My journey has been an interesting one, and is far from over. From fat to fit, from omnivore to vegan, from couch potato to fitness enthusiast, from sports hater to fitness obsessed! Here's my story:
I don’t even know where to begin this. I wasn’t even sure if I would ever share this, but at this point a lot of people have encouraged me to do so, here it goes:
Ever since I can remember I was fat. I was called all kinds of names from "cow" to "grease ball". Children can be really cruel, I was the kid who never got picked up for teams in PE class, which made what should've been a pleasurable experience one that only brought anguish and stress. Of course, I was anything but athletic, so I hated sports. I turned to indoor activities such as reading. I was very insecure and food provided comfort.
Adolescence was even worse. Being a fat teenager isn’t a walk in the park so to speak. I remember walking from home to the library; a couple of boys from my school were standing outside of the house where one of them lived. I remember one of them called me out. and said:
-Hey do they have milk in your house?-
Fearing the worst I said - no-
He then said- Really? How can that be, when they have the best cow in town living at home!-
They all cracked up. I pretended I didn’t care, my spirit in shreds. I wanted to die.
Fast forwarding my life a few years, food continued to be a source of comfort and stress. My weight fluctuated, and I led a very inactive life. Being someone who never practiced any sport, I was VERY out of shape. At some point I started working out at the gym, but it was basically cardio exercise. My main way of losing weight was starving myself, so I was either eating everything in site or nothing at all. There were times in which I adopted a Jell-O soda crackers and “Gatorade” diet. Imagine how malnourished my body was. But all I cared was losing the weight. Starvation did the trick every time.
Around half a year before becoming pregnant with my first child I became obsessed with losing weight. I took every pill anyone recommended for curbing my appetite, ate almost nothing, smoked and drank tons of coffee to curb hunger pangs... you name it, i did it. As a result of my very unhealthy eating habits, I lost the weight, but had no energy to function. I was obsessed with food, counted every calorie, to the point that in some days I'd refuse to consume more than 200 calories... Can you imagine going through the day with 200 calories to fuel your body? Another way was fasting... I was the queen of starvation. You could say I was an extreme dieter.
I did some physical activity in the form of power walking and some jogging, but nothing drastic. As I said, I wasn’t much into sports or
working out. Extreme dieting was my thing.
So I got pregnant and had serious morning sickness, which accompanied me the whole day, my whole pregnancy. I ate very little, not because I was concerned about gaining weight, but because my stomach was upset all the time. So I gave birth to a healthy, 7.5 pounds baby girl... and the upset stomach was gone. So the vicious cycle started again.
Being a stay home mom during my maternity leave, with a crying, colicky baby that cried nonstop (poor thing) wrecked my nerves. So I turned to food again to cope. I gained 60 pounds that stayed with me for like three years. One day I just looked at myself in the mirror and decided that the woman look ing back at me wasn’t me. So I started dieting again and doing cardio. I was able to lose the weight and then some. I managed to keep the weight off for a while. Then I got pregnant with my second child. This time it was a beautiful 8 pounds baby boy. With similar pregnancies, that involved vicious morning sickness, slow digestion and an upset stomach, I pretty much was as thin after giving birth as I was at the beginning of my pregnancy, maybe thinner.
Something bad happened then. My baby went into respiratory distress and ended up being in the ICU for 16 days, in a very delicate condition. And you guessed right, my faithful companion, food was there to ease the pain. Needless to say, I gained a lot of weight, like 45 pounds. So I turned to my very unhealthy habits again, with no workouts this time. Then I hit a plateau. I started jogging, then running and fell in love with it. But life had other plans for me.
I changed jobs and during my second year in this new job, I moved back to my hometown, so I had to commute everyday in the worst conditions. That added to the fact that I had started working to get my bachelor in Psychology and was planning to launch a business with a friend, triggered my stress and shot it to sky high levels. I went from 135 lbs to 198 lbs. To say the least... it wasn’t a pretty sight.
So I kept the weight for a year or so and one day, in which I was especially depressed about being fat (I was never the fat and jolly type, I might have been overweight my entire life, but was never happy about it, au contraire, I HATED my fat self!), I found a book that was the beginning of my life changing journey: “Shut up, stop whining and get a life” by Larry Winget. So that’s exactly what I did.
I started to work hard towards building the life I wanted and the body I had only dreamed and wished about, but did nothing to attain. First I cleaned up my diet. Deep inside everyone knows what is and isn’t good for them. I made healthier choices, started eating more frequently in smaller portions, that type of thing… As for physical activity, I started working out at home, because I could not afford the gym at that moment. Power Yoga and Taebo Amped were my chosen workouts.
A month or so passed and the weight was coming off systematically. I enrolled at the gym and started working out with a combination of cardio (in the form of elliptical machine and stationary bike) and strength training. As I said before, I had never been a lifter; I perceived weight training as boring. I read “Body for Life” by Bill Phillips and got my first knowledge about how to eat healthy, like really healthy, and planning my workouts.
I had started eating my macronutrients at certain times of the day, so was really focusing on eating more protein later in the day. I’ve never been a meat person, so honestly, eating more meat, poultry and fish wasn’t something I was excited about. Besides, I’m not much of a cooker.
I then remembered about TVP (textured vegetable protein) which is commonly used by vegetarians and vegans as a meat substitute. So I eliminated all meat, without even realizing what I was doing, it wasn’t even something conscious like “I’m going to stop eating meat to become healthier” I just did it, it was more convenient at the moment. Needless to say, the pounds MELTED.
At that moment I was training 6 times a week, cardio and weights. Little by little I was loving more and more working out and training with weights. As I realized how fast I was losing weight I started reading about vegetarianism and veganism. I read “The Kind Diet” by Alicia Silverstone and “Skinny Bitch” by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. I was hooked!! So I eliminated all animal products from my diet.
I started my quest in August 2010… by February 2011 I was 117 pounds and was starting to see some muscle. I was ecstatic. For the first time in my life I felt good about my body and myself. People were asking me what I had done to get in shape. It was mad! I wanted to hire a personal trainer, because my fitness goals had become too ambitious. That and all the positive feedback I was getting has made me consider the possibility of pursuing a career in fitness as a personal trainer, helpiing and motivating others to work for the body they want and have never had.
I have come a long way and have learned a lot in the process. Now, I want to continue working to achieve my fitness goals and to become a certified personal trainer. I feel that I am in a privilege position to empathize with people, especially women, which are where I once was. I have a deep desire to help and reach out. That alone keeps me going
File comment: This pretty much represents my journey from fat to fit!
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