If you were to draw a line or connect the dots through my progress to better health it would look like a zig zag. I have had ups and downs, success, plateau and fails.
My quest for better health has always been predominately about weight loss and my own body image issues. Throughout my childhood, teens and young adulthood I’ve had personal issues around my weight and body image. At school I was always the tallest and largest. Being teased for your size is not a fun experience to go through. But that was my school experience; I never felt like I fit in. I used to go to bed at night and wish to be skinny like all the other girls at school. I’d sadly wake every morning to my wish not coming true. When I now look at pictures of myself as a child I don’t think I would say that I was fat or overweight, I think it was just puppy fat. But to me I was.
From what I can remember I grew up eating a pretty typical Australian diet. Sugary cereal and chocolate milk for breakfast, vegemite or ham sandwiches for lunch, two minute noodles (cooked
or raw) as an afternoon snack and dinner was usually meat and three veg. It was a fairly processed diet with not many fruit and vegetables.
When I moved out of home at age 19 my diet got worse. I was now 100% responsible of my food choices. Breakfast was either non existent or an ice break, lunch was probably a tuna sandwich (white bread) or a sausage roll and dinner is where it got bad pretty much every night we had fast food take away. My body didn’t agree with this diet. I put 7 kg onto my already existing overweight body in about 6 months.
As I entered my 20’s and the years went on I guess I just accepted that this is how my body was. I would try to diet and exercise but my weight kept increasing and my self esteem went down. To be truly honest I don’t think I tried that hard to lose weight. That was probably due to the fact that I didn’t know how to lose the weight. I never sought help or even expressed my feelings to anyone. It was an internal unhappiness. I was never comfortable in my own skin. I would just skip meals, add in a little bit of exercise but still eat poorly. When the weight wouldn’t shift I would just give up.
It wasn’t until my mid 20’s that I finally was able to shift the weight and actually lose weight for the first time in my life. I don’t know what the initial thought was, something clicked in my brain, I became super committed to making healthy food choices and got into running. I had decided I wanted to change and I actually stuck to those changes and my body started to change. I lost around 23kg over about 2 years. Dropped from a size 16-18 to a size 10-12. It was this change in my health what lead me to study nutrition and become a qualified nutritionist.
Losing all the weight was the first time in my life that I actually started to like my body and feel comfortable in my skin. Feel confident and beautiful. I kept the weight off for around 4 to 5 years. I kept up with my running and maintained healthier food choices.
But then life happens. I got married and was happy. The working out and healthy eating routine didn’t stick as much as it used to. I slipped back into bad habits. My studies got intensely stressful, I graduated and started my own business. My health wasn’t my number one priority. As a result slowly about 8 kgs of the 23 kgs that I had lost crept back on.
So this is where I am at in my health quest. I have the desire and goal to get back to the weight I got down too. But it’s different this time around. I have so much more knowledge and understanding about weight loss than I did the first time I lost the weight. I understand the mechanisms that contribute to weight gain. Before all I focused on was diet and exercise. Now that scope has broadened to ensure I have:
- good sleeping patterns
- balanced mental and adrenal health
- healthy hormonal regulation
- healthy gut/digestive function
- a nutritionally rich food intake
- and participate in many different types of physical movement. Not just running.
My head space has changed over the years. I am trying to focus on my body size and how I feel in my skin rather than the number on the scale. I may never get back to the weight I was. But I want to get back to how I felt. My main goal this time around is to become the healthiest I can. Weight loss will be a result of a healthy behaviours.
The reason I have shared this part of my story is to let you know that it is possible to lose the weight. It might not seem possible. I know I have had those thoughts. But don’t give up. If you truly want it. You can chase that goal and you can catch it. But you have to own it. You have to be committed and you have to be willing to make changes. If you don’t change you’ll stay the same. You can’t wish it to happen (as I learn’t as a child). You have to take action. You deserve to have the body and health you want.
If anyone relates to my story or wants to share a part of their story I would love to hear from you. You don’t have to be alone in your journey.
Feel free to comment below or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org