When I was around 16-17, like most teenagers, I became even more self-conscious about how I looked. I became obsessed with calorie counting and basically deprived myself of food to the point where I would pass out. I probably lost around 10 kilos but the scale completely controlled how I felt about myself. My weight loss efforts didn’t last too long though because as soon as I turned 18, hello alcohol and 4am McDonalds.
So you could say my weight sky rocketed, as did my anxiety, and I became incredibly depressed. I didn’t want to leave the house, the thought of going to school made me physically sick and I was angry all the time. I was angry at anyone who tried to get close to me and most of all, at myself.
What’s worse is that I was in a terrible cycle with food. I would eat to feel better and then hate myself for it, or try to eat as little as possible during the day and only end up bingeing at night. The more it went on, the harder it was to snap out of it.
Of course, there were other factors that played into this like high school, toxic friends, relationships, and so on, but at the root of it all was my self-esteem. I used to think if I was skinny and lost a tonne of weight, it would fix everything. There was nothing I wanted more in life, and the fact I didn’t have enough self-control or discipline to achieve it made me feel pathetic.
The fact that high school finished wasn’t a cure-all, but I did feel a sense of relief. My weight still very much affected me all throughout the next few years at University. My eating habits became worse with going out and everything was just sort of spiraling down.
I graduated University in 2014 and in the years after my weight fluctuated A LOT. I would lose 10kg then put it on 5 kg, lose 5 kg, then put back on 10 kg. Once I got into blogging and freelancing, a lot of my work was done from home which really did not help at all.
It wasn’t until this year, that I finally had enough and took control of my weight.
I started going to the gym, I started focusing on healthy foods (I count macros over calories – more on this in another post if you guys want to know about macros for weight loss?) and strangely enough, I’ve found a passion for nutrition in all of this.
I used to eat so much crap that I didn’t even realise how much certain foods affect your mood. Healthy foods equate to a healthy mindset. When you start to limit processed foods and choose wholesome ingredients – more veggies, fruits, proteins – it’s nourishing your body. I honestly used to wonder why I was so tired all the damn time. I had no motivation or energy because I wasn’t eating foods that were giving me energy, and I wasn’t moving enough to release any endorphin’s. When you fuel your body right, you’re also giving fuel to your mind.
the 80/20 rule.
Don’t get me wrong, I still definitely have my days where I’m not on track. Where all I do is laze around, eat pizza and binge watch on netflix or eat cake for breakfast. But I also love working out in the mornings, and eating oatmeal, smoothies, & salads. Avocado, eggs, frozen yogurt and peanut butter is my life sometimes, and I’m more than okay with that. It’s called balance. I follow the 80/20 rule which means 80% of the time I eat clean, and 20% of the time I let myself indulge. Usually I’ll eat well during the week and let go a bit on the weekends. I’m happy if I can get in 4-5 workouts a week, but I’m trying to make an effort to workout at least once a day. You never regret a workout.
Think of it like a green smoothie in one hand, and champagne in the other.
You don’t have to give up the foods you love in order to be healthy. I’ve eaten chocolate nearly everyday and managed to lose weight. It’s all about moderation. Eat better, move more.
The one thing I had to change before starting anything was my mindset. When I go to workout, I don’t think it’s to “lose weight,” I do it so I can feel good about myself. It’s the one hour a day I have to focus on bettering myself. As corny and cliché as it sounds, you’ve got to work at it from the inside out.
If you feel like you could relate to this post in some way, or you’re in a similar situation, it will get better. You have the power to make any changes to your life, your body & your mindset. You can choose to be positive or negative. It’s all up to you.
So how do you start?
Sweat it out. Seriously, go for a run, to the gym, for a swim (so good for stress levels), or ANYTHING that makes you sweat. Don’t be afraid of the struggle. Do it because you want to feel good about yourself, and the results will come. Like anything, it just takes time and persistence. Every workout and healthy choice brings you one step closer to your goal.
Keep a food diary. Keeping track of what you eat is a great habit to get into and I do not at all think it’s obsessive. It holds you accountable for what you eat. There are so many snacks that people forget they’ve had throughout the day!
Eat healthy + be mindful. When I’ve been eating healthy, I always feel so much better. I have more energy, more motivation & it’s not dull like most people believe. How do you feel when you know you’re nourishing your body? How do you feel after a workout? Eating healthy doesn’t mean limiting your portion sizes, it just means making sure what you’re eating is nutritious and filling. You don’t have to cut out rice, pasta and bread, just make sure they’re brown/wholemeal.
It’s the little things. Little things go a long way when it comes to keeping healthy and fit. Swap white for brown. Cook things from scratch so you know all the ingredients. Dark chocolate over milk chocolate. Sparkling water over soda. Skim/non-dairy milk over whole milk. Don’t underestimate how much of a difference these small changes can make.
Indulge + enjoy. Indulging in foods you love is completely okay. If I had to give up eating & drinking out on the weekends, my life would feel very dull. It’s one of the things I love most. Life is meant for living. So you had pringles yesterday? That’s cool, ENJOY them & sweat it out today. The most important thing I’ve learned is that if you deprive yourself of too many cravings, you will just end up bingeing. Cheat days are good for the soul.
My relationship with food & fitness is in a much better place than its ever been – I love them both just as much, but I still have my days where I’m not happy with myself. I think we all do. We’re human, after all. This is a process, and I have a long way to go to love my body, but I know I’ll get there one day. And you will too.