About two years ago I experienced a personal issue that affected me physically and mentally, and that I’m sure many of you can relate to. Although I’ve always been active and fit, stress and an uneven diet led to digestion issues, which resulted in weight gain. It was frustrating considering I was consuming enough water, exercising and eating healthy. For nearly two years I struggled intermittently with finding the right plan that worked for me. Ultimately, my experience and my work as a lifestyle fitness coach was what helped me get my body – and my health – back, and I will help you do it, too. But before I could get my plan in place, I actually spent a lot of time seeking help with specialists – if only someone had told me from the start I could do it without tests, medications, or online calculators!
Here’s a little bit about my journey.
First, I began seeing a nutritionist who said I was doing everything right but that I should also incorporate more vegetables in my meals, do not rely on my scale weight, and don’t worry about the number of consumed calories. This was very hard for me because I was a calorie counter and macro counter in knowing I had to meet certain goals for my health, and knowing that some health issues in my family such as cholesterol are hereditary. With my nutritionist’s guidance, I saw my body change but not to my satisfaction, not where I wanted it to be, not to the physically fit photo I have from 2015. I learned a few new things such as portion control, but the underlying factor appeared to be the food I was consuming.
To get back on track, I enlisted the help of a fitness instructor who supported me through a twelve week program that consisted of weight training with light cardio. But after a few weeks I was still not seeing as much progress as I expected and the digestion issues still did not subside.
Then I had the flu. I thought to myself here is another setback, I can’t exercise for a week until I feel better and now I’m delayed another week in my search to finding the right prescription. It turns out it took getting sick for me to find it.
In order for me to kick the flu fast I ate chicken soup for lunch every day for a week and stuck with my normal dinner of vegetables and chicken or fish. I wasn’t snacking during the day and I was consuming more hot tea to help with my cough and congestion. Even though tea is a diuretic it made me realize while in search of the solution for my gut I was inevitably gaining water weight. Fat cells inherently absorb water until you start burning fat cells. “AH-HAH!”
Two weeks later, following extensive research I reverted to a fitness plan that I designed: high intensity interval training, weights and cardio. In light of this I’ve lost five pounds and kept it off! It was mostly water weight and now my body is burning fat thanks to my new exercise program.
This journey was exhausting and frustrating at best. It included other methods that I didn’t go into fully here – a gastroenterologist who prescribed a colonoscopy; a diet consisting of adding more fiber, more vegetables – but ultimately it resulted in what I can actually store after I consume any foods. I didn’t need a cleanse, detox, or a supplement that I can’t continually afford; I just needed the correct plan, a little patience to research why digestive issues were occuring, and having the ability to accept that I may need to change my habits. That cost is FREE.
Not everyone’s gut is the same. Nor is everyone’s metabolism, stress level, daily caloric needs, or fitness abilities. My unexpected digestive issues have only better informed me to take my client’s whole body and habits into consideration when designing a lifestyle fitness plan – so that you don’t have to spend years getting the body you want like I did!