Finding My Passion – From a sad, broken girl to a Nutrition Consultant and CrossFittter!
NAME : Mallisa
BEFORE WEIGHT : 210
AFTER WEIGHT : 140
POUNDS LOST : 70
WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
I was overweight my whole life. I was always a chunky kid enthusiastic about snack time. I started yo-yo dieting in middle school and developing an unhealthy relationship with food. Through middle school and high school my weight fluctuated. I would go long periods of time without eating and then binge behind closed doors.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?
My weight effected just about all aspects of my life. My self esteem and sense of self worth were so low that I rarely tried new things or tried to meet new people. I hated the skin that I was in and was really hard on myself about it.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
Something clicked when I was about 19 years old. I was just so tired of being the same, miserable, broken girl. I was depressed and suffering from a lot of anxiety. During this time I dropped about 20 pounds from unhealthy habits. Luckily, I realized I could use it as an opportunity to lose weight the RIGHT way and actually get healthy.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
Once I made the decision to start eating better, I used Weight Watchers to lose the weight. Point counting worked for me at the time. It was the right amount of structure and discipline that I needed at the time. It took me a few years to really get the hang of eating whole, unprocessed foods and not just paying attention to a food’s “point” value.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?
I saw results immediately. My diet and habits were so poor prior to my weight loss journey that even the slightest improvement to my diet made a huge difference. I lost all the weight in about 7-8 months.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
I was pretty broke at the time. Living on my own for the first time with my friends in a college town. I worked a lot and was always surrounded by partying. My friends and I always ate out, so figuring out how to eat healthy while eating out was difficult. Keeping track of points became obsessive for me, and that was the biggest challenge. I would write point values on everything and restrict myself in an unhealthy way. It’s taken a long time to develop a truly healthy relationship with food.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?
No, I can’t say I ever really wanted to give up. I was so proud of myself every step of the way and I was evolving and growing so much as a person because of my dedication.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
Luckily I never hit any plateaus. The hardest part has been keeping the weight off and trying to gain muscle while still toning and losing fat. That kind of tweaking has proven to be very challenging. Also, learning to ignore the number on the scale while lifting weights and gaining muscle has been the hardest part.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
Between 7-8 months.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
So many non scale victories! Getting stronger in the gym is one of the most rewarding, bad ass feelings in the world! Not to mention wearing clothing I never thought I would wear. The biggest non-scale victory throughout all of this is believing in myself for the first time. I know it sounds cheesy, but conquering my weight issues showed me that I can basically do just about anything I set my mind to. That has lead me to pursuing a career in nutrition, starting a blog and podcast, starting CrossFit, and just about everything else good in my life.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
When I was heavier I would eat so much junk food. I drank sugary beverages constantly- soda, lemonade, juice, etc… I would eat fast food and cookies/brownies/cakes/ice cream all the time. I was a big time carb and sugar addcit. Now, I not only try to eat mostly whole foods, but I’ve cut most all additional sugar out of my diet (unless I decide to have a “splurge”). I count calories and macros a lot of the time to keep me on track toward my weightlifting and CrossFit goals and try to eat “paleo-ish”.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
When I was heavier I never exercised at all. It was seldom that I’d ever even go for a walk. Now, exercise is the only thing that keeps me sane! I CrossFit 4-5 times per week and have a competition coming up in a month! If you would have told me 6 years ago that I’d be signing up for things like that I would have never believed you. I also just started a 6 week Boot Camp class at 5am to help with my endurance and motor during exercise. I try to use my fitness whenever I can outside of the gym, too. I go on bike rides with my family, walk the dogs. I do yoga and love to hike and get outside when I can.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Don’t under eat for extended periods of time! I wish I would have known this in the beginning. If you plan to have an active lifestyle, try not to treat food like your enemy. You need food as fuel, you just need the RIGHT foods. Under eating might help you get the weight off at first, but eventually it’s going to stop working and then you’re going to have to reverse diet (which can sometimes cause temporary weight gain) to get your metabolism back. It’s a really tough road.
- Surround yourself with supportive people. You’re doing this for your health, and that’s huge. If people around you aren’t supportive or they don’t understand, you don’t need those people in your life. Find a community of like-minded people. Having this type of support ensures that you can continue to sustain your healthy habits and lifestyle and be surrounded by people who understand.
- Calorie and macro counting can be incredibly useful. While I don’t think that anyone should have to log their food forever, it can be an incredible tool to help you open your eyes to the nutritional value of the foods you’re eating. So many people don’t realize what’s in the foods they eat everyday.
- Exercise and lift weights while you’re losing weight! I didn’t really do this and my skin issues have been hard to deal with. If you lift weights and stay active while you’re losing, your loose skin won’t be AS bad. Drink plenty of water and get plenty of protein. Maybe even take a collagen supplement while you’re losing weight to improve the elasticity of your skin.
- Just remember why you’re doing it. If you’re doing it for other people, it’s going the be really hard to stick with it. If you’re doing it for yourself and your health and future, you will be more likely to approach your weight loss as a lifestyle and not a temporary diet strategy. You are the only person who has control over your health and you have to put that first sometimes.
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