My Weight Struggles Throughout The Years
I’m seriously struggling to write this post!
The reason I can’t put my words together is the fact that the topic I’m about to cover is very important to me.
I’ve spent my entire life (well, 20 years more or less, to be precise!) being self-conscious about my weight, body and appearance.When I was 6 years old I was weighing more than now (54kg) and I was constantly being bullied for being ‘chubby’, hence I developed this complex about my weight that I’ve learned to suppress in front of almost everybody.
Secretly, however, I was in a constant battle with how much food I was eating and how it will reflect the scale the next day. I was only 10 when I started weighing myself every single day. The reason being – I let my family and ‘friends’ define how I should look and how much I should eat. This horrific mindset started to develop and I just couldn’t escape from it! I was feeling constantly down and distressed. It got worse over the years and there was a stage in my life when I was doing diets every 2 months. Consequently, I was struggling with the ‘yo-yo effect’. I was probably losing 5 to 10kg (11 to 22lbs) each time I was dieting.
Afterwards, I was slowly gaining an average of 15kg (33lbs). My skin was quite frankly disgusting – cellulite, stretch marks, unhealthy skin tone, you name it! I remember I was 15 or 16 when my starvation mode helped me reach 47kg (btw I was about 171cm tall or 5’6’’ in ft.)
and I WAS SO FUCKING HAPPY, but in fact, I looked horrible! Nevertheless, I thought I was the bomb and I experienced this new feeling – confidence! In my mind, this made me invincible and I really liked it! Anyway, I don’t want to get into those details, I’ll leave them for another time, maybe another post…
Through the following 5 years, I managed to gain only 7kg back and I was more or less comfortable with myself. That is until I came to the UK and I started eating junk food and junk food only! During the next 3 years, I gained further 10kg and I was weighing 64kg. I was fitting into size 12 and suffering from various health issues (that’s also for another post!). I know some people might be comfortable with size 12 and people were telling me that I looked great, but I wasn’t feeling it… No, no… The mirror, the scale, the mindset were telling a whole different story, thus in 2013, I thought I should start going to the gym.
Bought everything I needed – sportswear, shakers, protein, etc. – and went for it, full on! However, I didn’t change my eating nor lifestyle habits and managed to lose only 2kg throughout the next 3 years. So, at the beginning of 2017, I had ‘the talk’ with myself! I’m not joking, I literally stood in front of the mirror and told myself to man up and start properly doing something about my weight! No more junk food, no more alcohol (at least not that much!), no more late nights and no more excuses!
My Weight Loss Journey
I slowly started my weight loss journey in January (note: it wasn’t a New Year’s resolution!) but officially kicked-off my new healthy lifestyle in March. I started going to the gym four or five times a week, lifting weights and spending less time on cardio exercises! For all of you reading, please remember that cardio burns less fat than muscle. Muscle will always burn more fat, so hit those weights ladies! And, no, you won’t end up looking like a bodybuilder, that’s nonsense.
I’ve made only one entry in January and then took a two-month break from the scale. I wanted to see how many kilograms I’ll lose without freaking out every single day when I place my feet on the little devil! Although I’ve managed to lose 2kg over a two-month period, I still had a lot of fat covering the muscles I’ve been building over the last couple of years. The reason being was my not-so-healthy lifestyle (i.e. the occasional crisps, pizzas and cake were still a big part of my life); hence, I started recording my calories in March including weighing myself every single day. In spite of the fact I’ve lost just over 3kg during the first four months, 50% or more are probably due to the water retention I’ve been carrying around as result of my high sodium intake.
The following three months were the real deal in terms of seeing actual results. My thighs were looking slimmer and more defined, belly fat had decreased. Consequently, I’ve dropped to UK size 8 from size 10. I remember doing a little dance (first mentally, then physically!) when I’ve managed to fit in my new skinny-fit jeans! Most importantly, I was no longer feeling bloated and heavy, I was feeling good!
Gains kicked in here! Notice that I’ve only lost just under 2kg in the last three-month period. I can officially say this is the so-called weight loss plateau; however, my body has changed a lot! Evidently, I’ve lost nearly 10kg in ten months, waist has decreased by 5cm, whereas hips – more than 10cm. Size 8 is now big for me and I could probably fit into size 6, I’m yet to find out! My arms, stomach and thighs are nicely defined and you can clearly see the so-called gains! I can proudly say that I’m feeling great and looking great! I’m no longer ashamed of my body and appearance, but it’s been a real struggle!
If you’re looking to gradually and healthily lose weight like me, I’m strongly suggesting to try out the following weight loss tips:
Weight Loss Tips: Reduce Calorie Intake
I’ve reduced my daily calorie intake to 1500-1600kcal, eating mainly vegetables, fruit and meat! If you want to lose weight, you must reduce your calories and make a deficit! An average woman would need 2000 calories a day to maintain her weight, and 1500 calories to lose 0.5kg or 1 pound a week; whereas an average man – 2500 calories to maintain and 2000kcal to lose weight. However, you need to take various factors into account, such as age, height, activity level, current weight, etc. I used Calorie Calculator to determine how many calories I needed to lose 0.5kg a week, according to my age, height, weight and current activity level.
Weight Loss Tips: Count Your Calories
Do not assume that since that apple you’re eating is healthy, it won’t affect your diet and weight! Calories are calories, and that apple is around 80kcal, hence you need to record everything that has calories. I started recording my calories by using the Samsung Health app on my phone, MyFitnessPal is another great app for those who don’t own a Samsung phone. Even if you’re cooking from scratch, don’t estimate! Every single product you buy has a nutritional information or you can find it online, so no skipping! That can of CocaCola you’re holding right now, yes, I see you, RECORD IT!
Weight Loss Tips: Eat Regularly
I eat five times a day! Three main meals with two snacks in between, sometimes even more! Skipping meals will just slow down your metabolism, trust me, I’ve been there. You won’t lose sustainable weight and eventually experience the ‘yo-yo effect’. In my main meals, I include a lot of fibre, vegetables and lean meat. For the occasional snack – I have either yoghurt with fruit or some protein bar. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat yourself from time to time. Even I have some biscuits or little cake every other day!
Weight Loss Tips: Exercise, exercise and more exercise
I go to the gym five times a week and lift mainly weights. Muscle burns more fat than cardio! I’ve spent my whole life doing cardio, mainly sweating on the treadmill. I can assure you that even if you lose weight, you won’t look fitter! When I was focusing on cardio, I looked very good in clothes, but in fact, I was wobbly and my skin was loose! Since I’ve started weightlifting, I’ve burned more fat than ever. Moreover, my muscles are defined (still not perfect!) and I have more strength. I try not to skip the gym, however, I do feel dull and tired sometimes, thus I do exercises at home. There are a lot of online videos out there and you can definitely benefit from them. Just don’t skip your work out!
Weight Loss Tips: Increase Water Intake
I used to laugh every single time someone said to me I should drink more water… Could drinking more water can actually have so many benefits?! Since March I’ve tried to drink at least 2 litters a day. Surprisingly, I don’t feel bloated, my skin looks better, I don’t have headaches and I have more energy (sometimes!). Healthline has a very interesting article on the science-based health benefits you get from drinking more water, hence spare 5 minutes and click here to read more about it.
As you can see I’ve gradually lost weight since March, but I’ve reached weight loss plateau… The scale is no longer moving (or not at the speed I would like it to!) and I’m struggling a lot! I’m going to try some of the numerous tips out there for overcoming weight loss plateaus. With any luck, I’m going to let you know if they are any good. Hence, I’ll leave it for another post.
P.S: Please remember to diet and exercise because you want it, not because somebody tells you to! If you’re comfortable in your own skin, don’t change anything! I wasn’t, thus I made the necessary modifications. 😉
So, there you go – my weight loss tips and journey! Feel like sharing any of your weight loss tips or struggles?! Do it in the comments below!