After my first I’VE LOST IT! post, I started receiving emails from others who had lost weight and wanted to share their experience. I am completely moved and proud of ALL OF YOU! I read each and every story, and by the end I am crying yet smiling at the same time. You are all heroes! You are heroes to yourself, your family and to others struggling with the same issues. Remember: YOU ARE NEVER ALONE!
Steph, like so many of us, started comparing herself to others in High School. The spiral effect this had on her life was something she was not prepared for. Fortunately, she found help at the right time in her life and made a drastic change that saved her life.
How or when did you start to notice your weight and unhealthy lifestyle?
I have always never been the skinny one throughout my life I wish I could’ve been.. I remember when I was in 8th grade and Britney Spears first came out and I thought why can’t I look like her, and from that day on I was on a "diet" to try and achieve that. I Never really struggled working out cause I was a dancer and played volleyball, basketball and was in track. This thinking of achieving this look continued into College where everyday I would try but somehow always fail at the diet part. I felt extremely lost and alone in college so to fill the void I would eat what I thought was healthy but was really not. My workouts went to zilch and I slowly was gaining when I was hoping I was losing. After the first semester I was so lonely and "depressed" I left school. When I was at home is when all the destructive behaviors started, I was never officially diagnosed with an Eating Disorder but had a lot of tendencies. I would starve myself to achieve that "look" I would see how little I could consume calorie wise and from there everything continued to slowly go down hill. When I hit 21 I started to drink everyday all day. Then when the cutting started. As you can tell my life was a complete mess and with all I was doing I just continued to put weight on and I sunk farther into depression.
What was your turning point to change your life?
My turning point came when my mom and I were living with a girl who was a single mom with some destructive behaviors of her own. We were out at a bar one night and I was completely wasted when I felt I could trust to talk to her and not say anything to my mom about any of this. Little did I know she went behind my back the next morning and talked to my mom about everything I told her. That day my Mom came home from work and told me I needed to get help. We then went to the doctor and I was put on meds for depression and anxiety. I was starting to feel ok after the meds started to work but was still unhappy with my weight. So I kept it to myself and continued to drink and balloon up. It all came at me when I was at my heaviest in my Sister’s wedding. I was her maid of honor and felt so uncomfortable next to my rail thin sister. Finally at the age of 24 my Mom had said she had enough of her weight and we vowed to join Weight Watchers together. So with my meals starting to come together with that program I wanted to try running as a workout since I was an athlete in high school I thought no big deal. I then got the race bug itch once I ran on and off for the exercise. Since then I haven’t looked back on running. I have completed two 5ks and 4 half marathons since. With running I picked up weight training. Since May of 2009 I have lost 60 total lbs and kept it off. My destructive behaviors were finally in control after I picked up the running even though they will never be completely gone I have kept the under control. I also have stayed on the meds which have helped.
Give a sample of the foods you consume:
Even though what I consume on a daily basis this is what a typical day may look like.. Breakfast is 2 slices of Eziekel Bread, 2 tbsp of a nut butter and a banana. Lunch is a salad and veggies of some sort ( I love spinach/spring mix salads, carrots, celery, cucumbers and on and on) Dinner is usually a protein smoothie, sandwiches or wraps, sometimes sweet potatoes. Snacks are usually Larabars and fruits and veggies. Like I said when I first started with the weight loss journey I followed Weight Watchers, then I switched to Weight Watchers/ Clean Eating and now I am a Vegetarian who tried to Eat Clean and sticks to all healthy option 80% of the time!
Weight loss is difficult. What has been your greatest tool to help you achieve your goals?
The greatest tool to get me to my goals is running and weight lifting. I constantly try and challenge myself all the time. People ask me how I keep the motivation to run as much as I do and I say One it brings me joy and is like my therapy and two I sign up for races, knowing I have a race coming makes me push so I am not "lazy". But I do have one rest day a week they are important for weight loss! I also stay on track with the loss with only consuming water throughout the day. It’s very important key in losing weight!
Don’t be shy: I would love to feature you! If you or someone you know lost weight and is now living a healthy lifestyle please email me: thecleaneatingmama @ gmail.com