Morning! Today looks like a busy day on my agenda, and I bet it does on yours, too. So letâ€™s get to it!
One great yogurt mess.
In the mix:
- 1 serving honey Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
Itâ€™s that time again â€“ Iâ€™ve got a Healthy Tipping Point story to share with you. I love Mariaâ€™s story because it proves eating right and exercising is about WAY more than lookinâ€™ good. Itâ€™s about your long-term healthy â€“ inside AND outside.
Maria wrote, â€œIn July 2007, I set out with one goal in mind: to lose the weight that had been slowly piling on throughout my teenage years and reach a healthy weight for my short 5â€™3â€ frame. I was only 20 years old, but already more than 50 pounds overweight.
Carrying all that extra weight embarrassed me. I was terrified of being the â€œfatâ€ girl and instead chose to take a backseat in my own lifeâ€”excelling at school and having a wonderful boyfriend, but never pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. I wore baggy clothes to cover up my weight and had lost most interest in being feminine. I mean, who wants to wear skirts when your thighs rub together so much you chafe anyway? I had no confidence and felt hopeless.
I began paying closer attention to the portion of foods I was eating and every week when I stepped on the scale, low and behold, a pound or two had disappeared. I was ecstatic. For the first time in my life I felt proud of myself and knew I wouldnâ€™t quit until I reached a healthy weight. In December 2007, I hit my first â€œgoal weight.â€ This was not my healthy tipping point.
On paper, it certainly looked like I was heading in the right direction, Iâ€™d lost weight and inches and was no longer considered obese or overweight. Much of my weight loss came from subsiding on 100-Calorie-Packs, frozen diet meals, iceberg lettuce salads, low-fat treats and smaller portions of the junk food that had helped me gain so much weight.
Iâ€™d lost the weight, but I hadnâ€™t learned very much about nutrition or how to healthily fuel my body. I was tired a lot. When I worked out (which wasnâ€™t often) I didnâ€™t have much energy. I didnâ€™t feel full of energy and life like I had expected. To make matters worse, after returning to university for my Junior year, I started experiencing back and chest pain so intense I went to the hospital one night believing I was having a heart attack.
Many doctor visits and an ultrasound later, the doctor broke the news that I had gallstones. What many people, myself included at the time, donâ€™t realize, is that your body cannot thrive on a high or low-fat diet for a long amount of time. The gallbladder, which produces bile and aids in the digestive process of the body, requires a certain intake of healthy fats to function properly.
A variety of reasons why a person can develop gallstones exist. They are are a common digestive problem and a large number of people develop them every year. According to my doctor, mine were created by a combination of too many years of eating high fat foods combined with my dramatically low intake over the previous months. Rapid weight loss didnâ€™t help either, he said.
Just before Christmas my gallbladder was removed and I vowed to start feeding myself real foodâ€”no more microwave dinners and chemically-laden-processed snacks. This was my healthy tipping pointâ€”the moment I realized the foods I put into my body are more than just calories. I began learning as much as I could about nutrition, food labels, and the chemicals in the foods I enjoyed. I stopped buying most of the diet foods, increased my calorie intake, and started exercising. I even started running and ran my first 5K in the fall of 2008.
Almost three years have passed since my surgery and eye-opening awareness of what I was putting into my body. A lot has changed since then. Iâ€™m now married and live in Japan teaching English. Iâ€™ve developed a passion for running I never thought possible. My husband (the pickiest eater I know) chooses healthier fare over the packaged foods he ate throughout college and regularly asks me questions about the meals we eat. I even lost some more weight after ditching the diet food and gained a confidence I didnâ€™t know existed.
None of these achievements would have been possible if it werenâ€™t for the single moment when I realized my body deserved real food. Iâ€™m so grateful to have experienced my healthy tipping point and began blogging in August 2009 at Chasing the Now to show my friends and family that I could continue to eat healthy while living abroad.â€
Wanna read other Healthy Tipping Point success stories?
- Dani: Learning to Run Through the Couch to 5K Program
- Maissa: Finding a New Outlet for Negative Emotions
- Freya: A Journey Out of Anorexia
- Carrie: Ditched Distorted Thinking and Ran a Marathon
- Amy: A Mom Who Lost Baby Weight and Became a Triathlete
- Jenny: Saw Lance Armstrong on Oprah and Decided to Ride a Century
- Lauren: Stays Active Despite Being a Busy Associate at a Financial Firm
- Beth: A Friendâ€™s Serious Illness Inspired Her to Focus on Her Own Health