The Lifestyle Change

As most of you have noticed, over the last (almost) two years I have lost a lot of weight. Up to several times a week, I get questions from you readers about how I have managed to lose so much weight, and other related questions. Therefore, I am posting this post, which has already been posted several times before, again, so you can get answers to many questions. This time I thought of making a separate link to this post, next to “About ina”, “photo equipment” and “contact info” at the top of the menu under the header, so that it is super easy to find exactly this post! So, here we go again:

In February 2009, I completely changed my lifestyle. It has not been made very clear in the blog, and there are two main reasons for this. One is that we are exposed to slimming pressure about wherever we turn, and I therefore did not want to turn my blog into a “slimming blog” / “exercise blog”. The other reason is that I feel so bragging when I post about how much I have lost weight. Although I’m very proud of what I have achieved, it does not feel quite ok to post about it anyway. That said, there are many out there who are struggling with obesity, and who need someone to look up to; inspiration and tips. That’s why I’m writing this, and I hope you guys appreciate it.

I must emphasize that there has never been talk of a diet, but a lifestyle change. I am naturally tall and slim, but started gaining weight at the age of 15. Since then, I put on well over 30 kilos, as a result of poor diet and extremely little exercise. I indulged in a chocolate milk here, a piece of cake there. Pushed in me large portions of dinner food, ate even though I was really full, and always found an opportunity to eat candy. Not a day went by without excesses! I could not bear to go anywhere, and tagged myself to be driven the times I had to move outside the door. Gym at school was something I easily slipped away from! In other words, I was not healthy, by any means. The weight crept up, and my clothes became too small. It all happened so gradually that I honestly do not think it was a problem. I insisted that I was normal weight, even the waist measurement and weight said something completely different.

My health was not at its peak either! I struggled a lot with migraines / headaches, heartburn, very poor condition, lethargy and fatigue. I also got my first small stretch marks already in 4th grade in primary school, which to put it mildly did not get better with the weight gain. I, who have always loved clothes, clothes shopping and not least H&M, became very sad when I discovered that I no longer got into the favorite clothes from H&M Divided. In the end, I was simply dissatisfied with most of my body.

How I found out I had to stop this and change my shaky lifestyle is really a pretty funny story. I remember it so well too, because until exactly that moment I had not thought about changing my lifestyle, but everything was changed in an instant. I sat and looked at pictures from when I was in Turkey with my family in 2004, and discovered pictures of myself. My God, I was slim! What had I done with my body? At that moment, I decided, stubborn as I am, that I should go back (almost, of course. That an 18-19 year old should have the body of a 13 year old is of course nothing to aspire to!) Where I was. I was going to change it all!

And I did. After seeing the pictures, I told Mom and Dad that I wanted to change my lifestyle, and they supported me one hundred percent from day one. All my friends got to know about it too, and the sweetness was huge! It has helped a lot! That, and my extreme stubbornness and willpower, which I have been so fortunate and inherited from Dad. The day after I saw the pictures, I went free swimming and swam for hard life. I started swimming twice a week, I did strength training / pilates once a week, and dance aerobics once a week. Besides, I made a real effort in the gym classes at school, went and cycled where I was going. Hard training was needed to start the process, and to build muscles that had become slack and dull.

I also changed my diet. I stopped eating unhealthy things, and cut out sweets and junk food. The unhealthy was replaced with a lot of fruit and vegetables, coarse grain products and lean meat / dairy products. Calorie counting has never been my thing! I was tough the first 15 kilos; I did not treat myself to anything, except Saturday which was, and still is, my day off. Then I devour unhealthy foods and unhealthy drinks from morning to night. No borders! I call it food drunkenness, because the next day I have a stomach ache, and my body is completely exhausted, hihi. It also means that I do not feel like unhealthy things until next Saturday.

The benefits of weight reduction have not been long in coming; I got my fitness back! The stretch marks have faded considerably, I no longer have migraines and heartburn. I’m not relaxed and tired either. My body has really appreciated the good treatment, and I feel I have a lot more energy, joy of life and positivity in me now than almost two years ago. Now I have so much energy that it almost bubbles over sometimes! Of course, not everything has been positive; I struggle with sagging skin on my arms and thighs that are hard to get rid of, and even though the stretch marks are pale, they will always be there as a reminder of how I was. I’ll never go back there.

I still eat healthily, and exercise (go for walks, exercise strength at home and try to get trained once a week), and after I moved to Oslo I have lost a few more kilos, even though I am no longer bone-hard. I tend to say that now that I live a normal healthy life, and still lose weight, it is obviously my intention to lose a few more kilos, even though I have already lost 23 kilos. I have never starved myself, never gone on any insane diets, nor ever stuck my finger in my throat. Everything has happened thanks to healthy food and exercise! Being slim does not necessarily mean being healthy, and being big does not always mean being unhealthy. However, when 30 kilos sneak in thanks to inactivity and unhealthy food, the alarm bells should ring. We are all built differently, and being fanatical is not something to aspire to. However, living healthy in itself provides health benefits, and weight loss if you have a few kilos too much. Body and mind benefit so much from the good treatment! I can really vouch for that.

If you had to wonder about something more; ask questions via email! I absolutely like to get such questions by email, when the questions often require long and personal answers, so please drop questions in the comments field and on the form jump. Email address is ijah1971@gmail.com

Leave a Comment