This is the first part of my weight loss story and get fit, healthy and happy journey. It felt good to write it all down, and I hope you enjoy my sharing it with you. Hopefully you can find some inspiration for reaching your goals too. Whatever your journey is, I recommend keeping a journal and writing it all down. It is motivating to keep track of our progress and it feels good to write down our achievements, and, sometimes, failures too.
In my twenties as a university student I was too busy studying, working part time, and partying. When I spent a couple of years studying in Tokyo, I gained a lot of weight since I was not doing any sport and was going out a lot with friends, mostly to Izakayas, where we drank a lot of beer and were eating deep fried food. So upon coming home and starting a job in a bank, I decided it was time to hit the gym. That was about 15 years ago.
I lost some weight over the next few years, and when I got married in my mid-thirties and moved to Australia, I wasn’t slim but not overweight either. I liked working out with weights on the gym floor, and I spent hours on the recumbent bike or did Body Pump and Boxing classes.
A couple of years later I fell pregnant right after having piled on some weight during Christmas time. I gained about 14 kilos during the next nine months but I kept doing my body pump and boxing classes as long as I could. I did not lose much after I had my daughter, although I was breastfeeding for 15 months.
A couple of months after having finished breastfeeding and having started working out with a personal trainer once a week, I fell pregnant again with my son. I did not gain much weight during that pregnancy, since I was already overweight at 88 kilos. And just like in my first pregnancy I kept working out, doing my pump classes and cardio workouts four to five times a week. When my son was born in January 2011, I was just under 100 kilos. I had promised myself during the pregnancy that I would not hit the one hundred. I just managed.
Again, despite breast feeding, the weight did not come off. One month after my son’s birth I weighed 94 kilos. When my son was two months old, we started getting ready for our move from Australia to the Middle East. It was one of the most stressful times in my life. Not only did I have a 2 year old toddler and a new born baby, but I also had to move a whole household and family half way across the world to a new home, in the middle of the desert, at the Persian Gulf.
Needless to say, with all that stress my eating was bad. Often I had only energy to put French fries and sausage rolls in the oven. I had absolutely no time for workouts.
After having settled into our new home in a new and exciting country, and having found new friends, I finally had a good look at myself, and I was not happy with what I saw. I was overweight at nearly 100 kilos, I looked bloated with an unhealthy complexion, and I was tired and unhappy. I had too much weight on my hips and my derriere, I had a belly, muffin top, and rolls of fat on my back, and the dreaded batwings as well. Even my knees were fat. I was only wearing long skirts, everything else was uncomfortable. I felt fat, unhealthy and unattractive. The bigger I became, the smaller I felt, my self-confidence was rock bottom. I found comfort in chocolate and baked goods. I was caught in that classic vicious cycle.
I was probably too lazy then to do anything about it – and I had the best excuse in the world with a baby and a toddler to let myself go. Thinking I had no time, and that I was too old at 39, and that I did not need to look like a top model. Yes, I had a lot of excuses.
But then it dawned on me what I was missing out on. My life.
My mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer during my pregnancy with my daughter, and I realised that I had two small children that needed their mother to be healthy, fit, and strong. Not only that, I also want to show my children how to lead an active, healthy, and happy life. They say that children close their ears to advice, but open their eyes to example.
I wanted to have photos of my children with me in them, not hiding behind the camera, or other people on the photo. I wanted photos that reminded me of the fantastic times our family had, and not cringe, because all I see is an unhappy, unhealthy, overweight me. We had hundreds of photos of our children, of my daughter, my son, my daughter with my husband, my son with my husband. We did not have a lot of photos with me in them. Photos where I was still wearing my pregnancy swimwear, pregnancy clothes, and baggy trousers.
I was sad and unhappy. And I realised that I really wanted to change. I had to change my lifestyle, and this new life in a new country gave me plenty of opportunity.
I knew that some crash diet would not cut it. Even then it was obvious to me that I would not lose the excess 30 kilos within a couple of months with some wonder pills or shakes and limiting my meals to lettuce leaves and raw broccoli. I wanted to start slow and lose kilos in a sustainable way.