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Challenge: WHO Are You?

How I Changed My Life for the Better

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A year ago, I came to the realization that I had to make some changes in my life. I was eating unhealthily and using food to comfort myself. I had slowly piled on the pounds as I was mostly sedentary and I was now at a weight that posed a danger to my health.

I realized that I always felt tired, lethargic and could hardly drag myself out of bed in the morning. If I didn’t make some changes, and fast, my two children could end up without a mother. I knew that my overall lifestyle habits were not conducive to a long, healthy life.

Where to start?

When I was a teenager, I had been slightly overweight at one point and decided to go on a drastic diet. I managed to lose so much weight that everyone became concerned about me. I was on the verge of anorexia and it took some counseling to bring me back from the edge.

I managed to get back to a healthy weight and my weight was stable until after the birth of my second child when the pounds began piling on. My early experience with dieting gave me a fear of diets. I knew that dieting wasn’t the answer for me and decided to do some research about how to lose weight safely.

Losing weight the simple way

I came across a good guide on the website Livin3 about how to lose weight the right way and keep it off for the long term. I decided the easiest way for me to begin was to try the healthy plate method.

My biggest problem was eating too much in the evening so I decided that for my evening meal I would have a quarter plate of whole grains and starchy vegetables, another quarter of lean protein and half a plate of non-starchy vegetables.

I didn’t want to have to go through all sorts of complicated calculations to figure how much I could eat and this method seemed to be one I could stick with over a long term as a busy mother.


An exercise plan

I wanted to have quantifiable and measurable goals when it came to exercise. I decided I would begin by exercising three times a week for an hour each time.

I planned with a friend of mine to walk twice a week (accountability!) after work and I joined up for a Pilates class on a Saturday. I would see how this went and then make changes where necessary.

What I discovered is that the more you exercise, the more you feel as though you can’t do without it. It wasn’t long before my friend and I were walking faster and covering twice the distance. I enjoyed my Pilates class so much that I fitted in another one during the week.

Did it work?

I am happy to say that after a year of simply sticking to the healthy plate method and my goals for exercising, I feel like a different person.

Not only did I gradually manage to lose my excess weight and increase my exercise schedule but my state of mind has changed completely. I always used to feel that everything was just too much effort but now I have the energy and enthusiasm for life I was so sadly lacking.

It was not always easy to stick to my plan and sometimes I felt I should be taking more drastic measures but slowly and steadily, I started seeing results. One of the best results has been the way my children have responded to the change and how proud they are of me.

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