Before/After.

My story about weight loss and finding my healthy living path is an uncomplicated one.

I shed 35 pounds nineteen years ago and never looked back.

Never regained.  Never got off-track. Maintained even when Master’s degree, marriage and motherhood conspired to derail me.

The more challenging piece to explain (and the question I’m most frequently asked) is how I’ve stayed on track & maintained my loss for so long.

I know the statistic is hotly debated, but somewhere around 90% of all weight-loss is regained within five years.

The answer I give for HOW I’ve stayed in the tiny ten percent? I realized it was what’s on the inside that mattered.

I gained the majority of my weight in college. I drank lots of soda (and various & sundry other things), ate many late-night junk food meals with friends, and basically enjoyed my collegiate experience.

If by ‘enjoyed’ you mean I packed on pounds quickfastandinahurry—which I do.

before Before/After.

Unlike many of my peers I was pretty ok with my weight gain.

The morning I discovered my pants no longer buttoned did I commence dieting and self-flagellation?

Nope. I bloused a sweatshirt over-top of my jeans and proceeded along my soda-drinking way.

That said, when graduation loomed and the time came to don interview suits, I was faced with the reality none of them zipped.

Not only could I not employ my fluffing-the-sweatshirt trick with a skirt-suit, I’d grown but my bank account had not.

Lacking the funds for new clothes, I commenced an exercise and revised eating routine which, after many months, resulted in this.

after 300x180 Before/After.

I discovered weight training. I re-found my old eating habits. I paid close attention to what I put inside my body.

I thought I had it all figured out. I did not.

I consumed lots of processed white (hello bagels!), ate virtually no fat (fare thee well beloved salmon!) and was a lean, mean and exhausted shell of my former-self.

When I finally grew tired of being tired I stepped back and recorded precisely how I felt after eating various foods.

Breads and pastas? I was still famished, usually swollen, and broken out in a rash. In addition I was definitely, clearly lethargic.

Fruits, vegetables, complex carbs. & lean proteins? I was a force to be reckoned with. I possessed boundless energy, my swelling/rashes disappeared, and after eating I was satiated.

While all of this reads even to me (now) as a no-brainer it transpired long before others were eating gluten-free and far before I realized when I feel healthier on the inside everything else (including my outsides) follows suit.

Weight-loss maintaining isn’t even a concept I consider these days.

My focus, and the one which has facilitated my maintenance over sixteen years, is fueling my insides in a way which allows me to live my life as filled with energy and healthfully (& rash-free) as possible.

after 2 Before/After.