Dear Diary: Did I know this at sixteen?

As you know I spent most of my younger years overweight, unhealthy, dieting and gaining weight repeatedly.

Like any great parents, mine were concerned.

I had my thyroid checked at a young age, and the whole process caused me to be petrified of needles, and they tried to “moderate” my food.

None of this worked.

They didn’t know that I was hiding food and binging on my grandparents cookies, chocolate and junk food. I assume they felt frustrated because they couldn’t figure out why I continued to gain weight.

At some point around my 16th birthday something changed, and I just altered how I ate. I prepared my own lunches, I cooked my own dinners and I went to the gym and swimming 3 – 4 times per week. I also started a job as a waitress so spent Saturday and Sunday on my feet.

It was the most movement I had ever done.

The weight fell off me and I started sixth form slim, healthy, happy – over the summer I’d even stopped exercising as much, but I continued to eat well and work as many shifts as possible.

It occurred to me this week…

I didn’t eat fat loss friendly foods, but I did consume mostly whole foods. I ate foods which kept me full throughout my school day and managed my cravings. I would usually have pizza once a week on a Saturday evening after my shift.

This is what I did back in 2003. 

I don’t know how much weight I lost, I don’t know what I weighed at the time – although I know I wanted to weigh around 140lbs which is what my [slim] friend weighed. I was a size 10, I wore a bikini for the first time in my life, people [boys] took notice.

I achieved all of these health improvements without dieting.

Doesn’t this just show you how life gets in your way. When life beats us up we lose focus, lack consistency and allow our greatest fears and excuses to take over.

So perhaps I need to channel my inner sixteen year old and remember how it felt to lose fat at an incredibly stressful time in my life. A time, which as an adult would likely break me, but instead my naivety of the whole situation protected me…until it didn’t.

So what did I do fourteen years ago?

#1 Moved

I joined a gym which was local to my school, but required a 30 minute walk to get there. Honestly, I had no clue what I was doing in the gym, I just did a bit of everything. I also went swimming, which I love, a few times per week and didn’t just swim laps, but had fun with friends. I also relaxed in the sauna and steam rooms – being 16 was tough 😉

#2 Ate “Real Food”

I remember eating cottage cheese and salad in a pitta bread, every damn day for lunch. It was simple to throw together the night before [a bit soggy] but it kept me full and I’d add seasoning because as I now know – flavour is non negotiable!

#3 Ate Frequently

I managed my hunger by eating frequently. Usually three meals and two snacks at break time. I remained full, and rarely experienced cravings or binges.

#4 Stayed Consistent…by accident

It was my last year of school and I really enjoyed my job, so when friends were out partying I was either working or studying. I found myself being very consistent for about six months, this had zero to do with my weight, it was just my lifestyle.

#5 I ignored dumb stuff + drama

My dad was sick. I knew he was going to die. I grew up pretty quickly at sixteen and just couldn’t tolerate the teen drama which seemed to follow my friends. I separated myself from this stuff, and focused on what my lifestyle looked like.

Did I actually figure this out at sixteen?

Almost.

I didn’t know what I was doing, I didn’t have a clue about fat loss, but I didn’t need to because my body hadn’t repeated the vicious diet cycle.

I didn’t know the kinds of exercise to enhance my weight loss. I just did what felt right at the time, and this is pretty much how this all started six years ago.

I was clueless but I had a fire in my belly to be better than yesterday.

 

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