Staying on Track with Health & Weight Loss When Times Get Tough

November 24, 2017

I have, for most of my life, been the girl who has been overweight, big boned, chubby, or fat. At school, I was the one who could be found sitting on the sidelines as my friends played sport and participated in PE – not because I didn’t want to try, but because I didn’t want to be humiliated and I didn’t feel like I could join in.

I learnt from a young age that food was my friend. I ate when I was happy, I used food to comfort me when I was sad, and it filled a void when I was bored. My family (especially my mum, nana and aunty) show their love by cooking. Needless to say, I never went hungry growing up. At the age of 15 I was eating what most people would eat in a day, just at dinner.

University weight gain

When I left home for university at 17 years of age, the struggle became even more real. I was left to my own devices and lived off processed foods and takeaways and became a binge drinker. My weight blew out.

There was a period that I prioritised myself at university and lost some weight, but I did so by flogging myself at the gym and eating tiny amounts of food. I may have been smaller, but I was NOT healthy. Then upon starting full-time work (I’m a criminal lawyer) I no longer had time to hit the gym or cook at home and I lived off convenience food. I stacked on all the weight (plus some) that I had worked so hard to lose.

At the age of 26 I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. For most people that would be a massive wake up call, but not for me. I told myself it was genetics, it was hereditary, and this was just the way I was. I was “too busy” to lose weight. I was just big boned. Everyone in my family was overweight, so it was just the cards I had been dealt.

Inspired to change

I had my lightbulb moment when a girlfriend from university posted a picture on Instagram showing an amazing 35kg weight loss. She had dropped weight – yes, but the glow of her skin, the smile on her face and the sparkle in her eyes was what really drew me in. I looked at myself in the mirror (which I hadn’t done in a VERY long time) and realised I looked sad, miserable and depressed. I was staying at home rather than socialising, I hadn’t been shopping for clothes for months, and my health was suffering!

I wanted that glow my girlfriend had. I reached out to her and she told me about the 4 Phase Fat Loss Protocol. I jumped straight on board and haven’t ever looked back.

Staying on track while travelling

I have completed 2 previous shorter rounds of the 4 Phase Fat Loss Protocol. The first 2 rounds had their usual hurdles, but after round 2 I had some real-life challenges thrown my way. I went to Spain and Greece for a month – I knew this would be a challenge as I didn’t want to miss out, but I also didn’t want to undo all of my hard work.

I had the time of my life and certainly didn’t restrict myself. I chose foods that I knew nourished me, and of course indulged in several treats. “Old Tash” would have unleashed and binged like there was no tomorrow. But knowing how much better I feel when I choose real wholesome foods was enough to keep me on track. I didn’t ever feel like I missed out and thoroughly enjoyed my trip. I was truly proud that my habits had changed.

Keeping it together when faced with tragedy

However, my biggest challenge was waiting for me upon my return to Australia. My dad, at the young age of 63, very suddenly passed away.

My dad never looked after his health. He was a heavy drinker, a smoker and his diet was less than desirable. His passing was 100% lifestyle related. It was a massive shock. I was devastated. I was very much daddy’s little girl and knowing my hero would no longer be around to see me get married and have kids absolutely broke my heart. I had planned to start round 3 of protocol 1 week after dad passed. I could have thrown in the towel, decided it wasn’t the right time and made excuses. “Old Tash” would have done exactly that.

But I reminded myself of why I started this lifestyle change. To be happy and healthy. I certainly don’t want my children (when I have them) to have me in their lives for only a short period of time. I never want them to go through what I have had to, with losing my dad so early on in life. I also know that dad would have wanted me to live my life to the fullest and make the most of every minute. So I started my third round as planned and decided to #doitfordad. This round has been my most successful one yet.

To date, I have lost 23kgs in total. I started at 92kgs and am now 69kgs. I have lost 25% of my body weight.

I am no longer on my blood pressure medication and have a normal blood pressure. My friends and family cannot believe the change in me.

I am happy, confident, energised and I’d like to think I have that “glow” I was searching for. I think my dad would be proud.

The 4 Phase Fat Loss Protocol has given me my zest for life again. It has literally changed my life. At the age of 32, I am the happiest and healthiest I have ever been. Bring on the final 12ish kgs and my goal weight!

 

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Natasha Shorter

Natasha Shorter

The timing may never feel right to get started but if you remind yourself why you want to change, you can get through those challenging times – just like I did!
Natasha Shorter

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