Learning to take care of myself

Transformation 2

transformation

Everyone says that fitness and getting healthy is a journey and I thought I would share you mine. This is a bit intimidating, showing what I looked like when I first started out. It wasn’t someone who I was very proud of.

The left top photo is me just starting first year of university. I did not even realise then how poorly I was treating my body but looking at the photos from that period now it is so evident that I was at a low point. Eating lots of junk food, drinking lots of alcohol and no exercise. I had once been smaller in my mid-teens but towards the end of my teenage years/beginning of my twenties I had gained weight from not taking care of myself.

The lower left photo is of me after probably a month of going to the gym once or twice a week. Definitely not a committed health enthusiast then. I didn’t put any pressure on myself and my goal wasn’t even to lose weight when I started. I just wanted to feel fit. At the time I felt constantly tired and was extremely lazy. I always took the lift if I had the option and hated walking places, the bus, tube or a taxi was my only option.

Looking back now I cannot pin point quite where my turning point was. I think by going to the gym with my friends made it easier for me to stay committed. The fact that we were living in catered halls with extremely fat food definitely pushed me to my limit, I needed someway to get rid of all this junk and that is where exercise came in.

I started noticing how exercise med me feel and the changes it did to my body. With this I became more interested in what I ate and started reading loads of fitness and healthy food blogs to keep me inspired. I still find it really interesting to learn about all the benefits of the food we eat.

At certain points throughout my 2.5 year journey I did hit minor extremes, where I felt like I never could indulge or had to be stricter with my portions but it never lasted as I after all love food and after all, you need fuel. Nope that really wasn’t my thing. One thing I did learn was to not stuff my face, just eat until I was full and then you’re done. Sometimes the occasional extra portions but they are usually the ones you end up regretting 😛

I think who you can see on the right is a girl who has found herself. It’s crazy to think that I’ve accomplished this myself. Without a PT or a nutritionist, just me, my determination and by broadening my knowledge about food and exercise. I feel so much happier in my skin today and more confident than I’ve ever been. I walk pretty much everywhere I can. Since we moved to our new flat I’ve only gotten the tube to work once I think (that was when I was in a massive hurry). I barely drink these days, only on occasions I feel like it, and not because I feel like I have too because of parties or gatherings and celebrations. I choose my moments 🙂

I have learnt that healthy and nutritious food is definitely not boring! I love experimenting with food and trying new recipes.

Throughout the years I have also learnt that a balanced life is the only way for this to be sustainable. I love going out for food and who doesn’t love slice of carrot cake or a piece of a luscious chocolate brownie? Yes I still eat cake once in a while but when I can I try to choose the healthier option, such as fruit as I know that satisfies my craving but still nourishes you, which cake unfortunately doesn’t. It is not something I force myself to do, it is something I want to do and fruit tastes amazing 🙂

One final thing, with exercising and eating healthier I did loose weight but not because that was my aim. I do love that I feels stronger than ever and I love looking and feeling toned. However, I have had several people around me come up to me, getting in touch with me or talking behind my back who were worried that I had eating disorders. They said I looked ill and too skinny. I know it came from a good place most of the time but to me, that was incredibly hurtful as I feel like I could not have done this in a more healthy way.

It has been a gradual transformation and not me desperately starving myself. What I want to say is, be careful with what you say to people. These people had not seen the adjustments I had made to my life and only judged based on that I was loosing weight, not on the positive changes I have done to my life. When I look at the difference in these photos, I see a much healthier and stronger person on the right in comparison to the left.

I am the living proof that a couch potato can change and I am so incredibly proud of that. This is how I want to live my life now. I want to constantly challenge my body and eat food that my body loves. Trust me if I can turn around, I truly believe anybody can do the same. Be patient with yourself and learn what is best for your body. Everyone is different.

Finally and most importantly, please don’t forget to love yourself! Your body is amazing and if you give it the love it deserves you can create wonders together.

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