Friday, January 20, 2012

My Weight Loss Story










Many people who have only met me in the last 5 years are surprised to hear that I have lost almost 30 pounds since high school. 

Some people look at these pictures and comment that I was "just fine" in the Before images. However, I know how I felt and how poor my diet was - and I know how much healthier I feel now. My skin and hair are healthy, my digestive problems have gone away (hello gluten and lactose intolerance!), and I feel stronger in general. 






**Before you read this: PLEASE do not compare yourself to my body and my results. Your own body is unique - my own weight, body fat %,  and pants size does not define who I am, nor does it make me a better person. I simply use the pictures to illustrate my point of what an intelligent Fitness and clean eating Nutrition plan can do to your body. 



I wasn't always overweight. As a kid growing up I was very active and pretty thin. It wasn't until puberty hit, and a seventh grade boy saying I had a "bubble butt" that my insecurities began. High school came, and when I didn't make the cheerleading team, I gave up on athletics. I literally stopped all activity, and turned to food. Food was a great medicine for me at this time- it made me feel good, and I abused it like a bad habit. Chocolate chip cookies at lunch, fast food after school. My favorite meal was a cheeseburger with large fries. And don't forget my daily addiction to soda. It was bad. 


It wasn't until college that I finally got control of my body again- at least, in a roundabout kind of way. I became a gym addict. I worked out obsessively, but still ate whatever I wanted. At 18 years old, this equals the Freshman Fifteen in reverse- I lost 15 pounds in my first 2 months of college. But an 18 year old metabolism does not last.


Fast forward to 21 years old. I went away to Europe for a 5 month study abroad. I returned to my old ways. No working out and ate whatever I wanted. I gained back the Freshman Fifteen I had lost, and then some. French wine and Italian pastries do not a svelte body make. I assumed the weight would just drop off as it had before when I was in college. It didn't. Somewhere in my early twenties my metabolism had officially slowed down. I hadn't planned on this.


I felt so desperate to lose weight and feel in control of my body again. At first, I trained for several 5k races. When I didn't lose "enough," I set my eyes on something bigger - running a Half Marathon! Besides burning knees and sore muscles, I didn't so much as lose a pound training for the marathon. I blame this mostly on my poor knowledge of nutrition at the time. I overate huge portions of meals that were poor in nutrients. No matter how much I ran, I couldn't outrun my bad diet!

My next plan of action involved what I swore I'd never do - taking diet pills! Yes, I must confess I wasted my money on those terrible things. And while my appetite was suppressed, in the end I was one angry woman with stomach cramps and little sustained weight loss.


It was time for desperate measures. Calorie restriction. Some textbooks call this "aerobic anorexic," or Anorexia Athletica. I was a Group Aerobics Instructor, so while teaching Pilates and Bootcamp classes at my college, I would exercise for 3-4 hours a day, in addition to working 8 hour workdays. All while clocking in an amazing 300-400 calories per day. Bananas and Slimfast were on the menu - and you can imagine how long that lasted. The weight I lost quickly from starving myself came back on as soon as I began eating again.


It wasn't until about 4 years ago I began to understand (finally!) that all these dieting gimmicks simply were a desperate attempt at fighting a battle that could only be won by two things - Fitness and Nutrition.

 I decided to educate myself - and in the meantime, got certified as a Fitness Trainer and eventually a Nutrition Specialist. I wanted to not just eat right and exercise correctly, but efficiently. What were the best foods for my body type, and when should I eat them? What exercise programs are more effective, and not time consuming? I knew, as I'm sure most women do, what I wanted to look like. Now- How do I get there?


But here's the best part: When I finally relaxed, and felt in control of my nutrition and fitness program, then my body naturally slimmed down. I dropped from a size 10/12 to a size 2 in a little over a year. I wasn't trying to be any particular size- I just FOCUSED on BEING HEALTHY. 


Let me end my weight loss story with a piece of advice. Save yourself the wasted time and emotional energy of searching for that "magic bullet" that will give you your dream body. Focus on what it is you want to look like, picture it in your mind everyday, and remind yourself how badly you want it. Everyday. Find an eating plan that works over the long term - I have a few meal ideas and pointers through out my blog to get you started, but you must be truly ready for change.


Please feel free to Contact Me if you have questions on how to get started. I am happy to help out anyone I can - guiding others to achieve their health goals is my passion.

 I hope my story helps and inspires you.




Check out a copy of my e-Book, Training for Life - 

The Simple Guide to Getting Fit and Keeping It. 

Buy Now for only $9.99. 





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Hi! I 'm Karlene Murphy. A lover of food (especially if it's gluten and dairy free!), getting outdoors, lifting weights, travel, writing, and snuggling with my two puppies. My addictions include chocolate, coffee, cookies, and sharing my love of being HAPPY and HEALTHY! My passion is educating others - whether at my full time job as a high school Psychology teacher, or with YOU my readers. I have been in the fitness wold for almost 10 years, and currently am an Online Fitness Coach, Fitness Instructor, Pilates and Yoga and Aerial Yoga Instructor in Southern New Hampshire. Contact Me if you need help with designing your own fitness and nutrition program.

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