It’s hard to believe but it’s true: it’s been almost one year since one ill-fated date night caused me to snap and come to the realization that I needed to do something about my weight. None of my clothes fit like they used to before. My confidence had severely dwindled to the point that the last thing I wanted to do was get out of the house. And most importantly, I wasn’t comfortable or happy in my own skin.
The process has been nowhere near easy, and I’ll be the first to admit that like most of the projects I undertake I was initially full of excitement only to watch those levels dwindle as the numbers didn’t meet the expectations in my head.
The first few months, I followed the diet plan that Rola from Healthy Happy Us devised down to the letter. I re-purposed my baking scale and measuring cups so that I could only eat the exact portions. I refused cake and chocolates at social gatherings. I replaced all the grains in the house with their darker/healthier counterparts. I even debated eating kale (I didn’t). Oh, and I did the once unthinkable and picked running as my sport of choice.
Even the eating habits and schedule shifted. While our main meal was usually served at 6:00 PM so Ahmad and I could eat together after a long day of work, it no longer worked when we had a run at 6:30. So I took to meal prepping on Sunday afternoons, filling up our fridge with many options so that we’d both have something to lunch on without resorting to unhealthy ordering-in.
Naturally, the weight began coming off. I’d look forward to my appointments because I would get on the scale and I could quantify my progress. I’d cheer whenever I saw that I had gained muscles and shed some of that pesky fat-sometimes they even came out of my protruding midsection!
The compliments started coming in too. In the year prior to my weight loss, any and all comments about my weight were “are you pregnant?” which I thought was people’s thinly veiled way of telling me that I’ve gotten fat. Now, despite firmly believing that weight should not be a point of conversation, I relished the compliments. Whether they came from the closest of family members, co-workers, or running buddies, I would be lying if I didn’t say that the comments made my day.
I wore items that had been banished to the back of my closet for the first time in a while. I felt more comfortable in skinny jeans and sleeveless shirts. Hell, I even wear skirts to work when I can. And the latest accomplishment? I bought pants that were a size smaller than my usual, and they ended up needing a belt.
Despite of all of the above, there have been rough days- more than I can count actually. There have been days where I started on track, only to succumb to PMS or stress by seeking refuge in a bag of sour-cola flavored Haribo candies (I call them my drug of choice). There have been days when the only acceptable form of dinner was pizza. There’s been days when running was the last thing I wanted to do: whether it was too hot, too cold, I didn’t like the route, or simply I just didn’t want to go.
Even meal prepping hasn’t been without its difficulties. And by difficulties I often mean making salads. Why on Earth can I have three burners and the oven running at the same time but I just cannot get one salad together sometimes? Because of that, there have been many weeks without them- leading my guilt levels to rise.
Those rough days reflected on the scale too: stagnation or even an increase. That’s the last thing you want to hear when you thought you were doing a good job. And because, like I mentioned above, I’m not the most enthused when things aren’t going my way, I became less motivated. I didn’t schedule an appointment for weeks, figuring that I could just rough it out on my own. Spoiler alert: I couldn’t.
Still, I’m not going to give up. If the fact that I’m now running for longer without feeling breathless isn’t motivation enough, I have the two pictures below to serve as a reminder:
They were taken only six months apart, one in Prague (just one month after I started this healthy lifestyle) and the other in Chania, Crete. The fact that I have almost the same hairstyle and the army-green jacket are a pure coincidence.
Six months, several kilos lost, and a much happier, much more confident me.