I was a skinny child so this is not one of those stories that starts with ”I was always overweight”. My parents were – and still are – very slim so I can’t blame the genes either. And I’ve never really been what would be called obese, I just got a bit chubby around my mid-twenties and it’s been very difficult trying to lose that weight. The usual thing happened: I stopped exercising, started working in an office (sitting on my butt all day) and found a boyfriend who I liked to stay at home with and have something nice to eat.
Teenage years and body issues
I wasn’t a very sporty child but I got really into dancing when I was 14. I got so excited about it that I worked very hard and noticed that it was something I really wanted to do. I loved everything about dancing: I did ballet, jazz, modern, tap, street – you name it I did it. I was very out of shape when I started and I was so self conscious about my body. I think I’ve been on a diet since I was 15 years old. I certainly wasn’t overweight, I seemed to always come back to 64 kilos (141 lbs). At 5’9 that’s not very bad. I’d gain weight and lose weight. I remember being so happy one morning when I woke up and the scale said 59 kg (130 lbs).
I would come up with my own diets, for example at one point I decided to only have grapes. Nothing else, I ate just grapes for a couple of days. I’d then have a slice of cheese and it tasted so amazing. How sad to remember what it was like! I would also binge and purge. I think I was about 17 or 18 when I had that phase in my life. I would not eat anything for breakfast or lunch, but I had a huge bag of sweets at some point during the day. When I finally got home in the evening I would eat whatever I got my hands into – and then I would purge in the shower. It was horrible. I was never diagnosed or treated for bulimia though and I’m glad I got better as I gained more confidence: I started teaching dancing and noticed I was quite good at it, I had a lot of friends and I think I got prettier. That’s how I got through that phase in my life.
Adult life and steady weight gain
I stopped dancing at the age of 19 or 20 as I started to have problems with my body, especially my shoulders and soles. I had cramps and pains, I wasn’t looking after my body properly. I started my studies and got a job working in an office. And my weight started to creep up, slowly but surely.
I’ve tried a lot of diets since: I’ve tried counting the Weight Watchers points, I tried fasting, I tried South Beach Diet, Body for Life (which I actually recommend, take a look here) and invented a lot of my own diets and ”rules” that I’d break when I got hungry. I think the only reason that I didn’t try any meal replacement diets was that I’m such a picky eater. My food has to taste good.
I was at my heaviest about three years ago in 2012 when I weighed 89 kilos (196 lbs). I so didn’t feel good in my skin and I’d always fold my arms to cover my belly. I regret at not having any underwear or bikini pictures from that time but I didn’t really feel like being photographed. I did find a picture from February 2013 (see below). I’m about 86 kilos (189 lbs) in that picture. I’m sorry that the lighting is very different from the second picture that was taken a couple of days ago, but I’m sure you can still see the difference. The difference between these pictures is just under 10 kg (21 lbs) but I actually feel some pride looking at them. It’s been a tough 10 kilos to lose and it’s taken some time.
The thing is that I now know what works for me: Primal Blueprint or other Paleo type diet. I haven’t followed the diet very well, but I’ve still got encouraging results. I first came across this diet 1,5 years ago and have since lost very effortlessly about 8 kilos, I’m now almost 13 kilos (28 lbs) lighter than I was three years ago. I know it’s not much compared to the changes other people have made in their life, losing many times as many pounds, but it has made such a difference to how I feel about myself.
I’ve just started my Beach Body 2016 project and I hope to shed another 13 kilos by next summer. To be honest, I’d be happy with losing just 10 kilos (22 lbs). At 35, I’m old enough to be kind to myself. The main thing is to be happy and healthy, that’s all I want. I believe that if I gain that, the weight loss will follow.