The New Healthy

This blog initially started as a way to keep myself accountable throughout my weight loss journey. While it certainly served as a huge aid during that process, it has also developed into something more. I share healthy recipes, workouts, and tips to make the most of your life.  

Given the rapidly rising rates of obesity and obesity-related diseases in this country, weight loss is an extremely relevant and necessary topic. However, I am not a weight loss expert, rather I am just sharing my personal experiences in the hopes that I can provide inspiration/insight/motivation for others. If there’s one thing I have learned, it is that weight loss is not a sprint. It is a marathon. Time, adaptability, and consistency are key. And of course, the lifestyle doesn’t end after you reach your goals – it is a way of life and while the struggles never cease, it is completely worth it.

If you’d like to read more about where my journey began and how I was able to reach my goal weight, read on. This story depicts my journey to who I am now.

Since beginning my weight loss journey in 2008, I have lost and kept off over 50 pounds. This is my story.

Before After

Growing up, I was an active kid. In addition to playing sports (basketball and volleyball), I was just generally active and energetic. Athletics were a huge part of family and I never had to worry about my weight. 
Not only that, but I was also pretty unconcerned with what I put in my body. Fast food was a frequent offender. As were salty processed snacks, chips, and everything in between. Veggies and fruits? Few and far between. 
When I got to high school, I stopped playing team sports. Instead, I started to work out with friends. Nothing too serious – just the elliptical and Tae Bo a few times a week. I still ate crap, but I managed to stay at a steady weight. I suppose that is the beauty (or maybe the curse) of being young.

That all changed when I had my son. Even though I had him young, my post pregnancy body was completely different. I could no longer eat whatever I wanted without working out – it was time to start being more conscious of my body and what I put into it. 

At that time, the Atkins diet was all the rage. The grocery store aisles were packed with low-carb this and low-carb that. Of course, I believed all the hype and jumped on the bandwagon. In all honestly, I lost a lot of weight. With a steady diet of meat and cheese, I was back down to my pre-pregnancy weight no problem.

The downfall? Literally, the second I reincorporated carbohydrates back into my diet, I regained the weight. Plus some. I’m pretty sure the low-carb diet totally messed up my metabolism.

Rather than seeing the diet for what it was, I just reasoned that the only way I could lose weight (and keep it off) was to follow a low-carb lifestyle. Because of the nearly instantaneous positive feedback (i.e., the weight loss), I conditioned myself to feel that low-carb was the answer.

But in truth, I had just never really tried any other way to lose weight. The Atkins diet was the first true “diet” I had ever tried. I got pretty great results, so I just latched on to the idea as “the only way.” Over a period of a few years, I yo-yoed a ton. Low carb, low weight. High carbs, high weight. Fun stuff.

Once I started college, I completely abandoned my work-out routine and my low-carb eating went out the window with it. Almost immediately, I was back up to my highest weight.

And then even more weight slowly started to creep on – it happened so slowly that I almost didn’t notice those first 10 pounds! As I gained weight, I also lost a ton of energy. Not a day passed that I didn’t feel tired, sluggish, and just totally blah. Before I knew it I had packed almost 40 pounds onto my 5’4” frame.

In August of 2008, I saw pictures of myself at a friend’s birthday dinner and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was so disappointed in how I had let myself go. I guess I had been in some sort of denial up until then. Pants getting tighter? They must have shrunk. 

Around that time, I can vividly remember standing in a dressing room trying on a size that I had never had to buy. And that size ended up being almost too tight. That did it for me. I had had enough! That was all the motivation I needed.

From that day on, I started going to the YMCA a few times a week. Initially, I would walk on the treadmill or do the elliptical. After about one month, I had lost 10 pounds. I also noticed a dramatic increase in my energy and general mood. 

After that first 10 pounds, my weight loss stalled. That is, until of my best friends started planning her June 2009 wedding. She recruited me as her “look great in my wedding dress” work-out partner. We took measurements, weighed ourselves, and vowed to each lose 20 pounds by June [this pact was in January of 2009].

We started out walking 4 miles a few times a week. Eventually, we built up to running. We’d run about .25 miles, walk, and repeat until we hit 4 miles. 

At that point, we both still claimed to hate running. Looking back, I think I was just scared to try something that I knew would be such a challenge. While I have never shied away from intellectual challenges (in fact, I gravitate toward them), physical challenges were somehow more daunting.

Since the day we started our work-out plan, I have surpassed my weight loss goal by about 15 pounds and adopted a healthy lifestyle to boot.

After I had lost the first 20 pounds, something just clicked. I’m not sure how else to explain it. I just intuitively knew what my body needed and I began to exercise for reasons other than weight loss. I love the energy boost that results from a good sweat. There is nothing like it. These days, if I don’t work up a sweat – then that sluggish, low-energy feeling starts to creep back.

Around August of 2009, I stopped eating meat. I read the book Skinny Bitch and from it I learned a lot about factory farming and inhumane treatment of animals. My reason to stop eating meat began as solely an ethical decision and transformed into a lifestyle that I now love!

Today I feel great in my own body. Where I was once hesitant and concerned of what others would think, I’m now confident and secure. A healthy lifestyle has impacted every area of my life: both physical and mental. 

So why start a blog? Well, somewhere along my journey, I discovered health blogs. When reading blogs, I couldn’t help but to be inspired and motivated by the writer’s passion for healthy living, exercise, and whole foods. 

Weight loss

As my own knowledge of healthy living increased, I realized that I, too, wanted to share my passion for health and wellness with the world. Enter: The New Healthy

And the rest is history.

Disclaimer: this post brings up sensitive issues—including weight and weight loss. If this bothers you in any way, just skip it and come back tomorrow for my usual light-hearted day-to-day musings.

If you’ve had the chance to check out “My Story” tab, then you might know that I started my blog after I had lost a significant amount of weight.

I don’t talk about my weight loss very often—but I figured it was time for a little maintenance check-in. Anyone who has lost any amount of weight knows that losing the weight is only half of the battle. The other half is all about maintenance.

When I began my weight loss journey, I was at an all-time-high weight-wise and all-time-low self-esteem wise. Ironically, those two have now switched places.

Weight-wise? I’m at my lowest weight of my adult life. I kept my curves—I just toned them up! Self-esteem wise? I’m definitely self-confident. Although it took a while for my mind to catch up with my body, that’s for sure.

Don’t get me wrong, in no way do I define myself by what it says on the scale. In fact, my self-esteem starting building up as soon I started exercising and making good choices. Treating my body right truly makes me happy. Being happy leads to self-confidence. Although my initial goal was to lose weight, the final outcome yielded so much more.

Honestly, in looking back on all the positive changes I’ve made over the past few years—I think the weight loss played more of a ‘beneficial side effect’ role.

It’s not my weight that keeps me coming back for more. It’s the endorphins that are released during a hard work-out and the energy I feel after eating a healthy meal that keep me on track.

I believe that pictures can tell a story—well part of it anyway. I have a pretty great timeline that chronicles my physical changes through pictures. As for the psychological changes, well you’ll just have to take my word for it!

One of the greatest benefits of blogging is having the ability to inspire others. Showing tangible evidence of normal people changing their lives can in turn help others who may be trying to change their lives as well. Reading and seeing the stories of others (bloggers included) certainly helped me to dial into that self-motivation that we all have within us.

Remember you may start out with a loss in mind, but throughout your journey you will gain so much more than you lose.

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