This year I lost 10 pounds. I weigh the same as I did in Junior High. For the first time in over 30 years, I like the way I look and feel. In fact, other than a 6 month stupid Diet Mt Dew diet where I obviously didn’t lose weight in a healthy way, this is the lowest weight I have been at as an adult.
A lot of people think I lost the weight because I trained more or ate less than I have in the past, so I wanted to share how I really lost the weight.
Since turning 40, 4 years ago, I have made a lot of changes in my life. Starting in 2012 when I drastically cut down on dairy and gluten and had to give up a summer of racing after training for Ironman St. George and then breaking my collar bone 2 weeks before the race. For the first time in my life, I couldn’t use workouts to counteract my typically high caloric intake. I had to take a look at my portions and nutrients and make some changes.
This got me eating more fruits and veggies! Believe it or not, as a vegetarian and often vegan for the previous 32 years, I ate few fruits/veggies. Recovering from my collar bone break was also the first time I had to take a break from triathlon training and racing. I chose to take a break in 2008 and 2009, but this time it was not a choice. It fueled my determination to get back into it as soon as I was able!!
In 2013, I had my first amazing year of racing. I PRd my 5K, 10K, half marathon, marathon, and half iron distance triathlon. I trained more than I had ever trained before (and more than I trained this year) and as a result, placed 3rd in my age group in Ironman Lake Tahoe and earned a spot to the Ironman World Championships in Kona. In 2013 I trained very heavily while eating very heavily, but much much healthier than I ever had before. I was about 75% vegan and ate a ton of fruits, veggies, and superfoods daily. I felt amazing!
2014 was the year I was racing in Kona. Leading up to the race, I PRd my half marathon, marathon, and twice half ironman distance. I didn’t train as much as in 2013, but still had high volume. I was about 80% vegan and was even eating about half of my meals raw. Definitely the healthiest I have eaten to this point. I had a great season culminating in being a part of the Ironman in Kona on October 11, 2014. That day, during the race, I decided when I was done I would take a full year off the bike. I needed a break!
With no biking on the schedule for a year, I decided to make this my swim/run year. I ended up running 15 marathons, one was a PR and a Boston Qualifier, and swam almost 1,000,000 yards, including an open water 10K. It was also the first year I was 100% vegan for the entire year. I felt amazing and healthy and was recovering more quickly than I ever imagined. My time running and swimming definitely made up for my lack of cycling, and the bike break worked because I was excited to get back on the bike once my year was up!
That brings me to 2016. I had an amazing race season with several PRs including over an hour off my best ironman time in Ironman Boulder. I haven’t done as much overall mileage as 2013, but still trained about 20 hours a week and racing at least once every single week. I ended up doing over 50 races in 2016 and although I was 100% vegan all year again, I still struggled with portions and have to remind myself daily to eat more fruits and veggies.
I’m recapping the past 4 years to show you it hasn’t been my training or eating that has helped me lose 10 pounds this year. Only ONE thing is different this year from the past 4, and that is my hormones. I have been on some form of hormonal birth control since I was 18 years old. That means for 25 years I have had hormones pumping through my body.
On January 1, 2016, I decided to stop taking birth control. Within 2 months I could tell a difference in my body, physically and emotionally. And within 4 months I knew that stopping the birth control was making a difference in my energy level, mood, and weight. I would never take any hormonal birth control again.
Every woman has to do what is right for her own body and situation, I just wanted to share that this is what works for me. If someone I trusted would have told me this sooner, I would have stopped sooner, and possibly had less struggles with my weight over the past 20 years!
And if I haven’t told you lately, I am grateful you are part of my life!
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