Weight Loss: My Health Journey
Scroll to see my "Before" & "After" photos!
Scroll to see my "Before" & "After" photos!
Before: 267 lbs
After/Current: 215 lbs
Difference: -52 lbs
I've struggled with my weight my entire life. Not obsessively. Actually, quite the contrary, too passively I'd say. To be blunt, I never really gave a shit. Of course I'd have random days where I'd feel fat or feel great but those days happened both at my heaviest weight & lightest weight. So, that's really saying something.
I've been up & I've been down about it. Growing up, I was always naturally on the heavier side & was a chubby child. I've felt everything from feeling insecure and awful at my lowest weight to feeling confident & beautiful at my heaviest weight. You want to know how that's possible? Hint: happiness & confidence has nothing to do with your weight. Happiness & confidence is an internal job & nothing external has the power to get in your way. You may perceive your appearance or weight to make you feel a certain way but it's totally all in your head. It is possible to feel confident & beautiful as a plus size woman just the same as it's possible to feel insecure and awful about your body as an under or average weight woman. Feeling good is an inside job and it takes a lot of self development & consistency to truly feel confident & happy in your skin at whatever weight you're at.
Weight can be a sensitive topic for many women but it doesn't have to be... If you find it awkward or uncomfortable it's probably because you know you have some inner work to do. Anytime anyone gets offended or is sensitive about anything it's a clear sign they need to dig deeper and address the reasons behind those feelings. People don't just get offended or upset unless it strikes a chord within themselves in an area that they know they need improvement in.
Weight is just a number & numbers have nothing to do with feelings.
Other people always see you way better than you see yourself, they don't notice your arms that you deem as chubby or your thick thighs that you secretly feel insecure about... You know why? Because people are more fixated and concerned about their own appearance to give a shit about yours! It's not even a good or a bad thing, it's just a thing! Call it human nature or whatever, but girl, no one else even notices all the imperfections you think you have!
Still feeling down & out about that incident in 5th grade when Sandy called you fat in front of the whole class? Stop it! Sandy called you fat because she hated herself, which actually had nothing to do with you! She was trying to divert people from seeing her own flaws & insecurities and unfortunately felt the need to shift that attention on to you. If anyone has ever been mean to you regarding your weight or appearance, listen to me right now when I say this: when people are mean to other people, it's because of their own internal hatred & unhappiness they have within themselves. It's that simple. They're insecure and unhappy with their own appearance, so they pick on yours to help them feel better. This applies to anything that anyone is ever mean to you about in life. It's them. It literally has nothing to do with you. They're insecure. They take it out on you. And, they suck! Mean people never make it anywhere in life so ditch them, their opinions and keep being your fabulous self!
I used to be the worst for creating healthy routines and sticking with a consistent diet. I ate what I felt like & didn't work out if I didn't want to. The biggest excuse I always made was that if I wasn't going to go full on and eat a perfect salad based diet & work out 7 times a week then forget it! I might as well not even bother. If I couldn't do it strictly and perfectly there was absolutely no point. Listen to me, it was the stupidest crap ever! Just horrendous! Clearly, even making small changes to your diet & wellbeing is better than saying 'screw it' if you can't do it perfectly 100% of the time. Learning to be ok with a cheat day or indulgence was actually a majorly important aspect of my journey. I used to always feel awful & guilty and like giving up as soon as I had a slip up. I had to teach myself that giving up was not an option this time around. Let me tell you, health & wellness is a mindset game. You get your mind right & you'll be able to achieve anything!
So, my health journey truly started a couple years ago. When I was at my heaviest weight at 267 lbs. Even for my 5'10" frame, that was a lot of extra weight I was carrying around. I had so many digestive issues, I couldn't eat anything without feeling like garbage after. I had random unexplained aches and pains. I could blame it on owning a bakery... But the truth is, it had nothing to do with the bakery. It had to do with me & my lack of care and concern for my health & wellbeing. Oh, and it also had to do with what I was putting in my mouth. I went to the doctor and even met with a gastroenterologist (basically, a stomach doctor) to try to figure out what the heck was happening. I had been gluten free for a few years at this point (which substantially helped my cognitive abilities & mental health) but I still continued to have constant stomach & digestive related issues. I was trying to figure out if it was something I was eating and tried eliminating several different foods to see- none of which seemed to help.
I realized that I just wasn't healthy & the reason I didn't feel great was becauseI wasn't healthy. If I didn't feel that great, it must have been because my body wasn't performing optimally. So, step one was deciding that being healthy and having energy was more important than that extra glass of wine or late night munching. I started this journey 2 years ago with making the tiniest little changes- I'd eat 'healthier' and 'move more' and that was about it. It wasn't too hard because I didn't put a lot of pressure on myself, but the problem was that it wasn't getting me results either. In that whole year I only lost 10 pounds. Which, sure is better than adding 10 pounds, but in the course of a year, I knew I could do better. I knew I needed to do better!
When it dawned on me... Healthy people are people who take care of their health. Consistently. Meaning, maybe all I had to do was pay attention & follow what all those 'healthy' people were doing. It was like an AHA moment where I realized that healthy people were serious and very intentional in their approach to food & wellbeing. They didn't just eat everything that was put in front of them nor did they feel obligated to eat something because their friend was eating it. Food wasn't an afterthought to them. Oh no, these 'healthy people' were very meticulous about the ingredients and macro-nutrients that were hiding in the foods they put into their mouths. They didn't eat foods because they 'felt' like eating it or were 'craving' it, they ate foods because they wanted to feel great! They also ate like this majority of the time. Eating healthy is a consistency game & not an intensity game. Meaning, if you eat healthy consistently with the odd treat here and there you'll get the results whereas, if you eat extremely healthy for a month to the point where you can no longer stand it and revert back to your old habits- you'll notice nothing. I realized that the reason these people were so healthy & full of life and energy was because they had strong, healthy habits that they implemented the majority of the time. They didn't do what I did where I would eat healthy for 2 weeks and think 'ok that's good enough' and then fall back into my old habits. So, it finally clicked with me that what I needed to do was start following what these people were doing. They clearly knew way more than I did in this area and I figured if I followed what they were doing for long enough I'd eventually start to lose some weight and hopefully feel better!
I followed health & fitness Instagram accounts to provide me with knowledge & inspiration. I also watched several YouTube videos. Knowledge is power. Especially when it's not your personal strength. Just because it's not your strength doesn't give you permission to ignore the issue, there's way too much information online to pretend not to know. Do your research and educate yourself!
So after the first year of losing only 10 lbs, I decided I needed to do better than that & I knew that I could. I wondered why I could be so successful in business but not in this area of my life? So, I decided to apply the same principals that proved to be successful in business to my health & wellness journey. You can do this too. What are you exceptionally good at? Figure out the reasons you're so good at those things and apply the same principals that have been successful for you in that area to health & wellbeing. For me it was my commitment, motivation, desire, strength and need to be successful that drove me in business, so why couldn't I apply those things to my health and create the same success in that area?
It was December 23 2019, almost 1 year ago to the day (thus I felt the perfect timing for writing this blog) that I decided I was going to really do this. I decided to try the Keto diet since it was the closest diet to what I would normally eat and it was filled with foods that I KNEW made me feel amazing (salmon, nuts, avocado etc). You'll notice that December 23 was 2 days before Christmas, 8 days before New Years, and exactly 1 month before my birthday. All special occasions that involved THE BEST FREAKING FOOD! I knew I needed to start December 23, for three reasons:
1. I needed to prove to myself that I had the strength, desire & commitment to stick to a diet through the hardest of circumstances... And, Christmas, New Years & my birthday would be the biggest challenges. I knew that if I got through this, it would give me the momentum & confidence I'd need to seriously stick to it the rest of the year. I was totally right.
2. I knew if I waited until after ANY of those occasions, I would feel like those occasions were more important than my health journey and I would be predisposed to fail. I knew this because I'd always made similar negotiations with myself in the past & it literally never worked! I'd always say "starting Monday" or "starting AFTER my birthday" etc. Meanwhile, I'm subconsciously telling myself that eating healthy is not a priority, and in fact treating myself to food is more important! Then, on top of that, I would use all those "starting after today" excuses to make myself feel better.
3. There will always be an excuse not to start today. Don't fall for it. Start today. A year from now you'll be happy that you did. I know I am!
Fast forward to today. Currently I'm down 52 pounds and weigh 215 lbs. I didn't realize at the time that carrying that much extra weight was naturally exhausting. Like, imagine I went and picked up a 50 lb dumb bell weight right now and just carried it around with me everywhere I went. It would only be a matter of time before I couldn't hold it any longer. It's much less of a burden when the weight is dispersed throughout your entire body and you don't notice it as much, and thus you don't think it's a big deal.
My first major goal is to get under 200 lbs... Only 15 lbs to go! It's not really about a goal weight though, which is where I think a lot of people go wrong. They finally get to their goal weight and then what? Celebrate and think they can maintain it without the same intentionality & commitment that got them there in the first place, which isn't true. I would always hear people talk about how it's a 'lifestyle' and- whatever. I didn't even know what they meant by that. Now, I know! It HAS to be a lifestyle in order to maintain your health, wellness & weight. Meaning, if you want to remain at your goal weight, you have to continue eating the same foods that got you there! Don't for a second think you'll magically maintain it without the same dedication, awareness & effort that you've been putting in up until this point. As soon as you stop paying attention to what you're eating and doing, all your hard work will go out the window! Besides, it's not ALL about weight. In fact, it's mostly about feeling great & having endless amounts of energy- why would you even want to give that up after all you've learned along the way?
So, I don't know a whole lot about different diets. I found keto to be amazing for me, but I don't know that everyone would find it as beneficial as I did. Find out what works for you and stick to it! Follow other fitness experts & see what they're eating. Remember that if it's not somewhat enjoyable to you, you won't stick with it! So make sure whatever food choices you make are healthy & consist mainly of foods you actually enjoy eating. To make it easier for me, I get premade keto dinner meals from Ketolibriyum. Any little ways you can make the process easier and more enjoyable- do it! Don't try to be an expert at healthy cooking right away if you have no idea where to start- it'll seem overwhelming and result in giving up. Set yourself up for success by making everything easy to stick to!
I started working out about 4 months ago, so I did not begin my journey by working out. Obviously there are many mental and physical health benefits of working out, and in case you're wondering if you HAVE to do both eating healthy & working out the answer is no. But, if you want quicker and better results the answer is yes. Again, if you don't enjoy working out then make it easier by getting a personal trainer! They'll make it fun & make sure you don't hurt yourself.
Like I said, eating healthy & working out has never been my strength so it's been important for me to make it as easy as possible by getting pre-made meals & a personal trainer. Yes, they can be expensive, but cut back in another area of spending and not when it comes to your health. Your health is your greatest asset & best investment. Taking over the world is going to need you to have an abundance of energy, stamina & require you to be in extraordinary health!
Yes, you deserve a delicious treat every now and then, but it doesn't have to be every day! And that's coming from a bakery owner who loves to sell sweets, so that's how you know I love you & care tremendously about your health, happiness & wellbeing. Enjoying life is about balance & creating a healthy foundation that stills allow a Chick Boss indulgence every now and then is key!
If you need any tips or tricks or you enjoyed this blog, I'd love to hear it! Find me on Instagram @rebeccaatchickbosscake or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org!