Everyone has a story—here is one of mine.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
I have had some time to think about some things in my past that may need to be shared with others. I have went all the way back to my sophomore year in college when I first had an encounter with an eating disorder—bulimia also known as binge/purge. I would overeat and then go to the bathroom and make myself throw up. It never got to be a “real” problem because my mom caught me. I’m thankful she did, because it could have become a “real” problem.
So, why I am sharing this with you today? I am a fitness instructor and I do my best to help people with nutrition—balancing their meals. I felt the need to share “my story” because people may think I have never had a problem losing weight. I believe, most people think that I have always been fit and healthy, therefore I need to share “my story”.
As I tell my students at school, we all have a story. I have several, however, this one relates to health and fitness. I have always been active. I started playing basketball in fourth grade with a group of girls. We continued to play and by our eighth grade year, the five of us were moved to the varsity basketball team. I also participated in track and softball. I loved working out and staying in shape. As I mentioned previously, I never had a weight problem until I went to college. When that 20 pounds came on, and it didn’t happen overnight, I was devastated. I wanted to get rid of them as quickly and painlessly as possible. They weren’t coming off because I liked to eat. So I discovered the binge, then purge method. It went on for several weeks until I went home for the weekend. I had just finished an amazing, home cooked “mama” meal and immediately went to the bathroom. No big deal. I continued to do this the entire weekend. The last meal I ate before heading back to college, my mom said something to me as I came out of the bathroom. I was caught. I denied it, but she knew something wasn’t right. She heard me gagging and then confronted me when I came out. I’m thankful she “caught” me. That was the turning point in my life. I knew I had to lose the extra pounds the right way. Through dieting properly and exercise. I had to make some changes in my lifestyle of eating. I eventually lost the weight and I also saw a Ms. Olympia bodybuilding competition that same year of college. I told my mom I was going to do that one day. Ten years later I competed in my first bodybuilding competition. I have to admit, I didn’t eat right. I had hair, skin and nail problems, but I lost weight. I continued to compete and in 1994, a man walked into Bee’s Health & Fitness and shared a nutrition program with me. At the time, it was a network marketing program created by Dr. Barry Sears—The Zone Diet. It introduced me to the 30-40-30 lifestyle of eating. I ate this way for the Tampa Bay Classic Natural Bodybuilding competition in 1995. I was eating fat and losing fat. I was the healthiest I had ever been and my hairdresser, Patty Sullivan, was the first to notice. She shared with me several times that my hair, skin and nails were so much healthier than they were during the 1990, 1992, 1994 and 1995 competitions.
That has been my lifestyle of eating for the past 21 years. I have followed that program and continue to follow it when I decided to compete once again, 20 years later. Since I had been eating balanced meals, with some cheating here and there, I only lost 12 pounds to be competition ready. Most bodybuilders have 30 to 50 pounds to lose. I was told, yet again, by my hairdresser—that I looked even healthier today than I did 20 years ago. It is a very easy way to eat. You simply do your best to balance your meals. When I learned how to do this, all I had was Corinne T. Netzer’s book, The Complete Book of Food Counts. I would look up everything I ate and wrote down the proteins, carbohydrates and fat counts. I would calculate it and get as close to 30% of the calories from protein, 40% of the calories from carbohydrates and 30% of the calories from fat. Today, My Fitness Pal, Noom, CHRO-O-meter, Lose It and several more available that can scan bar codes and put all of the serving size information in your smart phone. How awesome and non-time consuming is that?
I still love to eat, however, I make good choices and eat five to six times per day, with portion control, balanced meals and snacks. I encourage you to start somewhere. Start changing one meal at a time, then go to two and before you know it, you will be eating as balanced as you can on a daily basis. Is there room for a “cheat” day? Absolutely! You should never deprive yourself of something that you want. Just make sure it is an actual serving size. It’s when we eat two to three servings that gets us in trouble. You can do it! I BELIEVE in you, do you BELIEVE in you? Keep moving forward and don’t look back, you’re not going in that direction.