AND NEVER MISS A NEW POST
By Shane Young | January 8, 2018 |
For most of my life I have been thin. I could eat anything I wanted in large quantities (and I did), and not gain a single pound. I was very active in high school and college, mostly running and swimming. In my mid 20’s I started working out more and even hired a trainer because I wanted to get bigger and build muscle. That worked for a while, but life got in the way of my fitness and wellness goals. As I entered my thirties, my body also changed. Genetics were no longer on my side. I started to gain weight, bouncing around on the scale going up and down for years.
By 2010, I was at my heaviest weight ever, so I became very dedicated to eating well and exercising. Unfortunately, my motivation didn’t last. By 2014, I weighed 262 pounds, a new high. I started using a Fitbit and MyFitnessPal to track my exercise and diet. I also started running again for the first time in 20 years. Over the course of 14 months, I lost 62 pounds. Then in July of 2015, I started having problems with my knee and could no longer run. My injury was a huge blow because I’d become so dependent on running for managing my weight.
By the start of 2017, I was deeply entrenched in a new, very demanding job. I clicked so far into workaholism and people pleasing, that I worked 12+ hours a day. I went home exhausted and ate pretty much whatever I wanted for dinner. Soon, I started binging nightly on ice cream or candy as well as TV, Netflix and YouTube videos.
Eating a whole pint of Talenti Double Dark Chocolate or a giant-sized bag of Sour Skittles while staying up way too late watching The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt or This is Us was commonplace. In the morning, I would begin a continual drip of coffee into my body with a Starbucks breakfast sandwich. I would sometimes make it out for lunch, but more often, I grazed on the high-carb, sugar snacks in the kitchen at work.
This all came crashing down in May, when I could no longer face myself in the mirror. Once again, I had packed it on and weighed 237 pounds. I knew that I had to take action or I would continue my warped relationship with food and likely reach a new high weight. After doing some research and talking with Shane, I decided to try a ketogenic diet, start working out, and signed up for the Love Your Body Challenge at Ascend.
The challenge was amazing. Participating in the challenge ignited a renewed commitment to diet and exercise. But most importantly, the challenge helped me change my relationship to food. For the first time, I could see how I used food to change my feelings. I would have a feeling and reach for comfort, which took the form of sugar or some other friendly carbohydrate like tater tots. I learned how important food is to the regulation of our hormones and my own personal metabolic type. It turns out that my body needs more protein and fat than carbohydrates.
I lost 40 LBS! Before the challenge, I could only do 4 push ups and now I do 20!
I also realized how much I dreaded going to a large gym with overcrowded classes, people with attitude, and instructors that didn’t know my name. Ascend is the “anti-gym.” It is a community focused around four elements – exercise, nutrition, restoration, positive thinking – that resonated with me from the beginning. Ascend has perfectly sized classes and I love the instructors, as well as people I meet.
Since beginning the challenge 6 months ago, I’ve lost 42 pounds. I also feel stronger than I have in nearly 25 years. Although I am far from perfect, I hit the studio 4-5 times a week in a combo of Boost classes and Semi-private training. My eating habits align with what I learned and my weight is steady at 195.
For the New Year, Ascend Body is offering another 30 day challenge. If you want to change your body, and your life, I highly recommend you check it out!
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