Life Isn't Linear
Pretty much since the age of 16 I have struggled with body image issues and weight. With a culture that says unless you have a thigh gap, you're overweight, and with the arbitrary BMI measurement, I found it futile to have a healthy perspective on my appearance. Negativity and complacency was much easier than feeling positive and being active.
When you're in that negative headspace the little voice in your head just says "what's one more Tim Tam" or "at least this food will make me feel better on the inside", but when you look in the mirror, you still feel unhappy.
So about 3 years ago I started doing meal replacement shakes (one a day). This was stage one of realising that food was not an emotional crutch to lean on. By just replacing that one meal a day I started to realise that I didn't need to feel "satisfied" to feel full, which I can only recognise in hindsight.
With each kilo I lost, I felt exponentially better because you simultaneously find exercise easier because you weigh less. I was doing sublime point regularly and could see my time to the top reducing each week. But I still continued to "treat myself" after a tough workout or a good week. My weakness is sugar is almost any form: lollies, soft drink, cakes, biscuits. Pretty much anything bad for you.
February of this year we ran a 5 week challenge, and on the recommendation of Sam from Bodyscansolutions, I completely cut sugar from my diet for 5 weeks. I also cut out most processed foods. I found this really difficult but was able to supplement my post dinner cravings with some frozen pineapple. On top of completely cutting sugar, I switched out a few of my staples with healthier alternatives, which was potentially even harder. Greek yoghurt just isn't the same as vanilla.
I didn't look at the scales for the whole 5 weeks, so that I wasn't discouraged by a bad week/result and to my total surprise I had lost 7.8kilos by the end. While I was super happy with the weight loss result, the most beneficial take out for me was that my body no longer desired the load of sugar it did before. Don't get me wrong, I still love a good tim tam, but now they live in Charlie's fridge, not mine
Over the next three months, I felt a slight increase in my sugar cravings, so I did my own little 4 week challenge, this time I cut out coffee too. This time I lost another 4kgs, and that was with a lot less exercise than the first time.
Each challenge I have also forced myself to cook with new ingredients, like polenta, white fish, asparagus, brussel sprouts and lentils and have really grown my cooking confidence. Before the first challenge a regular meal of mine was frozen chicken, with sweet potato fries and frozen veggies but I would be much more likely to reach for an omelette with spinach, avocado and tomato now. I have learnt that flavour doesn't have to mean lots of preparation or ingredients.
I'm constantly being stopped in the street or in the gym by people saying how much weight I have lost, which is always nice because you often don't see the change as much as others do because you see yourself every day. But it can also be difficult when people comment because it reminds you about how unhealthy I was, but that is something I am still working on.
I am 19.1kgs down from when I started tracking my progress, and I know that I have created habits that will stick with me through the rest of my life. For me, at this stage in my life, I am wanting to create a healthy future for myself and I feel I am well on the way there.
I have started a challenge in September, 4kgs in 4 weeks, you can find all the details here. [https://www.facebook.com/events/827934147944677]