Healthy Living: Laura's Story

>> Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Laura writes:

Throughout my life I have always struggled with my weight. I can remember the first time I became aware of it, I was only 7 years old and I experienced bullying at school which led to low confidence and self-esteem throughout my teenage years. I did try to do something about it: I would exist on an apple a day to try and lose weight, but -- of course -- this didn’t work. I ended up binging on unhealthy food and eating in secret from my family and friends.

As I got older I tried weight loss clubs, joined gyms and tried various detox diets. Sometimes I did lose weight, but eventually I would fall back into old patterns and regain the weight, plus some more!

When I turned 26, I reached almost 15 stone (210 pounds). I knew I had to do something drastic. I was recently married and I could really see how much weight I'd gained when I looked at the photographs. I was so unhappy and didn't want to spend my life like this. I loved fashion, but never felt comfortable in my clothes and hated the way I looked. I read lots of nutrition and exercise books and decided that I would try and lose weight myself through healthy eating and physical activity. The more I read the more I realized that the best way to lose weight was to eat plenty of fresh "clean" foods and avoid processed foods.

When I realized how many chemicals and artificial ingredients had been in some of the foods I'd been eating, I was horrified! I cut back on heavily processed food (such as ready meals and Cup-a-Soups) and started to experiment with cooking more food myself, and better yet I really enjoyed it! Over the course of two years I managed to lose almost 5 stone (70 pounds).

It wasn't long after that I discovered healthy living blogs, I just couldn't get enough of them. I found them so inspiring that I decided to start my own blog to help me in maintaining my weight loss. I started to become even more experimental with my cooking after being inspired by recipes on blogs, especially the recipes on (never home)maker (Thanks, Laura!!!) . . . and I even started running!

I used to really worry that I would end up regaining the weight that I had lost just as I had so many times before, but then I realized that something had changed. My journey had no longer become about weight loss, it had become about health. A few weeks ago I made the decision to stop weighing myself all the time and to try and eat for health rather than worrying about the number on the scale. It has been wonderful!

My biggest achievement came just yesterday when I completed my first ever half marathon –- The iconic Great North Run in the UK. I entered the race after encouragement from other bloggers. I had never dreamt I would be able to run 13.1 miles. I had never been athletic at all. In fact, before this year, I couldn't even run for a bus! Completing the race was like the culmination of my healthy living journey and I couldn’t have been happier.

I'm now looking forward to where the future will take me. I've already signed up for a beginners yoga class and I'm thinking about what my next fitness challenge will be. I'm becoming more confident in my cooking skills, and I even tried baking my own bread for the first time. I'm so thankful that I discovered blogging and the healthy living bloggers community. I've learned so much, and get so much enjoyment through writing my blog, onwards and upwards to my next challenge!

Thanks for letting me share my story with you!

Laura (from Keeping Slim & Getting Stylish)

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

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