If you met me four years ago looking like this:
Most of my life, I’ve been overweight-borderline-obese. I’m short. With my 5’4″ height, I used to weigh a hefty 92 kilos–yes, I know that’s a lot.
I tried everything I could to lose weight. I would go on one fad diet to another. I tried going to the gym, cutting carbs out of my diet, I tried going vegetarian, then Pesco vegetarian, then I tried some weird soup diet, then fruit diet, basically anything I can find on google when I search for ‘how to lose weight.’ After a while though, I see no result happening and I would just feel heavily disappointed, thus, leading me to fall off the wagon.
It takes a lot and a while to understand that it doesn’t work that way.
I used to eat excessively to the point where I can finish two family size pizza, plus a tub of ice cream in one sitting. I binge on junk food and boy do I love McDonald’s. Chocolate and cakes were my best friends! And I didn’t think that anything was wrong with that. I honestly thought there was nothing wrong in eating whatever I desire. On top of that, I was a couch potato too, I spent hours and hours with my eyes glued on the tv screen, and I thought that it was ok too.
I think it was the beginning of 2011 when I found myself face to face with my weight issues. I just gotten sick of it and came to a decision that I wasn’t getting any younger. I need a 360 degree turn in my life, and full circle I did.
The decision I made three years ago has finally paid off. Now, I weigh 60 kilos and I am very happy with my weight. I plan on maintaining it as it is while I build more muscles and tone.
So, how did I do it? Obviously, It didn’t happen overnight. It took a lot of effort and hard work and a strong mind set. Every day is a work in progress. It is a part of me that has become an integral part of my everyday life.
It all started with me accepting the fact that I wasn’t healthy and that I was far away from looking healthy. When I started acknowledging this problem, I was able to do something about it.
I started going to the gym at least twice a week, for an hour and a half each session. I spend the first hour lifting 3-kilo weights and doing various squat positions since my arms and my legs are my problem areas. The last half an hour is spent on the treadmill.
Apart from going to the gym, I dance salsa three nights a week for at least two hours. That’s equivalent to six hours of cardio every week without me even trying.
I started watching what I eat. I’m quite lucky that Egyptian cuisine offers a wide array of healthy options. Most of the food I eat are tomato based. I eat more spinach too. Whenever I eat meat, I make sure it’s lean. Another source of good protein is lentil which I absolutely enjoy.
I don’t drink beer. I drink fruit juices more. And WATER WATER WATER! I use skim milk for my daily dose of coffee, and skimmed milk with a scoop of chocolate powder for my after gym drink.
It sounds like a serious diet, but really, it’s all about portions. I still eat ice cream every week. There’s always a non-fat ice cream sitting in my freezer! I still have chocolates, but it’s about consuming one bar of chocolates as opposed to six bars in one sitting.
And yes, I eat potato chips, but I have to say that instead of finishing a whole bag of chips in one go, I actually divide it into three portions.
I eat anything and everything that I want but in great moderation. Every now and then, I indulge myself to cheesecakes and cupcakes!
Now, about my lifestyle, I spend a lot of time swimming during summer months in Cairo. Whenever I am in Sydney, I run on a 6-km path every weekends. I do windsurfing and kitesurfing when I go on my holidays.
Keeping yourself active really makes a big difference.
The good thing about exercising is that you can do it without feeling as if you are torturing yourself. Do activities you love doing. In my case, salsa really helped me a lot.
Also, when you are trying to lose weight, you shouldn’t be feeling as if you are depriving yourself. I didn’t feel that I was depriving myself by any means because I’m still eating anything I want, the only difference is that I go for much healthier options and I watch the proportions.
For instance, this tuna salad with sweet Thai chili sauce makes up for a good lunch and a tasty treat!
I think everyone can feel beautiful no matter the size or the shape. Even when I was 92 kilos before, I still felt beautiful. But there is a fine line between a healthy weight and an unhealthy weight.
Right now, I am enjoying the benefits of being healthy. I can run on the treadmill for half an hour and still feel energetic. I can go six flight of stairs without heaving or feeling pain in my chest.
I feel much lighter and more comfortable, and shopping for clothes has become such a delightful experience! And actually, I feel much happier too with all the happy hormones I’m getting.
I don’t like it when people call me skinny because I’m not. I’m healthy, not skinny, but that’s a whole new subject that I will have to write about.
I support everyone who wants to keep a healthy weight. It will be a challenge but it is really doable. Set your goals and stick to it and find ways to make it easier and more fun by doing sports or anything active that you love doing or that you can be passionate about.
I guess, it is a gratifying feeling when you know that you have invested in yourself the way you never did before. We all deserve to have a healthy mind and healthy body, and remember that it’s never too late to start.
If you are feeling motivated to start today, add me on facebook for more dialogue, tips, and inspiration! Xx