100 Pounds Down: An Athlete Trapped in The Wrong Body: how I overcame addiction and anxiety
NAME : Katrina
BEFORE WEIGHT : 277
AFTER WEIGHT : 177
POUNDS LOST : 100
WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
I was overweight since I was a little girl. When I was in kindergarten I was already the biggest girl in the class. At 6, I was the biggest person on my soccer team, bigger than the boys too. I tried not to let my weight stop me then because I wanted to be an athlete just like my brother. So I continued playing many sports until I was about 13. Once highschool came and I wasn’t with my elemtary school classmates anymore, I quit playing everything. The first year of highschool, I did make the volleyball and soccer teams but like always I spent the most time on the bench, just watching my thinner teammates play. It killed me because I knew the games more than anyone else and wanted to play more than anyone else, but my body permitted that I couldn’t be out there. It crushed me, so I gave up.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?
Although people thought I was confident because I was loud and funny and sweet, on the inside I was very shy. I was fat-shamed not by classmates (except for a few) but mostly from my mother. I have come to the place now where I have forgiven her because I just realize she was dealing with her own body issues. She, like the rest of my family, wanted to help me with my weight but had no idea that their words were stabbing me each time. I was so confused because I thought family should say you are beautiful no matter what, but I never really got that… There was always a ‘but’. They didn’t realize that their words, instead of encouraging me, caused me to over eat and binge eat. I became very depressed and turned to food for comfort. My self-worth was so low. It kept me from playing sports, going to events, going to dances or parties. I attribute never having a boyfriend until I was 19 on my self-worth, when some friends of mine were on boyfriend #6 by then. I just always felt restricted and worthless.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
When my grandfather passed in 2013, I saw how sick he was in his old age and I knew that I was on a bad health path as well. I knew he always wanted me to get healthy and his passing hit me really hard. I was the youngest in our family yet I was the biggest. That fact scared me and I knew it was time I got healthy. I was doing it to make him proud, and because I wanted to play sports again and experience life.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I started at an all-female gym. It was a 21 Day program that changed my life forever. The workouts, nutritional guidance and uncondontional support I got was the winning combination. After those 21 days I was hooked. I attribute much of my success to the trainers I had at that gym. I would cry with them, laugh with them, and just always leave the gym happier than ever. They saved my life and I will always be so grestful. Having people believe in you when you don’t believe in yourself is everything when you have no self-worth. I always felt not good enough…. And they always made me feel unstoppable. When they pushed me I realized I could do so much and that it was my own mind limiting me.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?
In the first 21 days I lost 18lbs! Then in the first 6 months I had lost 70lbs. The next 30 pounds then took a year after to come out. It was a bumpy road the whole way. I would gain and lose and fall off and get back on track often. I think I have finally ‘won’ because I don’t put so much pressure on myself to have a steady climb down. I realize the beauty in falling down and picking myself back up. That’s true strength.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
I had to overcome the judgement from my family. Since they were all over weight, I had to get their old comments out of my head, plus their new ones. I always felt judged when I was trying to stay on track because it made them feel some type of way and I would get comments. The crazy thing is that they love me very much and want me to be happy, they just didn’t realize how their words and jokes affected me. I am like the most sensitive and emotional person and I was dealing with depression and anxiety and food disorders and they didn’t know. I couldn’t communicate how their words were affecting me so they had no idea how much it really hurt.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?
Many times I wanted to give up. My love for food is so strong. I spent 21 years eating anything and everything I wanted so of course it was a struggle to change my lifestyle. However, my cousin Christy kept me going. She died at the age of 19 from her battle with anorexia and bullemia. She experienced the same ridicule I did, so I knew I couldn’t give up. I knew she would be so proud of me if I over came. When I have bad days I think of her and how her life was robbed. I chose to live because of her. When I was in highschool I had suicidal thoughts. I just felt so low that I wanted to fall asleep forever. I knew similar thoughts had crept in her mind to, so its like every time I felt that way, I thought of her and how I NEEDED to keep fighting. It still keeps me going today. I want to build my personal training business so I can donate money to charities like hers which support those with eating disorders. They are awful battles to fight and not everyone comes out alive like in my cousins case. She would be 32 now, and thinking about all she had in front of her potentially, keeps me fighting.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
Often I hit platueas. I would reevaluate what I was eating and how I was working out. Often once I start cheating, I can’t stop. I’m sort of a all or nothing kind of gal. So I just realized it was going to be a battle for life. I need those moments where I fall off and plateau or gain because it re- lights my fire to push even harder. I’ve realized my ups and downs are what inspire people. Often people start and then stop because they don’t think they can do it. I try to be honest with my story and my trials so people realize all I kept doing was picking myself back up. Its human nature to doubt and stop and give up, but its not impossible yo keep going. You just have to tell your mind to do so! Everyone is capable of so many things, its their mind that limits them.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
So after just 6 months I had lost 70lbs. My goal was 100lbs so reaching more than half my goal in half a year, I was amazed and that showed me I could really do it.I went from a size 24 to a size 8 in two years.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
I’ve had too many non-scale victories to count. Basically not being or feeling restricted has been the best thing. Not having to board planes early so I could ask the attendant for an extra seatbelt is one of them. Being able to go shopping with friends and fit into the same stores as them is a crazy thing Im still getting used to. Being able to get my first piggy back ride ever at age 22 was pretty damn cool. Feeling comfortable enough to wear sleeveless tops was such a great feeling. I always covered them up, so being from a small town where plus size ‘fashion’ is limited already, shopping for specifics like full sleeve was a nightmare. Not being afraid to go out in the summer is also cool. I used to worry about covering up the things I hated, which made me sweat more, which I already sweat more than the average sized human, then considering that I may be close to people and I would smell, then add the fact my legs would chafe and I would get awful sores on my body which made moving around an even more painful task, I pretty much just wanted to go nowhere in the summer. I could seriously write a book I feel on all the non-scale victories. In general, things just give me way less anxiety and I’m able to be a ‘yes’ person. Climb up that hill ? Sure! Get in that little boat? Okay! Walk to the store? Of course! Let’s take a picture! .. Well alright:) !
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
I used to eat way too many starcthy carbs and fats and salts and sugars. I would have coffee in the morning with 2 cream, 2 sugar with toast with peanut butter and cheese, and some cereal too. At lunch I would have a salami and cheese sandwich, maybe a poutine, some cookies and a juice. Supper I would have pasta and meatballs and salad and maybe half a glass of water. After dinner I would have chips. Now I have black coffee or tea and a veggie omelette with a piece of toast and a little feta on top with a fruit as well. For lunch I will have a large salad with chicken or tuna and some cheats like a few olives or again some cheese. For dinner I will have chicken or fish, with some brown rice and sauteed vegetables. I snack in between because I am always hungry! I just now put the right things in my body when I am. Since I love Italian food, I found ways to make things I was eating in the healthy or clean way and amazingly I crave those old foods less because I often feel sick when I do eat them now. I see a direct correlation between what I eat and how I feel. Those heavy carb and fat meals added to my depression because I wouldn’t feel good , so I would eat again. It was a cycle, whereas now when I eat clean, my body just wants more of the nutrients so I continue to choose clean.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
When I was heavy I still kind of played sports but now that I’m 100lbs lighter I feel a major difference. I am doing things for the first time in my life, like proper cartwheels or being able to run the length of a football field without stopping 3 times. Each time I do something, the next time I try it I am better… And that pushes me to keep trying. The more you do something, the easier it gets, so the more fun it is, the more you want to do it! Again its a cycle of awesomeness if you can just believe in yourself.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- I became addicted to the scale. Its the worst. Instead take pictures often and get someone to measure you so you can track your progress. The scale doesn’t determine your worth and for a while I let it determine mine.
- Learn to be happy with your body at every stage, even the beggining. Know that you can and will change but that losing weight won’t automatically give you self-worth. Its something you must work on throughout the journey. Tell yourself you are beautiful and worthy and special and loved because you are! Try to see yourself through the eyes of those in your life and you will realize you are worthy, you just want to be healthier so you can stay in their lives for longer.
- Don’t under eat! Eat often, just eat the right foods. I always have a fridge full of veggies and protein and fruits. Just stop buying the junk and you can’t be tempted by it.
- Take time to prepare your meals for a few days in advance or a whole week. This is key because it makes you less likely to grab or stop somewhere because its ‘easier’. It really takes less time in total of you prepare meals in advance so of you have to, wake up earlier, or prioritize your tasks so you can fit it in.
- Get active. Find something you enjoy doing that makes you sweat and do it often! Try to be active every single day. Do little things too like walking places, parking further away from the doors in the parking lot, and taking the stairs. Those little daily change of habits will add up to so much good for you!
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