This is a snippet of my story of losing 100 lbs, going through a weight loss, body transformation and mindset change.
If I could go back in time I'd set myself up to workout less (say what?!?), and smarter by doing a better program, and eat enough food to fuel what my body needed on a daily basis including my workouts. I would have had the body I wanted and worked so hard over the course of 4 years to try and get without all of the pain and problems.
That's me at 17. I was 275 pounds, the captain of my football team, a city all star and was recruited to play football in college. I had a scholarship offer and multiple schools recruiting me and ended up committing to Brown University. Those achievements should have provided ample happiness. Right?
I was happy about my accomplishments. I wasn't happy with the way I felt and looked. It effected how happy I was in my own head.
I felt a big need and desire to change that. I read magazines, books and learned about weight loss and getting "ripped".
I started doing what I saw others doing. I didn't know if it was good for me or not, but if they did it and looked like that I'd do it too.
Over the course of 5 months I lost 20 pounds. "A good start" I thought. It helped my track and field seasons and lead me to a New England championship and school record in the shot put.
Certainly happy about the achievements but not satisfied about the way I felt and looked.
It was at that time that I started to attach the way I looked, to the way I felt. Look good, feel good, play good...right?
Being happy with the way I looked was, and is still, important to me. It's not vain. It's reality. I want to be in my own skin and be comfortable. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. (Now it's not the defining factor of happiness. A few years ago...that's a different story.)
But there was a problem when my need to look a certain way vs. feel a certain way, started to overtake my smart decision making.
"I want that body, so I'll do what it takes. Run and workout more. Eat less."
During the first few years of college I was still focused on getting that bod, and it was from sophomore year summer break going into senior year when I developed a "Burn it to earn it" mentality. "Whatever I eat, I need to burn it off to lose weight and get to my goal." From what I understood, if I was going to lose weight, I needed to burn more then I was eating.
+ Workout, - food = success. Right?
And then there were the days I really needed to burn it because "I ate a big dinner last night, today I need to make up for that and do a really big workout." You know what I'm talking about. The guilt. I ate something "bad" today I need to make up for it.
If that truly was the way to success I should have succeeded like no one else ever had. Most days I was working out 2x/day. On others, I was running upwards of 12-15 miles. I lost a ton of weight and going into my senior year of college I weighted 175 pounds. I didn't look good. I wasn't healthy. In fact, quite the opposite. My family was wondering if there was a problem. But if that was the way it worked, shouldn't I have looked good and want to be in pictures? Not even close! I didn't even like to be in pictures! (Hence why I can't show you me at that weight.)
I felt guilty about eating certain foods (foods that I needed!), felt dependent on my 2-a-day marathon workout sessions to make sure that I would "burn it", and was becoming less and less motivated. I wasn't able to keep up with those workouts, or that style of depriving myself and by the end of my senior year had gained back 50-60 pounds. The Biggest Loser effect.
Now that I know what I know, I could have had such a better, more enjoyable weight loss journey. Knowing now that I can, and need to, eat certain foods and in amounts that FUEL my body, AND my workouts, I could have had exactly what I was going for without all the struggles. Physical and mental.
Now I understand the right way to have successful, lasting, real, weight loss and it isn't to workout more and eat less.
Now that I know what I know and have smart people helping me, I am MUCH happier. I freely eat out and not worry about it; have desert and not think twice; and enjoy family meals without feeling like I have to ask for something special.
Even with that, there are still times when I struggle. The direction of my journey has changed but it never ends. But now I know the map I'm following is going to bring me to the place I want.
If you're somewhere in your journey and struggling to get to where you want, click below and talk to us, and we'll help you get there.