This is my first post so let me tell you a bit about my journey. I grew up in a small town in Ontario, Canada in a very loving family. Both my parents are amazing cooks and I think it is the reason I love to cook so much. They were always trying new things and when I ventured out on my own I was always calling for their recipes.
I moved out at 18 and worked at ski resorts in Alberta and British Columbia for the next 5 years. My diet mostly consisted of beer, pizza, Kraft Dinner, beer, fries, chips, and more beer. I started packing on the pounds and getting what they called “mountain a$$”. Besides snowboarding, I was not physically active at this time.
It wasn’t until I moved to Nova Scotia in 2003 that I really started going to the gym. I truly had no idea what I was doing. I would usually do a bit of cardio and some weights. I did lose some weight but again, I wasn’t eating right and still partying on the weekends, so everything I did at the gym was quickly sabotaged.
Fast forward a few more years where I reached my heaviest weight, 150 lbs. I remember weighing myself at my friend’s house thinking “this has got to be a joke, the scale has to be wrong!” I made an effort to really lose weight. And I did, about 20 lbs. I stayed at 125-130 lbs for a few years, still working out and “eating right”. But I wanted to look better, I wanted to be more fit and toned. So what was I doing wrong? You know that saying “abs start in the kitchen” or the rule “80% diet, 20% exercise”, well I started to think this was true. I really started to eat clean and count calories. I started using (and still use) My Fitness Pal which is a website/app that allows you to track your daily food intake and exercise. My goal was to consume 1,400 calories a day and workout at least an hour 5-6 days a week, which was what I was already doing. The pounds started to come off. I was losing about 1/2 lb to 1 lb a week and in 5 months I had lost 20 lbs. This is the smallest I have been since I could remember, but I felt good and lost it the right way…gradually and safely. At this point I knew I did not want to lose any more weight but become more defined and toned.
I then became more focused on gaining muscle. I had lost the weight but wanted to have more definition. I began lifting heavy and started dabbling with a keto/low-carb lifestyle. I went from being what I call “skinny fat” (skinny but with no muscle tone) to putting on 5-10 lbs of lean muscle mass. Trust me ladies, lifting heavy will NOT turn you into a bulky body builder. Today, I weigh about 120 lbs, but I’m not stuck on that “magic” number anymore and hardly even weigh myself. I go by how my clothes fit and how my body feels, that is what is most important to me now.
I’ve posted some before and after pictures below (please excuse the dorky expressions, I clearly have no idea how to take self-portraits!) I still struggle with body issues, don’t we all? But overall I’m really happy where I am right now and I look forward to sharing stories with you all.
What kind of weight challenges have you overcome?