Six months ago I was nearly 50 pounds overweight.
I was totally in denial about how uncomfortable I was in my own skin. I did not realize that I was avoiding photos with friends and I was completely unaware about how unhealthy I really was. I knew that I should probably lose weight, but I would try different diets for a couple weeks at a time, with little to no success. I had never been thin, never below a size 10 and I had believed that this is just how it was supposed to be for me. After graduating college, I slowly put on weight. My excuse was that since I had moved out of New York City, I was driving everywhere instead of walking, and again… I figured this is just how it was for me.
One day at work in April, everything changed. I had gotten really sick and ended up at the doctors for a series of blood tests. I found out that I had been living with celiac disease for a number of years which left me incredibly unhealthy and unable to digest food properly (which is the real reason as to why I had not been able to successfully lose weight). Long story short – I am now living gluten free. My entire lifestyle has since changed drastically. Now- before you assume that going gluten free will make you lose weight, believe me when I say that it won’t. The key to losing weight in my life was accepting that things had to change and answering the wakeup call I had been given.
After meeting with a nutritionist, I learned the proper way to eat. Something so simple, I had been doing so very wrong. Portion sizes matter and so does proper nutrition. Chocolate has always been my weakness, and in the past whenever trying to lose weight, I would cut everything “bad” out of my diet completely. This time around I learned that I can still eat basically whatever I wanted, just in small portions. I didn’t need to eat 4 pieces of chocolate to satisfy my craving…one at night would do the trick. I found it interesting, and surprising how eating right WORKS. Protein and veggies for meals, fruit for snacks, and then one splurge at night. I allowed myself freedom with food and beverages on the weekends. In order for this to work, I had to make sure what I was doing would work in my lifestyle. If I did not allow myself a couple glasses of wine or dinner with friends, then this would not work in the long run.
Another crucial part to my weight loss journey was exercise.
I had always considered myself an active person. I played sports in high school, and was always down to be outside. But exercise had never been a part of my routine. When feeling puffy or like I had put on an extra couple pounds, I’d attempt to go for a run, or a quick gym session. Once I began eating correctly, I attempted running again and saw how a proper diet fueled my run better. I downloaded an app that changed my life. As silly as that sounds, an app on my phone taught me how to run for distance and to build up my stamina. 6 months ago I couldn’t even run a half a mile without being winded and needing to stop….now I am running up to 6 miles any given day and even ran my first road race a month ago! For me, this is a huge accomplishment. Running has become part of me. If I go a few days without a run, or being active in some way, I feel uncomfortable, which is something I can’t believe I am even saying. Have I turned into a runner? Maybe, just maybe.
I am not one to sugar coat things, so if any of this sounds like it was easy, trust me when I say that it wasn’t, and still isn’t. Changing my habits and lifestyle was a choice and something that I had to be ready for. And if you’re trying to lose weight, you need to know that bottom line, you need to make lifestyle changes. It is not as simple as cutting out foods you consider bad. It needs to be a full mind and body transformation. There are a lot issues to overcome during weight loss, from body issues, to the mental hurdles, it is a constant battle. Having been overweight my entire life, I think that I will always fear of gaining all the weight back…but for now, I use that fear as fuel to keep going and keep working to better improve myself. I honestly believe that if I can do it, then so can you. There’s never an excuse to not go for a run. Just look at me now!