YoYo Dieting and Everything in Between
Weight loss struggles - as long as I can remember
Weight is something that I have dealt with my whole life. I wasn’t one of those kids that could eat whatever they wanted and not gain weight --- Always naturally being tall I was always one of the bigger girls in my grade and always looked at other people and wondered why I wasn’t “smaller.” I’ll never forget being 13 years old at the pool and looking around thinking about the day I could walk around in a bikini and feel good about myself – yes at age 13 – that’s crazy to me now.
As most of you know I’ve been a YOYO (aka lost/gained weight quite a few times) so I’m going to dive into each experience and let you know where it’s led me to day and how it can help you!
Teenage years through college – scale obsessed/all or nothing
When I was 14 years old I actually took it upon myself to order a 6 Week Body Makeover off of QVC. I was going to be entering a new high school where I knew no one and I remember telling myself “I’m done being unhappy in my body. It’s time to change.” I ordered the program, which basically gave you a blue print based off a questionnaire and provided what to eat for your body. That summer I hit it hard and followed it to a T which basically was egg whites, grapefruit, chicken, steak, potatoes, greens, so essentially proteins, carbs and low fat. I lost 45lbs in 3 months and felt the best I ever had! I entered high school with a whole new way about me and since I was teased for being overweight my whole life it never felt so good! lost weight so quickly though dropping from 165lbs down to 120lbs that when the scale would creep up I would freak out! Mind you I was also playing basketball and club volleyball at the same time so basically practicing 4 hours a day! I was exhausted.
How I was eating wasn’t completely unhealthy, but I did become obsessed with being skinny and at my height that weight just wasn’t going to be sustainable. As you can imagine the weight started to creep back on, which made me even want to be stricter with my diet. The stricter I was the more cravings I had because I wasn’t fueling my body. I started to have an all or nothing approach to dieting and soon became to be a “I eat healthy Monday-Friday, but on the weekends, calories don’t count” type of person. This turned into a really bad relationship with food because I deemed some foods as “good” and others as “bad” when in reality that’s only creating guilt you shouldn’t feel. I found myself trying to sneak everything in before Monday because that’s when my diet started and I honestly felt so sick; you name it – pizza, bagels, donuts, milkshakes, all the “bad” things I couldn’t have during the week had to be squeezed into two days – ugh my tummy hurts writing it down. If only I knew I could eat all those things in moderation I would’ve saved myself so much misery, guilt, and imbalance.
Post College – 80% workouts 20% diet
After graduating college in 2013 I moved to downtown Chicago – holla! I thought I was living my best life finally having a paycheck, my own apartment, work happy hours, being able to drink at baseballs games every weekend you know all the Chi town things! Per usual I had a goal to get back in shape for this next chapter of my life!
My job was super cool and we had a gym in our building so I started working out on lunch time – aka cardio (I’ll shed light on this as my posts evolve bc I soon learned there’s more than that cardio life). I also started “eating healthy” again which consisted of sugar filled yogurts, endless stops to the coffee shop, eating good 4 meals out of the day then over eating at night – again common mistakes we don’t think about. I was working out so hard but seeing NO results and had no clue why – which now I know bc my diet wasn’t in check. This would obviously make me discouraged so by the time the weekend came again I’d say “eff It” and eat whatever I wanted. Major learning tip: you can’t out train a bad diet!
Mid Twenties til now – Intuitive eating, Protein, Myfitnesspal
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When I was 23 I quit my job and moved to Scottsdale, Arizona. I talked about it in a previous post but with a few weeks off between jobs I told myself AGAIN “I’m getting in shape for real this time.” It always seemed like I needed a life change to kick start or something – you feel me right?!?
Well this time it was for REAL and I’ve never looked back! I started Kayla Itsines #BBG guide and followed it religiously as I stated before in a previous post. When I first started I kept it basic by doing all the workouts and eating the perimeter of the grocery store – I didn’t count calories, macros, anything I just fed my body when it was hungry with fruits, veggies, meats/fish, oatmeal, granola, almond butter, Greek yogurt, etc. – pretty basic. I’m not sure how many calories I was eating but it was definitely LESS and with my job I couldn’t really drink so combine a better diet, lack of alcohol, and workouts burning 500-750 calories I was bound to lose weight. After 12+ weeks I was addicted to her program and seeing amazing results that I wanted to learn more; I seriously became obsessed with learning more about nutrition, fun meals, and overall just how to FEEL good! After completing her program several times I lost 22lbs but honestly at one point I got TOO small and skinny that I wanted to put back on weight – I started using myfitnesspal to understand how many calories I was consuming on a daily basis and added calories so I could get back to a more sustainable weight, around 145lbs.
I was really happy with my body but wanted to put on more muscle rather than have a skinny appearance so I started my own programming that combines weights/cardio so I’m able to build muscle, while still keeping a fit figure. I also started tracking “macros” because I really wanted to understand my body better --- don’t worry though I will devote a whole post to so you can better understand! I’m learning more and more about my body every day and my goals are always changing which is super fun!
Now that you understand the foundation of how I got where I am today I want to dive into the changes I made to REALLY lose weight! I will definitely devote a post to laying out the specifics of how many calories are appropriate, etc, but for now let’s talk about the key tips!
· Food is fuel – if you deprive your body of the proteins, carbs, and fats it needs it will throw you out of sync and make you desire more foods that you usually wouldn’t crave. Feed your body – you need it!
· Tracking food – before you go onto track macros or anything download any free app, I use myfitnesspal and track what you are really consuming in a day – you could be completely under eating or not realizing how much you are over eating – this way you are educating yourself and have a foundation and better understanding
· Intuitive eating VS Whole 30/Keto/Macros– all the fads – I’m a believer you need to find what works best for you, but before eliminating foods groups, etc why don’t you try just shopping the perimeter of the grocery store aka fruits, veggies, meats, dairy, less packaged foods, and intuitively eat until your body craves healthy food more often than not – one of the biggest struggles is getting your bodies cravings in check! Once you’ve done that I promise you can do anything!
· Reading labels – for real though! What is in that dressing you’re putting all over your salad? What is in the soda you’re drinking every day? Do you even know? Once you start reading labels you’ll be blown away by what’s really in your food! It’s amazing how we just assume everything that says it’s healthy is healthy when little do we know it’s filled with tons of ingredients!
· Lose the all or nothing mentality – I know a weightloss journey can be hard in the beginning like anything new! I think it’s most important to treat every day like a MONDAY! Who cares if its Friday, Saturday, or Sunday – did you know you could eat pizza any day of the week? You don’t have to SAVE or food for “special days.
· Find Alternatives - Your body isn’t used to eating less, you’ll need to adjust, but you can still enjoy foods you like without completely losing progress! Find foods you genuinely enjoy and eat more of them or find an alternative that you can help you through a craving! Some of my favs are dark chocolate, Halo Top, fruit, cereal, etc.
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I know how hard, overwhelming, and stressful losing weight can be, but I promise with these tips you can really develop a lifestyle. Losing weight doesn’t have to be an all or nothing, I’m being “good “approach – it can can be an every day living your best life time! I hope you found my story and these tips helpful to learning more about how to lose weight! As I mentioned I will dive DEEP into topics like macro counting, using myfitnesspal, etc but I want you to truly understand where I started!