Hi everyone! I just wanted to start off and say thanks for taking interest in my journey to a healthier me.
This transformation didn't happen overnight. The full journey took about 3 years to reach a state that I am now able to live with comfortably. I've had some ups and downs as well along the way, but I'm glad I pulled through because the struggles lead me to where I am today, happy and healthy!
I guess my story started about 15 years ago. From the age of 6, I had trained in competitive gymnastics. I was conditioned to train several hours each day and eat small portions to stay lean. Our coaches would weigh us constantly and check on us to make sure we didn't gain weight. It's extremely important for gymnasts to be as lean as possible in order to perform at their best. You need to be light to be able to manoeuvre right ! And so this was my life for a full 10 years. Intensive training and dieting.
However at at the age of 16, my body was now giving up on me. I had hit puberty late due to the excessive exercise, and had sustained more than 40 injuries throughout my career as a gymnast. Unfortunately, I had no choice but to leave the sport that I loved so much.
At that point I began working with my parents at their little fast food restaurant. That's when my life changed, and not for the better. My diet now consisted of Coke, hot dogs, hamburgers and fries galore!
On top of eating a bunch of crap, I no longer trained anymore... that's when the weight gain happened.
I gained a total of 55 lbs in a matter of months.
I hated myself . I hated how I looked, I hated how I felt, I hated how I couldn't stop myself from binge eating...I just hated what I had become.
This is when I started the fad dieting. I remember one summer eating only cucumber, of course I lost about 20 lbs very quickly, but soon enough, I started eating normally again and gained even more back.
Then I remember trying several diet pills, didn't work. That shit just doesn't work. I've tried several types , several different times and it never worked.
I also went down a very stupid path and started making myself throw up after I ate, but that didn't get me anywhere either.
Every time I would loose weight, I would always gain it back and more...
At that point, I just gave up.
I just gave up trying to loose weight and I finally decided screw it, I don't care about my weight anymore.
I continued to binge eat and gained even more weight year after year. I was always tired, depressed, lethargic. I just had no energy to do anything.
And then the health problems started.
I started getting joint pains in my feet and knees. It was so bad, I could barely walk. I didn't know what was going on, but I didn't pay any special attention, I thought it would go away all alone. But then the pains started spreading to my whole body. All my joints were swollen, I couldn't stand, I couldn't open any jars cause my hands and knuckles were all swollen, I couldn't even touch items as I would be in terrible pain. I was just unable to move.
I went to see a doctor as my symptoms worsened. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and was given cortisone pills to help with the pain, however the doctor said that it would not cure me, it was something I would have to live with. At this point, I took the pills and went on with my life as usual..going to work, coming home, eating take out, taking pills, like the average person.
However in October 2008, my life took a change.
While I was walking to work, very tired and sluggish as usual, I was hit by an truck. I was crossing the street and never saw the truck, and he never saw me. Needless to say, I was in the hospital for several weeks due to injuries and was operated for internal bleeding. The surgery went well, however they had to cut through my abdominal muscles. Now the recovery from this operation was what changed my life.
My parents took me in as I needed help at this point. Months went by and I started healing, however my abdomen was always in pain, I felt sharp stabbing pain every time I lifted my arms over my head. The pain subsided as some more months went on, but I was never able to fully lift my arms without pain.
I decided at this moment that I would seek the help of a personal trainer in order to gain some strength in that area, in hopes that the pain would go away.
Good news is: the pain is gone!
Even better news, I fell in love with personal training!
As a beginner, I started off with a full body workout, mixing weights and cardio. However, I was also coached with the food aspect. I started changing my eating habits little by little. Therefore I didn't feel like I was drastically dieting, I was just making some small changes, and they worked!
I started losing weight in no time, and feeling so much better overall! My pains were subsiding and after a few months, I actually no longer had any pain in my joints at all!
I then went back to the doctor and told him the good news, and asked if I really needed the medication since I wasn't feeling any pain in my joints... he said I could try stopping them if I no longer had pain, and so I did!
The pain never came back, to this day, but my whole lifestyle has changed.
I was eating more food with nutrients in them, versus food that tasted good and just had empty calories.
I drank more water, continued to train 4 times a week, and on my off days would even sneak in a jog! The first year I lost a good 30 lbs. The second and third year, the weight loss was much slower, but I didn't want to fall into any fad diets again, therefore I took my time and enjoyed the journey:)
I loved how training would make me feel, I felt strong! And my health was finally reflecting how I was feeling :D
I joined different activities, started some kickboxing, volleyball and of course continued my training in the gym...and without even noticing, I had lost a total of 65 lbs from when I first started that day to get rid of my abdominal pains.
I am proud of my transformation...not only because of the weight that has been lost, but mostly because of the knowledge I gained regarding food.
Today, it will be 10 years since I was at my highest weight, and continue to remain at a healthy weight. I train regularly in the gym 5-6 times a week along with some jogging and a little yoga to relax me.
But most importantly, I am very aware of what I am eating. I have changed my lifestyle completely. I only eat whole foods, nothing that is already prepared. I LOVE to cook, so I take the time on Sunday to prepare my weekly meals. I avoid all added sugar as I've seen one too many documentaries that relate it to poison! I eat a lot more dark leafy greens and of course portion control is always important.
I do always have a cheat meal/day, where I go all out and eat whatever I want... however as I changed my food, I started craving better foods! My cheats usually involve plenty of avocados!! yummmm
But I won't lie, I will always love French fries... and it's ok! I won't deprive myself from eating them every once in a while. I just don't eat them everyday!
65 lbs lighter and a heck of lot more energetic...I've finally found my balance in life :D