Cabbage Soup Diet as a Child
My weight loss journey started so young that it’s almost hard to remember when it all started. I remember as a child being put on a cabbage soup diet. My parents were fit. I always carried extra weight even whiles active in sports and dance. I continued to struggle as an adult.
Managing Stress with Food and Drink
I love food in every aspect: the social component, the enjoyment of eating it, and more than anything I love cooking and baking. On top of that I found myself stress eating or drinking with my coworkers after long 12 hour shifts of barely eating when I was a nurse at the hospital.
My Breaking Point
By the time I had my fourth baby, we found out my husband was having to move to Kansas for work, and I couldn’t go with him because of a divorce that left me no options but to remain in Illinois. So, that was it. That was my breaking point. I was scared and anxious to take care of four little kids all on my own. I literally thought I could throw a pity party for myself, or I could turn this into the most amazing turning point story.
Setting Goals becomes a Solution
I decided to hit the gym hard (I’ve always been a gym rat), but this time I knew I needed a goal. I hated running so I thought, “Hey, I can do anything, I’m going to sign up for a half marathon.” Every day I worked on eating better by paying attention to using my carbs for fuel during long runs and lower fat and making sure I got quality protein in each meal. I lost a lot of weight during that time and also joined a group of moms who helped lift each other up during whatever goals or struggles we had.
Crushing Goals and Raising the Bar
After a year, my husband returned home finding a job back in Chicago. I completed my half marathon and then was on to the next goal. I want to compete in bodybuilding. I’ve always wanted to be a muscular, shredded girl. I remember a boy in kindergarten had a mom who was a competitor and I thought, “Wow, she’s amazing!” So here I am 3 years later, still working towards the goal to get my body shredded for stage.
My Steps to Success
- Set Goals
- Find a Coach or Mentor to Hold You Accountable
- Eat MORE
- Enjoy Life
- Sleep is Important
- Stay Hydrated
- Find Activities You Love, if you love them you will stick with them
- No Diets, Keep Nutrition Flexible so it is Sustainable
- Dine Out Less Often and Cook at Home More Often
I have a coach who I admire and trust. Family and friends have supported me and continue to support me. My outlook on food is that it is fuel and I’m using it to move and maintain homeostasis; it can still be pleasurable, but it needs to meet my body’s needs.
My Life Now
The biggest change has been with my kids. I feel an overwhelming sense of pride from them, which they have never really shown until this point. I think they see the positive changes and really love that I lift. I hear them say “my moms a body builder, etc.” to their friends. They say things like “hey mom it’s flex Friday !”
I’m more patient with my husband and appreciative of his support. I know not everyone has a partner who continues to champion their dreams. I’ve become more driven, more focused, and less worried about things like what people think. I just learned to focus on my priorities, passions and me.
I now love shopping more. I feels good to wear clothes I never thought I could wear.
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Ray Binkowski is the former owner of a hybrid training gym, author (all of his titles are on Amazon), and trainer. He has lost over 60 pounds and kept it off for over 15 years. He has worked with thousands including professional athletes, police/fire/military, physique competitors, even corporations like 3M, and most often people looking to make a long term change in health, wellness, and weightloss.