During college, Natalie White says she managed to keep her weight around 150 pounds. She admits to not really watching what she ate and only hitting the gym occasionally. Sounds like the typical college years for many of us. But upon graduation, things changed and it was no longer easy for her to maintain that weight.
White took a job with a management company and was required her to start her days at 4am and to work 55 hours a week.
Understandably, she was exhausted and because of this, she didn't much feel like cooking. She says, "I resorted to frozen food, fast food, pretty much anything quick and easy. Besides the fact that I did a 5-K (without any training) for the hell of it, my exercise habits were non-existent. From the time I graduated college until I turned 30, I put on at least 50 pounds."
When she turned 30, White says she went to her doctor to find out why she was having stomach problems. After a colonoscopy, she got her answer. The doctor told her she had polyps on her colon and someone of her age should not be having this problem. White says, "This was the wakeup call I needed to start treating my body better. I started making healthy changes: I stopped smoking, I went vegetarian, and I kept an eye on the foods I was putting in my body. I also left my job to find something that wasn't as stressful or exhausting." But, she still wasn't losing weight.
Fascinated by fitness culture and determined to do something, White decided to run the Chicago marathon. She says, "It took me over seven hours to finish my first marathon, but I finished! It was the best feeling ever. I signed up for another one soon after."
It wasn't long after that White got some scary news following her first mammogram. There was suspicious tissue in her breast. After doing some research, she found that coupled with her family history of breast cancer and her weight (which was 205 pounds at the time), she was at an increased risk of breast cancer.
Although she was training for her next race, and participating in Spartan Races, it clearly wasn't enough to produce weight loss results.
Her friends recommended she join a gym called Fit Body Boot Camp. "It was such a change from my old routine of just running at a steady pace. In each class, we do strength training and cardio exercises in circuits. It was like nothing I'd ever done before," White says.
White continued to do some research on her own. "I learned that I needed to eat way more protein than I was, and that actually made the biggest difference. I started to notice more definition in my muscles, and the weight began coming off," she says. "Two years after setting out to get in shape and improve my health, I weigh 163 pounds, and have gone from a size 18 to a size 8."
Of her weight loss, she says, "the best part about taking care of my body is that I have the best sense of self that I've ever had. I've always felt like an independent and strong person, but I never felt physically strong until now. My physical state now matches my mental state."
If she can do it, so can you. Here are her tips for you:
I know that I'm not going to get to my goal weight of 140 overnight, but by staying patient and being consistent, I don't get discouraged and give up on all the progress I've made.
Try new workouts to find what you like.
I love running, but if I didn't try Fit Body Boot Camp with my friends, I would have never achieved the results that I wanted or learned that I like to lift heavy things. It makes me smile when I go to class and see my progress every time.
Be okay with yourself.
I know I'm not as fast or as strong as some of my athletic friends, but I feel good about what I've accomplished. That success helps me feel confident at the gym and assures me that I'm capable of reaching my weight-loss goal.
We can all gain some inspiration and motivation from this story!
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Source: Women's Health