A brief timeline of my weight fluctuations:
April 2010: Wedding Day. Weight 60kgs
December 2010: Had quit my job due to the pain and brain fog from Fibromyalgia and was suicidally depressed and on anti-depressants. Had eaten a lot of pizza and chocolate and Coke. Weight 70kg
January 2011 – January 2012: After an explosion of family drama and 3 moves, I ended up in North Brisbane. Still depressed and unhappy with life but getting more social. Weight 80kg
February 2012 – July 2012: Moved to Adelaide. Infertility struck. Mega depressed. Weight 90kgs.
August 2012: First IVF full cycle. Failed. Lost my mind!
September 2012 – February 2013: Building up courage to do another IVF round with last frozen embryo. Lost 10kgs. Weight 80kgs.
February 2013 – November 2013: IVF successful. Pregnant. Carpal Tunnel. SPD. Morning sickness most of the pregnancy. Could barely walk and was in agony. Maxed out. Weight just before giving birth 126kgs!!
January 2014: Breastfed 6 weeks before milk ran out due to the agonising pain I was in and the stress of it and having to take medication not suitable whilst breastfeeding. Weight 116kgs
February 2014: Set myself a goal to be at my goal weight by sons first Birthday in November. My goal weight was 60kgs which is what I was when I got married.
November 2014: Not at my goal weight. Weight 97kgs
December 2014: Bought a Thermomix and became a Thermomix consultant (now retired). Weight 95kgs
September 2015: Marriage Breakdown and return to study. Weight 69kgs
February 2016: Current weight 64.4kgs.. So close. But in actual fact I am a size smaller than when I got married. I kept a pile of clothes I wore when we were dating and they are loose, real loose!
Does this timeline look familiar? Mine included lots of stress and health conditions that left me unable to maintain an appropriate level of activity and unable to look after myself really.
How did I do this? It’s not a magic formula…Ok, obviously you lose weight when you give birth due to the baby, the placenta and blood volume and fluid. In my case it was 10kgs. Boo! Also not one healthcare professional was concerned about my weight gain during pregnancy yet it was well and truly over the recommended. I was barely eating yet when I did as I couldn’t stand up to prepare anything I ate crap.
Getting a kick start: When I decided to do something seriously about it, I went straight for a basic keto based diet. Being a Naturopath student, I enjoyed and loved having a meal replacement shake or soup as it was quick and easy and gave me nutrition I wasn’t getting from my food choices based on time and energy. I did this for 6 weeks only just to kick start me and lost 10kgs and around 5% body fat (my tool for measuring body fat is not the industry standard and has its flaws but was a good guide). My exercise routine consisted of every time I had to rock my baby to sleep I did lunges or squats whilst holding him. As little as 5 to as many as 50! My meals were delicious and super quick to make and consisted of chicken curry made in 10mins in a sauté pan, roasts, bacon and eggs, tuna salads, creamy chicken coleslaw, stuffed sweet potatoes, protein bars, smoothies, soups and an occasional paleo-esk chocolate dessert or dark chocolate. More on Keto or Low Carb High Fat here.
Transition: I then started buying more organic foods and changed to unbleached organic Spelt rather than Wheat, and made breads and cakes and pizzas and ate tonnes of fresh, seasonal produce. I was seriously never hungry and ate an abundance of foods. Very rarely would I touch fast food. Maybe the occasional Fish and Chips from the local store, hey you gotta live life. If you want cake, flippin eat it, but don’t feel guilty or beat yourself up about it!
Mind Set Change: I’ve always been a great eater. I love food! All foods! I always had a varied diet until I got married and came up against a picky eater husband haha but he would eat anything I dished up except fruit (he couldn’t eat fruit on demand he once said). But I loved cooking for people who anticipate what I’m cooking and can’t wait to try my new recipe or would be hassling me about when it will be ready because it smells so good. That’s what my family was like. That wasn’t what my husband’s family was like, so I lost some enthusiasm along the way. I also was brought up in the 80’s, the age of the diet and calorie counting and low fat. I always went on diets since I was 12, and would fail and would feel terrible and useless and would then binge on whatever because ‘who care’s, I’m just a fat loser with no will power and might as well stuff my face’! Right? Sound familiar? The most important thing I learnt was to release any guilt and to not feel guilty about eating a delicious slice of cake (especially homemade) or a piece of chicken bigger than a serving size, or maybe it was Christmas and I wanted to eat my Grandma’s roast pork and potatoes. If I eat a piece of cake, I just own it now. ‘So what’ I say! Move on and get over it. Seriously, guilt made me stay fat and stopped me from losing the weight and meeting my goal.
The Homemade Difference: I found that just by making most things myself like bread, baked goods (yep, cake), sauces, etc and used less and less to no packet mixes. No recipe bases – real herbs and spices. No jar spaghetti sauce – just tin tomatoes or passata and herbs and spices. Spelt instead of wheat as a starting off point. I found even though I was working my way through my Thermomix cookbooks, because I was using real ingredients with zero additives and zero artificial colours and flavours, the weight really did just slide right off!!
Now: Over the years I started replacing items and slowly approaching a more Low Carb High Fat/Paleo/Gluten Free style of eating. Why? I feel awesome when I eat that way, plus the bulk of my weight really just fell off me. It still is!! Just this summer school, which was 6 weeks starting January, I lost 3kgs!! I also now eat less as I am fat adapted and naturally fast intermittently. I no longer have bloating to the point I look pregnant after every meal, I can be in a room for hours without having to leave frequently to pass wind, burping – ha no burping, headaches – rarer, period pain (dysmenorrhea) – only if I’ve eaten more than 1 fast food meal in the month, energy – well, I can chase after my 2 year old, study, walk to and from the train station to home and to uni, so better but not best, yet.
I’m now a size 8, so apart from having to buy clothes in different sizes frequently along the way (I know boo hoo) it’s awesome and am now working on building strength and toning. I really want to be able to use the monkey bars at the park (my body feels so heavy compared to how light and agile I felt as a child haha).
Supplements: I think it is important as you lose weight, especially as quickly as I have, to supplement to support your body, gut and liver. I use a great range of supplements that I buy online that go above and beyond in regards to quality and research (which is important to me because I don’t trust easy). I would always take a liquid mineral supplement, a multivitamin, a probiotic and an immune enhancer such as colostrum. My son takes them too! I also added in a daily body brushing with a beautiful detoxifying essential oil and regular green smoothies.
Have you recently lost weight? Share your story in the comments below, I’d love to hear all about it! Also if you want some of my recipes, let me know.