For nearly 20 years, I’ve struggled with food. I tried many different times to lose the weight. Diet pills, shots, weight loss programs, excessive exercising, and Overeaters Anonymous. “Hi. My name is Tiffany and I overeat.”
I lost weight only to regain it and then some. I’m an emotional eater. While I’ve learned to better manage my eating today. During some of the most stressful times in my life, I used food the way an addict of alcohol or drugs used their substance to mask what was really going on. The big difference, no pun intended, between a drug or alcohol abuser is that they don’t HAVE to use their vice. Everyone HAS to eat food to survive. How was I going to manage this?
It’s 2010. I was on my umpteenth attempt to lose weight. I joined a gym and a boot camp and went back to vigorously working out. Only this time, I was 40. I became tired so quickly. I had heart palpitations. I was extremely winded. I went to my doctor who sent me to a heart specialist. HE ran several tests including looking at my heart. I had some blocked arteries, my heart was enlarged, and my blood pressure was high. I begged the doctor not to put me on blood pressure medicine and that told him I would lose the weight. He said. ” It’s too high. You are fat. You’ve been fat, you will probably always be fat. You need to go on meds now!” I cried on his exam table.
Maybe that set a fire under me the way no other weight loss attempt did, but I kept going this time. I refused to be on medication for the rest of my life. I worked out two hours a day. I eventually got a hold of my relationship with food by slowly cutting out trigger foods and high calorie foods and replaced them with whole foods. I gave less attention to my career and more attention to my personal life. I’m a teacher, so that can be hard to do. I started running, weight lifting, sprinting, and kickboxing.
The weight lifting and sprinting significantly helped reduce body fat going from 54% to 19.3% I gave up fried foods and red meat. I began meal prepping four breakfasts, lunches, and dinners plus snacks at a time. I set weekly and monthly goals in fitness and weight loss. 2.5 years later, I had lost 128 lbs! I went from 284 lbs to 156 lbs. I never worked so hard for anything in my life! My friends and family were very supportive through the process.
In 2013, I had surgery to remove some loose skin from the tummy and breasts as well as a lift and breast augmentation. All was well until a month later, I developed a blood clot that landed in my lung. Aside from nearly dying, I could perform my normal intense workout or eat my rich dark fruit and vegetables because it interfered with the medication I was taken to dissolve the blood clot. Once again, the stress level was high and never before was it more important for me to master the art of eating under such conditions while keeping a clean diet void of many of the same foods that helped me reach my goal in the first place.
I had to make this work. I really got a hold of my portion sizes and broadened my palette. There was no way I went through all this only to possibly gain weight back after skin removal surgery and a blood clot?! Quest Bars saved the day many times when I needed protein and to satisfy a sweet tooth! I kept my sugar in check managed to gain minimal weight.
Once that whole ordeal was over, I slowly went back to my new fit life! With the help of weights and clean eating, I’m stronger and curvier than I have ever been at any other point in my life! This new lease on life added years to my life and increased my confidence. It also led to an interest in a career in fitness. I’m now 44, fit, and high blood pressure free!
It all starts within. Tend your inner garden and watch your field bloom.
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