My Journey to Health
I thought today was a great day for a post like this being the beginning of a new year and all. It is time to be open and share my thoughts. I have mentioned many times before that I would write this post to share how I go to this healthy point in my life so sit back and be prepared for a very long and open post.
Weight is something I have struggled with since I was a little kid. When I was younger I was super active and always outside playing. Also my mom didn’t work then so she would cook good meals and we would always do exercise tapes. I always thought they were fun. You could not get me to eat anything, except ice cream. I always wanted to be outside. Once I turned seven we moved and I had to adjust to making new friends. Also since I was the youngest, my mom decided she wanted to go back to work. During that period I started to actually eat food more because I felt weird not knowing everyone and I saw I really like it so I figured I was going to eat. I was also eating a lot of junk, chips, soda, and processed food. I quickly gained lots of weight. Now being that young I didn’t really notice it. Around 10 years old I started to notice the weight gain. I didn’t understand the unhealthy aspect of being overweight but I just knew I didn’t want to be the fat kid. I was never teased in school, I know I’m lucky, and had many friends but I was starting to be self conscious so I told my mother I no longer wanted to be fat. I wish just saying that would be easier.
It was at age 11 I joined weight watchers for the first time. I wanted to lose weight but I wasn’t in the proper mind frame for it. I hated being seen walking into the place and thought it was to hard. I could not figure the whole point system out. I wasn’t your average 11 year old though but still at 11 I was not ready to take my health into my own hands. My mom tried but she couldn’t watch me all day and make sure I didn’t eat crap. I did manage to lose 30 pounds and get my weight down to 218. It was also at age 11 I pretty much stopped growing. I was 5’7 by then. My current height is 5’8. About a year after that I pretty much gained all my weight back. I then tried Slim fast. That lasted for amount a minute. I tried those shakes and thought they tasted pretty good but they did not fill me up. I do not get how people can have that instead of a meal. It does not do anything. So at age 13 I decided I wanted to lose weight before high school. I was afraid of getting teased (again I was lucky and that never happened). So it was time for another diet.
It was time to try the south beach diet. It was becoming all the rage so my mom bought it for me to try. I thought following a plan where it told me where to eat would be easier. Again I was wrong. I found this diet so hard and gave up after two days. This diet makes you restrict carbs right away. I got headache and felt so sick. I even threw up (I know TMI). At that point I stopped this diet right away and knew it was not for me. I tried one other diet similar to this but I cannot remember the name. After this I pretty much gave up for a long time. I figured oh well I tried and I cannot do this. I will always be fat. I continued to eat and become heaver. Once I started college my best friend at the time, who I know longer speak to, decided we needed to do something with our weight. We were both over weight and would eat the worst food. I now see this was a toxic friendship. We both would aid in our food addiction and would eat together. Ending out friendship was one of the best things I could have done but more on that later.
It was time for weight watcher again. This time around we joined a gym also. We joined an all woman gym, curves. We figured together combined with diet and exercise we could do it. Again with this we failed. We would eat planet wings and go to the gym. We figured we could eat bad if we workout out.Also again the point I had trouble with the point system. I could not figure it out. I had no clue as to the number of points I was consuming. Also I felt it was restricting. I felt I could not have one “bad” food” because it ruin my point system. I did find the meeting to be helpful but I would not stay for them if I gained weight because I was just too ashamed. We were two clueless people. We did not know a thing about nutrition and what our body’s needed. After a while we gave up on that too. We continued our bad eating habits and went on with our lives. I would eat the worst food possible and have the hugest portions. I honestly did not know how to eat correctly and healthy. I was miserable. I hated being fat and having to shop at the Fat people store. I wanted to shop where my other friends shop. I wanted nice clothes but hated what I looked like in them so I wouldn’t even bother with it. In 2008 my parents (who were also heavy) started to eat right and they joined a gym. My parents went from this :
I know what a transformation right!
I figured if they can do it, so can I. My dad would eat so bad but he gave it up so it should be fine for me. In fall 2009 I ended my friendship with that toxic friend. It was the best thing I ever could have done. She was a very negative person who taught me even worse eating habits and honestly held me back. I know it is not one person who is to blame but having someone like that in your life does not help. It was refreshing to get out of that situation. It opened my eyes to so many things and it was what i needed.
Me In 2009 Before transformation.
In September 2009 After seeing my vacation photos and hating every single one I knew I needed a change so I joined the gym with parents and since then I never looked back. At this point I was at my heaviest point. 317 pounds! My parents did it by cutting back what they ate and exercise. I needed something a little more to help. I am a numbers person so I tried calorie counting on my own. Problem was I had no clue about the calorie information. Once I got my iPhone in October of that year I found what I needed. I found there was an app to help. I found lose it! This app is a life saver and I owe so much to it. In the app you put you information and goals, such as age, gender, weight, exercise amount, and what your goal is, maintain, gain or lose weight. It tells you the amount of calories you need to stay at your current weight. So I read that you need to eat 500 less to lose one pound a week. So that ‘s what I did. I would cut back what I ate and I also worked out. I did not deprive myself of anything. I would still enjoy food. If I wanted cake I could if I watched my calories. Now I didn’t eat only cake. I changed what I ate. I would have scrambled egg whites, with peppers , onions and cheese, one piece of whole wheat toast with jam and a banana. Then I would have a healthy snack like a apple, then a healthy lunch like tuna fish, and most likely another healthy snack like celery and peanut butter, or a granola bar if I was at school or a fruit bowl, then a healthy dinner like grilled chicken, broccoli, string beans and a side salad. I completely changed the way I ate. I cut out all white carbs, rice, pasta etc. If I ate that it would be 100% whole wheat only. I also cut out beef and pork. I did not like that much anyway so it was no problem for me. Also sometimes if I wanted desert or a snack at night I would have it. I cannot remember the exact calorie count I was consuming but it was high over 2000 and I was losing weight. If you want to know more of what I ate just ask. I will happily share.
After a few months I really wanted to know more about nutrition. I lost 30 pounds and I wanted to keep that up and at the same time keep myself motivated. So I started looking on the internet and found my second life saver. In the beginning of 2010 I found Caloriecount.com They too have are a calorie count website but they have something more valuable. They have daily health articles and amazing forums. I used this site mainly to read the articles and forums. They have so many articles that are informative and really help you understand nutrition. Thanks to this website I know what I know what I should be doing for my own personal health.
I continued on with losing weight and by the time I went on my Spring break 2011 trip to Disney world I Have lost 127 pounds.I was 30 pounds from my goal weight.
Bump In the Road
In the beginning part of 2011 that is where I started to have some problems. I went to the gym like I normally do and I was talking to a lady who has seen me around. She said how great I looked. I thanked her an told her I wanted to loose 5o more pounds. She said thats good but now it is going to be hard. I do not know why her saying that bothered me so much. In a way it stills bothers me that she said that. I became determined to prove her wrong and that I can do it. I can lose the rest of the weight. That is the point where I stopped calorie counting the right way. I guess you can say this is the point I traded one disorder for another; overweight disorder to calorie count obsession. I started to cut back 750 calories (what is needed to loose two pounds a week) and burn over 1000 working out. I used to combine diet and working out to together come to 750 so I could loose the two pounds a week. It was when I did this I started to plateau and not lose weight as fast. I thought that I must be eating to much then so I cut back more. I got crazy many times I would only eat 700 calories a day. I thought I was doing ok. I had no idea that I was practically starving myself and not giving my body what it needed. I measured and weighed everything so I knew how many calories i was eating so I can control how much i eat. I would not eat anything I did not know the calories for. I would weigh myself a lot to make sure I was not gaining. I thought i was too fat so I would not let myself eat. I was afraid to eat. I thought if i ate one bad food I would gain every pound back. I labeled food as “bad” and as “good.” Many times i would feel dizzy and tired and not know why. I had no clue that I had an eating disorder. I always thought you had to be super skinny or sticking my fingers down my throat to have an eating disorder. I was eating so I must be fine right? wrong! I started to see some issues with what I was doing in march when I lost my period ( again sorry if it is to much tmi for you). I thought it was because I felt sick on the plain ride to Disney and almost pasted out. I would later learn the true reason for that. So despite all that I still did not realize what I was doing to myself. I still ate about 700 calories. When I look back now I cannot believe how I did it. I ate a low fat yogurt and called it lunch. That yogurt was only 100 calories. I was also drinking lots of coffee to try and curb my hunger pains. I thought I was doing good saving my calories because I needed to lose weight I was extremely fat. Despite all the weight loss I still saw myself as the girl who was 317 pounds. As I continued on this diet I lost about another 15 pounds. I was excited but it was going to slow for me. I could not see why I was not losing it faster; I was not eating anything.
Where I started to change
One day in mid June I went to wildwood NJ to visit my family and during the car ride home I had another problem like in Disney World. I almost pasted out again. MY dad said maybe it was because you did not eat enough that day. That started me to think about all those months and what I ate. I went to the doctor about what had happen in Disney and Wildwood she thought i might have hypoglycemia ( I told her I felt better when my cousin feed me cookies). I did the test which was so tiresome, I felt weak for two whole days, and it was confirmed I had that. As the research type of person I am I looked up causes and what to do. One cause was under eating. It got me to think wow I gave myself hypoglycemia. My doctor told me I probably had it for a long time but the under eating is what made it so bad. I do remember other times when I was younger where I would feel sick if I did not eat but not as bad. I decided then and there that I need to make a change.
Road to Health
So after i saw I needed to change I started to slowly increase my calories. I would do 50 calorie increase every week I did not gain weight ( I was at a healthy weight already so I did not need to gain). As I started to increase my calorie count I started to lose weight again. Now at this point I was not trying to lose weight. I was trying to maintain and get myself healthy again. As of September 21, my 21st birthday I reached my goal weight of being 160 pounds and I was at 1100 calories as day and I was starting to feel better. I started to read blogs on ED’s and see how others handle it so I could get a better grasp on it.
Where I am Today (January 6th, 2012)
As of today I am still at a healthy weight of around 150 pounds. As I increased my calorie count I started to lose more weight. It is not a goal of mine and I am working on maintaining. I now see what it takes to be truly healthy. I am working on exercising and how much I really should do. I hired a personal trainer for a session to show me what I really need to be doing. I made the switch to a vegetarian diet, something I have wanted to do for years but I was afraid it would not help me lose weight (I know crazy right)a and I am making the transition to vegan. I will blog about that in the future as well. I still have some bad days where I do not want to eat because I am afraid of eating or days where I think I am to fat but I am working on getting through that. Everyday is a struggle and I do the best I can. It is all I can ask of myself. I now know what healthy really means and I am not prepared to back.
I hope my story has inspired others to either work through some eating problems they have. An important thing I should mention is that I believe calorie counting can be a great way to lose weight and maintain if you watch it and be careful not to obsess. Life is meant for living and having fun not obsessing over weight issues. I hate when people hear my story and say oh see calorie counting does not work. I lost 100 pounds the correct way and only had a problem with the last 30 pounds so it is possible and people should not discredit my accomplishment. I now successfully use calorie counting to maintain and continue my journey to health.
I am always here if you have any questions for me