I have always been overweight. I can’t remember a day of my childhood or youth that I felt or looked slim.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? I never thought it did until I lost some weight. I always thought I could do and wear and feel like all others did. But now that I look back, I always felt insecure about my body. I started wearing high-rise jeans to cover my stomach. No tight tops, no high heels as I always thought: “You’re tall and you’re fat so don’t make yourself taller and fatter as you already are.” I sucked at P.E. at school, always tried to find excuses not to participate. Always wore a towel while walking on the beach even after a swim. Never showered in a public facility. Ordered clothes online a lot not to be ashamed of trying on big clothes in stores.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? I caught the travel bug when I was 19. In 2012, I made the decision to go to New Zealand. I read about residency and found out that Kiwi government/health organisation made restrictions of people with high BMIs. So after years of not knowing my weight, I stepped on the scale and almost cried.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? I started eating unprocessed and healthy food. More fruit and veggies, less carbs and no candy and chocolate. And I began to exercise. When I say exercise, I mean I finally got my ass off the couch. Went for a walk 3 times a week, tried to use the car less. The first 22lbs just fell off me within 3 months.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? After 2 months I’d say. Clothes started to look different on me, too wide or they actually started to fit.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? Yeah, that’d be exercise. 😀 And not eating potato chips on the couch. And being ashamed to admit that I was actually overweight.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? I lost weight in stages. I never really wanted to give up but my body made it clear that it needed breaks. I lost 22lbs in 2012, then again about the same amount in 2015 and again this year in 2016 (I ended up going to Kiwiland in 2013 for 18 months and had a bit of a break there). I always retained my weight (apart from the usual few points that you always gain and lose). I am still not where I want to be, I still wanna lose another 10ish lbs but I have learned that breaks are important for your body and your mind. With breaks I don’t mean that you go back and eat the same crap as you used to but don’t be as strict as you are while losing weight. After all, the goal of weight loss should be a healthy diet that you can follow for the rest of your life. And to me, this diet includes chocolate and pasta. Not everyday like it used to, but once or twice a week is okay (not the whole chocolate bar though 😀 ). What helped me a lot where other people going through the same. Try to find groups on Facebook or other social media and get support. Look at old photos. Learn about nutrition and realize what you’re doing to your body long-term.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? Last year, I signed up for the gym and changed my diet to low carb. After losing my 20-something pounds, I didn’t manage to lose more, I was stuck. I lost interest in the gym as I never really liked it that much anyway. I still ran and swam but didn’t lose anymore weight. So this year, I decided to try something different and joined Weight Watchers. WW taught me a lot and I actually had fun keeping a food diary on my phone. I started running properly, I still walk a lot. And again, another 20-something lbs weight loss within a few months. So my advice would be to change your diet of you come to a plateau and try if that helps. But the most important thing: NEVER GIVE UP. Plateaus are part of weight loss. Your body needs to get used to the new situation. If you are consistent, you will get rewarded.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? See above. 🙂 69lbs in 4 years
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? Hell yes. None of my clothes fit anymore. I went down from a size 18 to a size 8 (in Germany that’d be from 48 to 40). It’s actually so much fun to go shopping now because I can put on whatever I want! I also always wanted to go for a run with my boyfriend who is super fit. We did – 2 weeks ago. 🙂
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? Breakfast
Past: bread rolls with jelly, honey, lots of butter, or sweet cereal with milk
Today: jogurt with fresh fruit and oats and a teaspoon olive oil, or same ingredients as a smoothie
Past: bread rolls or a warm meal such as pasta or something baked depending on where I was at work
Today: fruit or a salad or a homemade fresh sandwich
Past: pasta or some type of potatoe bake with meat and lots of cheese, gosh how much cheese I ate…
Today: chicken or beef with veggies or a salad, low carb
Snacks during the day
Past: candy, chocolate, potato chips, banana
Today: fruit and veggie sticks, nuts, sometimes dried fruit, a little piece of chocolate if I need it 🙂
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? Physical activity did not exist back in the days hahaha.
Gym is not my cup of tea. I run 3-4 times a week and try to do some home exercises for my arms and stomach.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Set goals. Not crazy ones like losing 20lbs in 2 weeks. But small ones that you can reach and that help you to stay motivated.
- Reward yourself. Buy a nice book when you lost 5lbs. Get a manicure or a new haircut.
- Don’t compare yourself with others. Every body is different and your weight loss will be different to other people’s weight loss.
- Listen to your body. There will be days when your body needs something else than your mind wants to give. Weight loss is stressful for your body so listen to what it asks for (sleep for example is SO important!).
- DON’T GIVE UP. You already went the right path by realizing you need to lose weight. There will be ups and downs but don’t give up, you are strong enough to reach your goals.
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