Linda lost 34 pounds. She was dealing with a number of serious health issues and symptoms that the doctors were unable to officially diagnose. Adopting a vegetarian lifestyle and become an avid runner has helped her to transform her health. Check out her journey.
My motivation to recommit to fitness came from a slew of seemingly related health issues, that never added up to anything. From suspected insulin resistance one day, to hypoglycemia the next (but no diabetes). To having symptoms that line up with PCOS, but no official diagnosis. I got tired of health issues and the pills that were pushed upon me to manage my symptoms, because I was not getting any answers or a cure.
When it comes to wanting to give up, I look at the progress that I’ve made and I’m encouraged to keep going. Whether it’s looking at my mileage logged on Garmin Connect, the progress photos I’ve taken over the month, or pounds lost that I can see as a daily reminder on MyFitnessPal. I keep track of everything that I do so that I know where I have come from and reflect on my success when I struggle to keep putting forth effort!
Before I started working out again, I decided to cut meat out of my diet in September 2015 to manage what was clearly hormonal issues. After the first week and a half, I was hooked and haven’t eaten meat since. I kept fish in my diet in the beginning, but now I no longer have a taste for it. I follow a vegetarian lifestyle and am considering veganism. It helps me manage the hormonal fluctuations that I have been having and I plan to stick to eating this way.
I don’t follow any specific eating plans. I try to eat as many whole foods as possible, but I’m a sucker for buttermilk waffles. I can eat those until I am blue in the face. Rather than cut out something I enjoy, I fit things like that into my lifestyle change. I pre-track my meals for the day to make sure that I stay within in my “calorie budget.” I eat a lot because I run A LOT, and have found out that eating too little is one of the reasons I experience hypoglycemia. I never under eat. Trying to run 7 miles and eating 1700 calories a day will NOT cut it.
I started running in November. I really committed to running in December when I decided to sign up for two 10K races. One was on my 26th birthday. I purchased my first pair of running shoes and for the first two months, I muscled through the pain and discomfort of running. Knowing how hard it was to get started made me not want to quit. Now, I run 5-6 days a week. Sometimes, I run twice a day. I also lift weights 2-3 days a week and I make myself take a rest day. I don’t like to sit still, so I usually do an “active rest” day where I walk a few miles. I love running so much that easy runs are my cross training. I love distance running, which is something that I never thought that I would ever say in life. I have signed up for 3 half marathons and one 10 mile race. I’ve completed a few 5K’s and a couple of 10K’s. I also am a part of two running clubs! Some say I do too much!
My starting weight was 217 pounds and I currently weight 183 pounds. I’ve lost 34 lbs since November 2015, but I’m in the middle of my transformation. The “in progress” photos I am showing are for the last 6 months, January 2016 until now. I’ve lost 22.5 lbs in that time frame. My goal weight is somewhere around 160 lbs, maybe 155 lbs. I really don’t have an exact number that I’m looking for, just whatever my body settles in to. I am 5 feet, 2 inches tall and do not base my health on the BMI scale.
My advice is to take it one day at a time. There are no quick, permanent fixes. You have to learn your body and love yourself for where you are NOW. If you wait until you arrive at your coveted weight to love yourself, what will happen if you never make that magic number? Will you commit to being miserable all your life? I say find an activity that you enjoy and run with it, literally and figuratively.
I would also say that you can’t outrun a bad diet, so make sure you’re not solely feeding yourself food with little nutrition. There is no such thing as bad food or good food, just food that provides optimal nutrition and food that provides little nutrition. Don’t villainize food and don’t put yourself on a diet you cannot sustain. It took me many months to decide to go with a vegetarian diet. I researched the pros, the cons, and practiced it before I committed to it.
I did not use weight loss surgery. I do not take diet pills, I don’t juice fast, nor do I do cleanses. I am taking the slow and steady approach so that I can learn about my body during the journey. However, everyone’s journey is different, so I am a firm believer of doing what you feel most comfortable with. There is no one size fits all approach to weight loss.
If you want to follow me, I have a Facebook page dedicated to tracking my health and fitness called “Veggin’ Out Fitness” and I update it daily, multiple times a day. From there you can get an idea of the things that I eat and my workouts for the day. I also post my weight on the scale and when I splurge and eat what feels like 500 donuts. I keep it honest, because it is my diary that I am sharing to the world.