Two thousand sixteen was my year, the year I began to think seriously about my health. In particular, my weight, which has gone up, down, up down over the last several years, most especially before and after the birth of our son. Then I hit my thirties three years ago, and realized, the more I put myself off, the harder it would be further down the road. I knew I was capable of so much more, and robbed myself of this journey simply because I didn’t think
I could do it.
The beginning of this year, I got in touch with a fitness/health coach via Facebook, and voiced my frustrations over weight loss. I was desperate for a solution. She told me about a “clean eating” group that would start soon, and asked if I was interested. Tired, and feeling sick of the way I felt, I thought sure. I’ll give this a try. I took a before picture, and got my list of foods I should consume, more fruits, veggies, proteins, natural healthy fats, and whole grains. The list also outlined foods to be avoided, or eaten in moderation: soda, fried food, processed/refined food, and fast food. The soda, fried food, and fast food I was good with, as I’d given up fast food and was not much of soda drinker. The processed food, like my cheese crackers I loved to indulge in, and other little goodies around my house, I’ll be honest. I wasn’t so sure I could give those up.
The 80/20 rule was this: as long as I consumed more good for me foods, my “80” throughout the day, there was some wiggle room, and that’s where my “20” came in, for the goodies that don’t get eaten everyday, like your cheeseburger or that candy bar you just have to have. This lifestyle is just that, a lifestyle. Not a diet, starvation, or deprivation. This is a new way of seeing food, and giving my body what it needs, aiming to get plenty of water throughout the day, and exercise at a minimum, three days a week (or more if I feel so inclined). I’ll be honest it wasn’t easy when I first began, and I struggled to feel good about myself, and get to the gym. I felt self-conscious about my body, and thought this would just be another “fad” diet that would do me no good. However, with the continued encouragement of my amazing coach, and friends I’ve come to know in the group, I have persevered when I wanted to give up. When it felt like things weren’t happening, little by little, they were.
My goal was to lose between 10-15 pounds, and today, ten months later, I am proud to say I have exceeded this goal. Through hard work, and determination, I have lost 25 pounds, countless inches, and have dropped two jean sizes. I am in better shape now than before I had our son. I’m the same size I was in college, before age, hormones, life, and childbirth happened. I smile when our son sees me in my workout clothes, and asks me if I’m “going to the gym today,” because even when I think he’s not paying attention, he is. He knows what those clothes signify. It’s a proud Mommy moment that he sees me taking an active role in my health.
Jean size and appearance aside, overall, I feel better. I don’t feel as bloated, run down, or tired as I used to most of the time. I’ve also come to realize being healthy is not just about a smaller jean size. It’s a different mind-set. It’s a lifestyle. It has made me better at reading labels, and choosing the best possible option. My transformation has not only re-shaped my body, it has boosted creativity, and strengthened me as a person, as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter, as a writer. It has made me a better, stronger, more resilient version of myself. It has brought out the version that has been hidden away for too long.
Is my journey over, perfect, down-to-a-science, have it all figured out? No, far from it. Do I still indulge, and have the world’s most *horrible* sweet tooth. Hell, yes! And if anyone asks who I did this for? Me.
Facebook: Rose Lange, Author