This is me! Post Covid-19 Quarantine. No gym, No diet plan, No carefully curated before and after picture. Just me, in my pj’s, feeling content with life.
You see the thing is, for the past 20 years, I’ve either been “on a diet”, just finished a diet or am in need of going “on a diet” and I finally stopped.
No More Diets for Me!
I have more “Before” pictures than I could add here and as embarrassing as it could be to share them, here they are. The real me, unedited.
The first ones here are from 2002 but my very first “before” picture was in the year 2000.
It was my very first step on this yo-yo journey and it all began when I wasn’t even an ounce overweight.
My hunny wanted to try a weightlifting program he’d read about and I enjoyed sports and physical activities. He needed a bit of moral support, and me being the super wife that I am, decided to join him.
It was a 12 week program with diet and exercise. I surprisingly dropped 2 clothes sizes, packed on some muscle definition and lost a bit of body fat in that 3 month period. I didn’t have an accurate way of measuring back then so the scale was my guide and despite obvious physical changes, I only saw that scale weight as a disappointment.
All I can remembered feeling at the time, was embarrassed of how big my bum still was. Wow! kids today would’ve been coveting that ripe peach.
In 2001 I went on to have another baby, number 4 for me and after gaining 50lb again with that pregnancy, despite my desire and effort to be a “fit” Mum, I had some fat to lose, so I figured I’d get back on my “diet”.
Sound familiar anyone? down then up, down then up. I lost and gained the same 20lb over and over.
The sad part of the story comes with the lack of “After” pictures I could find.
I scrolled as far back as my phone goes and only found a few. The ones I have, showed me pulling faces, clearly embarrassed to be “posing” in my less than perfect state. I couldn’t see the shoulders, the abs, the face or the biceps. Only the lack of something, a flaw, those damm thick thighs.
Now you may think I just never finished my programs all the way but that is just not the case. Clearly, my family pics taken a few months after each of my “befores” show me more lean and I can tell I was looking better but for some reason, I was unsatisfied. It wasn’t good enough. Not worthy of the pictures.
Funny story: It was a time when everyone seemed to put decals of their latest marathon conquest or extensive bike ride brag on their car windows. Boyd decided to put my Bodyfat % in a decal on my back window as a joke (I had measured my body composition in a bod pod)
We walked out of a restaurant and saw a couple of guys puzzled over the “17.2” on the glass. One looked at me and said ” what’s that? two thirds of a marathon?” with a smirk. to which I smugly replied ” nope, it’s my body fat percentage” and he became wide eyed and said “right on!”
He was impressed and I was proud of myself for a change.
Over the years, I’d tried so many plans.
- Body for Life
- Weight Watchers
- Transformation challenge
- Slimming World
- Counting Calories
- Counting Macros
- Intermittent fasting
- I even went to a camp in Colorado for a week.
I’m sure there were more and several I did multiple rounds of but the truth is:
THEY ALL WORKED!
They worked for the period of time I stuck to them and as soon as I reached my goal weight or size or body fat %. I was done.
Time to celebrate.
Bring on the free meal, the cheat meal, the cheat day the cheat vacation. As soon as I reached the goal, I could go back to “normal” eating which included drive thrus, all you can eat buffets and quite often, things I just wouldn’t normally even want.
After years of this pattern I finally got to the point where I just didn’t start. I made jokes about working on my “Before” pics, that I had a free day in 2012 that hasn’t ended. I ate like it was my last meal ever because I knew at some point I’d be back at it, depriving myself again. I had to make the most of this moment. Food and I did not have a healthy relationship.
So fast forward to today and answer the 20lb question:
How am I here looking all slimline and sexy when everyone else gained weight in quarantine???
The truth is, I have no real answer but I can tell you this:
About a year ago, I told myself, no more diets. I thought about all the things I’d “learned” over the past 20 years, about food and threw it away. All carbs aren’t bad, fat isn’t bad, eating only bacon isn’t fine (even if you loose 20lb in a month, true story) Fast food doesn’t give you acne, I don’t need x number of calories, I don’t need more protein, 6 meals a day, or to give up caffeine or sugar completely. The stories in my head went on and on. When did I give up all fruit because it was too high in sugar???
My new story goes like this:
No foods are off limits.
I eat when I’m hungry and not as a social event.
I Stop when I’m done or have had enough to satisfy the taste.
I eat fruit and veggies and pay attention to energy and activity.
If it leaves me feeling bloated or lethargic? Then sometimes I avoid it.
I Get outside.
I go on a daily walk or bike ride, leisurely not heart rate raising.
I started to exercise at home, just once a week at first with elastic bands, now 3-4 times and I even went to a big gym.
I dance, any chance I get, Zumba, U-Jam, Retro riots.
My man is no longer working in another state so I’m less busy.
I’m less stressed.
I have better and more sex (yep I said it, it matters)
My hormones are balanced.
But mostly, I have a more positive attitude towards my body. It has been showing up for me for years, despite my abuse and neglect. I am grateful that all my body parts function and I am aware that in my worst state, I was still in a place many could only dream of.
I no longer care about the scale or body fat %, just how I feel and that I can perform all the fun things I want to do.
I am fine in a bikini, imperfections and all and am happy to take pictures to document the fun events I get to take part in, I don’t worry about the roll or the bumps.
I Say NO! to diets.
I encourage you to think through some of the stories you have in your head about your body and your relationship with food or exercise. Is it serving you well or holding you back?
Then when you’re NOT trying, you could get a “Before” & “After” like this one.