I started my fitness journey almost 2 years ago, with weight loss as my main goal. At the time I was just coming out of college and feeling very unhappy with the way I looked. I struggled with feeling sick and lethargic all the time. At my heaviest weight, I was 256 lbs and completely shocked by that number.
Through college I didn't really consider fitness and health as priorities. Even though I was active through cheer and dance teams, my poor eating and stress management habits were enough to hurt my body. I got to a point where I knew that I couldn't go on feeling tired and self-conscious my weight. I was feeling embarrassed in my cheer uniform, comparing myself to my teammates, wanting to hide in sweatshirts, and feeling upset that I couldn't even cross my legs because they were too big. I didn't even feel like myself anymore. In high school I was naturally athletic, and it blew my mind how much my body had gradually changed without my noticing. I was just so ready to feel like myself again.
For me, the hardest part has definitely been food. I have never really struggled to be active, but I have struggled with food and disordered eating habits since high school. I was a yo-yo dieter with an unhealthy relationship with food. I saw food as a complete burden, and thought it would cause me to gain weight. It has taken me a long time to finally understand that food is fuel, and that my body needs it. I tried all the fad diets, crash dieting, going through periods of intense restriction then straight to binges, again and again. My weight fluctuated and I always ended up even heavier. It's taken a lot of work for me to learn that it's all about balance and about giving my body healthy nutrition.
I met with Kat Polo, Island Fitness Lifestyle and Nutrition coach. Kat helped me make sure I was giving my body the right nutrition, and gave me great feedback and new ideas for foods I could incorporate into my new eating style. I also leaned on my mom, sisters, and friends when I needed support or an extra push to keep going when I felt like giving up. Speaking up when I felt that way helped me to stay accountable!
Keeping a food journal was really helpful. I was able to see where I was overeating during the day, how I felt with certain foods, etc. Pen and paper felt a lot more manageable than tracking calories on an app for me, and I felt I would be less likely to become obsessive with calorie counting that could take me back down an unhealthy road.
At the very start I had a friend who inspired me. She had gone through her own weight loss journey, and being able to see her transform encouraged me to start my own transformation.
More recently, Gavin DeWitt helped me get started here at Island Fitness with a really informative Ortho-Kinetics Assessment series. That pumped me up so much that I decided to train with Rachel Wittreich, an Ortho-Kinetics Professional Trainer, to continue losing weight and start to build muscle. I have loved working with Rachel! She makes working out really fun and is super encouraging! I feel like Island Fitness as a whole has become a second home to me, and the most supportive and encouraging community I could ask for. I feel incredibly lucky to be here!
My family, friends. co-workers, and Island Fitness staff have encouraged me along the way. Everyone in this community really helped me see that I have support and I'm not alone in this journey.
I started at 256 lbs, and now I weigh 163 lbs. I have a dream of becoming a bodybuilder one day so I'm working on developing muscle! I have so much to learn and it's really exciting. I'm so much happier, and stoked to know how to take care of my body now. I'm learning to maintain this kind of lifestyle for forever! I'll never ever go back, and that's so satisfying.
For anyone who's looking, I'd say the biggest thing to remember is that changing your body means changing your lifestyle, and you've got to be in it for the long haul. There is no shortcut that'll give you sustainable results. You absolutely will get out of it what you put in! Try your best to practice patience and mindfulness and to always remind yourself that if you just keep going, and you are consistently putting in the work, you'll absolutely reach your goals. How badly do you want it?
Ella met with Kat in our Lifestyle & Nutrition department early this year to fine-tune her weight loss program. Here is what she shared about her meetings with Kat:
“When we had our nutrition assessment I loved how comfortable you helped me feel, and how you were so thorough in asking me about my eating habits so we could really dig into why I was at a plateau and feeling stuck. I also loved how you worked with me to go through my crazy schedule, and help me see where I could make positive changes in when and what I was eating. You laid everything out so it was simple and straight forward and that's exactly what I need to follow through with anything. I still refer to the nutrition handouts you gave me. I felt really cared for.”
Where to begin? Schedule your 30-minute complimentary Lifestyle and Nutrition coaching session with Kat or Darcy.