I struggled with my weight in my late teens and 20’s due to not knowing about nutrition. I would go on restrictive diets and then binge eat. This pattern of “yo-yo” dieting was exhausting mentally and physically and I could not reach my weight loss goals long term.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? When I would fall off my clean eating and go into binge eating, my relationships were affected negatively. I would be moody and not want to be around people. I felt ashamed and embarrassed since I was so out of control behind closed doors and had to keep it a secret.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? Food was my life and I was addicted to making myself feel bad. Food was my friend and my escape. It just became so toxic that I decided to educate myself in nutrition since I had always been working out. It took time over the years to learn my body and to learn what type of diet worked for me. Through trial and error I was able to have a wellness plan that could be done long term.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? I didn’t have an exact start point per say, but it wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s that the change began to take place. I dedicated myself and work in the sports nutrition industry so was around many in shape people who got me motivated and inspired.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? When I stay dedicated to my plan, I saw little changes within the first 2 months. I followed a pretty strict diet to see the results more quick. But I had fallen off the wagon drastically a few times until I was able to help strengthen my mind and overcome habitual behaviors.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? The biggest challenge I had to overcome was having an emotional relationship with food. Food had been my go to substance for when I was happy, sad, stressed, overwhelmed etc. With other addictions such as alcohol or drugs, you just had to be abstinent. But with food, you need to survive. So training myself to use food for fuel instead of coping with a certain emotion was extremely difficult.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? All the time I wanted to give up once I fell off the wagon and binged. But the more I was open about what I was struggling with, the more strength I gained and became more determined. I learned that so many other people struggled with the same problem. I therefore didn’t feel so ashamed or embarrassed of how out of control I had once been before.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? Every now and then I would hit a plateau, but then I would just switch up my workouts or try new tricks with my diet. It will always be an on going learning experience since your body can become adapted or get burned out with doing the same thing over and over.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? It had been a process over the years of trial and error and picking myself back up. But I would say over a period of 5 years of having relapses of binging, my frequency and duration of them became less and less.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? I am actually not into the scale to begin with since it can mess with a lot of peoples heads. If I weighed 200 lbs, but was healthy and felt great, that number wouldn’t matter. For me the biggest victory was breaking old mental patterns to prevent me from yo-yo dieting and emotional eating that were the biggest victories.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? Now my diet consists of eating how I feel. I listen to my body but keep my foods natural and light including high fats, lean proteins more with fish then poultry. I was never a big meat eater, so I eat vegan products and foods. When I was heavier I would basically try to eat as little as possible, but then would burn out and then binge eat on everything. Cookies, cakes, pizza, you name it, I ate it!
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I am much more active now, and it is less challenging for me to keep up. I was always “working out”, but it was the diet I could never be consistent with. I also push myself more intensely now with my physical activity to see what new limits I can go to.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Don’t be so hard on yourself.
- Eat for inner health, not outward appearance.
- Not every diet works for everyone, its about finding what works for you and your goals.