A little over 10 years ago, over Christmas break, I stepped on the scale and it read 242 pounds, I was shocked, devastated and embarrassed by how far I let myself go.  I was only 20 years old.  I wore a size 22 at my heaviest, I hated socializing, I was self-conscious, I never wanted pictures taken of me, I was depressed, emotionally unstable, pre-diabetic and a host of other things.  There it is in a nutshell my lowest point in life out there for all to read, but I can do this because I have gained a whole new life back, a new attitude, perspective and sense of self. I look back at that time in my life and I don't even feel like it was really me, like I am some stranger in those pictures, which is so weird.  I almost feel as though a whole block of time is missing from my life because I wasn't really living when I was so unhealthy.

Something I am constantly asked when I tell people that I used to weigh 242 pounds is "How did you lose the weight?"This is a loaded question with so many answers, but ultimately boils down to the realization that I needed to change my life or it would just keep getting worse.  Once the realization of the the problem happens then there is a choice you either pick the route of change and hard-work to gain health back, or continue down a path that would ultimately leads to diabetes, heart disease and will probably cut life very short.   For me there was no question which path I would choose.  It took many many years to get the weight off and re-gain my health.  This might not be the answer people are looking for though, in a world in which we can have virtually anything we want with a simple mouse click or short drive to the store, it is hard to wrap our minds around patience, hard-work and dedication to anything longer than 1 week.  One thing I had to keep in mind all the time is that it did not get this bad overnight, but took many years of bad decisions to get to this point, therefore I would certainly not be able to undo the damage in a few months in a healthy way.  So when people ask me how I lost the weight I am often unsure how to answer this, the real question is what didn't I do?  You name it and I tried it, every fad diet out there imaginable.  I tried Atkins, Weight Watchers, South-beach, juicing, detoxing, the list continues.  I even took appetite suppressants at one time and ate low calorie, low-fat, I lost weight doing that but felt unhealthy at the same time.  I lost the bulk of my weight doing these "diets,"  I hit a plateau eventually at around 165 pounds for quite some time.  Although I was still in great shape and much healthier than I was previously I certainly was not happy with this.

It wasn't until I learned about the Paleo lifestyle and the concept of eating only foods available in nature, did I finally get it.  I learned how to eat the food that is necessary to fuel my body, as well as how to workout more effectively.  In doing this I shed fat, I dropped more weight, I gained more muscle and I am not stopping.  I work everyday to be a better version of myself.  I focus now on the numbers that I lift and less on the numbers on the scale.   I refuse to call this a diet, because it is not, it is a lifestyle that honestly encompasses so much more than just what I eat. Being Paleo to me means living more simply, cutting out foods that do my body absolutely no good and were not meant to be biochemically broken down in the body, cutting out stress that gets me no where in life, cutting out negative people, cutting out unnecessary expenses, clutter etc...Being Paleo means to get back to being human.  To see the body for which it was created, to see the relationships in your life and putting them above everything else, to live freely, to be financially healthy, to play and to live life to the fullest EVERYDAY.  This is not a diet, this is a way of life and I can honestly say that I have never been so happy and healthy before in my life.  I am no longer chasing a number on a scale to find happiness with my body.  Instead I find happiness in being able to race my kids, to pick them up effortlessly, to look at my body and see every stretch mark for what it is, a beautiful reminder of what the human body is capable of, to bring 3 lives into the world.  Do I eat perfect Paleo all the time?  Absolutely not, there are times when we eat treats that are certainly not Paleo, and times when we are vacationing and have little control over the food, and other times when we just really want popcorn on family movie night.   I do however try everyday to eat the foods that make me feel and function optimally, but there is no perfection in what I do.  This is the first time in my life in which I have felt like I am truly living, that I can go out and do everything I have ever wanted, there is no limit to my body and the things it is capable of. 

The human body is amazing, I hope that the rest of the world catches on and stops taking it for granted.  I will leave you with a little thing I tell my kids in the morning before I push them out of the car at drop-off time at school (I don't really push them...I just drive really slow and tell them to jump out J/k) I say to them "go forth and be awesome." So thats it folks don't take a single day for granted..."Go forth and be Awesome!!

No comments:

Post a Comment