A Brief Background
I'm working on a detailed post about me and diets, and food, and exercise and all that good stuff. I actually have a post done, but it's quite long, and I'm not sure if I should put that much information in it or if I should stick to the main points.
At a high-level, here's me in a nutshell:
- My parents (especially my dad) are health freaks (my dad has been into organic foods for the last 30 years)
- I grew up eating wheat bread and veggies from my parent's garden (white bread and junk foods were "no's" in our house)
- In my childhood and teenage years, I spent 10 years of my life training in figure skating
- The first time I felt self-conscious about my weight was in high school
- In high school, for the last couple years, I thought it was a good idea to not eat breakfast or lunch
- In college, I totally pigged out on junk food
- During my sophomore year, a sushi chef at a restaurant where I worked called me "fat" (even though I was roughly a size 6-8 and not what I'd consider "fat")
- Post-college, I dropped some serious weight "thanks" to a depression from a bad relationship
- During my second job (post-college), I was traveling for work and worried about gaining weight from being on expenses. I took up tennis to exercise and put serious pressure on myself to not eat too much (note: focus was amount of food, not quality)
- After my traveling project ended, I think I "rebelled" against my too-strict eating habits and fell into an exercise rut
This brings me to last year. Last year, I was in a serious rut. I was still eating pretty healthy foods, but nutrition wasn't my focus. I was also completely un-motivated to work out. I thought I "didn't have time." (You've said that before, right?) Lack of time was my excuse. As I gained weight, less and less of my clothes fit. I started staring into my closets in the mornings getting ready for work frustrated that my clothes weren't fitting but un-motivated nonetheless to do something about it.
Last December, after being fed-up with my clothes not fitting, I decided to try every single pair of bottoms I owned to see what fit. Only a few pairs fit...the bottoms that didn't fit were stacked up and placed on a shelf in my closet. Sadly, about 16-20 pairs didn't fit me (see picture of stacked pants).
Call it the straw that broke the camel's back, but I was ready to take control of my health. I knew I knew how to take better care of myself...I just needed to put some effort into my well-being.
Following a Non-Diet
Fed up with my clothes not fitting and tired of using negative tactics to make myself "skinny", as part of my New Year's Resolutions for 2009, I decided to focus on my health. This time, I would pay attention to the positives instead of the negatives. This time, I would not make myself hungry. This time, I would eat till I was full, but I would focus on what I should be eating and not what I shouldn't eat. This time, I would work on educating myself on nutrition and exercise. This time, I would prioritize good food and exercise at the top of my to-do list. "I don't have time to work out" was no longer a valid excuse. The truth was I had time, but I was using it for other things. I decided to use more of my time to work out.
In a way, earlier this year, I returned to my roots - to what my parents have been lecturing me on for years (nutrition-wise). I tapped into my athletic nature. I tried to tap into a lifestyle I'd grown up with and apply it to my current lifestyle.
In February 2009, I took on Ellie Krieger's 12 week program - Small Changes, Big Results . Ellie's attitude towards a healthy lifestyle meshed well with my focus towards the positive attributes of healthy eating and exercise. I loved following her 12 week program!Non-Diet Success
After having put major energy and attention into a more healthy lifestyle, I've seen some awesome weight loss results. Last week, I decided to try on some of the pants from my stack of bottoms I put in my closet last December. The results...I've tried a couple pairs and so far those pants fit again! Yay! I've been working on revamping my lifestyle since December and it's great to see my hard work from the last 7 months pay off!
I'm happy that I've been enjoying my exercise (yay zumba!).
I'm happy that I've been enjoying my eating.
I'm happy that I've been able to lose weight, not by trying to eat less, but by trying to eat better.
I'm happy that my revamped eating habits have merged my parent's healthy eating habits with my current lifestyle and that I can stay healthy even with a splurge here and there.
I'm happy that I've been able to learn so much more about foods and nutrition.
I'm happy that overall I've lost weight, but I'm mostly happy that I've done it my way and what I consider the right way.
I'm ecstatic with my results! I have more energy and I feel so much better about myself and in general.
Reader question: Have you been in a rut before? What did you do to get out of it?