Maureen’s Personal Health Transformation

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This picture is taken after a bootcamp class in October 2010. I weighed approx. 150 pounds.

Hi everyone! Mel and I started this blog as a means to motivate ourselves and stay accountable with our fitness. We hope to share some of our personal struggles and help inspire a few people along the way. Writing this post is very difficult for me as I am a little embarrassed to post some of my old pictures. It always amazes me that sometimes we don’t realize how much our bodies have changed or the size that we are, until we see a picture of ourselves. However, I think it is a great thing to show people how much your body can change through nutrition and exercise. Check out Mel’s amazing transformation here: https://sisteractfitness.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/my-personal-health-transformation-what-a-doozy/

I am 5’4… I always wanted to be tall like Mel, who is 5’10 but unfortunately I got our dear Grandma’s height. When you are 5’4 a few pounds on your body makes a significant difference. As I have told you before, I grew up being an athlete. I have never been obese but have been overweight at certain points in my life. After two years of college soccer I stopped playing in 2005 and started packing on the weight. I ate Lipton Sidekicks all the time and adopted an unhealthy eating style. I went backpacking with my best friend to Australia and Thailand for 3 months and I came back with dark hair, a tattoo and weighing in at approx. 162 pounds. My families mouths dropped when they saw me and I guess 3 months of inactivity, cheap beer and food was showing through in my body. I had to do something!  I joined the running room and started training with my best friend for our first half marathon. I love to run and it has always been my meditation and my therapy. I slowly started losing a few pounds but didn’t really change my eating habits. I hovered around 150 pounds for about 4 years. Side note: It is amazing when I share this part of my life with my friends because although they realized I am more fit now, they didn’t realize how big I was until I show them the pictures.

In 2009 I lost a bunch of weight and got down to around 128. I wasn’t particularly muscular but started really watching my portion size and eating healthier. Image

I was happy with my body but I didn’t develop habits that were sticking with me. I still ate processed foods but did it in smaller portions. I had met my goal of getting skinny in 2009 but not fit and I didn’t set another goal for myself. I adjusted and slowly reverted back to my old ways of eating processed foods and not exercising. My brain and body thrives on exercise and when I don’t workout then I feel lousy which makes me eat crappy. In the span of one year I blew back up to approx. 158 pounds. This picture was taken when I was in Egypt in 2010. It still shocks me to look at this picture. This was taken almost exactly one year later.

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A few months later I moved to the Lower Mainland. Mel and I went for a couple runs and I was slowly starting to get back into shape. I started running again and ran another half marathon in May 2011. The following week I blew out my knee and was incapacitated. It took from May until August for my MRI to show a completely torn ACL, partial MCL tear and a fractured tibia. I was devastated. I had finally gotten back into soccer and running and now I was sidelined. I had to do something but was unable to workout. I started to really look at my nutrition and what I was putting into my body. I was determined to get my body as healthy as possible before I underwent surgery. Surgery for my ACL was February 2012 and I weighed in that morning at 145 pounds. I remember being proud of myself for getting down to this weight. I was determined after surgery to get back in the best shape of my life. I started eating clean and avoiding processed food as much as possible. I started lifting heavy weights and saw some huge changes in my body. I did the LIVEFIT trainer program in January 2013 with a couple friends and got incredible results. I weighed in at 127 pounds but had more muscle here.  Image

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My weight was approx. the same as 2009 but my body composition was significantly different. I had a lot more muscle in 2013. I was working out and lifting heavy 6 days a week and eating clean. I have tried my best to keep up with working out at this level. Currently I am running 4-5 days a week, paddling 3 days a week and still lifting weights. I have been working on trying to find balance with working out and eating clean. The best judge for me is my energy levels. I have low energy when I don’t workout and eat healthy food. I do have cheat meals because I do not believe in deprivation. I have learned through my experience that you can’t out train a bad diet. Nutrition is the main ingredient in looking and feeling healthy. Currently I weigh approx. 130 pounds and my weight fluctuates 5 pounds either way depending on my food intake. I do not weigh myself daily but chose to judge on how my clothes fit and how I feel.

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I look forward to having a healthy last year in my 20’s and continuing on with my fitness for the rest of my life. Thank you to everyone who has loved and supported me through all my different fitness levels. The ones who have run with me, hiked with me, paddled, walked, biked, surfed, yoga classes, etc. I love you all very much. I have now found a recipe for success that works for my body and I intend on continuing to use it. Please feel free to share your personal story with us. We would love to hear from you!

Thank you for reading!

Mo xo

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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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