Healthy Living: Rowena's Story

>> Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rowena writes:

Hey there, Ashley and Stephen! I've been following your bloggy -- I just stumbled across it recently, and love it. It's innovative and different in a place full of healthy living blogs, your stands out! (Thank you, Rowena!) I'm 26 years old . . . and I'd like to share my Healthy Living journey -- my fitspiration, if you will -- with you.

At age 20, I went to Cyprus where I met my fiance. I was on a girls holiday . . . he was on a lads holiday, and we spent the 2 weeks together, totally ditched our friends and had a blast. When we got home, we kept it going, despite living 350 miles apart. During the "traveling to see each other" period, the weight crept on. Once we moved in together, I think it's fair to say I piled weight on. This was my first "real" home as an adult and I was finding my love for being in the kitchen.

I was a size 18, but still my weight/size weren't bothering me. Sure, I hated pictures of myself. They bothered me at times, but never enough to do anything about it. Then we got engaged, and it all changed: I started wedding dress shopping and realised that I didn't want to be a big bride. Nor did I want to be disappointed looking back at my wedding photos. No, I wanted to be a slim, beautiful bride.

After a few months of playing at it on my own and not understanding why I wasn't losing weight, I joined a slimming class. I got off to a good start, I lost half a stone fairly quickly, and it was working well for me. Then in March last year, we had a car accident. It was a pretty bad accident, too. It saw me off work for 4 months -- badly knocked me up -- my pelvis was knocked out of line and most of my vertebrae were unaligned. I suffered huge deep tissue damage to my back, neck, upper arms and upper legs. I was in pain most of the time. I was undergoing intense physiotherapy and the doctor had me on crazy strong painkillers.

Needless to say, these pills were messing with my insides and more-or-less made weight loss come to a halt. I wasn't putting weight on, but I wasn't losing it either. I still attended class but regularly ended up in tears. I'm a member of a wedding planning website . . . and the girls in the weight loss section offered their virtual shoulders for my tears on countless occasions. The doctor told me I would always be a chronic pain sufferer and I had to adapt my lifestyle to accommodate it and accept it. Perhaps some gentle yoga to increase peace in my mind, she suggested.

This was an all-time low for me.

But I persevered with the slimming club and my physiotherapist kept on relentlessly. One year after the accident (March this year), she discharged me with a clean bill of health! I couldn’t believe it -- that doctor was wrong -- and if it hadn’t have been for the positivity of my family and friends and my online friends from the weight loss forum, I doubt I’d have battled through!

By May this year, I lost 2 stone with the slimming club. I started to read a couple of healthy living blogs and had learned a boatload about healthy living and a clean diet. I was starting to feel like the slimming club was holding me back now, their ways and views weren’t in line with what I was learning about, a basic clean diet, so I made the leap and left the class.

I started running (I’d never run before –- not even for a bus!), following the Couch-to-5K programme. I also started calorie counting and following a clean and healthy diet. I rarely drink alcohol -- and when I do its only a couple of glasses. I read more and more healthy living blogs and even decided to start one of my own: I completed the C25K programme, and got the full on bug for fitness. I dabbled in the 30-day shred and then decided to move onto Insanity. I’m now on week 2 . . . and I love it!

I feel like I wasted so much time (and the car crash wasted so much time for me, too) . . . and with now only 3 months till the wedding, I’m on full steam ahead. Months and months ago, I bought my wedding dress 3 sizes too small for me! To date I’ve lost 3 stone and I’m about an inch off fitting into it, my goal is in sight!

BUT and here’s the huge BUT -– this is no longer about "the dress" or "the wedding" or "the honeymoon". Sure, these things are forefront in my mind right now, and I get pretty anxious about them on a weekly basis (the girls from my weight loss forum will second that!), but I'm pleased to introduce you to ME! This is ME! This isn't just a phase, this isn't just a diet, this is ME! These choices for healthy food and for exercise are no longer difficult choices, there's no longer a battle going on inside of me. I’m at peace with myself and my choices, and 99 percent of the time, I make the right choice for my health.

And you know what? I kinda like the healthy me!

Thanks for reading my story!

Rowena (from Broad Bean to Runner Bean)

In need of some healthy fitspiration? While you're here, you can read more great stories like Rowena's -- as well as submit your own healthy living story to be featured on our site!

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