My Personal Health Transformation – What a doozy!

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I’m a not-so-little teapot

Yep that’s me many many moons ago before I decided to better my health.

So Mo and I have been discussing posting our “transformation” pictures and stories on the blog for a while now. Truth be told this is still not an easy subject for me to address – looking back on old pictures when I weighed close to 220 pounds is not easy and it stirs up a lot of feelings that I still struggle with to this day. It’s funny really, eventhough I’ve lost close to 50 pounds it still doesn’t always register in my brain. Sometimes I see a current picture of me and go “oh, I’m actually not that big” because for so many years of my life I looked in the mirror and saw an inflated version of myself. I can understand how some people can slip into eating disorders as what an ex-heavy person sees in the mirror isn’t always what you see when you look at them. I would give anything to turn back time and never allow myself to get so heavy because it’s been a lot of hard work to get to where I am now.

But sometimes you have to look back to see how far you have come. 

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For as long as I can remember I have been on the plump side – I would probably say my push into the “heavy” category came when I was in high school and starting working at McDonalds. At the same time I stopped playing all the sports I had grown up playing (soccer, baseball) Honestly, kids should be taught more about eating clean/healthy at an early age – and sorry that doesn’t mean being taught how to bake muffins and cheesecake in cooking class. I remember eating Big Xtra’s with cheese and drink mocha milkshakes and not thinking twice about it – wow was I naive. 

At the age of 17 I met my first boyfriend (he literally asked me out through the McDonald’s drive thru, something years later I see as a super huge RED FLAG) but we dated for a year or two and because I didn’t understand the concept that you can’t match a man calorie for calorie I ballooned up to my highest weight of 230 pounds. Did I mention he didn’t like vegetables – another massive red flag for my health! I remember around this time I was diagnosed with depression – if only the doctor would have told me to lose some weight I wouldn’t have spent the next 6 years popping pills and being uncomfortable in my own skin.

After we broke up I dropped quite a bit of weight. The habit that helped me start to see change: BIKING! I remember when I was about 20 I borrowed my Mom’s bike out of the garage and I’ve never looked back. Biking has always put a smile on my face, even when I’m huffing and puffing up Fraser Highway Hill in Langley or getting covered in mud on a rainy day ride. I have loved watching my bike skills get better over the years, faster, stronger, more agile, just cool to see the growth. Around that time I got my weight down to 190 pounds because I remember my girlfriend Kelly and I having a little weight loss challenge before a ball tournament we were going to in the Okanagan

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Judging by the size of Kelly’s leg against mine I’m assuming she won the weight loss challenge

I was still on anti-depressants and living on my own for a while and I began eating a lot of sushi in lieu of cooking my own meals. I began drinking carbonated energy drinks instead of my Tim Hortons double double. Also playing a lot of slo pitch and in prime partying age I drank a lot (not like alcoholic a lot but like young, dumb, party blond a lot). Two years later I was back up to probably 210-215 as proof in this lovely shot from our trip to Mexico for my friend’s wedding

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Just before this trip I remember reading the Eat Right For Your Type book and without knowing my blood type I felt like I had to be an O blood type. I fit all the “personality characteristics” outlined in the book and I was chubby and lethargic just like the book said I would be if I ate all the “avoid” foods, which I was doing. I specifically remember struggling to not eat wheat on this trip to Mexico. I also remember drinking a lot of peppermint tea, tomato juice and eating yogurt – clearly I was finally on a better path for my health. I decided to try and get off the anti-depressants and I used my bike as therapy.

In 2008 I started my job at Volvo and remember being about 210 pounds. I specifically remember because I asked my boss that if I got my weight under 200 pounds if I could have a smaller work shirt (mine at the time were 2XL, I was swimming in it) I would say within a year or so I got to order those smaller shirts! 

I began to really dedicate myself to watching what I ate, I recall eating a ton of tuna salads. I moved in with my two girlfriends into this funky apartment and my girlfriend Joanna and I started hitting the gym. I was seeing some good changes and I was feeling good but I was still drinking a lot of beer and still had that bloated stomach I longed to rid myself of. I hovered around the 190-195 mark for a few years. After breaking up with another guy I did something crazy – I took HCG (read about this nutter diet here http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/new-hcg-diet ) After doing this I finally got down to a weight that I was ecstatic about – 168 pounds!!!!!! I was so happy – I could borrow my girlfriends clothes, I could fit into a MEDIUM something that was mind boggling considering I had been an XL my entire life. I fit into size 8 jeans! And I had some great muscle definition from all the hard work I had been putting in at the gym – I was in love with myself and I was happy 🙂

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However, if you lose 15 pounds in 3 weeks on HCG like I did you have to watch what you eat very carefully to avoid it coming back and unfortunately because I had never been taught proper nutrition I continued to under eat then binge and the weight slowly crept back on. I did another round of HCG in October (just before the bf and I moved to a new place, what a stupid idea that was, I was tired and weak from the lack of calories) but I got back down to 168 but I felt like shit, my system didn’t handle the second attempt at this diet like it did the first time. My adrenal system has taken a hefty hit and i’ve been recovering ever since. 

My weight has now stabilized at 175 and I’m ok with it. Sure I’m pudgy here and pudgy there but I’m also 30 years old. I work out 5-6 days a week and am happy. I don’t have to be tiny to be happy, I just need to have goals and work towards them. Like now, I know bathing suit season (still gives me nightmares) is vast approaching and I want to be comfortable in a two piece – I will be comfortable in a two piece! 

But from now on I’m vowing not to obsess about every little thing that goes in my mouth, 20% of the time. 80/20 rule, I’ll be a wheat avoiding, carb counting, protein munching paleo eater 80% of the time and I’ll enjoy chicken wings with the boyfriend and cheese on my almond flour crust pizza the other 20% of the time.

I hope whatever stage you are at in your health quest that you find WHAT WORKS FOR YOU! What works for me is a bunch of things that I have fine tuned over the years, you have to experiment, set goals and reward yourself for your hard work (not with food). I wanted to close with a picture from a couple years ago where a buddy of mine and I climbed a mountain ( A FRICKIN MOUNTAIN!) It’s called the Grouse Grind in Vancouver and it’s BAD ASS! It’s a 2,800 foot elevation over a short distance of 1.8 miles – that’s a lot of climb. We killed it in just under an hour and to me it was a true testament to how far I’ve come over the past ten years. Thank you to all who have supported me by making gluten free food and going on bikes or hikes with me or encouraging me – it’s been a crazy ten years and I look forward to the battle of keeping fit into my 30’s – ew 30’s lol

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(CHECK OUT MY ARMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Feel free to share your personal story with us! 

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10 thoughts on “My Personal Health Transformation – What a doozy!

  1. Cherisse Peck

    You and Maureen are both so beautiful, inside and out. I loved reading these articles about both of your transformations, it’s truly inspiring! And you both look amazing. Mel do you still have the book about eating for your blood type? 🙂

    • Cherisse thank you for your kind words – yes I do have the book still I think it’s on loan to someone right now I will lend it to you as soon as I get it back 😉 xoxo

    • Cherisse I thought I replied to this but maybe not, yes I do still have the book but I think I’ve leant it out right now, I’ll follow up and get back to you

  2. Mars

    You have always been a kick ass person with a larger than life personality. Your someone I’ve always looked up to for advice and as a role model. Everyday you blow my mind with your transformation! xoxo

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