Yes, that is me!
The photo on the left was taken 9 years ago, when I was 24. When I saw this I woke up!
Why? This was in December 2005; I was finishing my post- college trip to learn French and practice English in Montreal, Canada, that I started on August 2005. I remember that just after finishing my degree in June 2005 I weighed 48 kg, but in this photo taken in December of that same year I was 60 kg! How did this happen? I was miserable and I didn’t understand it.
During my teens and college years I was always very thin. In fact when I was very young I didn’t eat much, and my mother was always desperate because of my bad eating habits. I grew up very thin and I thought I would always be like that, so I never eat vegetables or exercised. During those years, studying Engineering, I considered I had no time to exercise, so I didn’t even think about it. Although I always saw that my family has the called “obesity gene”, being myself so thin it was unthinkable to me that I could get overweight someday. Seeing this picture and looking how my weight gone up so fast I realized that yes, if I didn’t take care of myself the “obesity gene” could catch me. I was at the right moment to make changes, I wasn’t overweight yet at that moment but I could get to it if I didn’t take care of my habits.
How did I gain more than 10 kg in 6 months? Well, I had the genetic factor to have what is called insulin resistance and I didn’t know it! I knew my family had the “tendency” to gain weight but I didn’t know that tendency could cause that. Besides, I was living in a society where overeating was normal. So, adding the overeating factor to my genetic factor caused me to gain all that weight so fast. I was studying and living in a family home with all meals included. I had a toast with jam and a glass of Nestquick for breakfast, my lunch was a white bread sandwich with ham and cheese, and then I ate everything I could at dinner, because I starved myself during the day! The lady of the house prepared those magnificent dinners and since I had no idea of what was eating a vegetable or that eating too much at night could make me gain weight (because of the insulin resistance factor), I didn’t pay any attention to and ate everything! The food wasn’t bad at all, it was all delicious but I overeat of everything and that was the problem!
I had the tendency to gain weight easily and also I was giving my body all that makes me more insulin resistant: eating white processed grains eating a poor breakfast, eating too much at night, eating just three times a day, etc. And as a result I gained 12 kg in 6 months! And all for not knowing how to eat or have physical activity!
It is true that there are families who have that tendency to gain weight easily causing them to create the resistance to insulin; it’s just how it is. You see on the street a family of 3 all the same size and you think there is no solution, that it is just the way it is, they have the biological tendency and they can’t do anything about it. THAT IS NOT TRUE! I’m telling you!
If anyone has easy tendency to gain weight and has that famous “obesity gene” IT IS possible with healthy eating and exercise to win the battle. Yes, it takes more time, effort and more dedication than others but, YOU CAN!
After that trip my mother took me to an endocrinologist and we found out that I was indeed insulin resistant. It wasn’t as far advance but I had high values of insulin in my blood for a girl my age. So, from that moment I decided to learn to look after myself and eat well. I started researching about foods and years later I study nutrition courses. I learnt also about insulin resistance and Hyperinsulinism, and that they can cause Type 2 Diabetes and that I decided I did not want to have this disease. I learned that to stay healthy and control my insulin resistance I had to eat balanced meals every day! It’s not about “dieting” a couple of weeks, it’s about adopting healthy eating habits that allow you to maintain a healthy diet for life. This way you never have to restrict yourself to any food because you will train your “gene” to adapt to whole foods, your metabolism will work like a well-oiled machine that keeps a steady pace without be slowed down, you will control the resistance to insulin to avoid getting Type 2 Diabetes, and the time will come that you can eat what you want without remorse because you will know about portion control and your body will ask you for whole and nutritious foods.
Since 2005 I’ve been in my healthy weight that it’s around 54-55 kg, with ups and downs of course. Naturally I never went back to the 48 kg of college, but that wasn’t a healthy weight either, it was too low.
I took the picture on the right at my 33 birthday in 2014! And yes, I feel very proud that at 33 I look and feel younger than 24! I am proud to say that people currently tell me that I looked 27 or 28 ☺.
I want to remind you that it is a new lifestyle that you need to adopt. It is not one of those famous “diets” that restrict you of food; on the contrary you need to eat in order to lose weight and control you insulin levels. It is learning to gradually include more healthy and nutritious foods in your meals, eat regularly, and keep an active lifestyle. Do this slowly and consistent and it will help you feel and live healthier and happier.
Remember, Nutrition is Wellness!!!