1200 calorie/day diets? Been there. Diet Pills? Done that. Wraps and meal replacements? I’ve done it all. I have spent the last DECADE trying to lose weight.
I was always an active kid but never really an athlete. I did my after school activities and tried a ton of different stuff. I loved it all! I was an average sized kid but I always remember being very conscious of my body. I have a memory of being in 4th grade and looking at my legs in shorts and being mad at myself because my thighs spread out when I sat down. Who’s thighs don’t spread when they sit down?! But I always worried about it. When I started grade 7, I was an averaged sized but when puberty and hormones kicked in, my metabolism shut down and I gained a ton of weight.
Of course, I ate like crap. When I hung out with friends we ate chips and had pizza pops. It never affected them so I figured it wouldn’t affect me. But boy, did it ever. My the time I went into high school I was overweight and soooo self-conscious. All the other girls barely hit puberty and I had major T&A. I spent the next 3 years eating crap and then dieting, seeing no results and quitting. It was a horrible roller coaster. And of course the scale only went up…
When I graduated and moved out of my parents house, I lost 30 lbs with diet pills and eating 2 meals a day. I was overjoyed! But, of course, it wasn’t sustainable so I gained it all back and then some. University gave me independence and freedom to try different things so I tried everything to lose weight. Low cal. South Beach. No carb. Intense workouts. This went on for years. I never stayed consistent with anything so I would lose a little and then quit and gain a ton. My poor, poor metabolism was seriously abused.
I was 20 when I met my husband and was just finishing up my third year of Uni. He made me feel beautiful and appreciated, which was a new feeling for me. But, as courtship goes, we ate out a lot and I gained a ton of weight eating pasta, drinking too much and having waaaaaay too much movie theatre popcorn. I was definitely over the 200 lbs mark. I’m 5’5″ so that’s a lot. I would diet or workout intensely for 2-4 weeks but expect to see bigger results and then quit rather than sticking with it. It was exhausting.
I can be an all-or-nothing kind of person. I would blast through intense workouts and and feel fine eating tiny meals. But after a week or two, I was exhausted and I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t seeing results. So I would quit and the stupid cycle would continue.
Then I started working in TV. It was my dream job. I loved it. I lucked into a great position and they taught me so much. I don’t know how to describe the feeling of finally being in the right place at the right time. You just know. I busted my ass for that job and in return, they taught me so much. Also, I was with a man I loved and we were living together. I was happy, which was a new feeling for me. I don’t want to say I had an awful childhood but it was an intense household and I was riddled with anxiety and stress. So, to have the relief of being in a happy relationship with a man who understood me, calmed me and made me feel amazing took a huge load off.
That year I also started seeing a student trainer twice a week. I would workout 4-6 times a week, often running 5K, doing intense workouts and getting hella strong. I stopped worrying about the scale and just kept going. Over the year I lost 20 lbs the healthy way. This was new for me. I finally felt strong and healthy. But I still felt like something was wrong. For someone my size, it should have been more. I never took photos so I felt like the same person and didn’t see the amazing progress I had made. I just felt like it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t enough.
When you have anxiety you are always worried about something. I would question my methods, convince myself that I was still eating too much, that I wasn’t doing enough. So I would reduce my calories, pull a double workout, keep pushing. I would stop seeing the scale move and get mad at myself for being such a failure. Surely, I could do more, push myself harder, be better. It was a never ending cycle of self-abuse. When I did see results, I would compare myself to others and push harder. When I didn’t, I would beat myself up. Obviously, this cycle leads to constant burn out. It was exhausting. And humiliating. I assumed my family and friends would see me eating healthy and working out and not losing weight and think that I binged. If the scale wasn’t going down, obviously I was eating junk, right? I knew I wasn’t but I was constantly felt the pressure of people watching me fail. Now I know that all this was in my head. No one was judging me (I actually have an incredibly supportive group of friends) and nobody cared what I looked like. But I cared. And in my head, I wasn’t seeing results.
After I lost the 20 lbs I got pregnant. My husband was only my boyfriend at the time and although we had been together for 5 years, I was only 25 and did not even think that I would consider kids until at least 30 (and married!) But babies wait for no one!! The next 9 months was the most stressful of my life (and of course ever since lol). I had to change jobs since the TV market was slow and I needed more steady income. We then bought a house, renovated, moved in with my brother for 2 months and finally moved into our house 3 days before our beautiful daughter was born. Like I said, stressful. Obviously, I gained weight. Like a lot. I gained 45 lbs in that pregnancy and held onto it. I experience post-partum anxiety and felt crazy and scared.
My mom put me in touch with an amazing doctor and we did a bunch of tests. It was revealed that I had really low adrenals that were throwing off my thyroid and metabolism. I also started seeing a therapist we figured out that I had anxiety and it all started to make sense.
My high levels of stress were causing my adrenals to shut down and the high activity and low calorie diets only made them worse. I know it’s a weird thing to say but it was such a relief! I wasn’t crazy! It wasn’t all in my head (well it was, just not the way I thought it was haha). The negative self-talk that I had been abusing myself with since I was a kid was causing my weight gain. What a fucking vicious cycle, right? I had put myself under so much pressure that I had stressed myself to over 240lbs. I didn’t eat enough so my body would store any nutrition it received and I wasn’t active enough on a daily basis so when I would go on my week long workout binges, my body was traumatized. The yo-yo part of the diet ruined my metabolism and the stress from pressuring myself was abusing my body. I did this to myself. What a gut punch.
I was a mom now and knew this was not something I wanted for my daughter. So I knew I needed to change the way I think. I needed to stop worshipping the scale and stressing myself over the change I was not seeing and start focusing on eating clean and finding activity every day. What if I never lost any weight? Would I not let myself enjoy my life until I did? I needed to make lasting change because it would take YEARS for me to repair my adrenal fatigue and lose weight. It’s just the way it was going to be for me. So I needed to change the way I though about my body. I had to stop being such a bitch to myself and start being nicer.
Through all this, I belonged to an amazing Moms Group on Facebook. One of the member, Rayna Graham, had just become a coach and I watched her transform herself over the course of a year. Why couldn’t I do that? She and I had been talking for awhile and she saw my struggles and offered to let me be a part of her accountability group. I sat in that group inactive for so long but I loved getting motivation from it’s members in my feed. It was like subconscious motivation! Who doesn’t love that? Finally, after all these medical tests, I knew I needed to change. But I also needed the accountability. I did not want to stop and start a program 6 million times anymore. So I became a Beachbody Coach!
I had been working out with Chalene Johnson and TurboJam when I originally lost that 30 lbs nearly a DECADE ago and here she was back again with PiYo. I had bought the program and tried to start it like 3 times but only made it through the first 2 weeks. I also bought the 21 Day Fix with it’s portion control containers. I knew if I had an audience and made it my business to get fit, then maybe I would actually stick with it. I committed to the 21 Day Fix and lost 4 lbs and 8.5 inches! Immediately, I berated myself for not losing more since, everyone else’s results seemed more dramatic. But then I looked at my before and after photos and I realized again that the scale is not the only measure of success. I had flattened my tummy, toned up and felt so much more strong! What was I complaining about?! Plus all that in only 3 FUCKING WEEKS!
It cemented in my mind that this is a journey. A lifelong change. It will not happen overnight and my results aren’t going to look like everyone else’s. My main struggle is going to be a mental one. It’s going to be about being nicer to myself and finding my inner babe no matter my size.
I created the BabeLife Accountability Squad and invited all my friends to join. I wanted this to be a place where babes of all shapes and sizes can bitch and moan and celebrate their journeys. Not just fitness but mental as well. I wanted a place where a bunch of like-minded people can say “Fuck the scale!” and focus on themselves and a healthier mental journey as well as a physical one. And that’s just what it is. I am so happy to grow this group and start being a positive change in my own life, as well as others. I will not sideline my life because of fear of what other people think of me. I will not allow myself to be an obstacle in my own success.
It will never be easier to reach my goals than it is right this very minute and I am determined to change my story. I can do it. Just watch me.