I know you would agree that lack of energy, feeling bloated, and not seeing weight loss is very frustrating. It’s so challenging that, in the end, you give up. You think, ‘’what’s the use?’’ Instead of creating healthy habits, you increase your drinking of coffee or energy drinks. In the long run, you do more damage to your own body.
Let me share with you another way. I’m speaking from experience. I was overweight as early as my freshman year of high school. My homeroom teacher sold candy bars for extra money, and I bought a KitKat daily. I sat in the first row, and the candy was in my face, and I felt pressured to buy it. I was 14 years old and didn’t understand self-control. I had been working since I was ten, so I had an expendable income to spend on treats.
My parents worked a lot and were rarely at home to check on what I was doing. I was born in Europe and grew up eating chicken and mashed potatoes with sour cream. When we immigrated to New York in 1989, they quickly found jobs cleaning real estate offices, and I had to fend for myself. Luckily, there was a pizzeria and a Chinese restaurant up the block, and that’s what I ate every day. Back then, there was no such thing as a home-cooked meal in my home, and if my mom did cook, it was a European potato dish.
One winter, I played ice hockey with my neighborhood guy friends and fell on my friend Rob. He yelled, "Get off me; you're built like a truck." It hurt my feelings, but it didn't click that perhaps I was overweight. When it came time to go to the prom, my mom couldn't go shopping with me, so I went by myself and found a red dress; it was a size 13. Which doesn't sound like a big size, but I was only 4.8 at the time.
I am sad to share this with you, but no one asked me to go to prom, and I ended up asking my guy friend to take me. He only said yes because he liked one of my friends, and my dad's tuxedo fit him so that he could save money.
As we all know, with time, motivation can change. I never lost weight and eventually headed to college. The first six months were full of meeting new people, which meant unhealthy eating habits and partying. One night a group of us took a photo, and when it developed with the disposable camera, I saw how I almost did not fit into the picture with my skinny friends. That's when the lightbulb went off. I was unhappy with the person I saw. I knew I wanted to change, but I needed help figuring out where to start.
That's when I started to yo-yo for the next 20 years. It was exhausting and frustrating. I have tried every diet under the sun.
On my 40th birthday, I realized diets were not working, and I needed to change my lifestyle. What I am sharing with you is not a diet; it's a lifestyle change you can manage.
It's too bad that it took me 20 years to learn how to eat to fuel my body and how to work out to maintain good health. Cardio is excellent, but weightlifting is needed.
We all live busy lives, so prepare yourself for success by meal prepping. Planning ahead of time allows you to be successful, and the food is already in the refrigerator for you to grab and go. Once I understood nutrition and started to plan my meals, I felt reinvigorated. I have more energy to be with my family, have clear skin, and do not experience any bloating. I started to sleep better each night and no longer needed afternoon coffee. My sugar cravings went away, and my kidney disease got better. My quality of life improved by following a simple nutrition plan and exercising regularly. My husband joined me on this journey, and he saw that his back pain had gone away and he was getting quality sleep each night.