Many people have asked me if I have always been thin.
The short answer is no.
Here is my story. I was overweight as a child and in middle school\high school. I was always the biggest girl on the cheerleading team and was always on the bottom of the pyramid. My dream was to be thin. I just thought that I was born with bad genes.
When I was a senior in high school, I decided that I was tired of being the big girl, so I started working out and “yo-yo” dieting. I tried everything – Atkins, vegan, low carb, starving myself, eating one meal\day (you name it, I tried it). These things gave me short term success but I always gained the weight back, and a little more. I continued this yo-yo dieting through my 20s and developed some very strange eating habits in the process. I was what I call “skinny-fat”.
After the birth of my first child in 2010, I decided that I was tired of letting my strange eating habits control my life. I wanted to be able to eat like a normal person and I wanted to be able to teach my children to do the same. A friend of mine referred me to her nutritionist, Kim Porterfield, whom she saw in order to get ready for her wedding. After months of debate, I booked my first appointment with Kim and was blown away by the things that I learned!
To list a few:
1. Restricting calories is not the way to lose weight. I learned the hard way that you actually have to eat healthy food in moderate portions in order to lose weight. Who knew? I follow a clean meal plan which consists of 6-7 meals\day (every 2.5 – 3 hours). Each meal consists of a lean protein, a complex carbohydrate, and a veggie when possible (details to come in another post). This is more food than I have eaten since high school! I have more energy than I have had in years. I have also become more successful at my job and at being a mom\wife.
2. Measuring food – so very important. When I first started seeing my nutritionist, I “kind of” followed her plan. I ate clean but I did not measure my food. By not measuring my food, I was actually not eating enough at meal times. This caused me to be starving when I got home in the evenings, causing me to overeat. Lesson learned – buy a food scale and use it for every meal. You will learn as you go what your portions look like and you will be able to eyeball it.
3. Weight-lifting – also extremely important. I used to be a cardio junkie. I did not lift weights very much because I was worried that it would make me bulky. I would do an hour of cardio on most days and could not figure out why this did nothing for me. Weight lifting increases your metabolism which causes you to burn more calories, even while you are resting. I promise, you will not get bulky! You don’t have to go to a gym either. I have not stepped foot in a gym since my son was born 8 months ago. Buy yourself some dumbbells. It is really easy.
4. Do not look at the scale. I used to weigh myself religiously. Body fat % is so much more important than weight because muscle weighs more than fat. As you begin to grow lean muscle, your weight may not change much at all. Right now, I weigh about the same as I did when I started seeing Kim and I have dropped 12% body fat! Throw away your scale and save yourself some worry.
I could go on for days about the things that I have learned and I promise to do so in future blog posts.
I am sharing my story with you to let you know that I am not lucky. I decided that I needed to make some changes and I made them happen.
Change is hard and it feels weird, but it is so worth it in the end. Do you need to make changes in your life? What are you waiting for? There is no better time than right now. Follow year dreams and reach for the stars! I do.