Before middle school, I was fairly skinny with a lot of muscle tone. Then, I gained quite a bit of weight as I began growing more. I was also dealing with bullying, depression, and anxiety. Even though I also dealt with anorexia and barely ate, I was never as skinny as my friends. I was never overweight either, but I was so unhappy with my weight that I ate one meal per day and drank several liters of water mixed with powdered laxatives daily.
After moving in high school, I gained about 20 pounds. I stopped my 2-year vegetarian diet and started eating whatever I wanted. I was homeschooled and didn’t have any girls to compare myself to, so my anorexia improved greatly. However, I stopped exercising because I had nowhere to exercise. Then, my family got a home gym.
I started training for a half marathon and lost weight, even though I wasn’t dieting. However, I still wasn’t happy with my weight. A few months later, I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. After starting a gluten-free diet, I started to feel much better. I exercised for five hours per week and lost 30 pounds. Since I have a mesomorph body type (gains muscle easily) though, it looked as if I had dropped 50 pounds.
I was very happy with my weight and had a lot of energy. I could eat whatever I wanted as long as I worked out an hour per day, so I was ecstatic. I still dealt with my anorexia and body image issues but felt much better.
Unfortunately, I had to have heart surgery. It was minimally invasive, but I was still sore and tired after the surgery. This set me back about 3 weeks. I started working out slowly, running only a mile instead of 5-6 miles.
I ended up gaining between 30 and 40 pounds in one month after my heart surgery. I figured that it was because of my lack of exercise, and I would lose it all as soon as I got in shape again. Sadly, this was not the case. I tried to motivate myself by remembering how it had taken me nearly a year to lose my weight originally.
Nearly two years later, I was not losing any weight. I started working out 10-14 hours per week instead of 5. I increased my running speed by 1 MPH. I stopped consuming candy and chocolate Monday-Thursday. Still, I only lost a couple pounds over the course of a year.
After returning from a one-year journey on an island, I decided it was time to make some changes. I needed to start eating healthier and paying attention to the kind of workouts I was doing. Especially with the migraines I developed after heart surgery, I needed to make sure I was being healthy instead of trying to lose weight.
How I Started Losing Weight Again
After watching a riveting documentary on Netflix (” What the Health”), I decided it was time to give up meat again. I was raised on a flexatarian diet, so thankfully I do not crave meat as much as some others do. I also decided to try and follow a vegan diet. I definitely cheat now and then but I try to eat vegan most of the time.
Within one week of being 100% vegetarian and mostly vegan, I lost 5 pounds. I was ecstatic over this weight loss, since I had not lost more than 5 pounds in the past 3 years, despite my efforts.
Two more weeks brought more weight loss for me. I had lost another 5 pounds and my family was noting how they could tell I was losing weight. One of the side effects of my anorexia is being addicted to people telling me I look thin or that I look like I’m losing weight, so this made me feel elated. I try to focus more on health than losing weight now, but I can’t deny it feels good to be told I look thinner.
I also tried some new workouts. Previously, I had been running, walking, biking, dancing, and doing blogilates workouts. For some reason, I always got migraines during blogilates workouts, so I discontinued them. I instead researched the workouts of some women I think have beautiful, strong looking bodies and took inspiration from them.
One of the workouts I found in my research was Ballet Beautiful. I do this workout 2 hours per week and have seen great improvements. Not only do I look better, I have become much stronger as well. I also started getting more serious with dance and was allowed to go en pointe!
By finding workouts that I enjoy, I have become more excited about my workouts. I have also seen improvements in how I look and feel. I have not given up on my new workout routine in 2 years and do not plan on giving up anytime soon!
When I started taking apple cider vinegar, I began losing even more weight. Even though I had not changed my diet or exercise routine, I lost about 10 pounds after I started taking ACV (apple cider vinegar).
*PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT THIS PLAN WILL NOT WORK FOR EVERYONE! EVERYONE HAS DIFFERENT BODY TYPES AND NEEDS. THIS IS JUST WHAT I USED. PLEASE CHANGE THIS PLAN ACCORDING TO YOUR NEEDS!!!*
Diet: Gluten-Free (allergy-related), vegetarian, primarily vegan.
Breakfast: ¼ cup of plain oatmeal or one piece of fruit (ex. 1 peach, 1 mango, 1 plum), coffee with almond milk, apple cider vinegar pill
Lunch: vegetables-based, protein or carbs (my favorites are corn chips and guacamole, sweet potato fries, and broccoli)
Dinner: one portion of vegetarian protein or carbohydrates and a side of fruits and/or vegetables
Snacks: vegetables, fruits, and dark chocolate (as little dark chocolate as possible!)
I will usually cheat on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday because I spend it with my family. However, I try to limit the amount of processed foods and sugars I consume. If I’m being honest, though, I tend to go quite crazy with my cheat days!
Workouts: 3 hours/5 days per week. Attempt to work out at least 30 minutes on Saturday & Sunday.
Monday: 2 hours of cleaning + 30 minutes outdoor walking + 30 minutes pointe work
Tuesday: 1 hour running (including 5-minute speed-up/sprint at end) + 1.5 hours cleaning + 30 minutes outdoor walking
Wednesday: 2 hours dance + 30 minutes outdoor walking + 30 minutes pointe work
Thursday: 1-hour strength +1-hour cardio OR 5K run (about 30 min) + 30 minutes boxing + 1-hour cleaning AND 30 minutes outdoor walking + 30 minutes pointe work
Friday: 1-hour walking workout + 1-hour strength workout + 30 minutes outdoor walking
Saturday & Sunday: optional running, hiking, outdoor walking, dancing, or other activities.
My biggest secret is to have fun with it! Find a diet that you enjoy and that you can have fun with. Look for interesting, healthy recipes online. You can also get unhealthy recipes and change them, so they are healthier.
Find workouts that you enjoy as well. The more you enjoy your workout, the more motivated you will be! You can also look up the workouts of people whose bodies inspire you. I am personally very inspired by the Victoria’s Secret angels and Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley. I think they have beautiful, slender, and strong bodies.
Make sure you focus on health instead of losing weight! The more you focus on making yourself feel good, the more weight you will lose. Make sure not to stress about weight loss or anything else. Prayer, meditation, and singing really help me to deal with any stress I may feel. And don’t stress more if you don’t feel 100% destressed. It is okay to feel stressed, just try to control it as much as possible, because stress can contribute to weight gain.
My Tips (AKA reiterating the important stuff)
1. HAVE FUN!
2. Find diets and workouts that work for you.
3. Team up with someone to keep yourself motivated.
4. Focus on health, not weight loss!
5. Find people who inspire you and imitate them.
I hope these help y’all! Remember, this plan will not work for everyone. Edit this plan or invent your own to fit your personal needs. Happy healthing!