If you’ve come from my other blog The Culture Barista, hi there and thanks for coming to this side of my blogging life! If you’re just stumbling upon this blog, again thanks for coming!
You knew this from the other blog but my name is Ally, I’m an English professor with a Masters Degree (getting my PhD in a few years) and I’m a Nutmegger.
I was never a fat kid, I just wasn’t super super skinny. I also ate whatever I wanted and LOVED pizza, bread, peanut butter, and ice cream. Still do.
When I entered highschool, I quit sports to focus on theater and gained a lot of weight as a result of not playing sports and eating way too much food. In the course of four years, I went from a slightly chubby kid to a fat teen and aside from a few freakouts I was totally oblivious to how much of a hot mess i was. Partially because I was afraid that if I lost the weight I’d lose a part of myself, the part that honestly didn’t like to go out and party and wanted to stay inside and read books.
Then came New Year’s Eve, 2004. My mom had bought me a pair of size 16 jeans from the Gap for Christmas and I couldn’t even get them zipped.
New Years’ Eve, 2004, I took a picture with my sisters’ friend Lauren. I looked at the picture the next day, and couldn’t believe what I saw.
I weigh around 196 pounds in this picture.
Slowly, I tried to tweak my routine and it worked for a little while but it didn’t stick, and I soon fell back into my old ways, forgetting what my goals and intentions were, and gained all of it back. In April of 2005, I stepped on our home scale and it beeped 202.
Heartbroken, I immediately came up with a game plan for the summer. I had my dad take a “Before” picture of me, in early May of 2005, in order to track my progression.
|May 6th, 2005. 202 pounds.|
This entire picture is horrible. Just the hair is terrible on its own.
Over the next few months I went from a size 18 to a size 14 just by working out and lifting weights. There was a month or so when I tried diet pills but it was mostly just caffeine that made my heart skip.
Over the fall of 2005, I had a heart scare. It turned out to be nothing, but the stress and worry I felt in that situation prompted me to look at my diet a bit closer. I began to cut out all excess fat and sugars from my diet and focused on eating clean, simple meals. I dropped down to 173 by Christmas, and felt amazing. I knew I had more to go, but I let myself cheat too many times over winter break and saw my weight climb back up to 182.
Pissed off, I made it a goal to break the 170s before the end of my junior year. I began to do more cardio and cut my meals down more. Now, keep in mind my choices during this time weren’t the best, but I didn’t have any help. I also started doing Tae-Bo a lot. I started cutting soda out of my diet. I stopped drinking Coffee Coolattas and drank Arizona Diet Green Tea. I started looking at the labels of my food, and tried to eat as organically as possible.
Sure enough, by May of 2006 I had dropped down to a size 10 and 168 pounds. And then it became my mission. I went from that weight to 156 by August, and managed to maintain that weight for two and a half years. I even wore a bikini for the first time.
Although I could’ve stayed right there at 156, my eating habits still weren’t stellar. I would find myself mindlessly eating peanut butter straight from the jar at 4 PM, because my snacking had never gotten itself under control. I thought if I just ate healthy, I’d still lose weight, but of course my calories expended were not matching my calories consumed. I began to wonder if I could break the 150s, a feat I had only accomplished when I got mono and couldn’t eat for a week.
Then in 2009 I started trying to eat less and working out even more, and the combination of that plus moving to a new city that made me do a LOT of walking caused me to drop about 20 pounds.
The weight melted off. Note: I didn’t put on any muscle or really get into good ‘shape’ at all during this time. I was just doing a lot of mindless cardio and not focusing on toning or anything else that would have been more beneficial to my body. In August 2009 I stepped on the scale and discovered I weighed 139 pounds.
I was done. Or so I thought. And of course, anybody can lose weight when they’re eating 60 calorie pitas for lunch.
In order to sustain this low weight (and body aeshetic…I had ZERO muscle at this frame and looked very, very, very thin) I had to work out cardio-based for 2 hours a day and maintain a near 800 calorie diet. I did this for months.
Not surprisingly, I looked and felt like shit. I also started abusing diuretics, which I’m sure was hell on my kidneys. Because I wasn’t eating I thought about food constantly, and developed panic attacks.
The food restriction and overexercising were symptoms of the real problem in my life – I was lost.
|Christmas Eve, 2012. I have no effing idea how much I weigh.|
Nearly two years later I am truly in the best shape of my life. I have NO idea how much I weigh. The two times I have stepped on a scale in the past nearly-two years was on New Year’s Day and another day at the gym, and both times the scale battery was dead. Ironic, huh? But I’d say I’m probably in the 140s.
I lift 4-5 times a week with cardio attached, and then I do just cardio the other day, and then I try to incorporate one day of yoga a week. I feel this is the best balance for my body.
I strongly believe in only working out in ways that you really like. I really love running but right now I’m trying to take care of myself and strengthen my back, so I have to take a backseat on it and not push through any discomfort.
rice cakes with peanut butter
Broccoli and Brussels sprouts, both roasted until crispy with olive oil and salt and pepper
the Thai Chopped Chicken or the Spinach Power salads from Panera