My weight has been a problem for me ever since I reached adolescence. I gained more weight than any of my other buddies did at the same age. At an early age, I discovered the solace that can be found in certain foods. In addition to that, my household struggled with a lack of sufficient food for a number of years. My connection with food was severely harmed as a result of the interaction of these two aspects of my life as well as the way I was brought up, which in turn contributed to the development of binge eating disorder in my later years.

I was told that I had gestational diabetes while I was pregnant with my second kid. My doctor warned me shortly after his birth that I was at a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes if I did not make adjustments to the way I ate and how much I exercised. At the same time, the consistent shifts in hormone levels brought on by my two pregnancies and births within the span of two years had brought on symptoms of my borderline personality disorder that were more difficult to control than they had ever been before.

Before I turned 30, which will be around March 2020, I did not feel ready to commit to making any kind of changes. That’s when I realized I’d had enough of something. It was a few months before Christmas when my grandfather came to visit for the holiday, and I remember my mother taking a lot of pictures of the occasion. I recall trying to sneak behind the sofa in order to avoid appearing in the photographs. And I recall looking at the images at a later time and being brought to tears by the experience. I didn’t recognize myself. I observed my lifeless, fake grin and how my posture was an attempt to make my body seem smaller than it really was, but it was unsuccessful.

After that, it took me more than a year to climb out of the despair and begin making the required adjustments to begin taking care of myself once again. My whole body was in continual discomfort. Even the most basic of physical exercises seemed to be beyond my ability, and as a kind of self-inflicted punishment for not being prepared to put in the necessary effort just yet, I was eating fast food many times a day. In spite of the fact that I was aware of and fully comprehended the situation, I continued to put off dealing with it.

I just tried to find healthier substitutions wherever it was feasible and keep myself in a calorie deficit as much of the time as I could. I was aware that banning certain foods would simply result in further episodes of binge eating, so instead, I followed the 80/20 rule of nutrient-dense meals when choosing “treat” foods and worked toward achieving a daily calorie deficit of between 2,000 and 4,000. The reason I was able to keep to this diet was that I never placed any specific meals off-limits, nor did I force myself to eat items that I didn’t like. This is the main reason why I was successful. There will be no cleansing, no fasting, no keto, and no elimination of food categories. I was able to lose the additional weight in a manner that was not only doable but also fun by paying attention to the size of my portions and creating a daily calorie deficit.

I began by making the slightest, most insignificant adjustments, such as replacing a can of soda with a glass of water at lunch or switching out snacks like chips or crackers for fruit or Greek yogurt instead. I began having breakfast every morning, and my go-to options were either a fruit smoothie (with extra protein) or a southwest egg scramble. I found that breakfast helped me feel more energized throughout the day. Instead of going through the drive-through every day for lunch, I’ve taken to bringing my own lunch to work. I generally choose a straightforward salad topped with grilled chicken or a standard sandwich made with turkey or tuna.

I also made sure to pay careful attention to portion sizes and made an effort to include fresh fruits and vegetables into my diet as often as I could. These seemingly little shifts eventually snowballed into more significant ones, and before I knew it, I found that I had lost all desire for soda. I wasn’t in the mood for quick food. Because my body was feeling better, it demanded even greater care, and I was happy to oblige by providing it with even better. I made sure that I wouldn’t give up this time by ensuring that I wouldn’t get overwhelmed as I had done so many times in the past. I did this by concentrating on one little substitute habit at a time. I dedicated all of my energy to changing my negative habits into positive ones, one at a time, until they were so ingrained in my routine that they did not need nearly as much work as they did when I first started.

This is what I consume on a typical day.

Shake made with protein and some fresh fruit for breakfast (typically mixed berries)

Large salad accompanied by a source of protein for lunch (taco salad with ground turkey, Caesar salad with grilled salmon, etc.)

Snacks include bell peppers or carrots drizzled with low-calorie ranch dressing, an apple or banana spread with peanut butter, and both.

Dinner will consist of chicken or fish served with vegetables and a carbohydrate such as broccoli and potatoes, sliced cucumber and rice, or another similar dish.

Greek yogurt topped with fat-free whipped cream is a delicious dessert option.

After making some very minor adjustments to my diet for approximately two weeks, I felt like I was ready to start exercising.

I was searching for training videos for beginners on YouTube when I came across the Team Body Project channel. Their films included individuals of varying heights, weights, and body types, which gave me the impression that I could also take part in the activity. Therefore, I promised myself that I would only watch one 30-minute film every week, and to tell you the truth, the very first movie completely demolished me. I had to take numerous breaks, I felt out of breath very immediately, and I really doubted that I would be able to finish what I was doing. But I did.

The success I had with exercising once a week led to my starting to work out twice a week, and eventually, that led to the workout schedule I now follow. I try to exercise at least five times each week, for a total of seventy-five to ninety minutes per session. After being a member of Team Body Project, I found that I really like strength training and pilates, and those two forms of exercise quickly became my favorites. In addition, I make time for both yoga and cardiovascular exercise.

Because I made these three adjustments, my quest to lose weight has been successful.

I trained myself to eat with awareness. Having the awareness to distinguish between eating to satisfy my hunger and eating to satisfy my emotions has enabled me to be more deliberate about portion control and to relearn how to recognize when I am no longer hungry. I no longer eat out of boredom or melancholy, and I am now able to confidently stop eating before I am completely satisfied with the amount of food on my plate.

I made it a point to move around often. My frame of mind, my energy levels, and the way my body looks have all seen significant transformations as a result of my transition from a relatively sedentary lifestyle to one that involves regular physical activity. Because I make it a point to consciously exercise my body anywhere from five to six times each week, I can ensure that both my body and my heart continue to become stronger over time.

I’ve learned to have compassion for myself. I’ve come to terms with the fact that there is no one, single, a certain way to achieve a healthy physique. Because of this, I have the ability to concentrate my attention on forgiving myself if I stray from the path I’m supposed to be on and on rededicating myself each and every day to my own well-being. My passion for myself and my physique motivates me to strive for improvement rather than perfection in all I do.

I went from my heaviest to my current weight after losing 75 pounds in a little over a year and a half (around 20 months).

There will be times when you don’t feel like fighting anymore. There may be moments when you don’t feel strong enough to continue trying, or when you’ll feel that it’s impossible for you to attain your goal. Both of these feelings are normal. Remember why you’re fighting for something even when you’re having moments of self-doubt and uncertainty, and keep moving ahead anyway. You’ll never know how resilient you are unless you push through challenging situations. Until you allow your body the opportunity to show what it can do, you will never know what it is capable of.

I went from being someone who was deemed fat and who felt humiliated to being someone who is more self-assured and influential than I have ever been before. The increase justifies the effort. The pain will be alleviated in the end. The calm is well worth the effort.

By Anna

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