I have not always been fit and been a healthy eater. When I was in College(9 years ago), I gained about 20-30 pounds. I knew how to eat healthy but at the time it was easier not to. I loved to drink beer and I ate takeout alot!!(sometimes 3 times a day). It was really hard juggling school and eating healthy. I loved going out with my friends and having a good time, which usually involved beer and lots of crappy food. I would always think to myself “well this day is shot, might as well start fresh tomorrow”. I said that alot until eventually I had enough. I was done school, was working and was feeling so sluggish, fatigued and out of shape.
I knew I needed to change. I was willing to put in the work but not change my bad eating habits. Working out never seemed to be the hard part for me. I tried P90x for a while but saw little to no changes so I got frustrated and quit. Looking back, obviously I saw no changes because I was still eating all the takeout and drinking all the beer. Food has always been comforting for me. I love food but I was so unhealthy.
How I Decided To Make A Change
My friend introduced me to a running app that she used and showed me how I could track my running. I had never been a runner so I didn’t believe I could do it but I was so fed up that I decided to give it a try. The first day was embarrassingly awful. I could barely get through a km without having to stop and catch my breath BUT I kept going. I had started something and didn’t want to quit so easily. I also knew that if I really wanted this to work that I HAD to change my eating habits. No more Wendy’s drive thru and no more beer.
It was so hard at first but each day got easier until eventually I was able to run 5k without dying and my eating habits were much more on track. It took be about a year and a half to 2 years to lose 40 pounds but I did it. It was so hard but so incredibly worth it. The results did not happen overnight but that is what I wanted. I knew if I had trained too hard, too fast that I would have gained all of the weight back. I was not on a diet, I simply made a lifestyle change that was sustainable. I still ate carbs just alot less of them and was eating more whole foods.
My college day meals would be something like a bagel for breakfast, a sandwich or burger for lunch and pasta for dinner. So many carbs and little to no greens. It was my comfort food. When I decided to change my habits I would have oatmeal for breakfast, chicken breast and salad for lunch and either eggs or a home cooked meal for dinner with healthy snacks throughout the day. It was a big change for me at the time but eventually my body adjusted and my body now craves these foods instead of takeout because my body isn’t used to all of the sodium and sugar it was getting before.
My Life Now
Pre-baby I was able to get down to my goal weight and maintain my weight with proper eating habits and exercise. I exercised throughout my pregnancy and I am still eating well now and working out everyday. I gained 30 pounds during my pregnancy and everyone told me I would ‘bounce back’ after I gave birth. My body doesn’t have that ability. My body HOLDS on to fat for a long time and I have to work my ass off in order to lose the weight. I lost 15 pounds initially after giving birth but still have 10-15 pounds of pregnancy weight left a year after giving birth. My body most definitely did not bounce back but I am honestly happy and proud of my body now. I am not obsessed with losing the weight. I know with time that it will come off because I workout and eat well.
I know what my body is capable of and I know what I need to do if I really want to lose the weight. Truth is, I am not that concerned with losing these few extra pounds. I have learned to love my body the way it is right now. I was very lean before I got pregnant. Too lean some would say, so the body I am sporting right now is somewhere in the middle of pre-baby and post-baby and I am okay with that.
How I Look At Food
Once I cut down on my carbs years ago when I was trying to lose the weight, I was obsessed with cutting out complete food groups. I completely cut out carbs and would feel so guilty eating bread or pasta but now I have found a healthy balance. I no longer feel that dreaded guilt when I have a carb or 2 throughout the day. I know that my body needs carbs for fuel. No longer associating guilt with food and just living my life and enjoying my food, has given me so much more freedom and peace.
Now I enjoy my life and enjoy my food. If I want a treat, I’ll eat a treat. If I want some bread, I’ll eat some bread. Getting to this mindset has been a struggle for me but I have finally got there and I am so happy I did. Restriction is not for me. I can’t do fad diets. They don’t work. I need to eat. Eating certain foods in moderation is the key to success. Eat well, move your body and enjoy life! It is way too short to not eat the piece of cake. That one piece of cake will not make you fat or make you gain ten pounds. Eat the damn cake, enjoy it and move on. Don’t look at eating that piece of cake as a punishment and like you have ruined the entire rest of your day. You haven’t!!
You Can Do This!!
I am a foodie. Yes, I am one of those girls that at breakfast is already thinking about what I am going to eat for lunch and at lunch thinking about what is for dinner. I love food and I am so glad I have finally found a healthy relationship with food instead of feeding my body garbage. If you are someone who struggles with this, I feel you! If you need help getting started, I am here to help. Baby steps and you will get there. This body and mindset transformation did not happen overnight, it took me years and is still a work in progress. The most important thing is that you feel good in your skin. I feel so strong and healthy at this point in my life and I am loving my new body!