At the age of 12, I was considered over weight, how ever this changed relatively quickly as my mom and brother who were also “larger” decided to try the Atkins diet and seeing as my mom did all the cooking we just ate what ever she did. I lost a lot of weight and started high school in what I thought was an average weight.
It was not till I was 18 years old that things got really really out of control. I found out on my 18th birthday that I was pregnant with my first child now you may be thinking OMG but really although a huge surprise a happy one none the less. *Over share ahead* I had reverse menstruation cycle from the day it started (normal girls = hell for one week, normal for three weeks. me = hell for 29 days peace for 1 or 2 days… literally every day for 11 years) and we (boyfriend, now husband) were informed by FIVE different doctors that having a baby was not possible. In the teenage years before the pregnancy I suffered severe depression, I cannot tell you how much money was spent on Drs bills and medication. the poking and prodding, the invasive procedures so they could get a look at what was happening inside, the pain, the feeling of not being able to lead a normal life style the lack of energy only to be told that I was one in a million, they had no solution and I just need to make the most of the good days… all these things started to take their toll on my body and soul. I still remember so clearly going through such a bad phase that I did not move from my bed for 4 days, I didn’t even shower… how gross? it got so bad that my parents physically had to run their grown daughter a bath, undress her, put her in and sit there with her just to make sure that in her dopey, miserable state she didn’t accidentally/on purpose slip under the water. I was being treated for depression but the treatment never lasted long cause after the meds started working for a month I honestly thought I was back to normal and would just stop them. This cycle happened for about 5 years, I had ups and I had downs, then I met my husband… three months later I was pregnant… at that age and the amount of time we had been together we did not actually know each other well enough to say this is the person I want to be with for the rest of my life, but bless that man for everything but mostly for refusing to let me go through having my young, party going years coming to a screeching halt all on my own.
Nine months of pregnancy were pure, healthy bliss. I ate the best for my baby, I hadn’t lost any blood for 9 months, my iron stores were back up, I had so much energy. (I still find it quite ironic that the thing that normally makes woman tired and ill made me spiritedly and full of life) After much anticipation our son was born and this… this is where my unhealthy journey began.
After giving birth is when all the cravings started, I was home alone all day with a new born and post natal depression kicked in, food comforted me and filled a nagging hole in my belly, I wasn’t breast feeding as I had no milk (this stressed me out too) and everything started to go pear shaped, I would spend my days lying around in bed literally only getting up to fetch the baby, get food or go to the loo, I did nothing all day but veg in front of the TV all day, ignoring the out side world and eating… oh and did I mention… my little problem with mother nature returned as soon as the baby popped out.
Before I knew it, I had rocketed from a neat and tidy 32 pants to a muffin top 38, the intimate side of my relationship was non existent and it eventually came out that I was no longer attractive to my other half, I cried for about 2 day straight and then woke up and decided I was going to do something about it… enter 4 years of yoyo dieting, starvation, falling off the wagon head first into the sweet and chips isle in our supermarket, more depression, more self loathing, more hatred, loosing some weight (only about 1 pants size) gaining weight… you know how it goes. In all this time we were trying to have another baby and eventually after many unsuccessful attempts we sought the help of a fertility specialist, eventually the procedures took and in March 2013 our daughter was born.
Every one tells you that each child is different and each pregnancy is different but both of mine were exactly the same, right down to the postnatal depression and lying around all day in my pjs and my little problem was back again too.
Fast forward to February 2014… I fought for 6 months prior to this for my OB/GYN to perform a sub total hysterectomy which in the beginning he out right refused because I was only 23.After much performing and threatening law suits he eventually agreed on the condition that I did what it took to get my body and mind as healthy has possible before the surgery… Enter Sleekgeek.
The group was suggested to me by a family friend when she heard I was attempting the candida diet and suggested I try paleo instead and the support group that came with it.
I made a choice that after surgery I would follow it too a T and i would get my life back. I joined the group and for almost a year I sat quietly and read posts and saw transformation tried many a reboot and FAILED… eventually I just stopped going on to the page. It made me feel unworthy of being there, it made me jealous and in turn all of these things made me more depressed… No one ever did anything wrong though, they were nothing but kind and generous and supportive… but depression and social anxiety will turn you into an awful human being if you let them and I did.
On new years eve 2014 we decided that we would do a walking pub crawl of our tiny little town (when I say tiny, I mean you could probably walk from one end to the other in less time than it takes most of us to run a 5k) we started at the first pub and by the time we got to the 3rd (less that 100 meters down the road) I was over it, I wasn’t having fun, I just wanted a car to drive me around… why did I have to walk?
The next morning I woke up stinking of booze, blob like on my bed and the first thought that popped into my head was “you should of been having fun last night, but you hated it because all you had to do was walk, that is just not right! how useless are you?” I quickly dismissed the thought to avoid pushing myself off the edge and into another depressive spiral and carried on with my day, which involved three different take aways, movies in bed ALL day, 2l of Fanta orange and a cheescake just to attempt to make the hangover feel less awful.
Over the next few days the thought that I was useless and pathetic kept popping into my mind and I kept pushing it back down until the 5th of January 2015.
I woke up that morning and rolled out of bed and although I tried to avoid the mirror, there was no way I could, after all it is about 2.4m high x 2m wide and was conveniently positioned right next to my bed. I looked in the mirror and staring back at me was possibly the most god awful sight I had ever seen, what used to be huge bright blue eyes were now tiny little dull beads, when i pulled my eye lids down to make sure I was seeing correctly, the whites of my eyes were yellow and veins blood shot, there were black rings on the fat deposits under my eyes, my gums were red and inflamed, there was this tube around my waist that I swore was not there the day before, my skin was broken, burning and itchy with inflamed little pimples everywhere, my hair was falling out… I looked once more and thought NO, this has to be a bad dream so I got on the scale… a whopping 71kgs… the heaviest I have ever been and for a person that is all of 5ft nothing that is heavy, my body ached and my heart raced while I panted all the way down the stairs to let the puppy out for a wee and at that moment it hit me, I was so desperately unhappy because if I had maybe taken the time to look after my self a little better I probably would not of had half the medical problems I could account for. At that moment I knew I had to change, I didnt care how long it took or how hard I had to work I had to do it, I need to play with my kids on the beach, I needed to stand in front of my husband and not be ashamed that he had nothing to be proud of when it came to me, I needed to be able to do stupid things like carry more than one grocery bag by myself or move 25kgs of dog food from the car to the cupboard, I needed to be able to run to my daughters aid if she fell down the stairs because all the people I had been relying on to do these stupid trivial things for me may not always be there and I need to be the best me I can be.
That very moment I opened my laptop, went onto the Sleek Geek page and started going through the posts. People wishing their fellow sleeks a happy year ahead, people being upset cause they fluffed it up over the festive season and others encouraging the ones who fluffed up not to give up and keep going. It inspired me, it encouraged me and they weren’t even talking to me!
I got showered, got dressed went on down to the shop and packed my trolley with fruit and veg, lean meats, nuts, biltong, bottled water and salad ingredients, I went to clicks and bought my self a decent meal replacement (breakfast is always an issue with me and I knew if I wanted my new lifestyle to be a success I had to make it as easy as possible.)
For the next 8 weeks I had my shake in the morning, a lean protein (pork chops are my fav) and veg or salad for lunch and the same for dinner, I started moving more at the office which was fairly easy as I worked in a different building to every one else and if I wanted to use the loo I had to walk across the road and up a flight of stairs… and I had to use the loo often because there was constantly a water bottle attached to me, that water bottle became my source of comfort almost, it was the token that reminded me that i was on a journey to better myself and my health.
In the beginning I was super strict on my self with my eating, only lean protein and veg or salad. loads of water and two cups of black, sugarless coffee a day. This went on for 6 months and I lost 17kgs I went from my gross muffin top 38 pants to a neat 34, how ever I had a great deal of wobbly bits still as I was not doing any proper exercise due to a crazy work schedule.
In July I decided although I was very happy with my progress I needed to up the game and work on toning. I started going to gym every morning, cycling on the stainonary bike at a manageable pace for 5 minutes, then doing light circuit and then walking on the treadmill for 10 minutes. I entered the winter challenge and followed the paleo low carb <65kg plan and fitness 101 but didn’t not take it seriously enough as there were always more important things to do and ended up giving up in week 6.
I then went through a month of hell, I left my job that I really really loved to try my hand at travel and tourism along side my husband as his business had exploded and he needed an extra hand, for a month I was in a bit of a dark space as I was not sure if I would love being semi retired/ semi stay at home mom/ semi director as much as I loved my previous job, my eating took a dive and I was back on the pastry train again, then Elan started promoting their summer challenge, hubby refused to let me enter as he knows I have the tendency to not follow through with things as I did with the winter challenge that he paid for but something inside me kept yelling “WE NEED THIS” so I entered every competition I possibly could to win an entry and eventually I got the golden ticket to enter heat5.
I am currently in my third week of HEAT 5 and following the same paleo plan. unfortunately due to scoliosis and the fusion of my l4 and l5 vertebrae the fitness 101 program causes me pain in that region so I consulted a PT, she has given me some wonderful exercises to combat my tummy and bum which is where all the wobbly bits were hanging out and I will be going for Pilates twice a week from next week to strengthen my spine and core muscles to help with the scoliosis.
I prefer to gym early morning for about an hour to an hour and a half I do 20 – 30 mins of cardio and every week I increase the intensity and the length of time. I do loads of squats and lunges and planking to help with the wobblies and last but not least rough and tumble with my kids (this is an intense work out and takes it right out of you).
It is now November 6th 2015 – I weigh 53kg’s and I am a sleek and sexy 30/32 (depending on the store) my skin is clear and glowing, my hair is healthy and bouncy, I can get through a solid work day, gym session and an evening playing with my kids with out a nap in between and yesterday I hit a PB in gym and ran… actually ran… not walked/ ran a solid 3km with out feeling like my lungs were going to jump out my chest and land on the floor… and that 25kg bag of dog food… it is now my proverbial “female dog”
I am still smoking ( I know… I know… its awful but I am not ready to give up on that yet although I feel the day is fast approaching and I have managed to cut down) and if we do go out on weekends its a single whiskey and soda and lots of booty shaking… no matter where or what the occasion (never take your self too seriously) I still struggle with a bit of social anxiety (large groups, strangers) but its getting better every day and I have not touched an anti depressant or sleeping pill in 11 months)
Your body is a temple and if you are good to it, there is nothing it wont do for you!!!
This has been an incredibly long journey and on some days it is not easy but when you look in the mirror on other days and think “I should be allowed to walk around naked today” it is all so worth it.
If there is any advise I could give to any one who is battling with anything in their life that they are unhappy with it would be these three things
1. worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but gets you no where… take action, change what is making you worried.
2. In the beginning keep it super simple… you are literally trying to learn to live again, don’t over complicate things. (lean protein, salad, veg and water) you are eating to fuel your body and brain not to fill it.
3. If ever you feel like you just cant anymore revert back to steps one and two and then consult the Sleek Geek Facebook page for a giggle, some inspiration and to know that you are not alone in this journey.
I know this is one long life story but if this has inspired just one person to take charge of their life and say “I am going to wake up tomorrow and start living like I WANT to live for ever” Then I know that, that is one more person in this world that will not only get to watch their grand kids grow up but grow up with them and that is pretty COOL!