Simply a better me. My body journey - part 1
I didn't know how bad I felt, until I changed how I felt about food.
Let me give you a bit of a back story. I'll start all the way at the beginning because it's the most logical place to start.
The Early Years
I was raised in a very healthy family, my mum cooked everything from scratch, we rarely ate out - and when we did it was a treat. I remember first noticing that I was a little chubbier then other girls my age when I was in primary school. I was always told that my metabolism was slower, I had big bones and that I was just one of the unlucky ones. I was put on diets intermittently - but always resorted to sneaking food because I felt restricted. I learnt (very well) how to sabotage myself and my health.
This was the beginning of a cycle. A cycle that would take me a very long time to break.
Mindset is key to success
- the only one I was fooling was myself.
I was schooled at a Private All Girls School - eating disorders were rife and young women (like me) found themselves very impressionable - constantly comparing themselves to their slim and attractive friends. I'd like to say that I was immune to the social pressures to be a certain size, but I'd be lying if I said that. I spent all 4 years of my schooling career in a vicious cycle of calorie restriction, binging and purging, heck I even spent an entire term eating nothing but 6 Pink Lady apples a day - but at the end of the day achieved nothing but unhappiness with my body and a very sore tummy and rear end. I felt let down each time I sabotaged myself and my goals and my relationship with food worsened.
If we fast forward to University where I met Tim and was free of the school environment I did find a time where I didn't feel controlled by food - but again the scale only showed an increase, because I'd never been able to control myself around sweets or processed foods. I'd never enjoyed exercise, so I coupled a lack of movement with poor food choices - naturally my weight increased. I'd lie about my weight - try and squeeze into smaller sizes. But in the moment, I was happy enough. I didn't want or feel the need to change anything. I yo-yo'd between size 14-18 for several years generally staying around the 87-92kg mark. But always maintaining that I weighted 70kg and wore a size 12 - the only one I was fooling was myself.
At my heaviest recorded weight I tipped the scale at 115.8kg - but I'll note that I was 39 weeks pregnant at the time. My weight would have gone up past this, but I was too horrified with the scale here that I refused to step on again.
The realisation that I needed to gain control of my weight and my health came approximately 4 months after Hattie's birth. Her newborn stage had been miserable for me, my ass was glued to the couch trying to breastfeed and the reality of 2 children under 2 was very real. My breathing was laboured when I walked, my clothes didn't fit, I'd get tired even when I did nothing and my rings were almost impossible to wear because they were so tight.
I had a lightbulb moment. I needed to make my health a priority, or I was going to end up leaving my girls without a mother, and my husband without a wife.
Time for change
At the time we were living in Townsville, and I was lucky that I had befriended a woman who had been in a very similar position to me. She suggested that I look at Cyndi O'Meara's Changing Habits Program. The 4 Phase Fat Elimination isn't for the faint of heart. I'm not going to lie, it was hard. But it's exactly what I needed to break the cycle that was so ingrained in my life. I remember starting the Elimination and documenting my starting weight at 98.3kg - my weight loss journey began in October 2014.
Throughout the Elimination I stripped out refined sugars, complex carbs, dairy, fats, any and all processed/packaged foods and lived on 500 cals per day. I was only permitted 200g of lean protein, 2 cups of green veggies, allowed fruits and a handful of "free foods" per day. It seems intense but the protocol was my lifeline, it allowed my body the chance to reset it's metabolism and to break the cycle of fad dieting that I was so used to. I lost 35.8kg in 4 rounds, and by March 2015 I'd finished my rounds and weighed in at 62.5kg. 62.5kg wasn't maintainable long term though and when I started to introduce fats and healthy clean foods my body found stability at 65kg.
I hovered and kept within the 65kg range until I started strength training but thats a story for another day! I hope you'll come back to read the next part of my health journey. <3