I am your average woman. Average height, average build, I have hips, I have boobs and I love eating chocolate. I grew up a competitive swimmer training many hours a week from age 10 to 17. Naturally I had a really awesome body, I could eat whatever I wanted, I had good self esteem and because I grew up this way I didn’t know any better. Some might argue this is a good thing and in many ways it was, it taught me life skills, I never cared what people thought, I never got bullied and I always did everything to the best of my ability. But let me tell you the one down side which has been plaguing me all my adult life.
Having done high amounts of cardiovascular training for most of my memorable life I never appreciated how hard the training I was doing was, how many calories I burned every day, it was all just second nature to me, I knew no different. I never understood the value of nutrition and portion control because I ate what I pleased when I pleased and I was doing such high volumes of exercise everything worked out fine. That is until I stopped.
When I stopped swimming I found I suddenly had a lot of time on my hands. My personal trainer suggested I try out the sport of power lifting, as I was already training the exercises as a supplement to swimming and was quiet strong. I figured why not? I trained 5 days a week all weights no cardio. I put on a few of kilos but it wasn’t noticeable and was probably extra muscle mass anyway. I did a couple of competitions which I won, this fulfilled my now ingrained need to compete, to compare myself to others. This was definitely something I missed after leaving the swimming world. I qualified for nationals and was training as hard as I possibly could. I loved it. Slowly my back started to hurt. At first I wrote it off as muscle pain and ignored it. It got worse. With nationals a month away I didn’t want this to be an issue so I continued training (like an idiot) on pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs. And it still got worse, to the point where I couldn’t bend forward at all. Up until this point I had kept it a secret, my coach recommended that I see a physio. And boy was my physio pissed. “You are 18 and you have a prolapsed disk in your back, do you understand that this could have major consequences, you might need surgery, this could effect you for the rest of your life. I don’t expect to see this in someone your age” is roughly what he had to say. He told me to stop but I didn’t listen, physios, what d they know. I wanted nationals so bad, I wanted glory and validation and the trophy that comes with it. I didn’t make it to nationals. The line in the sand was drawn one day after training. I was lying in bed crying in the worst pain of my life. If I moved even a millimeter I would experience shooting pains all over my back. To make matters worse I had a cold so every cough every sneeze sent me into fits of pain followed by more crying and more pain. I knew I couldn’t go on. I had to stop, stop doing what I loved and that was a hard thing to come to terms with. All this happened in 8 months. I was now in a position where I could only do cardio at the gym, I was banned from weights as I couldn’t be trusted to behave myself. I hated cardio so I just didn’t go to the gym at all.
In this time I blew out. I put on around 10 kilos in 2 years and that veil of high self esteem constantly pulling the wool over my eyes, I never noticed the fact that I was getting fat. Until one day somebody said something and I suddenly realized, I had no clothes that fitted me, I hated looking in the mirror, there were hardly any resent photos of me, and of the ones that I had I looked gross. It sounds silly but I literally didn’t realize what had happened. I was never one to weigh myself morning and night, or at all really as I was always heavier than the average girl my age, even though I was trim, which I attributed to my above average muscle mass.
I struggled for a about a year after this realization trying to lose weight, at first on my own by eating what I thought was healthy. But because I didn’t understand portion control I failed miserably. I then brought my 1st diet program. It was supposed to be a life plan. Very focused on cutting out the carbs, limiting fat and eating huge amounts of protein. It worked I lost weight. I got down to an average size but it didn’t last. It wasn’t sustainable. So I put all that weight back on again. And then some. I was miserable. I hated myself, my body, my clothes. I didn’t want to see people I knew because I knew what they would say behind my back “oh wow have you seen her, shes really stacked it on, shes HUGE”. Maybe some of this was in my head but for the most part it was true. At my heaviest i weighed 82 kg (180 lbs) which isn’t super overweight, but for a girl who grew up looking hot, with high self esteem and not a care in the world I really saw how far I had fallen. And I was disgusted with myself.
Finally in late 2012 I got my act together and started educating myself. I used a website called Myfitnesspal.com to help me count calories and record exercise. I cleaned up my diet and started working out and I have had fantastic success. At my best I lost 15 kg’s mostly in the 1st 6 months and have been maintain this ever since however I am still not happy. I don’t want to be average, I want to look AMAZING! So I have decided to use this blog to keep me accountable. Yesterday I turned 22 and I want this year to be the most successful yet.
My qualifications are experience. Admittedly this doesn’t instill a lot of confidence however results are results. I may not work within the diet, nutrition or exercise industries but I have achieved great results in weight loss and have been exercising for nearly 10 years for the purpose of competitive sport, causal gym attendance and weight loss training.
I don’t know it all but hope to help the people that read my blog and also learn from them. I would love to hear from you.
The Body Conscious Blogger (BCB)