45lbs. Well, actually 48lbs (but who’s counting)?
It sounds like a lot of weight. It is a lot of weight. I never imagined that A) I needed to lose 45lbs, and B) that I could without dieting.
I started working out when I was 16. Kathy Smith and Claudia Schiffer frequented my tv screen with pilates and aerobics. I couldn’t afford a gym membership, so I did whatever I could do at home. When I was 17, my mom bought me a gym membership at our local women’s only gym in a town of 5000 people. It cost 20.00 a month, and I basically did cardio and ab workouts. I lost weight very quickly through exercise and by becoming neurotic about what I ate.
I upgraded my gym membership to a fancier gym in Saskatoon when I was 18, and fell even more in love with running. I’ve always been a cardio queen, but I really struggled to have a healthy relationship with food. More so, I really struggled to be content with my body. I went on diet after diet, trying anything I could to lose weight, even though at the time, I didn’t need to lose weight at all. When I was 19, I remember consistently weighing around 165lbs. For a woman who’s 6’1 and athletic, this was a very healthy and lean weight for me-but I couldn’t see it. All I could see was the girls my age who weighed 120lbs. It didn’t matter that they were 5’5, I wanted to weigh what they weighed.
When I went to University at the age of 21, I remember my weight creeping up to 175lbs. I still ran, but I had started to incorporate really heavy weight lifting and crossfit style workouts. Not only that, but I was super stressed with school, on a very limited budget with student loans, and had been bulimic since the age of 18. I would restrict my food intake all week and completely binge on the weekends. Even though I purged the food I ate, I was still damaging my metabolism and gaining weight as each year passed.
When I was 23, I hit 209lbs. I couldn’t believe what happened. I was working out 6 times a week, restricting my carb intake and tracking all my food, but still binging and purging on the weekends. I was single, stressed out about money, and found solace in food. I managed to drop weight for my 24th birthday by going on an even stricter exercise routine and doing an elimination diet for 3 months. My goal was 175lbs and I hit 176lbs-but with an extreme amount of effort. As you can probably guess, this weight loss didn’t last long before I recoiled back into the 200’s. Diet after diet, I lost weight and gained it back-damaging my metabolism more and more each time.
I just turned 30. Said goodbye to my twenties and everything that came with that period. I had made the conscious decision to stop weighing myself when I was 26 because the scale never seemed to move lower than 190lbs. I couldn’t bear to face the number anymore, and I didn’t want to be a slave to my weight, so I got rid of my scale and began to work on myself instead. I started to change other aspects of my life, as well as the food I ate, and little by little I started to drop dress sizes. One week before my 30th birthday, I decided to step on the scale again. I had overcome my obsession with weighing myself, but if I’m being honest-I was still scared shitless of seeing that number (which isn’t healthy either). I knew that I must have lost weight, since my dress size went from a size 12 to a 6 in four years. I decided to put whatever number would come up in a different category than being tied to my self-worth, and stepped on with no expectation.
When I stepped on the scale I weighed 164lbs. One month later I stepped on it again and weighed 161lbs. Not only did I weigh 45lbs less, but I also measured my body fat percentage and it was sitting at 15.5%. I’m still shocked when I see these numbers because I didn’t set out to lose weight, I set out to get healthy. I set out to stop being afraid of food, stop beating myself up in the gym, and started to accept my body for what it was. Of course, I definitely changed what I was eating, how I was eating, the types of exercise I was doing, and through trial and error and listening to the feedback my body was giving me, I created a way of eating and training that worked for me.
Over the next couple blog posts in this series, I will share what methods of eating have worked for me, and what I implement to naturally stay lean. I want to preface this by saying, what has worked for me could work for you, but it might not. We are all so very different, and at different stages of our lives we require different things. How I eat and move now won’t be the same 5-10 years from now. Like our bodies evolve, our eating and lifestyle choices have to evolve as time passes.
My hope is that you can find some of your own story in my story, some of your own successes through my successes, and your own insight through my many trial and errors (which I’m sure you’ve had too). My hope is that you would learn to tune into your own body, and tune out what everyone else is telling you that you should do to lose weight. You are your own weight loss expert, my job is to help you hear what your body has been trying to tell you all along. Stay tuned for the next part in this series where I go over what I eat and how I exercise to stay lean. Hint hint, I eat carbs and I don’t lift heavy weights.
If you’re interested in working with me, please head over to my coaching page to see how you could benefit from one-on-one coaching. Thanks so much for reading, have a great day!
Please fill out the form below to subscribe, or head over to my subscribe page to receive updates on nutrition, health and fitness!