There were many causes for my obesity, for me it has been a life-long struggle. To say I was “bullied” in school is a kindness. I was terrorized everyday because of my weight, my hair colour, and my shyness.
I turned to food in comfort, hoping it would ease the emotional scarring I was being caused. At my heaviest, I was over 285 pounds.
Everything was difficult; I couldn’t sleep, had trouble tying my shoes, and couldn’t find clothes that fit properly. I didn’t want to go do activities with friends because I felt as though I was holding them back. The larger I became my desire to even socialize dropped significantly. I lost many of the people close to me. I was embarrassed, and internalized the pain causing me to spend most of the time severely depressed.
I had tried several times to lose weight, but found it was never sustainable. Anything I lost I would gain right back. I had no plan, and no motivators. Finally, I came to realize that in order to change I had to take responsibility and more importantly take action on correcting it. I realized that by not living a healthy lifestyle I was letting my past win, letting all those kids in high school win by continuing a sad and depressing cycle. This had to change. I couldn’t let this happen anymore. More than anything I wanted to be happy with myself, to be able to love myself, and to have self-confidence. Being fat felt like being in a prison, one that was being sustained by my eating habits and my emotional struggles.
The most difficult challenge was asking myself “how am I going to do this?” I didn’t know how to cook very well (and still don’t) and I was struggling with figuring out what is correct and what isn’t. I was acutely aware of my failed previous attempts and wanted to make this a more permanent change in my life.
I researched everything I could on the reasons why we get fat so that I could build a meal plan around it. Due to my family history of Type 2 Diabetes, many weeks were spent researching about the causes of type 2 and how to prevent it. I decided to build a diet plan around foods that do not create an insulin response. I also returned to the gym to do weight training and start running.
I was lucky to have the support of my family and friends. I started seeing results within a month and I felt fantastic. I was smiling more, and standing straighter. It felt amazing to get compliments from my coworkers as I walked down the hall. I didn’t really know how to handle them at first since it’s all new to me.Even more unexpectedly, I was getting more attention from women! Giving up was never an option for me. In addition to weekly weigh-ins I started signing up for road races throughout the year. Setting up goals helped keep me focused.
It’s a huge struggle to find stores that will cater to a Low Carb lifestyle. Sure, some of the major supermarkets have “gluten-free” aisles now, but for me gluten was only part of the problem. Enter Low Carb Grocery where I can find anything I need that helps me stick to my very restrictive carb goal. My absolute favourite are the Quest Bars – I just wish they didn’t taste so good since I can eat them like candy if I’m not careful!
I’ve lost over 100 pounds in just over 2 years. To maintain my weight loss I constantly challenge myself. To anyone beginning their weight loss journey I would tell them to plan it out, and understand firstly that this is a permanent change, not a temporary one. Need help explaining the low carb lifestyle to others? Use my favourite analogy:
“You are driving a gas powered (carbs) pickup truck pulling a large trailer full of diesel fuel (fat). Instead of constantly putting gas in your truck, change the fuel that it uses and tap into the trailer!”
While I feel better about myself than ever before, I am aware of how much work I still have to do. I think I’m worth it though, and you are too.