I posted this picture on Instagram a little reluctantly. I wasn’t sure if I wanted my clients to see what I used to look like. I was embarrassed by it. But then I realized that maybe they need to see this. Maybe they need a visual that it isn’t “easy” for me. It doesn’t come naturally. While I’ve always been an athlete, I too have gone through a heavy phase. Although, admittedly, I don’t ever remember being this heavy. However, what I do remember was through my high school and college years when I struggled with my weight DAILY…HOURLY!! I was also way more focused on my diet than I am now. I would track my calories. My fat intake. I felt like I was always on a diet. So, how did I get this heavy? It wasn’t lack of exercise. The picture on the left was taken while I was a top athlete. Practicing basketball 2-3 hours a day. So, what changed? How am I 20-25lbs lighter now at the age of 34?
DIET! And I don’t mean I am on a diet. Quit the contrarary. I am eating more fat a day then I used to intake in a week. But, GOOD Fats. Coconut Oil, Nuts, Avaacados, Chia Seeds, etc. Also, my husband and I are now Vegetarian. This means we are eating WAY more vegetables. However, I think the biggest change has been GETTING RID OF THE PROCESSED FOOD-LIKE-SUBSTANCES!!! Reading the labels of what I am eating. Staying away from the packaged foods that contain things I’ve never heard of and/or can’t pronounce. High Fructose Corn Syrup, MSG, Aspartame, etc.
I used to drink diet cokes daily. I would eat only low-fat and fat-free foods. I would eat Frosted Flakes for dinner, which was okay because there was 0g of fat! I am convinced that this was what made me heavy. What made me feel so unhealthy. What made me constantly crave food and go on crash diets. I regularly watch food documentaries and they have taught me so much about the American Industrialized Food System. Documentaries such as Food Inc, Forks Over Knives, Vegucated, and Hungry for Change have made a HUGE impact on my outlook on food.
Don’t get me wrong, I am FAR from perfect with my diet. In fact, it is still an area I struggle with at times. However, instead of daily and hourly it usually happens mostly when I PMS or very spruratically. I have also noticed that training for ultra marathons has been a breakthrough for me. Why? Because every day, especially before and during the long training days I use FOOD AS FUEL!!! I eat to live! I need to intake a certain amount of calories to perform at a top level. Getting back to the real purpose of food has been such a great experience for me.
All in all, I am healthier and happier than I have ever been. I would do anything to be the athlete I am now back in my collegiate basketball days, but the past cannot be redone. So, as I dance into the future I will continue to learn more and improve myself each day. I would love to move closer to an all plant-based diet and have plans to start our own garden soon!