All my life I’ve gone up and down in weight. I learned from my father not to value the food that is made at home, and instead always buy ready-made food from fast-food places, and vending machines. I went into high school in 2002 all of 150 pounds maybe, and ended up graduating at 170 pounds. I learned how to use the Atkins diet to drop 14 pounds in two weeks…but the second I ate bread or anything starchy, it piled right back on…and more. My participation on the wrestling team and rugby team had kept some of the weight off, but my bad eating habits continued after high school.
After high school when the age of 18 came, I partied, drank, and ate the same way with no exercise. I must have went up to 190 in that time, but when I moved out and started putting in effort to eat better plus run like 15 minutes a day, so I dropped 10 pounds. I’m an hourglass figure so it’s hard to tell in this profile below how heavy I was.
Shortly after turning 19, I joined a firefighter training course for a year and half, which involved running 5-10km a couple days a week, working out in the gym 5 days a week, and doing circuit training. I loved being in a group setting for exercise…the comradery and the competitiveness. I gave up junk food, soda drinks, and ate normally while working out an incredible amount. I lost 40 pounds and was in the best shape of my life.
I ran the PARE police fitness exam twice before the end of the course. Once I was finished though, the next couple years I spent in a series of desk jobs, from an emergency response operator, to becoming a emergency medical responder in the oilfield. I would work away from home 3-5 weeks at a time, and I was alone almost all day long. This resulted in turning to another bad habit from my dad: emotional eating. And I packed on the pounds quicker than I ever realized. In 2011 I contracted Leaky Gut syndrome, and the only way to get rid of it was to eat a diet with no bread, sugars, starches, vinegars, or even caffeine. I lost 25 pounds just in a summer alone.
But 9 months later, partway through my Emergency Medical Technician course, I was better from Leaky Gut and able to eat bread again, and by the time it was May, I was 198 pounds. It didn’t stop me from hiking the West Coast Trail however, in September of 2012. I’m embarrassed of that hiking picture haha.
I landed a permanent site job after that hike, 2 weeks in, 2 weeks out, and I started dating Cory, now husband, about this time last year. My life had started regaining some stability with a schedule, and availability of a gym up on my job site.
So January I started to incorporate some exercise, as well as going to 5 smaller meals a day. Started drinking shakes, and eating chicken and salad daily. I was still being the low-carb addict a bit. We got engaged in March, and I happened to work hard enough to lose 15 pounds for our wedding in June.
And I’m happy I lost even that for the wedding, because I don’t think I looked that bad at all! Married bliss however nice, did not stop those pounds from bouncing right back. I know what you’re thinking, when would I ever learn the lesson that low-carb/no-carb does not keep weight off permanently? Well August actually.
I started the Insanity program, as well as MyFitnessPal for tracking calories. I’ve read for hours on end how food has changed in North America, and how we try to buy the cheapest food we can, despite the known fact that Europeans spend 20% of their income on non-processed food, and we spend 10% on ours…and everyone talks about how healthy they are.
So here I am, 3 months later, 10 pounds lighter, with many MANY inches lost. I’ve eaten breads, rice, and hell, even pancakes…which was pretty much a sin in my past diet bible. I’ve still had some alcohol, and eaten pizza a few times. I’ve learned how much I love cooking, and using measuring cups. I love being able to have some carbs, knowing they are ok to have. I’ve picked up weight training, and I’ve run 5 km. A couple times.
And you know what the best part is? The weight stays off even if I DO have a cheat day! Not only am I getting thinner and more toned, I’m able to do stuff with my body instead of being as weak as a kitten. It’s become less aesthetic, and more about feeling strong. I love this ability to not yo-yo. I feel satisfied, and not deprived.
I realize, with still 35 pounds to my goal, that this is going to take awhile…and this must be the slowest in my life I have ever seen weight come off, but every moment of it is a great experience.