Sunday, 18 November 2012

My Weight Evolution

So I saw this a couple weeks ago on Erica's Blog and I loved this idea so much, that I decided to write my own Weight Evolution post.

Today I am proud to say that health, happiness, and balance are very much a part of my life. But that was not always the case. I have gone through the gambit in terms of weight and health. I have been overweight and inactive.  I have achieved a healthy weight by unhealthy means. And I have also just been straight up unhealthy - genetically speaking. It has been a journey a long time in the making, mistakes were made and lessons were learned, but eventually balance was achieved.

As a kid the idea of weight never really registered for me. I always felt like beautiful little princess (*something I definitely credit my loving family for*). I was always an active kid, but I don't know that anyone would have called me sporty. I danced and swam competitively for most of my childhood and into my teens. So being active was just part of my life.

We were always outside and running around growing up. I grew up in the country and was always out exploring the fields and forests nearby. I think my Mom would agree - I was very high energy kid - so you would not find me sitting still very often.
Because of this active lifestyle, and my picky eating habits, I was always a pretty scrawny kid as well. I was always one of the smallest in my class.

Not much changed when I entered high school. I was still dancing and swimming competitively and I never gave much thought to my diet. My scrawny appearance didn't waver much for the first few years.

Things definitely started to change during my senior year. The summer before my senior year started I began experiencing regular dizzy spells. And I lost consciousness for the first time while driving home from my summer job. And my feelings about my body took a dramatic turn from here on out as I navigated doctors appointments and the fear of my new diagnosis. Exercise was no longer allowed, and food was my comfort. The weight started to pile on.
That's me on the left
When I look at these pictures now - my pain is so obvious. I was depressed. I was scared. But I had no idea what to do - so I ate.  I ate a lot. Because eating my feeling away was easier than saying I am having a hard time accepting my diagnosis. Because food didn't judge me and made me feel good. Because I was also in a place where I hated my body (a place I still go sometimes). So taking care of it and putting effort into it - just wasn't something I was about to do.

It took me awhile to realize that reality. At first it was just a couple of LBS and a bag of chips to ease the stress of my fresh diagnosis. Then a few more. My clothes were no longer fitting, but I was busy trying to find a treatment that worked for my condition so... There was some more stress eating and that had some how added up to 50 extra lbs. And then it was even more...It took me awhile to accept that I was in fact FAT. To accept that I had let myself get to this point.

One night, while struggling to find clothes that fit and contemplating just staying home so no one would have to see how chubby I was, it clicked. There wasn't going to be a quick fix. It was time to get started and now was the time.   

So I started making small changes. I started a food diary. I started writing down my goals and telling people that I wanted to lose weight to keep me accountable. I took my first ever yoga class. I starting drinking 1-2 litres of water daily. I gave up meat and embraced veggies. I started to love myself again. I started going to the gym. I rode my bike to work. And eventually I started running. I started to see what I could accomplish. I started to realize that I was stronger than my diagnosis. And by the end of summer break, before beginning my third year of university I had lost 55 lbs in 5 months. 

I have kept the weight off for almost 8 years now, but it was definitely a struggle to find a happy balance. My weight fluctuated between gaining and losing the same 5-15 lbs over and over again. I would never go so far as to say I had an ED. But I battled with food. There was lots of crazy restrictive eating phases, promptly followed by a junk food binge, promptly followed by excessive exercise. It was a cycle of guilt and negativity. I wasn't thin enough. I wasn't pretty enough. I didn't measure up. I simply was not enough.

And then all of sudden...this year, when I had to face what was really important - nipples and a banging bod or health - a major change started to happen. I chose health. I chose health in the most extreme and rudimentary sense. 

I wanted to run - not too be thin, but to be healthy. I wanted to eat nutritious meals - not to lose weight, but to take care of my body. I went to yoga because I wanted to thank my body and feel balanced. I found myself happy, healthy, and and strongest I have ever been.
 Because I learned to LOVE myself!

I stop seeing a girl who wasn't enough, and started seeing a girl who was worth it. 

It took me a long time to get here, but I am so glad I made it.
Remember that you are worth it!
No gimmicks or fads required - just whole foods, sweat, and love!
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,