How I Lost 164 Pounds In 1 Year With BodySlims
Hi! Tell us about yourself…why did you decide to start losing weight?
I’ve been overweight or obese my entire life and I’ve battled binge eating disorder, food addiction, and bulimia. In 2011 I sought help for my Binge Eating Disorder, and my doctor told me at the time “As soon as you fix your head, the weight will just fall off.” But for some reason it never did.
In July 2019 I had a realization; the omnipresent voice of shame and criticism that lived inside me didn’t belong to me, and that my excess weight (at the time I weighed 328lbs) was actually a result of shame caused by this consistent voice. Right there and then I realized I had to change. I started therapy around October 2019 and began my actual weight loss journey on 20th January 2020.
What was your workout routine? Can you give us what a typical week looked like for you working out?
I chose to follow the BodySlims program, which is an Irish weight loss program that yields phenomenal results. BodySlims requires you to walk one hour every single day. That’s it, that’s all I did! I literally walked my ass off over the last year.
Before joining BodySlims, I used to go to the gym 3 – 4 times a week, I was strong, but it did not affect my actual weight loss. By cutting out the gym and taking up walking I’ve completely changed my shape, and I’m not down 164 lbs.
What was your nutrition like? Can you give us what a typical day of eating looked like?
I am a vegan for ethical reasons and so my “diet” for weight loss was 100% plant-based. I also practice intermittent fasting which helped me to understand my satiety levels (feeling of fullness) which have been broken from years of overeating. So for me on a typical day, I have 2 coffees in the morning with cashew milk, followed by a giant salad of raw vegetables, olives, pickled beetroot, vegan feta cheese, and lemon juice for dressing.
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I also eat some kind of vegan protein (usually vegan bacon) and cheese on the side. In the evening around 6 pm, I eat anything from vegan mock meats to whole food curries with rice, to frozen vegan pizza and everything in between. My favorite snacks are popcorn in pre-portioned bags, high-quality vegan chocolate truffles (BoojaBooja are my absolute favorite) apples with peanut butter, Alpro soya desserts, and fruit such as grapefruit, apricots, and plums.
I have a calorie limit which was set by the BodySlims program which I stick to. The key I think is looking at your calorie limit as a limit, not a target, you don’t have to eat it all, and when you eat from an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables, you get the vitamins your body needs so I honestly don’t feel as hungry as I used to. I do supplement with a vegan multivitamin, B12, potassium, magnesium, MSM, Vitamin C, and Vid D (live in Ireland after all!)
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How did you stay motivated to lose weight? Did you ever slip up?
One thing I’ve learned over this process is that motivation wanes, you need a foundation there when it’s gone. It’s the consistency that keeps you going. Believe me, there are many mornings when I don’t have the motivation to go out walking in the cold and dark, but I always ask myself “Will this bring me closer to or further from my goal”.
What’s important is that goal is a pull goal, you can’t help but want to get there. For me when I started to lose weight it took me a while to realize my goal. But when I saw myself start to lose weight, I thought, this might actually be possible, and I allowed myself to dream. One year later and I’m over half the size I was at the start!
I personally didn’t ever slip up but I allowed myself time off, for example when I was on holiday I allowed myself to eat off plan for 2 days, that freedom allowed me to get right back on when I was done.
When did you start to notice progress?
My weight loss happened so quickly that it took a long time for my head to catch up with my body. I remember the first time I was able to cross my legs, I think that is still my favorite non-scale victory of all time. I couldn’t believe I’d actually done it.
I think it took me about 4 – 5 months of consistency to start to see any changes, but in that time I had started to rebuild belief in myself. I started to understand that I was showing up for myself every day, even if I didn’t see the results of the scale translate into real life, I was happier in myself.
Did you use any sort of trackers/apps/scales to track your progress?
Yes, I track everything. I bought myself a Fitbit at the start of my journey and I track my walks using that. I track my calories on MyFitnessPal, which I’d used for about 6 years prior, so I had a really good personal database built up, and it was fun to see my previous weigh-ins and smash through them on the way down. I weigh everything solid that I eat and I measure everything liquid with measuring cups (with ml displayed) or with a measuring jug.
Do you have any weight loss “hacks” or “secrets” that helped you succeed?
I believe the key to my weight loss was allowing myself to be grounded in my own body, and to be present enough to make decisions. I’m sure you’ve heard of the fight or flight response to triggers. My excess weight was the result of never being present in my body and constantly “flighting” the negative emotions I was feeling through food.
Food was my fix, my addiction and because my negative critic was omnipresent, I was always in flight mode, searching for that next fix. Through therapy, I learned how to be ok to be present in my body and to be grounded.
If I was close to my calorie limit for the day, but still felt like I wanted something, I’d pause, reconnect with myself, make sure I was grounded and not just bored or anxious. I’d wait 20 minutes and if I still wanted that chocolate to let’s say, I’d have it. But 9/10 times, that feeling would have been an impulse and by grounding myself, the desire went away.
Do you have any fitness books/podcasts/websites that you’d recommend and why?
I think the Instagram weight loss community is a hive of information and first-hand experience which is underestimated. There are thousands of people who write incredible posts about their journeys and how they overcame challenges, which are often overlooked for “before and after” photos. Read the captions, something might hit home for you.
If you’re looking for a weight loss program, I wouldn’t waste your time with anything else besides BodySlims. It’s only 10 weeks, so give it the 10 weeks and see what happens.
What is your best advice to beginners who are looking to lose weight?
It’s not about motivation or inspiration, it’s about being consistent. If you do the right thing each day, those days stack on top of each other and cumulate to give you the result you want. Quitting only guarantees your results and it’s not the result you were looking for.
Where can we find more about you?
@halfofcarla on Instagram.
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