my diet exercise story .pdf
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Author: Bobbi Belongia
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People often say to me “I wish I were small like you are.” “I wish I could eat like you. I wish I had your
metabolism.” “I wish I was athletic, coordinated, motivated like you are.” “I wish I liked health food. I
just don’t.” The good news is none of that stuff comes natural to me. I am naturally about 15lbs heavier.
It takes a lot of hard work to keep my diet in check. It takes working out to keep me in this shape. I have
always been active, but I have never considered myself athletic. I am a runner, but I am SLOW. Yet I do it
anyway. I have done more workouts that seemed like a chore or torture than just about anyone before I
found the ones I love and I can stick to. My family didn’t eat terribly awful growing up, but they didn’t
eat terribly healthy either. It took me a lifetime to figure out the formula. Obviously I am not one to
learn things the easy way. But with experience comes knowledge and I would like to help you become
more healthy and more fit. Small acquired habits implemented over time create COLOSSAL changes.
Here is my story- and it is DIFFICULT for me to share, but important if it helps others.
I was always a small growing up, smaller than most, but healthy. But for the most part I still
thought I was fat because the adults in my life referred to themselves as fat. I witnessed women try the
most insane unhealthy things in order to be thin. This caused me to experiment with dieting as early as
age 8. I believe it did harm to my metabolism but more harm to my self-esteem. Some family noticed my
efforts and would mock, “She thinks she is fat.” I do not fault them because they were probably trying to
make me realize I had a distorted body image, but they also had distorted body images. I realize now
that it just made me more ashamed and I internalized my feelings and made my diet plans a secret. I
was a REALLY ACTIVE normal kid. I remember trying to eat nothing but popsicles, and once in 5th grade I
caught by a teacher bringing an empty lunch box to school. I was trying to dupe my parents, friends,
and the school staff into thinking I was eating.
I used to think my family was very vain. They will try ANYTHING to look young, attractive, and be
thin. Now I realize that they are very insecure. Either way, I felt a lot of pressure to be beautiful and thin.
They never came out and said that. I might have very well created that in my own mind.
Since I was the small girl in junior high, I was the flyer in cheerleading. But, it seemed the
INSTANT I entered high school I had developed overnight. I went from a size 00 to a 5-7, skipping over
the sizes in between. This threw my already fragile self-esteem into a million pieces especially since it
was high school years. I do not believe I was ever overweight. Even though I was at a healthy weight, I
felt terrible on the inside. High school continued with crazy diets I dreamed up such as eating only fruits
and veggies, eating only liquids or soft foods, eating only zero calorie foods like lettuce. I experimented
with being anorexic and bulimic, but neither really worked out for me. I never seemed to lose much
weight if any. I still borrowed tips from any articles or books I read on eating disorders like trying
laxatives or diet pills. I was still VERY ACTIVE. I participated in cheerleading and cross country and I
literally worked out during every moment of my free time. I drank enough water. I didn’t sleep enough; I
think I averaged 4hrs most week nights. So I was TIRED! I fell asleep a lot in class. I could sleep all
weekend long. I plastered the back of my bedroom door with celebrities with tiny tummies. The door
collage was right in view of the treadmill. I could run or bike on our stationary bike for hours. Guess
what happened?! I ended up with 8 stress fractures in both legs, shin splints, and was told I had a
calcium deficiency. I had to leave all sports and working out for 2 YEARS! The doctor actually
recommended I get a wheel chair because my legs were so fragile and could break at any time and it
would be an “ugly” break. It was high school, so of course I was going to refuse to get in a wheel chair!
Of course I thought, “I cannot workout, I am really going to pack on the pounds!” But, I didn’t really get
The only two times in my life where I was bigger than my average “adult” size of about 127 were
extremely stressful times due to personal and family struggles. This was my senior year of high school
and my sophomore year of college. Those periods didn’t really last too long because it wasn’t my natural
weight and I am too stubborn to surrender and buy bigger clothes. My pride just wouldn’t let me stay at
that weight and the extra pounds came off pretty quickly. It was normal for me to spend 3 hours in the
gym every day. I resented everyone smaller than me that never worked out. I did not understand how I
restricted my diet so much and burned a million calories yet never seemed to get anywhere near my
ideal body size or weight. But I had sabotaged my metabolism and I had unrealistic goals. I was not built
like an Olsen twin or Kelly Rippa. Even when I did a “healthy” diet plan like weight watchers, I would
take the minimum amount of calories they would give me, 900, and not exceed I (their plan doesn’t dip
that low anymore). I was unhappy and dead tired. The extreme restrictions would lead to binges and
lots of yo-yoing. I cannot complain though because my yo-yo never went to the extremes that other
people struggle with. I remember thinking, “I don’t care if it’s unhealthy. I would rather be skinny.” I can
say that nothing was more important to me than being thin. Scary, isn’t it?! I didn’t feel comfortable
doing a lot of the things my friends did. A lot of times I just wanted to stay home. My body image RULED
every aspect of my life. That means avoiding the beach, parties and LIFE.
The older I got, the more I cared about my health. I realized that dropping below 1200 calories
puts my body into starvation mode and it clings onto fat. I thought about middle-aged women in my life
and how their body image has really compromised them living their life to the fullest. They were not
comfortable, confident, or happy. They were restricted. I was sad for them. I want better for myself. I
wanted to conquer my disordered eating and disordered body image. The easy part was remaining
active, I’ve always been active. I thought I couldn’t restore my metabolism, but after years of healthy
clean living it seems to be working better than ever!
It is really important to me to reach my full potential to life my life to the fullest. I do not want
to miss out on anything especially due to something I can CONTROL like health, wellness, and fitness. I
want to make the right CHOICES. I want to be my personal best. That is the ultimate motivator. I also
want to be a good example for others. If I have kids, I want to have a healthy self-esteem so that they
will have a healthy self-esteem. And if others will let me, I want to help them. I had disordered eating
habits and it didn’t really turn around until maybe a couple years ago. In 2011, I did my last “diet.” I
followed the very restrictive rules for a full 90 days. Again, I was TIRED. I told myself that if I did get any
smaller as a result of this, then I was going to accept that THIS is my NATURAL size. I think I lost about
10lbs in 90 days, and to be honest…most of it was probably muscle.
I now have a healthy relationship with food and fitness. My health is important to me. My
relationship with food and insecurities are something I still struggle with at times. However, I can
splurge without feeling guilt. A splurge doesn’t send me into an extreme starvation diet or an extreme
binge. It is not ALL or NOTHING. It is BALANCE.
Now most people will say, “I wish I were naturally thin like you!” I cannot fault them for not
knowing that my natural weight is probably about 15lbs heavier. However it is FRUSTRATING that they
have no idea HOW had I work. I work out about 12 hours a week, but I am smart about it. Nobody HAS
to work out that much, but it happens to be my hobby. I LOVE IT! On a regular basis I try new fitness
classes or other active activities like various forms of martial arts or dance. I just enjoy MOVING:
walking, hiking, and eventually would like to get a bike. I like adding fun things in like roller skating or ice
skating. I would like to try new things like paddle boarding and rock climbing.
People see me eating frequently and they confuse it with me eating a lot. I eat every 2.5-4
hours. Some of those items are small meals, but most are snacks. They will say, “I wish I could eat like
you!” they also don’t realize that the foods I consume are not exactly their idea of “fun foods.” I eat a
lot of fruits and veggies. I eat peanut butter every day. Other items include almond milk, protein
powder, protein bars, string cheese, yogurt, and rice cakes. Exciting?! I actually like it. I crave these
things. Consistency works for me.
I never considered myself an athlete, but I am a girl that rarely stops moving. I never thought
about being fitness professional. But, I fell in love with TurboJam and TurboFire and I just needed MORE
so I became certified in TurboKick. I get excited sharing things I love with other people. I am just an
ordinary girl figuring it out along the way.
What I did right BEFORE:
drank enough water
What I wrong BEFORE:
not enough food
not enough nutrients (calcium deficiency)
not enough sleep
no rest or low impact days
no strength training (was afraid it would make me big)
Unrealistic goals (Olsen twins & Kelly Rippa- they are fine, but I cannot morph my body into
another body type).
What I do now:
I eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits. I eat vegetables frequently, but not daily so I
I eat small amounts of healthy foods frequently.
I take a calcium supplement but still aim to consume my recommended amount of calcium. I
also take an iron supplement. Shakeology has 50% of my daily calcium & 22% of my daily iron.
I am for at least 75g of protein a day. Even though most days I fall short, it’s still more protein
than I ever consumed. I strength train. Shakeology has 17g and I add 18g to my shake through
whey protein (Beachbody). That’s 35g of protein right there!
I aim for 8 hours of sleep, but most night it’s closer to 6.5 or 7.
I realize I cannot strength train the same muscle groups daily.
I manage my stress.
I am more comfortable and confident in myself than I ever have been before.
I look to women that are built more like me like Scarlette Johnasen, Kate Upton, or Kim
Kardashian. I am thankful that there are more curves and variety in entertainment.
And no matter how much weight I lost, my boobs never got smaller so I had a breast reduction and it
was one of the best most life changing decisions I have ever made. Feel free to ask me questions about
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