Daily Archives: April 16, 2010

Flashback Friday – The Chubby Years

Heyyyy friends!! Just returned from writing my personal training exam. 100 multiple choice and 50 fill in the blank. Both of which I suck at. I’ve got a Liberal Arts degree, I can develop and argue a stellar thesis, but ask me to choose between ‘a’ and ‘c’ and I clam up! Here’s hoping I got the 80% I needed to pass!

I’ve been a busy bee again all day, but I want to take the time to go through another Flashback Friday.

One reason why I want to do this is because I think it’s important that people know not everyone is born healthy and fit. Most of the people we see at the gym didn’t start that way. Not all food bloggers are inherently healthy eaters. Like anything, it’s a process. Just like we enjoy seeing pre-photoshopped photos, it’s a nice reminder that no one was born perfect.

My story is a common one. I was a chubby girl because I ate and drank too much and moved too little. In fact, I was horribly out of shape, having never been remotely athletic my entire life (I spent my weekends reading the Babysitter’s Club).

Sports teams were out in high school, there was no time between smoke breaks.

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I smoked for 6 years. Quit cold turkey 4 years ago.

I was a vegetarian from ages 14 to 22, so most people would have identified me as a healthy eater. I made hummus, I liked vegetables, I ate a lot of yogurt.

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But I didn’t have a sweet clue what calories were. Seriously. If you told me that slice of pizza was 400 calories, I had no idea what that meant in relation to anything else, and I didn’t really care to figure it out.

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The only thing that made sense to me was eat less = lose weight. This never worked, so I don’t know why I kept trying it. I thought about food all the time, counting down the minutes until my next meal. I thought I couldn’t eat after 7pm, so I’d go to bed starving.

I consumed a lot of oil too. One tablespoon being 120 calories didn’t mean anything, remember? Everything was drenched in the good stuff. Or fondued in it.

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One of my favourite restaurants served breakfast 24 hours a day. There were many a-night where my friends and I would saunter in after a late movie, or night out at the bar, and I’d order a giant homestyle breakfast.

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Just because I was a vegetarian, and later pescetarian, didn’t mean I ate a lot of vegetables. Carbs were the name of my game. Potatoes, rice, couscous, bread, cereal. Usually drenched in as much cheese as I could chop up.

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I honestly thought I was making good decisions back then, but it’s hard to do when you’re horribly uneducated on basic nutrition. I cringe to think of the pre-made salads I bought, or ginormous bagels I would slather with cream cheese, thinking I was eating well.

Working at Starbucks for five years didn’t help!

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Being surrounded by delicious lattes, frappuccinos and pastries is hard. Drinking four coffees a day is one thing, when four of those are white chocolate mochas, that’s another thing.

Oh yes, and there was the sweet tooth. I thought this was my downfall as a chubby girl.

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I blamed my extra pounds on the sweets I regularly indulged in, but they were only a small part of the problem.

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I was GWLHB – Girl Who Likes Her Beer. I would often “watch” what I ate, so I could still get away with drinking mass quantities of beer. I honestly don’t know how my belly fit all that volume…

Needless to say, I eventually started bursting at the seams.

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Obese? No. But no girl deserves to hate herself and her body, no matter the size.

The summer going into my fourth year of university, my friend took pictures of the radio show I co-hosted.

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The pictures horrified me. The desk is covering me here, I deleted the worst ones. Seeing them were a huge wake-up call that my weight had gotten out of control. It was devastating.

So how does a girl go from nachos every other day to salads and cottage cheese?

I just started teaching myself about what I was doing to my body. I learned about those calorie things everyone was talking about. What foods contained what nutrients. Once I knew what was in everything, I desired the crappy foods less and less. I gained a desire to give my body only the best.

I started eating. I spread my calories out over the day. I balanced out my macronutrients, I filled up on nutrient-rich food that kept my hunger at bay.

This of course went hand in hand with fitness. Because good food will give you energy, and you need good food to supply your workouts!

I went from soft and squishy…

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To…”omg, is that a bicep I spy???”

I went from barely finishing a quarter mile run…

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To running 10ks, and beyond.

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Driving home from my exam tonight, I was thinking about all the things I want to teach my clients. I think first and foremost, I want to teach them to value their bodies. I can only do so much as a trainer. The onus is really on the individual to dig deep and find some respect for themselves. I can only provide the tools to help someone along on that journey.

Also every bad thing you’ve ever done to your body can be reversed. Even smoking. Even eating one too many Mini Eggs. It can all be reversed in just one simple choice :)

Upward and onward! Or as Steinbeck put it “Ad astra per alia porci.”

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