Health and well being

My fitness and health transformation

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For those of you that have read my ‘Health and Well-being’ articles before, you may be aware of some of my dieting struggles. This post is very well detailed; I have never shared this story fully before and if you manage to read to the end, I hope it resonates in some way with you.

My teenage years were a blur of deep insecurity and food starvation. There was something self-satisfying about being able to hold off eating – for long periods. I remember being 12 and stepping on the scales; comparing weight with two of my friends. I weighed the most and they said, “Laura’s the heaviest”.

That was a pivotal moment. My friends were far more skinnier than me (I was 8.5 stone and they were about 7) and in the wave of gossip magazines like ‘Heat’, I endlessly read about how much celebrities weighed and what diets they were on.

Around 4-5pm, I would eat my first meal of the day. My stomach – at this point beyond hungry, could happily munch away for hours. After school became a sort of bingeing session. Toast, croissants, crisps, chocolate, biscuits etc, alongside the meal that my mum would prepare in the fridge, because she worked late.

Heading more towards college, I became fascinated with specific diets. Juicing became a trend, as did calorie counting. I needed to know the exact amount of calories that I was consuming; apps helped to make this obsession a reality. (Not blaming apps for my behavior).

I would measure my milk in the morning and my cereal, to match the 30g serving example, that was shown on the box. After a while, I decided that milk was too fattening and switched to water. I also cut what I would class as ‘unnecessary items’. Things like butter and honey were eliminated. I told myself that I had created my own diet.

The fact is, I didn’t ‘look’ like someone that had problems. Some might have called me skinny, yet others would have classed me ‘normal’. Ten years ago, fitness was not as envied as the idea of simply being thin. I think everyone had a warped mentality – size 0 being almost normalised.

During my time in college, I gained two stone. My upper body continued to be practically non existent, however my lower half extended to stretch. In my mind, my hips were as wide as my house.

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I kept my prom dress for many years and one day took the opportunity, to try this made-to-measure gown. Go figure – it fit perfectly – minus the stomach area. I became obsessed with losing weight – revisiting a body that could slide back, into that royal blue.

After doing daily checks on the scales, I switched to a measuring tape. Continually, I breathed in and held my breathe. I would create comparisons with Hollywood stars – even if I was taller.

Eventually – years later and not happy – I moved into the movement of actual health. I had significant reasons for doing so. The first – my plaguing acne – a cruelty that doctors could not solve. The second – my scoliosis – six surgeries later and I was recommended to do fitness.

Of course – being me, I managed to make the term healthy, spiral into a poor decline. Fitness was an addiction. Hours a day, from the morning, after work and even before bed, I needed to exercise.

When seeing a dermatologist, I was told to cut specific food groups. This lady told me to no longer eat: wheat, gluten and dairy, to track whether I was intolerant. The trend of – I can’t eat this – spreaded across the supermarkets; variety was anything short of a bundle. I could eat practically everything – in some form of free-from range.

Miraculously, my acne started to go. I never foresaw the day – even writing this, I gasp at the concept. Although, I didn’t have any other benefits, watching my spots leave my skin, was a 12 year victory.

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My holiday to Miami was coming up; for the first time in years, a bikini would be draped on my body. ย With a few weeks to go, I had THEE most healthiest lifestyle, that I ever could. Nothing bad passed my lips and in the holiday snaps, I was determined to be in shape.

When the sun, sea and sand came to an end, I had nothing left to work for. It all felt a little bit – pointless. Then the weight re-greeted me and the feelings of being sluggish, tired and unsatisfied, came streaming back.

This is where – for anyone that has read my: why selfies help my fitness, will be familiar. I joined Instagram – originally to help my mum sell her natural supplements and ended up posting, my own transition.

It started with many strange meals – my terrible attempts at cooking; it started with my body really not being toned. It’s continuing to me now knowing how to cook good food, how to take care of myself and how to remain feeling strong.

I dedicated an entire year to slowly adjusting my habits. I told myself that the way I am living now, has to be the way that I live forever. There’s no point in my mind, of doing something, that can only last a short while.

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For me, cutting down on my animal intake (I’m not completely vegan or vegetarian), has been substantial to my well-being. I no longer punish myself when I eat junk; I just know what my limits are.

It sounds a tad cheesy, nonetheless I have never had much confidence within me. It never mattered how many compliments or attention etc; it was only after achieving my body goals, did I become a more positive, optimistic person.

That’s one of my biggest lessons – understanding how much health and fitness, can impact your mental state. My advice is always to win the race slowly, be honest with yourself and know that’s it is a discussion of when – not if.

Is there anything that I have discussed, that you can relate too? What are some of your health goals?

31 thoughts on “My fitness and health transformation

  1. Yes yes I can totally relate! My upper body is nice and delicate and my hips are so huge! It was intimidating when I was a child, seeing everyone skinny, but now it definitely looks better when I’m a bit grown up. Starving was never my thing, but oh the comparing with others definitely was!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think I have finally accepted that my lower half will always be bigger. Comparing is the worst right – I feel like it only makes you more insecure.
      You have a great body and thank you for taking the time to read!x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow you have done amazing! I’m currently going to the gym everyday and this week I’m so tired but it’s all worth it when trying on clothes and feeling great!!! You should check out my latest blog xxxxx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks for sharing your journey. It’s really sad that you had to go through all those pains as a child, so many of us do. I can really relate to pretty much every aspect of this story. I was always aware of my appearance but I didn’t really care about my weight until I graduated high school and started packing on pounds.

    I lost a huge amount of weight in a very short time when I was like 19 (3 years ago or so) because of stress, trauma in life, and not being able to afford food, plus I had a free gym membership from my physical therapist (I have back problems, too–functional scoliosis and pelvic & sacroiliac instability) so literally all I had to do all day was work out. It probably wasn’t the healthiest way to get in shape but it sure was effective, and I felt fine! I had tons of energy even though I wasn’t eating and I was working out 5 days a week for 3-4 hours at a time.

    Then I got a good job and a relationship and I gained more weight than I ever had before. That’s where I’m at now. Really trying to make my lifestyle and “diet” just permanent healthy ones. It’s hard, and the progress is slow, but I feel better even if the weight is slow to drop off.

    I’m similar to you in that I made healthy substitutions and started trying to incorporate less animal products and more plants and stuff, although I’m not fully vegan or vegetarian either. Now some of the “weird” or “icky” super foods or healthy foods are actually some of my favorites! I’m glad I was able to ditch junk food, although I do still have huge problems with fast food and portion sizes. I only eat fast food a few times a month now but I’m so lost when it comes to portions… If I measure it out properly, I’m always so hungry! If I could get past that, I’m sure I’d lose a ton of weight. Hopefully I can get better with portions.

    Anyways, thanks again for sharing! It always feels good to know that you’re not alone in your struggles! I wish you the best โค

    -Helene, xo
    https://angelspartaness.com/

    p.s. Whoa, sorry that was so long! Lol this topic just really resonates with me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s no need to apologise for the length of your post. I appreciate you taking the time to read and respond.
      I remember working out hours a day and at first I did have great energy, but it was exhausting trying to keep it up.
      I’ve never really measured out portions now. Maybe look at whether you are eating a good amount of protein/carb/fat daily etc. I’m not an expert though so I can’t really give specific advice on that. I know I eat more than alot of fitness people on social media, but I’ve lost the weight. I see some people just eating small portions of broccoli and chicken…its like…how do you do that!
      You are definitely not alone either. I wish you the best as well โค
      By the way, it’s Laura ๐Ÿ™‚xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for your response ๐Ÿ™‚ I know it’s so tough to figure out your own diet and eating plan especially when you see all these fit people and what they eat… Either a lot of food or not enough! I’m sure I’ll find my good balance. Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚ And thank you for clearing it up! I apologize for messing up the name. I fixed it though! โค

        Liked by 1 person

        • No problem at all. I should really write my name in the bio section. I guess I have always gone as Lauzie across social media. Lol, my nickname is Lauz – well according to my family.
          You will get there. I don’t know much, I kind of just go by whether I feel full. It’s weird isn’t it – some fitness people eat so much and others barely anything. xx

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations sweetie! You are an example! I really admire the way you live. Keep going, beautiful! A few years ago I was diagnosed with a health problem that brought others. I gained 10kg and had cholesterol near 300. I researched, read, informed myself and managed to lose more than 10kg. No doubt that was a victory for me. Always opting for healthier ways is undoubtedly the best! Xx

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you for sharing this Laura! You’ve done so well!! I am so impressed that you stuck with this for a whole year and developing so many good habits, on top of working out! You look amazing and I hope you’re incredibly proud because you should be ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Angela. It took a year because I kept going back and forth. There were so many healthy foods and meals that I tried, that I realised I didn’t like.
      I do feel proud of myself but I guess I still have some self doubt. It felt good doing before and afters. Hopefully healthy living remains permanent.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow you are such an inspiration! I have gone through a lot of weight changes lately, and it feels aweful to see that I am not fitting into my original size clothes anymore. But after reading your post , I feel inspired to not give up just yet. Hopefully there will be a time when I start enjoying wearing dresses again because currently I wear clothes to cover myself, and there is no fun in it really. Thanks for sharing your journey. I love your approach towards fitness.
    xx
    Saabri

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Saabri! Honestly, you cannot give up. Even if it takes a month or two, to even begin to make changes. When you think about it in the grand scheme of things, it’s one tiny moment in your life that your body has changed. You will figure it out! All I can say is to be honest with yourself, write out exactly what you eat and then look for small adjustments that can keep growing. Fingers crossed, if there’s any diet posts or anything you want me to do, let me know.
      xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow that must be so difficult for you to talk about and I’m so sorry to hear about your health problems, but thank you so much for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚ whatever youre doing keep doing it, you look amazing and are a complete inspiration! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Rose!! It wasn’t actually to difficult to talk about. When I joined social media, I realised how many people go through these things. And I think it’s good to share.
      It’s honestly the biggest compliment to me, I am so humbled that you said I am an inspiration. That’s definitely going to motivate me to keep going. Thank you!! Xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m with you on that one. Everyone can support each other and whatever they’re going through on here. It’s nice that blogging can form little communities in a way ๐Ÿ™‚ Of course you are! I wish I could be even slightly as inspirational as you lol xx

        Liked by 1 person

        • You are inspirational! I don’t think people are really aware of their qualities and how they affect others.
          It’s bloggers on here that hugely influence me. I don’t think I would be who I am, if I didn’t have people telling me that who I am is ok.
          Even reading your story the other day, I found that amazing, that you had that experience, and yet you found the courage to write about it and share your feelings. xx

          Liked by 1 person

        • Awww thank you, it means so much to me that you would say something so nice ๐Ÿ˜Š You should never be afraid to be who you are and if anyone tells you different they’re just jealous! Ignore them completely โ˜บ
          Thank you Laura ๐Ÿ˜‹ I’ve never spoken about any of this stuff to my friends at home because I’m too scared of putting my feelings out there and what they would think of me, so it really means a lot, I’m flattered โค

          Liked by 1 person

        • It’s so much easier sometimes to write it on here and not say it out loud. There’s stuff that I put out, I am pretty sure my friends and family wouldn’t know.
          Take the same advice as well. Be who you are and don’t listen to others. ๐Ÿ™‚ x

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for being courageous and sharing your story! It’s so inspiring to see others discovering healthy living rather than dieting. I love what you said about there being no point in doing something that’s only sustainable in the short term. Absolutely right! Congratulations on your hard work snd successes!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!! I am really glad I shared it, because so many people go through body issues.
      I am so happy that I stopped dieting. Healthy living is so much easier! Thank you for taking the time to read and share your thoughts. x

      Like

    • Thank you so much! A compliment on my writing is the biggest thing to me!
      I use quite basic editing. Only because I am useless! Lol I have mirror app, which I use for contrast, brightening etc. I tend to increase them by quite a bit. I also like using a little highlight. I like the Instagram filters as well. I choose a filter and leave it at about 23 – if that makes sense. I then screen shot the image, crop it and use that, without uploading to Instagram.
      I hope that is clear!!

      Liked by 1 person

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