My weight loss story and finding peace with myself
One of the reasons I decided to branch out from my YouTube Channel and start this blog was to share more than just makeup. I started my channel to share makeup tips and advice with other makeup loving ladies, and what I found was a connection to a community of women. For someone like myself who is generally private and selective about what I put out on the internet, I actually found myself wanting to share more. I'm a 34 year old mom to two little girls who like everyone else is trying to balance life, find myself, pursue my passions and try and keep it all together. There is so much more to me than a girl that spends more than she should on makeup, and I wanted to share more of that girl with you.
So I added this Lifestyle tab to my blog and to be honest I'm still not exactly sure what the heck "Lifestyle" means on a blog but I know other bloggers have this category and I find it a great place to put my posts that would fall into the category I'd probably call "Other" instead. But let's be honest, Lifestyle sounds so much fancier. So here you are... my very first Lifestyle Post.
I've been brainstorming on what I wanted to write about for this first post, and one topic that always comes up is my Weight loss story. I shared a pretty candid and unfiltered video on my channel a couple of years ago and it's actually my most viewed video on my channel. I wanted to share my story here on Made up Mom and be totally honest and vulnerable to my readers on my issues with weight because I have a feeling so many other women can relate to where I have been and where I am now. And I think its so easy for people to have a misconception about other women, (I feel like for a long time people did of me) and I think its refreshing when we are honest about these issues. So here it goes...
I'm going to try and keep this summarized, because it could get very long, but if you want a long ramble on exactly how I lost the weight initially you can watch my YouTube Video. But long story short, I grew up most of my adolescent life not concerned with my body shape, or weight. I don't remember feeling like I needed to diet or watch my weight until I reached the age of about 18. I think for teenage girls these days its probably a different story. I didn't grow up with Instagram and girls like Kylie Jenner posting sexy images of herself at the age of 17.
So my last year of high school and first in college, I had put on quite a bit of weight. About 35 pounds to be exact. On my 5'2" body that is A LOT. I was unhealthy and depressed. I smoked cigarettes, and ate fast food everyday. My body was so toxic. When I started hearing the first comments about how much weight I had gained from friends, it was my wake up call. I decided to join a gym and start exercising. It took me about 6 months but I lost 40 Pounds! I also quit smoking as I quickly learned that cardio exercise and being a smoker do not mix well. I changed my diet after the first 3 months, growing frustrated that I was working out everyday yet I had only lost 5 pounds. When I started consuming no more than 1300 calories a day, the weight literally fell off. In 3 months I lost around 30 pounds. From that moment on, I would become HOOKED on diet and exercise. Everyone was noticing the new me and I was getting so much attention. Every conversation seemed to fall around how I lost the weight. I remember writing out meal and exercise plans for people, similar to what I had been doing. I wanted to share with everyone, what I had discovered. (Ha, and here we are all these years later and I'm doing the same thing ;)
Anyhow, I had become the fitness girl. The nutrition girl. Everyone identified me as that girl. That next year, I started realizing the struggle with keeping weight off. When you are losing, it is motivating. Its exciting to see the number go down on the scale. Once you reach your goal or your body's natural comfort level, you stop losing. You would think that would be easy, but for me it was a struggle. Without weight to lose, I felt less motivated. I was getting complacent. That's when I started to develop unhealthy habits and yoyo dieting. I would binge on sugary foods here and there, and then go on restrictive diet to compensate for the bad eating the day before. I started to feel shame, because here I was the "fitness girl" as far as everyone else was concerned, the one who was giving people advice on healthy living and here I was binging on chocolate when no one was around.
At 27, I decided to train and compete in a Bikini Fitness Competition. I trained and dieted for 12 weeks for this show. It was extreme. I was getting up at 4am to do an hour of cardio before work, then going to the gym after work to do an hour of weight training, and in between I was eating cold fish and asparagus out of a ziplock bag in my purse. This is when I attribute the most damage to myself when it comes to the health of my body but even more so the health of my inner being. I got so critical of myself. I would take pictures weekly of myself in a bikini to send to my trainer, and all I would find were my flaws. The binge eating only got worse, and to punish myself I'd do 2 hours of cardio the next day. Looking back now, I can say I was completely delusional. I remember taking professional photos (below) and thinking my butt was too jiggly. How ridiculous! First of all, my poor little butt. It was tiny and starving and all I was doing was criticizing it! And second of all, BUTTS ARE SUPPOSE TO BE JIGGLY!!
Anyway, thankfully my desire to have children was stronger than my desire to continue down this path, and when you are 12% body fat and overworking yourself, it turns out you stop getting your period. And it turns out you kind of have to have your period to get pregnant. And so I stopped starving myself and working out like Arnold, and I started Acupuncture and started eating. I got pregnant with my first daughter that next year.
I wish I could say that this was the end to my body and diet issues but it wasn't. Fortunately, over the next few years I would become a mom, turn 30 and start to gain a little more sense of self. Its still a work in progress for me, I still occasionally eat too many chocolate covered almonds, or too many tiffs treats but don't we all? Today, I can say that I am comfortable in my body enough to appreciate it. I once read a great quote, "Exercise because you love your body, not because you hate it." This speaks to me. Today I exercise because I love the way I feel when I do. Back then, I saw exercise as a way to punish myself for eating like crap or a way to give me the body that I was striving to get because the one I had wasn't good enough.
I believe our diets should be about balance and moderation. Yes we should all make healthy choices, not only because we want to look good in a bikini but because we want to feel good when we wake up, we want to have energy and teach our children about healthy living. But we should also allow ourselves wine, pizza and cookies (in moderation). Life is too short to not eat cookies!
I can't say that I am perfect, but I think what I have learned from all of this is I don't want to be perfect. No one is perfect. Trying to be perfect is what ultimately led to so much unhappiness inside, so much emptiness I felt. What I hope most is that if you are reading this and can relate to any of this, you're not alone. And no one that you see on social media is as perfect as they may seem. Even the super fit, healthy girls decked out in Lululemon from head to toe... I promise you they are either a.) hungry or b.) eating cupcakes when no one is looking too! :) Its ok!
Thank you for reading, please chat with me below! xoxo...Lisa