Sunday, April 17, 2011

Staying Healthy! My weight loss story!

In high school, I never stopped moving... I lived a good 10-15 minute drive from any fast food... and between cheerleading and track, I never really had time to gain any significant weight. I basically ate whatever I wanted, my mom cooked me healthy dinners, and throughout the entire 4 years of high school, my weight was a steady 110-115. I felt super healthy!

Then college happened. My freshman year, the food at my university was an amazing buffet. If I wasn't there, I was eating at Taco Bell super late at night as a 4th meal...I lived close to everything (Burger King was beside my dorm), and I made excuses not to work out because my schedule was insane and I didn't want to go to class sweaty. Not to mention, when I did workout, I didn't push myself to run hard because I simply didn't have to. If I got tired and wanted to walk after 30 seconds of running, that's exactly what I did. I was a sprinter in high school, so when my friends at college would ask me to run distance workouts with them, I made myself believe that I couldn't do it because I never ran distance in the past. I saw "normal" people (ones who didn't play sports) who looked healthy and skinny and I figured the occasional workout must have been what they were doing, but I didn't think I would have to do much to stay in shape. By the time the holidays came around, I saw my weight get up over 120, and never looked at the scale again for a LONG TIME. I guess I was thinking, "If I don't see it, it's not there." :)

Second semester I added on drinking and more food, my weight continued to raise and I started getting sick frequently, and then I got mono and slept all that time... That summer I worked at Culver and actually made some healthy changes, my friend and I were biking 10 miles several times a week and swimming and walking all over the place, and I started looking and feeling a little better.

By the time I moved to Columbus to go to OSU, I starting drinking and eating everything and continued to not work out. That year at OSU I was sick basically for 10 months straight. I got everything from strep to pink eye and always wanted to sleep. Academically I was stressed out, and that just added to the weight gain. By the end of that year I was 140 pounds. On a 5'2 frame, gaining 25-30 pounds seems like 60. I felt super bad about myself. The summer after that I tried to run the workouts that I would run in high school at my house, but they just weren't hard enough. Junior year I tried to get back into the swing of things and I ran/walked a 5k, but I still wasn't trying very hard and my weight stayed around 135-140. Fail.

Nothing changed until this past June. I had summer classes, and I sat beside a girl who was on a diet that restricted carbs. I figured since I consumed so many carbs on a daily basis that this might work for me.(Bagel for breakfast, sub for lunch, pasta for dinner) I think that was the moment I decided I was going to actually do something about myself and stop being so unhealthy. I started cutting back on carbs significantly.

For about 3 weeks or a month I tried limiting my carbs as best as I could. I also started writing down EVERYTHING I was eating. Once I had about a week of food listed, I realized I was stupid for not realizing how much I was eating before. It got to the point where I wouldn't eat so much because I was too lazy to go write that I ate 5 more unnecessary chips haha! I got down to about 130 and once I saw that change on the scale I knew I could make progress that seemed so far away before. Seeing that number is super motivating! I think that original carb break really jump started the entire process. Also, waking up early for class really helped too, because it got me up and active. ( I was no longer sleeping until noon)

I was working at Lifetime Fitness at the time and I joined the 90 day challenge. It was $25 so I decided that I had to work really hard or I was wasting my money, and letting myself down. I also knew if I didn't do it now, I was never going to do it, and I would struggle with it forever. That is when I started adding workouts in to my schedule as much as possible.

I really paid attention to what I was eating and I made my workout happen. If I had to get up and walk across campus at 7am,  I did it. If it was too cold outside, I ran the stairs in my building. If I absolutely had no time to workout that day, I would really watch what I ate. I went to classy sweaty looking gross as hell.

I got down to 125 pounds where I'm currently stuck. I'm still at a healthy weight for my height 5'2. However, since my more natural weight was a little lower, I'm still in the process of losing those last 5-10 pounds. I still feel better than ever, I'm much more cautious about my health and have been making small lifestyle changes for almost a year now.

Don't get me wrong, I still LOVE food. I still feel like I get to eat a lot. I have bad days and weeks with it. For example, somedays I'll wake up just super hungry and eat a bagel for breakfast, chipotle & a mountain dew & reese's cups at lunch, and pasta at dinner. I try to think of everyday as a new chance to be healthy and then I try to get back on track with things. With diabetes in my family, the thought of letting my weight go up again really scares me. I keep that, along with the thought of heart issues in my head. I also try to really think about what I'm eating. What is it, really?  Where did it come from? Do I really need to eat a bunch of processed foods and sodium?

The main thing that I do now is replace a meal with fruits & vegetables and minimal carbs. I try to eat smaller portions and only get more if I need energy after a workout. I have learned to love organic green tea and it usually cures my candy cravings. I also really try limiting chips because I used to eat them basically everyday. I try not to drink a lot of pop, except sometimes I get on my diet coke obsession and I still don't know how I feel about aspartame, but whatever. I make sure that the time I spend working out it worth it, and I sweat! Instead of running at one pace for a long distance like I used to, I run intervals. There isn't a secret to weight loss. I really believe that weight loss has to become a lifestyle. I'm still working on it.

I know a lot of people struggle with weight throughout college and I hope that my story is something you can relate to! I also hope that what works for me can work for you or at least give you ideas because everyone is different! Repost your weight story!

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