For as long as I can remember I was always the one who hated shopping for clothes, hated sports because I was always last and mostly hated the world because I didn’t like myself very much. This wasn’t directly because of my appearance. I struggled with depression for some time throughout my teenage years and it wasn’t until I found that I deserved to love myself and that
I deserved to be happy that my whole outlook of life changed – it changed for a healthier and happier one. I always remember being bigger and by the time I’d reached 16/17 I weighed approximately 210lbs. I didn’t understand anything about food or nutrition, nor did I know water existed, or how to spell the word exercise.
The beginning of my journey started on the 5th December 2011. Yep, right before Christmas and surprisingly not the new year ;). What sparked this change, was that I broke my ankle in July 2011.
My x-ray of the metal plate and six screws in my ankle!
I had been running through our nearby woods as much as I could for the weeks leading up to my injury (which happened on a night out). I was weighed for the first time in a long time before ankle surgery and weighed in at 92KG (203lbs). I had weighed more previous to this, I had once weighed 210lbs but I could never pluck up the courage to see what the scales said.
I was embarrassed and angry and the nurse asked me to tell her again what I weighed because she wasn’t sure, even saying it aloud made my blood boil. I could never describe the frustration of laying down doing nothing all day but the main thing was that I couldn’t run anymore. I couldn’t run, so I had to do something. I had to eat right. Eating right through recovery lead me to losing 14lbs and those 14lbs were the babies which got me going.
I did it without being able to move, what would I be able to achieve when I could walk again?! I’m here now at 139lbs and working harder than ever to keep myself and other people motivated. I hope you enjoy my little story of how my life completely changed on the day I decided I should love myself as I was and who I could be.
I lost the main part of my weight (45lbs) through ‘clean eating’ and more importantly better, more cautious eating. I have currently adopted the Ketogenic way of life which is an extremely low carbohydrate intake and high fat intake with moderate protein. I chose this for many reasons mainly related to my energy levels and overall performance in exercise.
I’ll include a sample of each way of eating. I have lost 11lbs since changing to Keto and I feel absolutely wonderful. I do count calories, I aim to eat 1400-1500 on rest days because I don’t do much and my work is not very active. On days I exercise I eat more of course, either most or all of the calories I burn. On cheat days I eat sometimes well over 3000 calories, I’m a big eater with a big love of food! All calories are not created equal BUT it’s good to keep an eye on them.
Clean Eating Day:
Breakfast:(if I had time of course)
Oatmeal mixed with Vanilla Whey protein powder with blueberries/rasperries and walnuts.
Or Whey Protein shake with two boiled Eggs and a slice of wholegrain bread
Wholegrain rice, chicken breast, spinach, healthier choice cottage cheese
Or Canned tuna and Cashew nuts with Cous Cous or Quinoa with one boiled egg
Salmon Fillet, Asparagus, Sweet Potato fries & Broccoli
Turkey Breast, Broccoli, Quinoa
Whey Protein Shake, Banana, Fruit, Eat Natural Bar
Oatmeal With Peanut Butter, Fresh Fruit Smoothie (Done With My Juicer) And Green Tea.
Salmon, Sweet Potato Fries, Boiled Eggs, Greens, Prawns.
Sausage (97% beef), scrambled egg with cheese, bacon & haloumi fried in coconut oil.
Chicken with the skin, mayonnaise, chorizo with spinach and Broccoli & Cheese.
Broccoli, mince, bacon with melted cheese. Strawberries, clotted cream, dark chocolate and hazelnut butter
Peanuts, cheese cubes, walnuts, berries, almonds
An example of a meal in my diet now, My ‘fry up’ omelette!
Three Egg Omelette, Cheese, Sausage, Bacon, Spinach And Chorizo. Sprinkled With Feta Cheese & Avocado
I will always stand by feeding your SOUL, if you have chocolate on day 2 of your journey then DON’T beat yourself up, you haven’t failed & you haven’t reversed any progress. What you have done is maybe made a mistake that you can comfortably learn from. Otherwise you have made a decision which you’re happy with and that is absolutely okay too. Nobody is perfect and we are all human.
Throughout my entire journey I have not set foot in a gym, I’ve used the pavement as my gym and Jillian Michaels and Shaun T as my trainers. Although I did half of the Insanity program at home with Shaun T last year before I unfortunately became very ill, the main exercises that I did which showed most results were jogging/walking/running (no rules, just get outside) and Jillian Michaels 30 day shred from the comfort of my own bedroom, which is just as great for more than thirty days.
I also did do some weight training with dumbbells and using my own body. I made sure I had 1-2 rest days a week to make sure my body got enough rest and for the rest of the week mixed things up. Of course some weeks I rested and lazed about more than others, it’s just about finding moderation with everything you do, including the naughtier foods we can eat!
You don’t have to do a LOT of different exercises to lose fat, if you do then great but often people think it’s too much hard work and they’d need to do a lot of exercise, it’s not the case… all I do is lift and run. Running burns a lot more than just fat, it’s an amazing stress reliever.
19 years old
Highest Recorded Weight: 210lbs
Waist Size: 40” (101cm)
Stomach: 46” (117cm);
After/During Stats(I’m Not Done Yet!):
21 years old
Waist size: 30” (76cm)
Stomach: 35” (88cm)
How Did You Put On The Weight?
I’d always been a larger girl. I did put on weight rapidly when I went through a period of depression and this was due to finding comfort in food, especially junk food. ‘The vicious cycle’ which is something that we often hear about did have a hold of me. With food being so readily available to make you feel better even for a slight moment, it was easy to eat more, move less and in turn then gain weight. I was absolutely oblivious to healthy food being available and didn’t think that my body was capable to do anything like running.
How Did You Feel About Yourself At Your Heaviest Weight?
Although my appearance was something which did get me down daily, feelings of not being deserving of doing anything great for myself or by myself were prevalent. I didn’t feel that I could do anything out of the ordinary so what would ever be the point? Of course through a lot of time and hard work I found that of course I could change things if I felt strongly enough about it and believed in myself enough.
I hated clothes shopping. Everything that I could buy would be black (I refuse to buy black now!), it would need to be baggy and not figure hugging – and that was even if it did fit. From the age of 13 I remember shopping to be an emotional experience, my Mum hated to see me so upset because I couldn’t wear the clothes the other girls could wear. Now I have the problem of being far too picky ;p.
What Sparked Your Dramatic Change?
I would say that my broken ankle sparked the initial change but it was probably the weight loss that happened post broken ankle. Not being able to walk and losing 14lbs just by eating better? Pretty lazy if you ask me ;). I’d pretty much had enough, I’d made all the excuses in the book and it was time to make things better and look after myself.
Were People Supportive Of Your New Lifestyle?
I am lucky to be surrounded by supportive people and my family. Even though I’d eat separately from my family in the beginning they would still support me.
I am also extremely lucky to have support from over 13,000 people from all over the globe who follow my weight loss blog on Tumblr. Without them I wouldn’t be here now, I can never thank them enough and it comes from the bottom of my heart!
What Did You Change In Your Diet?
It’s a slow process but I basically educated myself about the different macronutrients and how many calories I needed per day. I introduced protein shakes on the very first day of my ‘main’ journey, even at 190lbs! This was thanks to a friend of mine, Ashley, who works really hard on his physique.
He scribbled out the misconception that girls turn into bodybuilders if they pick up a weight and drink protein shakes! They were great for snacks whenever I craved chocolate and I found that I actually eat more now than I did when I was larger. It’s about changing from sugary drinks to diet drinks and then to water (Slowly but surely). Then changing from chicken dippers, to breaded chicken breast to just chicken breast. And white bread, to brown bread, to whole-wheat bread.
What Would We Have Found In Your Fridge Before? What Would We Find Now?
HAHA! Well, you’d have definitely found pork pies, profiteroles (you still might find those), cans/bottles of dr pepper, left over pizza, pizza, sausage rolls.
You’d now find; Broccoli, spinach, asparagus, avocado, chicken, turkey, duck, cheese, strawberries, berries, cream, salmon & bacon.
What Exercises Did You Begin To Do?
In the beginning I stuck with Jillian Michaels 30 day shred and I walked on the treadmill so I could recover my broken ankle as best as possible. I then picked it up by going for walks/runs/jogs to just get moving! Around 10 months into my journey I did part of the Insanity program.
Any Tough Points On Your Journey?
Absolutely. Wow, if I counted them I’d be here all day. I don’t lose weight gradually, I go the whole month sometimes with no loss and then I go through a ‘Whoosh’ of weight loss, so I have to keep focused and not rely on the scales for encouragement. The toughest time was without a doubt falling ill in November 2012 until April 2013. During this time I couldn’t exercise at all, I had to stop insanity and then my eating became affected.
I wasn’t in a very good place. What was the most important was the fact I GOT BACK ON THE WAGON, I must’ve spent the last 5 months getting it back together again and finding the motivation that I need. I gained some weight back (not a lot and nowhere near as much as I’d expected) but I found the courage to start again.
You have to keep fighting, no matter what life throws at you, you have to keep your goal in your mind at all times and you will succeed.
Here is one of my quotes from my blog (www.lovehealthlift.tumblr.com) which I think would fit great here;
- When you have a good day, congratulate yourself for having a good day. Today was better than yesterday. Today is a step forward and not backwards.
- If you are trying to lead a healthy lifestyle it won’t happen in one day. I promise you. In fact I allow a few weeks in order to get ‘back on the wagon’. MY FEET DRAG OFF THAT WAGON HONEST. A) Because junk food is addictive. You’re not weak, your body is wanting it – you’re strong for realising that you are wanting it and you are strong for making a better decision and B) Because not everyone can go cold turkey mentally, we are all human and we all need to go slow.
- You have the ability to change anything in a second. The next WORD and you could choose to have a completely different outlook. You are absolutely free, see how beautiful that is?
- Remind yourself that you are wonderful for making a change and even when you feel that you are most motivated – motivate yourself even more. Do something different, write down your achievements and your goals.
- Progress won’t come in a week, man your body is like WHAT IS GFOIGGNHGI ON REALLY. Don’t get disheartened alright? Just keep going because everything is changing biochemically inside and the scales won’t tell you ANYTHING about that.
- WE ALL FALL DOWN. It’s fact. So don’t let it pull you back. Just imagine you are climbing a mountain and you’ve just lost your footing. You ain’t at the bottom are you? Kick anyone who tries to push you off and who doesn’t believe in you.
- CHANGE takes time, either have to accept it or complain. Don’t choose the latter. If you are on a path – stay there… if you need to rest do it but just get right back up tomorrow
- Anything that isn’t easy is worth having
How Did You Stay Motivated?
Motivation has to come from within and it IS in there somewhere, especially if you think about it every single day. You can look at millions of pictures of photo shopped celebrities but not one person is like you, on the ENTIRE planet, you must shape yourself. Also the girls in the magazines don’t look like the girls in the magazines! So you have to keep it in mind that at some point you’re going to have an off day, when you do just move forward from it. I keep myself motivated by motivating myself when I am feeling like I’m all maxed out of motivation. It needs to happen every single day even if it’s just a reminder that you can do it and you can achieve, it’s inevitable.
What Advice Would You Give Someone Who Was Looking To Lose Weight?
Ah what a great question.
- The beginning is always the hardest part, once you get that out of the way you’re on a good run!
- Don’t restrict what you eat, eat better… not less.
- Don’t think of yourself being on a diet – it’s a lifestyle change. The word ‘diet’ is unfortunately now related to restriction. If you feel you’re restricting yourself, your body will KNOW and it will want you to eat everything you can see to avoid risk of starvation, it’s part of human survival. You’re not on a diet, you’re looking after your body.
- Food is the most important thing, don’t exhaust yourself by working out for hours then forgetting about making good food. Food is so important and exercise just helps you bob along faster.
- Recipes! FIND THEM! They are everywhere and there are some amazing resources you can use. When you’re having a rubbish day and yes I did say ‘WHEN’… run or walk down to the shops, buy the ingredients and cook!
- Be prepared to educate yourself, there is a lot of information available but it’s not commonly known. Do lots of research and put it into practice.
- Write down your goals, make yourself a motivation board, track what you’re eating, read the back of the packet and allow yourself room for set-backs. We need set-backs so we can learn from them.
- Nobody can sell healthy eating in a bottle, don’t waste your time on products that will never give you what eating well and eating enough does.
- Cravings will diminish if you give it enough time. Sugar is physically addictive so push through the first couple of weeks, you’ll find that you won’t crave so much.
- If you’re hungry then EAT.
- Don’t punish yourself or your body. Your body is your best friend, treat it well. It didn’t care about how your thighs looked this morning or whether you can fit into your old favourite dress, all it cared about was making sure your heart was still beating to allow you to wake and live another day.
- Do something today. Whether you run a marathon or make the choice not to give up, do something to make your self proud. Whether you beat your personal best or you get outside and walk, remember that you are doing something which is forcing you forwards. That’s what matters.
- Take your time, progress is progress and even if you’re standing still you’re not going backwards.
- Don’t hate yourself for having a three course meal with extra ice cream/chocolate. Hell, don’t hate yourself for eating a six course meal! The only way you are ever going to succeed is if you accept what has happened, learn from it and make a better decision next time. Me hating myself after I had a burger? I ate another one fairly soon after cause I felt negative about myself and my choices. Accepting I made that decision, it wasn’t gonna be detrimental to my progress, it tasted good and I probably wouldn’t remember even having one by tomorrow? I felt better so in turn I ate better
- Love yourself as you are and love every bit of what you will become!
- Surround yourself with supportive, positive people.
- Keep in mind what you want most. This is ALL of the time. Wherever you are. If you glance in the mirror, imagine how that will look in 6 months time. Your goals and targets need to be in the forefront of your mind, keep building it up and then you’ll get to the point where you won’t look back.
- I have fallen in the water COUNTLESS times but I never let myself drown. Don’t doubt yourself. None of this ‘I’m so unfit, I’m so outta breath when I run so what’s the point’ I COULDN’T run, I was the most pathetic runner you have ever seen, but that is not the point. Every second that you try, every minute you spend on yourself and every healthy hour that you count… you are closer than you were before. You’ve had a bad day? Yep, we all do.. we need those days in order to know what the good ones feel like.
- Ignore the scale, the scale measures a lot more than just body fat and far too many people let it beat them down. You cannot gain 2lbs in a day, accept water fluctuation and don’t take the scales so seriously, measure yourself and TAKE PHOTOS!
- You’re great as you are right now, you’re gonna have to keep reminding yourself of that and that you’re about to get even greater!
- Never give up
Did You Make Any Mistakes When You First Started?
I never really thought of them as mistakes, just things to learn from. I didn’t exercise too much or eat too little, I just looked and still do look after myself and my body. It’s the only one we will get, it was time I started to treat it right ☺.
Like I have said it is a long process, in the beginning I was a little bit like ‘UGH LOOK AT MY LEGS, I WANT TO LOOK LIKE HER’ until I learned that negativity about myself only led to other poor choices, being positive gets me much much further. Now I thank my legs for allowing me to walk, whatever they look like. I am unique and that in itself is wonderful!
I ALSO did believe that I had to eat small and frequent meals in order to boost metabolism and lose weight faster, but I then later found it is a myth (there are a lot of them!)
Did You Use Any Supplements?
I do! I love my chocolate protein powder. I take multivitamins, potassium, magnesium, pro-biotic, omega 3, physillium husks, MCT’s and BCAA’s.
What Are Your Goals For The Future?
I have many goals for my future, this is just the beginning! I don’t want to tell the world of my ideas but just know they are exciting and I’ve found my way in life now. I never ever knew what I wanted to do as I got older, I just muddled through hoping something would come up and it did, there is nothing else I want to do in life. I want to become a nutritionist and a personal trainer, help people, inspire people and much much more!
I don’t have a goal weight because I want to gain ridiculous amounts of muscle, I just keep hitting goals which are more important than numbers, such as a faster running pace, heavier bicep curl & smaller pants!
For More OF Rae Please Visit:
You can check out my blog which includes tips, food posts and motivation at www.lovehealthlift.tumblr.com.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my story Trimmed&Toned!