My Own Struggle With Weight
Most people who have only known me in my later adult life have no idea how I once struggled with my own weight. Here is my story.
I was a 3-sport athlete and very active throughout middle school and high school. Until college, I was fit and at a healthy weight for the most part, although even in high school I constantly thought about what I was eating and whether or not it would cause weight gain. In the summers while I was off sports, I did gain weight, but would lose it again once I was back on a regular school schedule and practicing some type of sport all the time.
Then I went to college. By my sophomore year, I was about 20 pounds heavier and 3 sizes bigger than I am now. Even though it was not a large amount of weight, it was enough to make me very uncomfortable and constantly worry about my weight. It was at this time I also started to experience abdominal bloating, almost every day. I did not have a healthy relationship with food. As you can see in the picture, my skin was a mess.
I remained very active in college, which made my weight struggle all the more maddening. I earned my group fitness certification and taught all sorts of fitness classes throughout my 20's. I walked around campus as I had no car. I sometimes even ran on the weekends.
Throughout the late 90's and early 2000's while I struggled with weight, the low-fat craze was in full swing. I avoided fat like the plague. I drank loads of Diet Coke, and some of my favorite foods were pretzels, Twizzlers and popcorn (they were fat free!). I stopped eating so many nutritious foods, because I was afraid they would make me even fatter!
After college, I lost most of the weight I gained. I know now I was heavier in college because I was eating late at night, avoiding healthy fats and taking in too many starchy carbohydrates. This set me up for hormone imbalances.
My husband and I now have 3 beautiful children, and even though it was a struggle to lose weight after my pregnancies, I got back to the weight I was in high school. I have remained very active. I have completed many half marathons and a couple of marathons, and I also strength train regularly. Even though I have always been active, it wasn't until I started intermittent fasting that I lost those last pesky 6-7 pounds. I also went down another pants size.
I have been intermittent fasting for many months. I love how I feel. I am now very happy with my weight and I am the leanest I have ever been, even leaner than I was in high school. I can distance run in a fasted state without cramping and bloating, I feel lighter. I eat healthy fats and whole foods in my eating window and keep processed foods very minimal. I focus on eating until I am full and count nothing. In my 40's, I am 20 pounds lighter than I was in my 20's and feel the best I ever have. My chronic bloating subsided within weeks of starting fasting and the chronic canker sores I suffered with for 11 years are gone. I don't crave sweet foods anymore and my appetite control is natural. I sleep soundly. Weight maintenance feels effortless.
Most days I fast somewhere between 18-20 hours, depending on what I am doing. It is liberating and makes my day easier. One day a week I eat one meal a day, and every so often I eat in the morning to change things up. This works for me, but everyone is different.
I understand the core issues of weight management and metabolic illness. I can help you feel better and find what works for you, too!