etc – I actually got it from a challenge I was doing through an online thing and I had to do something like 50 push ups a day, then the next week was burpees, and one day I was sitting at work typing and just this rush of epic pain came to my hand and I had a bump for 4 weeks – went to the doctor got it x-rayed, etc. It went away on its own, but even now I’m paranoid about doing push ups, etc. and there’s just some moves I refuse to do (like side planks and any move involving a side plank).
Here’s the truth: there are a billion different work out moves that do the exact same thing as the move you don’t want to do – does. The best thing I got from Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution (90 day program) was the variety of moves I’ve never done before. So whenever I do a DVD or see a routine, and there’s a move I just cannot get the form right – I don’t bother and just do something else. This is not cheating – never compromise form, if you cannot do it for a specific reason like my hand injury – do something else or don’t bother at all. I’m serious when I say this. I HATE that move where you go into crab pose, you have to lift 1 leg and bend up and down?! NO THANKS! I’ll do tricep dips off the edge of my couch or bench instead. Same goes for the crab crunch thing Tone It Up does, nope, just regular crunches for me. Anything involving me balancing on my side I just don’t bother because of my hand, do it in a different position and move on. Whatever you pick, just give it your all – that is all that matters.
Oh and supermans… I hate supermans. Mostly because I’m wearing a heart rate monitor and the little device stabs into my abdomen.
7. Plan Everything
I used to think that my fitness schedule had to fit around all my other activities, eating, homework, hanging out with friends, downtime, etc. But I realized quite recently actually that all my other activities should work around my fitness schedule. Meaning, my fitness schedule should actually come first. I realized this during the month of April (this past month). I handed in my thesis proposal April 5th, was waiting to move back home for April 24th so I did nothing for April. As a student, who has written final exams 6 years in a row – this is my first April without finals. It was incredibly weird – since I live with a law student (my BF) and all he has done since mid March is study every single day and all I’ve done is play video games!!! I thought when I moved out here for grad school, I knew I would have a lot more free time. Compared to undergrad where I was taking 4 classes and working 3-4 research jobs, I was always insanely busy. Grad school is a little bit different. The stress of grad school is very real, scholarship applications, reading and writing take up most of your days, but because my thesis work is well, research, it’s like all project, there’s a lot of stop and go. You can and will spend months working on one thing every day until it’s due (like me from February 1st to April 5th) and then have a hug lag time while you’re waiting for something to be reviewed to move on. I assumed that since before moving away to grad school I had lost 30lbs and had an amazing fitness schedule I would just work out all the time. Wrong. I’ve actually done the opposite. I’ve worked out less with the more free time I have. This is because I just kind of make it up as I go along. I don’t have anything to accomplish most days so I just wake up and do nothing, sleep in, then all of a sudden it’s 9pm and I’ve sat around all day. This summer I am not working, I’m only doing thesis work, which will be some stop and go, but mostly consistent work. So I’ve realized that my thesis work will have to work around my healthy living schedule, otherwise, I’ll never get back on track and will just waste away.
8. Dress to Impress
Couple of things here;
1. wear clothes that fit you. When I started to lose a lot of weight fast, my clothes noticeably did not fit any more. It made me really uncomfortable so I spent a lot of money on new clothes (mostly old navy because you can get a lot for cheap). So be aware that you will need and want new clothes during your healthy living life.
2. nice, fun gym clothes make a huge difference. work out clothes are extremely cheap – target, superstore, costco even, has some great stuff for some good prices. Don’t work out in your old high school sweats, go get some nice stuff you LOOK and FEEL good in. It will make you want to put those bad boys on!
Overall, just be comfy and happy with what you wear, dress for YOUR size and YOUR shape!!
9. Probably one of the most important: dealing with setbacks.
So I lost 33lbs in about 4 months in 2012. All I did was eat clean and work out and significantly increased my water intake. And when I say eat clean, I mean complete, no junk food, no sugar, no nothing, just fresh mother nature food. April 2012 I started to get sick after I ate some meals (never the same one which was why I didn’t pay too much attention). At first I just thought “that meal wasn’t clean enough, I need to eat cleaner and Subway is no longer clean enough”. I stayed within the 25-30lb lost till August 1 2012 when we left for our 30 day trip to Europe. I was sick 20/30 days, ate a lot of pasta, drank little water, and even though we walked at least 20km a day, I gained 10 lbs (making my weight lost 20lbs, no longer 33). Like I said before, I moved for grad school, so after Europe I actually started class the very next day so there was little time to adjust. Food was in general more expensive, and the tax was a lot higher, so groceries became incredibly expensive. I was now getting sick a lot more often and it started to be from eating clean foods (grapefruit, quinoa with shrimp) so I finally went to the doctor. After first being treated with a stomach lining issue (was treated with ulcer medication that increased the stomach lining to help my stomach repair whatever the doctor thought was wrong) my symptoms were less during the medication but came back (and sometimes worse) after I was done. So again, I focused on clean food and ate extremely well – after 10 days of being sick in a row from eating clean I knew something was wrong. So I went back to the doctor and this was when I was told I could have irritable bowel syndrome and would be getting blood test results to rule out celiacs and crohns. After a long delay in the blood results, they came back negative and there I was, with irritable bowel syndrome, now 20lbs gained back, no energy, no motivation, no nothing. This was me 1 month before posting this blog (so lets say April 1 2013).
Shit. I worked so freaking hard to lose the weight, eat healthy and this is how I get paid back? The part most frustrating, the doctors advice was “eating clean meals that are not processed is extremely important for you” and my response was “I DO!! AND I’M STILL SICK!! HELP!!!”
Now let me quickly define sick / my symptoms so you know how I really felt.
- 3-4 days of constipation followed by sever diarrhea, then back to constipation
- every night before following asleep I felt like I was going to throw up and often lied there awake because of the feeling
- sever stomach cramping. and by sever I mean on a scale of 1-10 of pain, this was about a 35.
- extreme bloating and gas (I had just moved in with my boyfriend, talk about embarrassing)
- limited to no energy, having to stop during work outs due to feelings of nausea, and finally
- just generally discouraged.
So lets do the math: weight gain + no energy + digestion issues / pain + expensive healthy food + stress from being a grad student away from home = a mess.
I felt like death 5/7 days a week. I didn’t care to eat healthy because why would I? It made me sick anyway, may as well eat shitty food that makes me sick too. Why work out, I won’t lose the weight because I cannot figure out wtf to eat to do better. I was completely discouraged, felt completely alone and felt extremely ashamed and embarrassed over my weight gain. Losing 33 lbs was an amazing accomplishment, to gain over half of it back felt like an utter failure, and what would I explain to people who noticed I gained some of the weight back? “Yeah I gained some of the weight back because I felt like I was going to throw up after every meal, had no energy to work out and just generally wanted to sleep all day and do nothing because of the stress from it all, on top of being far away from home, having limited money, and having to pay higher prices for the same food in my home town”. That’s a long sentence to explain to people who weren’t there and have no idea wtf it felt like to go through this.
I had to start back at square one. “Eating healthy and clean” no longer cut it. I had to start to play around with my food to find what made me sick, what didn’t, and this actually included ignoring some advice given to me (for example, I think beans have a bad rep for bloating, gas, and bowel irritation, for me, it’s one of the only products that does not do this to me so I eat them everyday now). I completely cut out sugar because the majority of the time I was in the most extreme pain was after eating a cookie or a cup cake (literally) so I said hell no, get them away from me. I’ve significantly limited my animal products, now I eat meat once a day, for dinner, and eat less than 4 ounces. Over the past 9 months I’ve just less and less enjoyed eating meat. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll kill for a steak from the Keg, but at home, generally, I cut out a lot of chicken, lunch meat, ground beef, etc.. I’m actually lactose in tolerant but the only items that make me feel pretty sick is milk, and if I eat cheese in more than 1 meal in 1 day, so I limit 1-2 ounces of cheese for my lunch because I freaking love cheese, is a great source of many healthy vitamins and shut up, I love it.
How did I deal with all this?
Well, I’m a student, so recording everything I do is part of what I do for school work, so that is what I’ve done since January 2012, I recorded my food and workout schedule- and even before that date I was recording my work outs. I keep track of what I did do while I was sick. I still managed to work out (even just walking) around 4-5 times a week during this time. Not to the same degree as before August 2012, but I still kept moving.
I still tried and tested food. As much as my bad attitude allowed me to eat shit food more often than I normally would have, I’d say at least 4 days of the week were relatively healthy eating, but because the other 3 days a week were so bad, I did see weight gain. But I was always testing something new, and have now finally formed some specifically selected meals that will not make me sick, so the trial and error was really worth it – even figuring to what degree the bad food makes me sick (for example, kraft dinner makes me so sick it’s not even worth it, but hamburger helper… not so much!).
Really important: I always focused on portion control. Even when I’d eat a pasta dish, I weighed my pasta and my meats, I portion controlled my hamburger helper by literally weighing out the ingredients, including the seasoning pack, and I always portion controlled the meat I was eating. So even though I was eating more white rice or white pasta than I should have generally speaking, specifically, I portion controlled the crap out of it.
Overall, I never completely gave up. When I did work out between the couple of days breaks, I was never as sore as I would have been a year earlier, portion control has been a life saver, and preparing my meals kept me on track more often than not. As lame as it sounds, I kept trying. And I asked for a lot of help, tweeted with people, emailed questions, looked up stuff on websites. I’ve done a lot of research to figure out wtf is making me sick, why, and how to replace that item so I can keep eating healthy.
After much fail, much pain, a trip to the emergency room, and a lot of self-esteem issues (like when you put on pants that used to fit you and are now too tight), I’m finally getting back on my feet. I’m learning to say “no, sorry, cannot eat that, I’ll get sick” and people generally understand. The one good thing from this, it’s an easier way to get out of eating meals you know are not healthy living approved, but you don’t want to offend someone. So when offered seafood fettuccini instead of being tempted to pig out, I can now say “great thanks, I’ll have a little (ie. portion control) but not too much or I’ll get sick, do you have a side of veggies I could have with it please and thank you “. That way, you get to have a little cheat, portion controlled so you don’t get *too sick* and you can ask for a substitute they most likely have.
Also, I never really lost my fire. I started to lose weight for health reasons, now, more than ever, eating healthy completely influences my entire day, how I feel, my energy, and if I’ll be going to bed sick or not. So really, the frustration I felt made me search even harder for answers. I just kept going. It was horrible, 9 months of weight gain, pain and no energy is just awful, completely influenced my mood and my social life, and just had a huge impact on me.
Dealing with the most difficult part for me, admitting I gained weight back, and feeling like I let down so many Tone it Up women who said I “inspired them” after my weight loss.
Ultimately, I felt like I let a lot of people down. Not just myself, but everyone watching my progress. “You’re so inspiring I love your blog posts!!” are messages I get often and are incredibly humbling, but I started to feel like “am I a liar?”. I mean, yes, I did lose 33 lbs, tried so freaking hard to do so, had a great attitude about it, but now, 20 lbs backwards and being told I’m an inspiration? Truthfully, it was kind of confusing for me to move forward with this positive role model feeling, and feeling like a complete failure.
But then I stopped and realized that the people that inspire me the most are those that achieve greatness, achieve failure, and still somehow find a way to 1. get back on their feet, 2. inspire others to keep going too, and 3. are realistic about their failure to do better and move forward, not only for themselves but for everyone else watching.
So, if there’s one thing I can be that would “inspire” people, is I never gave up. The weight gain was a symptom of things I just could not control at the time. I was sick, it sucked, I wasn’t able to achieve the max healthy living, I’m better now – so now it’s time to get back full throttle and dominate, lose those 20lbs I gained back, AND MORE!!!
I don’t think of myself as an inspiration, I think of myself as a normal person, with an amazing boyfriend, a supportive family, and a love for eating with a love for working out. However, tell me I can’t do something, or experience a set back? Watch out world, I’m back, and here to kick the door down, kick my health into over drive and get past these horrible 9 months.
10. What did I learn in 2 years?
- be realistic, understand what’s going on, what you can and cannot control, and wait to get better, rest is the best – rest up, dominate later
- it’s ok to say no to food. Recently on twitter we spoke about the weight women gain when in a relationship. AH! When I moved in with my BF we never eat the same thing, have the most opposite schedule, so it was easy to meet up have dinner and then go about our things. I learned that he really really does support my healthy living, and I need to give him the opportunity to do that by saying “no I don’t want nachos tonight” and making something different
- routine is key. Not being in a routine is so tough because you just start to flop around. As a grad student who didn’t work outside of my teaching assistant position, 6/7 days of the week were just me by myself. I really didn’t develop a schedule because my sleeping pattern sucked and I think I was just a bit depressed, missed home and wanted to get the hell out of Halifax as soon as possible. I never developed a routine, this was a huge issue and something I’ve continued to work on
- love yourself. I’ve always been a big fan of myself. I’ve accomplished a lot and am still going. I have amazing mentors in my life and have always seemed to be able to connect with people. I’ve never really “hated” my body, that’s why when I first started to lose weight it was great, but I already loved where I was. I did it for health reasons and because I was actually afraid to gain more weight. But truthfully, I’ve always been more muscular than others so 190lbs looked differently on me than on someone who just had a belly, etc. I always looked even, no major areas like some have, so I’ve always been ok with how I looked. However, losing the weight and gaining it back was the first time I ever didn’t love myself and how I looked, because for the first time, my clothes didn’t fit. Shit. that was a horrible feeling. Here I was buying smaller clothes, donating the bigger ones, assuming I’d never gain it back until I was prego or something, and here I was… shorts a little too tight, shirts a little too small. DAMN! But you know what, I’m awesome, I love myself, my body, and everything I’ve worked for I’m going to keep working for. So find some love for yourself, it’ll keep you out of the dark hole of eating disorders and binge eating.
- Find people to connect with. If I hadn’t found Tone It Up I know I would not be where I am today. The community of women are amazing and I truly have some great connections with wonderful women all around the WORLD!!! who else can say that?!?! Pretty freaking amazing!!
Overall healthy living is like anything in life, there will be ups, downs, set backs and triumphs. If you make it a big part of your life, it’s only normal for it to fluctuate. Stay consistent, stick to your goals, and be realistic. But most importantly keep trying. As much as the past 9 months have been amazing and completely sucked at the same time, here I am, doing 2 a day work outs, getting back on track for 2 weddings this summer!! It is possible, just keep at it, be smart, realistic, and find something you love to do¸ because you will keep doing it!
Happy 2 Years to Me!!