Chelsea recently joined the marketing team at Paleo Cafe and shares how changing her lifestyle helped her shed 50kg over the past eighteen months.
Next weekend, I’m taking part in the Tough Mudder Challenge on the Sunshine Coast. I’m part nervous, part excited and part just glad I am at a stage where I can even consider such a feat. Two years ago, I weighed 146kg. It’s a figure I’m not proud of, and I’m only comfortable sharing it now that it is so far behind me. The photo on the left is what “shocked” me into taking action to improve my health – I’d been overweight for most of my adult life. Over the years I made various attempts to lose weight – tried the latest diet fads, counting calories or exercising but didn’t stick at anything long enough to make a difference. I tended to lose and gain the same 10-15kg over and over. 146kg was a new high though – mid 2011 my doctor weighed me during a routine script renewal appointment and I was shocked. I knew I had put on weight, but assumed it was about 5kg. A couple of weeks later, that “before” photo was taken and I really saw how much I had ballooned.
I had previously enjoyed particular classes at the gym so looked at all the timetables and picked a gym that offered them regularly in slots I could go to and for the first time in my life, started exercising regularly. By the end of 2011, I was going to the gym 3 – 5 times a week, every week. It was progress, but the scales hadn’t shifted much and I knew it was my food.
In February 2012, I signed up to a Twelve Week Challenge at the gym with my workout buddy. One of the conditions of the challenge was that we went to personal training sessions and followed the meal plan that our trainer set for us.
That is where it all started for me. I’ll admit when I looked at the food guidelines there was no way I could stick to it for twelve hours, let alone twelve weeks. When I asked my trainer what I should do if I felt like snacking at night time, he suggested to go to bed. I was scared and out of my comfort zone but managed to push through.
“Clean Eating”, “Paleo”, “No Sugar” and all these other words and phrases had been popping up on the health & fitness blogs and pages I had started following. When I had originally looked at the types of foods I could eat, it looked boring and limited. Eggs. Meats and fish. Vegetables. Fruit. Nuts. After I did a little research and reading I realised how limitless what I could eat really was.
I really think that is why it “clicked” for me this time. I always found calorie counting and label reading to be tedious and confusing – I’d spend hours in the aisles of the supermarket trying to compare and struggling to reconcile which was the better choice. Now most of my food doesn’t have labels.
When I tell people what I do I tend to describe it as “Clean(ish) Eating” because I am not 100% strict 100% of the time. I have however found a good, healthy balance that works for me that is based around eating fresh, healthy food.
I am down 51.5kg in total and hoping to lose another 10-15kg to reach my “goal” but to be honest, these days my goals are more about pushing myself to do and achieve things rather than reach a magic number. It started with being able to do push ups on my toes and learn how to skip (I am coordination challenged) and is now “complete the Tough Mudder Obstacle Course”. I find that feeling of actually being able to do something that once seemed to be impossible to be so much more rewarding than scale watching and the reality is, if you eat good food and exercise, the weight takes care of itself anyway.
I’ll be sharing some of those goals and my progress towards achieving them on this blog from time to time and look forward to sharing the journey with you.