Smoke Free Firebreather
Nine years ago, I quit smoking. I had been smoking since I was ten years old and after many attempts at quitting, I was determined to stay smoke free no matter how much weight I gained by substituting cigarettes with food. While I managed to maintain my goal of remaining smoke free, I ended up putting on just over a hundred pounds.
This past Fall, I weighed in at nearly 300 pounds- the heaviest I have ever been in my entire life. Not only did I feel bad about my appearance, but I also felt like a hypocrite because, as a nurse, I feel obligated to portray a certain level of adherence to a healthy lifestyle. In addition, I began to notice some changes in my health that got me worried about developing congestive heart failure, diabetes or some other obesity related disease. It was then that I decided to join Crossfit.
Over the first six months, I managed to lose a little over 20 pounds, but reached a plateau and despite my best efforts with the Atkins Diet, I was not losing any more weight. When an opportunity to participate in the nutrition challenge came around, I knew it was something that I needed to do. As I started in the challenge, I learned that many of the foods I was still eating was not conducive of weight loss and was actually causing to me hold onto fat. After modifying my diet a little and eliminating these foods (mostly diet soda and artificial sweeteners), I noticed that the weight started coming off again. I’m not the best cook in the world, so I stuck with the basics of eating meat and veggies. After eliminating sweeteners from my diet, it became easier to appreciate the sweetness of natural foods, such as fruit.
Overall, I don’t feel like I struggled a lot with this challenge because the food is tasty and I was noticing improvements in my appearance and my performance at work and at Crossfit. I also feel that Coach Courtney’s guidance and resources were essential in making the transitions. I ended up losing 21 pounds by the end of the challenge. I am still in the process of learning what food combinations work best for me, but I plan to stay on track by using Paleo guidelines. I am excited that I am heading in the right direction in terms of improving my health.