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Our Senior Programs Manager shares how she found a balanced lifestyle that works for her

By Bre Williams

I have been on a weight management journey for a while now, really what feels like my entire life. Being happy and confident in my body has always been my main goal. As an emotional eater, or a person who eats when I am not necessarily hungry, eating for wellness and energy felt like an endless uphill battle. When life gets out of control, I can control the fork. When I can’t fill the void, I can fill my stomach. When I could not get fast results, I could get instant gratification from fast food. After many years of trial and triumph through my adolescence; weight gain, loss, and gain in my young adulthood; and now fighting for and against my metabolism, I figured out a plan that worked for me. I went from my heaviest weight to where I am now. I lost a total of 90lbs! 

My Relationship with Food

Food gave me security and comfort. Security and comfort though, lead me down a path of feeling insecure and uncomfortable. They say that what we want most often lies outside of our comfort zone, so I knew I had to make a change. I was pushed to do things differently because the foods I ate had such drastic effects on my energy and physical experience. One fork of food and I’m bloated and feel full, two fried chicken wings and I have heartburn, a handful of fries or chips and my stomach is nauseous. If I dare sip anything carbonated, pimples galore. It is fine to get the “itis” after a holiday meal, but I was getting the itis daily. 

Food is meant to fuel us. When eating food to energize and for our health, we’re able to think better and operate better. It supports both our physical and mental wellbeing. With foods that lack nutrients and energy, we’re not able to perform at our best, and it has negative effects on our mental and physical health. If I ate fruits that I liked, I could eat a lot without feeling full. If I ate a salad with salmon or another lean protein I liked, my stomach would not be upset afterward. If I drank water and tea, there would be no pimples. 

Rethinking Exercise and Staying Active

I also had to get active. I read a quote that said, “exercise is a celebration of what your body can do, not a punishment for what you ate“. That quote kept me on the journey. Every day when I woke up, I would thank Source/Spirit and then think to myself ”How can I celebrate my body today?” I like to dance, and over the years have taken various fitness classes, so I dance and incorporate exercise moves. I make this journey fun, and it is a journey for me, a lifestyle. 

I have met a goal weight many times but gained it right back. Now, I focus less on the destination. It is a daily task for me. So daily, I make intentional choices to celebrate my body for what it can do, eat for energy so I can function as my best self. I also eat a burger when I want a burger for comfort. No restrictions, just being in choice and being intentional. 

Healthy Living Tips

I will share some things that I do below:

  • I get up early to start my day with physical activity. 
  • I drink a full glass of water or more every hour until I go to bed. I set reminders for myself on my google calendar in the beginning of my journey, and now it is a habit.
  • I practice intermittent fasting  on most days, and when I eat, I choose: fruit, fresh and cooked veggies that I like, seafood, protein shakes with almond milk — my absolute favorite is by a woman-owned company called Body Complete RX – BCRX website. By far the best protein shake I have tried and I have tried quite a few. 
  • I limit my intake of pastas, red meats, and bread. (When I want to eat it, I do it because if I deny myself, I over indulge on it later). 
  •    I eat 6 times a day: 2 portioned morning meals, 2 portioned lunch meals, 2 portioned evening meals. Or you can think of it like breakfast, morning snack, lunch, lunch snack, dinner, desert.
  • I get active. I walk pretty much daily or every other day, and exercise 4 times a week at the gym. It does wonders for my mental health. I am able to produce positive thoughts much more easily when I am physically active. I also follow various pages on Instagram that show workouts one can do at home. There’s always free zumba or other fun workout videos on YouTube as well. 

I want to encourage you all that if you have a strong desire for yourself, you can achieve it!