I've had this blog post sitting in my drafts for weeks. I didn't want to share what I've been struggling with during the last year, but my friend Paris inspired me with her series on "Real Talk." (You should seriously check it out) We don't all have it together, but we can support each other by sharing and encouraging one another! This post is a bit of a rambling session, but if I obsess over how it appears I probably won't ever post it.
How I Got Here
I got so tired of being unhappy about my weight. Anytime Andy wanted to take a photo of me I would cringe, and I always hated it. That bummed him out, he wanted to enjoy the moment and he saw beauty in me but I saw only ugliness. I would look at photos and think, "that's not me." And it wasn't, because I had become a different person. My relationship with food was unhealthy. I was sad about living in L.A., how expensive it was and how different it was from NYC. Andy was traveling a lot for work, and I felt lonely in this new city. So I would turn to Netflix and food. I had no idea how inactive my life had become until my pants became tighter. I saw photos of myself and knew I wasn't fat, but I was lazy.
What Motivated Me
To be perfectly honest, my engagement did the trick. I'd been talking about getting back into a healthy lifestyle but didn't do anything about it. The week after Andy and I got engaged I took a close look at myself and knew I needed to get out of this emotional funk. I knew my unhealthy relationship with food could NOT go on. Let me be clear, I do not think anyone should feel like they need to lose weight before a wedding. I had become someone who used food to make myself feel better when I was lonely and sad, and that could not continue. I want to be my best self. I knew working out and eating right would lead to a much healthier life, both physically and emotionally. With nine months before the wedding, I knew I could use the time to focus on better ways to deal with stress, insecurity, and loneliness.
What Kept Me Going
I finally joined a gym in February! I made room in my budget by eliminating useless snack impulse purchases to invest in my health. Once the gym opened, I started working out 3-5 days a week. GOING BACK TO THE GYM AFTER MONTHS OF LAZINESS IS VERY HARD. I saw results, but not much. I was talking with a couple girlfriends a few months ago about eating, snacking, and gaining after moving to L.A. The Whole30 program was brought up. I heard about it through social media/etc, but didn't know what it really was. I bought the book because I knew I needed to know everything possible before starting a restrictive diet. I wanted to do it right. On Whole30, you basically eat fruits, veggies, protein, and occasionally some nuts/seeds. You do not consume alcohol, sugar, legumes, dairy, or grains. The Whole30 requires a TON of cooking and meal prep. This taught me to become very patient and disciplined. I was committed and I succeeded.
My Favorite Meals + Groceries
I went to Costco and bought SO MUCH MEAT! They have huge bags of individually wrapped frozen chicken, tilapia, turkey burgers, and salmon! I spent around $100 on meat alone and it lasted me the entire 30 days. I shopped produce at Albertsons, Whole Foods, and Trader Joes. Albertsons has this bag of frozen mango chunks that I would eat for dessert.
Almond + Coconut Crusted Salmon was by far my favorite protein. I usually paired it with brussels sprouts cooked in olive oil with garlic. (Always tastes great a little burned too hehe.) I ate a ton of arugula with balsamic vinegar, usually paired with a turkey burger or a steak I prepared once a week. Trader Joes has this Curry Simmer Sauce that I would cook raw chicken in and add cauliflower rice to. SO YUM!
My Favorite Workouts
- Barre at Pop Physique
- They have incredible deals so I take advantage when they appear. These classes seriously made me become so much stronger and look more toned. I saw huge differences in my body over the course of three weeks.
- Cycle 45 at Equinox
- Once I purchased spinning shoes, I became obsessed with this class. The room is so dark, the music is blasting, and you can just zone out. It feels like you're the only person in the room.
- TRX Suspension at Equinox
- Okay this class is HARD. Basically TRX features straps and you use your body weight as resistance. Andy and I usually take this class together and we're sore for two days after. It's a great way to incorporate strength training without fumbling on the machines.
- I lost 15 pounds and toned up.
- I'm not tired all the time.
- My skin cleared up dramatically. (Less redness and almost zero blemishes.)
- I'm happier! WAY less moody.
- I handle stress much easier than before.
- I sleep soundly. (Used to wake up at 3am every night)
- My relationship with food is healthy.
- I feel like myself.
- I am becoming more comfortable with my body.
In this season, I became very self aware and learned I had become someone who was obsessed with being skinny, having perfect skin, and just looking like I had it all. I had become SO vain. My insecurity wasn't helping anyone, it was just making things uncomfortable. God made me in His image and my constant obsession with what is beautiful seriously impacted my relationship with Him. When I was hiding away in my apartment, I could have been doing something productive, initiating with other people, seeking Him. Time is precious, and I can only move forward with what I've learned from this experience, and not waste the moments I have with the people I love. I come across a lot of blogs and articles that tend to celebrate people when they post confessions like these, but I don't think we should celebrate our own insecurities. I don't think this post is "brave." I think this post is just me revealing that I needed to get my act together and stop worrying about trivial things. I hope this inspires at least one person to not look at food as a friend, but as fuel. Don't get me wrong, I still watch Netflix and have a snack, but I enjoy it in a much healthier way. Becoming a healthier person emotionally, physically, and spiritually is one of the best things I have done this year. For myself, for my family, and for my future marriage. :)
P.S. If you're thinking about doing Whole30, LET ME KNOW! I would love to email you things that helped me/favorite recipes/etc. It is much easier than you think.