I remember going to an amusement park and not being able ride with my kids because I couldn't fit in the seat. Another time, I tried to take them sledding but I couldn’t make it up the hills. Over the years it hit me: Public outings were becoming a problem, and I was missing out on special experiences and memories.
Eventually, my issues went beyond extreme weight gain. I began to suffer from excessive fatigue, brain fog, joint pain, and depression. How did I get here? The truth is, doctors still haven't been able to formally diagnose me. But after doing some online research, I found a group of women with breast implant illness whose symptoms sounded similar to mine. I made the personal decision to get my breast implants removed. I felt like that was the right move for me.
Afterward, I did notice most of my symptoms subsided. All but one, that is...the weight gain aspect. I knew that aspect of my life would take some serious work.
I was 107.5kg at the time I decided to lose weight.
I was so lost, though. I didn't know where to start. I didn’t want to go to the gym because I was mortified at how big and unhealthy I had become. I stayed away from people as much as I could. My eating habits were horrible. In the throes of my depression, I used food to help me cope with life. It was comforting and helped me de-stress.
That’s when my friend told me about Beachbody. She showed me the on-demand workouts that I could do in the comfort of my own home and introduced me to their nutrition programs. I'd never had tools like this before. And now? I had three or four new and easy ways to start my weight-loss journey. Game changer.
So I tried to turn my embarrassment into motivation. At 107.5kg, I knew that losing weight wasn't going to be easy. But I wanted to be present with my family. I had become so embarrassed of my weight that sometimes I would refuse to go outside. After my breast implant removal, I got serious about getting in shape. I wanted to be me again and 100 per cent healthy. And I wanted to be able to do things with them and not be held back by my weight.
I did a 180 with all my eating habits and lived by the simple rule of portion control.
I completely changed my eating habits with Ultimate Portion Fix and Shakeology. UPF taught me what to eat and at what portions. It showed me I could eat from every food group (yay!) as long as I monitored how much.
I thought I'd feel deprived or hungry. But I didn't. I was eating clean healthy foods. And I eventually learning that food was meant to fuel my body, not to feed my emotions.
Instead of binging on fast food like I used to, here's what I'll eat in a day now:
- Breakfast: I drink Shakeology (which is part of the Beachbody nutrition plan) every morning, along with two eggs with avocado.
- Snack: I love almonds and raw veggies. Broccoli, cauliflower, and bell peppers are my fave.
- Lunch: I usually eat whatever I had for dinner the night before.
- Snack: I'll usually grab a Beachbar (a Beachbody snack, as you probably guessed) and veggies with hummus.
- Dinner: I make my dinners every night and I prep enough for my whole family, plus lunch for me the next day. Some of my favourite recipes are from the Fixate Cookbook. My go-tos are salsa chicken on a corn tortilla with brown rice, chicken tortilla soup, zucchini noodles with lean ground beef and pesto, turkey chilli, and buffalo chicken zucchini boats (yum!).
I took my at-home workouts day by day, making sure not to be too hard on myself about what I could or couldn't do.
I wasn't ready to step into the gym, so I stuck with my Beachbody workouts instead. I did seven rounds of the program's 21-Day Fix, which included a 30-minute workout every day involving both cardio and weights.
When I first started I had to modify *every* move. But with each round, I become stronger and built up my strength and endurance to the point where I no longer had to modify. And in 11 months, I managed to lose 54kg and dropped 20 pants sizes—going from a 22 to a 2. Since my weight loss, I’ve been focused on toning and gaining muscle with the programs LIIFT4, 80-Day Obsession, and Morning Meltdown 100.
I'm proud of my progress. But trust me, none of it was easy.
If you're someone who wants to lose weight but you still have a long way to go, please don't give up on yourself. A little progress every day leads to big results. So try shooting for the baby steps first. I've learned that there is something more important than the intensity of your triceps dip, or how well you mastered a push-up: consistency. So continue to push on and remember that every little step counts.
Lastly, I had to reframe this entire experience as a lifestyle change. and not just as losing weight. Because the truth is, losing weight helped me in so many other categories beyond the physical. It changed my entire life.
Hannah Day as told to Alexis Jones. This article originally appeared on Women's Health US.