88 Pounds Lost: Persistence Pays!
NAME : Kate
BEFORE WEIGHT : 293
AFTER WEIGHT : 205
POUNDS LOST : 88
WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
Ever since I remember I was overweight, I was always the fat kid. I remember when I was in Year 1 a girl said I was fat and I didn’t really know what it meant, but I knew it hurt.
In high school, I was always the “funny fat kid”. I was everyones friend and I had so much love around me from friends and family.
I contracted a virus called Ross River Fever when I was in Grade 10 and I was bed ridden for 12 months. I pounded on the weight and never did anything about losing it.
When I went to University too much partying and eating poorly led to the inevitable; putting on even more weight, and at 20 years old I weighted in at 293lbs.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?
My weight affected every single aspect of my life. I allowed the way I looked after my health to
Not caring about myself and my health resulted in not caring about any other aspect of my life, which showed through my school and University results.
I compared myself to my older brother who was an over achiever, and I never felt adequate.
It impacted the way I interacted with boys, and I never felt I was worthy of love. After all, how could anyone love me when I didn’t love myself.
I partied too much and drank too much to make myself confident, hide my lack of self-esteem and my insecurities.
I was consistently telling myself I was ugly and disgusting.
I was the fat one amongst my friends and I never felt good enough.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
There were two things:
1. I was really interested in this boy at the time. We had a sleepover and I told some of my friends as you do. This spread amongst my circle of friends and suddenly everyone knew. He didn’t want anyone to know (I assume he was embarrassed), so he texted me that I was a fat [insert swear word] and he never wanted to see me again. As much as I would like to admit that this comment didn’t affect me, it sent little cracks through my heart. The thing is, I knew he was right. That’s why it impacted me so much.
Every 20-something year old female goes through self confidence issues, and even though I like to think of myself as a strong human, this comment made my lack of confidence go from already pretty low to the lowest it had ever been. I didn’t eat for days after this, and I thought a lot about what he had said and what had brought this on.
If I ever see him again, one day I will thank him. I will thank him for making me realise that I needed to make a change. I don’t condone the way it was done, however sometimes it takes a little crack in your heart to realise that you need to make a change. I didn’t do any of this for him – nothing was ever about him. Everything I have ever done is for me and I would never change for someone else, however this comment made me stand back and realise that if I wanted to live a happy and healthy life, it was time to make a change. He said to me (in a much nastier way) what my parents and friends had wanted to say for a long time – to do something about my weight. And I did.
2. It was “21st” season amongst my group of friends and I was one of the last to turn 21. I had watched all my friends be the centre of attention at their parties and I decided I didn’t want to be the fat kid anymore. 5 months out from my 21st birthday I decided it was time to change. One chat with a personal trainer – a person who I greatly admired and I realised that with his help, I could achieve the change I wanted to make.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
My brother had not long since finished his Personal Training course, and had started training with a mate of his who he studied with.
I remember calling my brother crying and asking for help. I knew I had to do something about my weight, but I had no idea where to begin. He gave me the contact details of his PT friend who happened to work at the gym I had just joined so I set up a chat with him.
I will never forget the discussion we had. That hour long chat changed my life. To have someone say that they would help you, guide you, and believe in you is an extremely powerful thing when you see no way out. I joined with him and began training. The rest they say is history! I followed his advice 100%, he was there for me when I needed and he taught me a lot of what I know and share today.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?
Within the first week!
When you go from eating whatever you want and whenever you want to a calorie controlled intake, and going from essentially no exercise to exercising 6 days a week – the initial drop is going to be quite substantial.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
As a 20 year old, prioritising my time and my friends expectations was probably the hardest challenge. I was still trying to maintain a social life whilst balancing my new goals.
Catching up with friends was usually associated with going out for drinks and food, and I wanted to be as committed as possible to my goals as possible.
I stopped drinking, and received a lot of flack from my friends for doing so. I went from being the drunkest, funniest, life of the party to a tame individual who still had fun but was no longer the loudest person in the room. Receiving comments from my friends about me being ‘boring’ now was really offensive to begin with.
Additionally, initially I despised exercise, but it didn’t take long for that to no longer be true.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?
There’s always going to be days where you can overlook how hard it is, you have a craving, it’s that time of the month, or you eat something which makes you feel guilty and you just want to throw in the towel.
There have been periods over the past few years where I have given up for a few weeks or a month. However I have always managed to pull this back in line.
I have always been driven by my goals. When I want to give up (or when I had given up), I think back to why I started and I try to draw upon the emotions that I used to feel – the self hate and disgust, how I felt on a daily basis, where my mind was at, and use that as a motivator to keep going. I also set mini goals to achieve for the week – whether that be to stay on track with my food, or hit a certain lift in the gym, or just to be a grateful person. Being driven by goals keeps you focused and committed.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
Plateaus occur as a result of your body getting used to your intake and exercise regime.
When I have hit plateaus, I have either slightly lowered my caloric intake, or increased my exercise through HIIT training.
Other than that – having a diet break for a few days and allowing your body a higher calorie intake also works. Raising your calories to maintenance level allows your body to reboot and it provides a range of psychological benefits.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
My journey has been the best part of 3 years, as my weight loss journey has been up and down like a roller coaster.
I lost ~44lbs then went on a study abroad semester to Northern Arizona University, Arizona, USA and put most of that weight back on. I came home and began again, but when I wasn’t drive by a goal I gave up and put on small increments of weight again. Each and every time I have gotten back on track I have come in stronger and more determined – and right now I am the most committed I have been in a long time. Hence Persistence Pays – despite getting off track sometimes, being persistent in your pursuit of your long term goal.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
Yes! They are my favourite:
– Completing an Olympic distance triathlon 1 hour quicker than I expected
– Completing a half marathon
– 220lbs squat
– 220lbs deadlift
– Inspiring and empowering other women in their own journeys
– Being featured in New Idea as a weight loss success story
– Most importantly: I can say that I am proud of myself, I love and accept who I am, I value and respect myself, I realise my worth and I know that I have a lot to offer this world. Changing your mindset is the most powerful thing you can do.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
When I was heavier I ate what I wanted and when I wanted. I had no concept or understanding of the impact of what I put into my mouth, and I ate in a “all or nothing” manner – the whole tub of ice cream or none (and let’s be real, it was always ALL). I would also go out drinking 4 nights a week and get drunk and end up at McDonalds for breakfast at 6am.
Now – I have a solid understanding of the macronutrient breakdown of foods, I eat in moderation and I eat guilt free. I eat to fuel my body, not out of emotion or as a reward. I eat nutritious, whole foods which provide my body with essential vitamins and minerals and ensure that it functions as optimally as possible.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
It doesn’t – there’s no comparison from nothing!
When I was heavier, I would do everything in my power to not have to do any form of activity – I would drive 2 minutes down the road to the shops, would avoid stairs and take the lift – and if I went to the gym (which was once in a blue moon), I would have no idea what to do so I would walk on the treadmill and sit on the bike.
Now – I train 6 days a week. I lift heavy and do HIIT sessions. I move whenever I can and I try to incorporate activity into my life every day as much as I can. I value exercise and the impact it has not only on my physical self, but also on my mental state. If I don’t exercise now, I find it very hard to be productive throughout my day.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Set goals.
Goals are imperative. When you have something specific to work towards, it helps you stay on track and stay focused. Scale victories are good, but they can make you obsessive and you can get bored quickly. Focus on non-scale victories and work towards different goals.
- Stop the blame game / take responsibility.
When you decide and commit to your weight loss – you need to take responsibility for your actions and stop blaming external forces / factors for your situation.
You are where you are today due to your own actions. No one forced you to over eat and no one else is responsible for your lack of movement.
Unless you are a child, disabled or physically ill, your weight is your responsibility.
Accept this, forgive yourself and then focus on doing everything in your power to make a change.
Showing gratitude has the ability to alter your happiness levels; guaranteed. Despite your situation, when you actively write down what you are grateful for – it rewires your brain to scan the world for the positive and not the negative.
I’ve got a challenge for you. For the next 21 days, answer these three questions and I guarantee you that your happiness levels will improve.
1. Who are you grateful for today and why ?
2. What is the best thing that happened to you today?
3. What are you looking forward to most about tomorrow?
- Learn to accept yourself / value your worth.
If you want any significant changes to occur, there needs to be a switch in your mindset and a realisation that you need to value your existence on this planet and to stop letting your weight hold you back.
This comes from valuing your worth and accepting who you are. Stop trying to be someone you are not or wanting to be like someone else, because wanting to be someone else is waisting the person that you are. You are you and you will never be anyone else. Once you realise that you will only compare yourself with the you that you were from yesterday, and you will accept that you are worth this journey and you owe it to yourself to live the best possible life you are capable of.
- Learn about Flexible Dieting.
Asides from shifting your mindset, the one thing that really helped me move away from the guilt associated with eating and removed the binge cycle was the introduction of Flexible Dieting into my life.
For those who aren’t aware – Flexible Dieting focuses on the macronutrient content of foods (protein, fat and carbs). Each food contains different amounts of each, and thus foods are either considered nutrient dense or calorie dense. By understanding this, you can include those foods you may deem ‘naughty’ or unclean within your diet so long as you eat within your individual macronutrient requirements, and eat enough micronutrients throughout your day (minerals, vitamins and fibre).
By doing so, you can eat these foods, stick to your goals and continue losing weight without feeling guilty and without feeling like you are restricted or feel like you have to eat the whole tub of ice cream.
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