Hidden Demons

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here is a glimpse of how a weight loss journey progresses from one step to the next. Sometimes they are small steps with life-changing results.  I wrote this in 2006 and although I’ve learned more about health and myself since then, much of it is exactly how I still feel today. All except the one big lie I was still believing…

Back when I had my first health-related epiphany, companies didn’t have to post their caloric content for all to see. So you have no excuses now!

***

Flashback.

My twins are eight months old.  I walk into Starbucks and am about to indulge in my daily fix of a soy caramel machiatto and an oat fudge bar.  As I walk up to the counter I see that two of the employees are discussing the nutritional binders that they’re holding. I casually ask if they can tell me how many calories are in the oat fudge bar.

Little did I know, that one little question was about to change my life.

She replies with “hmmm…an oat fudge bar…let’s see…in an oat fudge bar, there are 460 calories.”

460 CALORIES!

At this point, I don’t know much about calories but I did know that my suggested daily intake for my pre-pregnancy weight (when exercising three times a week) was around 1800. And I was most certainly not exercising three times a week anymore.

460 CALORIES!

And I’m having one of these every day, with a latte, AS A SNACK!

The math started whirling in my mind and suddenly I’m staring the hard, cold truth in the face.  I’ve been devouring a 800 calorie snack — nearly half of my daily intake…in one coffee break.

Look past my well-placed forearm and you can see the extra 30 pounds of fat I was carrying back in 2006. Pregnancy aside, my habits were not helping the situation!

The past year of post-pregnancy started to flood my mind.  All the times I stood in front of the mirror feeling like a failure, or feeling like I was in somebody else’s body and not my own — it all came rushing back to me.  All the times I said to myself “it’s just the baby weight, it’s gotta come off eventually”, circled around and around in my head. NO WONDER! I’ve been so ignorant! Why didn’t I think of this sooner?

And so it started. I became one of those crazy dieting lunatics that reads every product label and keeps a food journal.  In fact, I started logging every calorie in an online program that made it simple to see my protein, fat and carb breakdown. Oh how I love you, sweet internet.

That day in Starbucks revolutionized how I view my body and my health. It made me realize that we women fool ourselves far too often into thinking that we can never be that skinny. Or that our bodies were just not made to be that thin.  Yes, we all have different body types and my curvy hourglass figure could never be my little sister’s shape (edit: Ha! SCRATCH THAT. Just blew open yet another lie I had been telling myself for years) but it doesn’t mean that I can just blame it on being “big-boned” while pretending to be content with my size 12 self.

So I walked out of that Starbucks with no oat fudge bar. And a plain tea instead of a latte. And six months later, I’ve yet to have an oat fudge bar and I rarely indulge in a fancy drink. And I’m not a size 12 anymore. Within four weeks of just curbing that one little habit, I lost ten inches and almost two dress sizes. Now, I’m on my way to kicking the final ten pounds and hey, maybe even another five or so just for fun.

EDIT: At the time of writing this, I was 150 pounds.  Little did I know that making those small but knowledgable changes to my lifestyle and diet would not only drop those final ten pounds (to my pre-pregnancy weight) but kick another 20 in the teeth. So now you know — you can do it, too!!

2010: Healthy, fit, and loving life!

Domestically Yours,
Natasha Kay

8 thoughts on “Hidden Demons

  1. Erin Philps says:

    That’s so encouraging Tasha…just changing that one thing had such a HUGE impact in such a short space of time! It’s true that many of the delights Starbucks has to offer are beyond “rich”. They’ll readily whip that book out though and tell you anything you want to know. After working there, I know just how easy it is to have a bit here, a bit there and before you know, the pants you bought when you started working there are in need of replacing…and not from being worn out!

    What online program do you use? Now that I work at home I eat way less but I’m actually not sure I eat regularly enough. I’ve been meaning to start a journal but having it calculated would be better than the little notebook I was thinking of.

    • Natasha says:

      It’s one of the great things for people who have a lot of weight to lose — it doesn’t take much for that weight to start melting off! Of course, once you get to a peak fitness range, it involves a LOT more than just cutting back!

      I used fitday.com when I first started in 2006. Now I use fatsecret.com but I have friends who swear by sparkpeople.com. They’re all very “American” in their databases so you have to learn to maneuver a bit…but once you do, it’s awesome. And now, they have smart phone apps (at least fatsecret.com does — not sure about the others) so I literally input everything I eat right then and there. And, you can even scan barcodes for an instant add. Super easy. Very informative.

      I stopped food journaling once I got my lifestyle to a healthy place and knew a lot about the caloric content of foods — but when my body started acting up a few months ago, I started again and found out that I was seriously under-eating and not getting near enough protein. I reintroduced poultry to my vegetarian diet and started eating more. I immediately felt more energized and started losing the last few pounds that I couldn’t shake from our Spain vacation. So now I food journal to not only keep me focused but also to keep me healthy!

  2. Kaylee Norton says:

    I always used the excuse “I’m big boned”, “I have a large frame”, I’m just compact”… yeah, compact because I loved working out with weights. But the “big boned” was an outright lie!

    It’s amazing the excuses we make and don’t even realize it!

    • Natasha says:

      I hate excuses! Especially because I realize now what a prison they are. We imprison ourselves by believing that our excuses are the real reason behind our inability to achieve better health when really, it’s all a facade. But I suppose you can apply that to anything in life. Those who achieve their full potential tend to face their fears head on.

  3. Jake Carte says:

    strangely enough, i remember this post, lol
    and i did the math…

    Let say you had your machiatto and oat fudge bar 5 times a week x 800 calories = 4, 000 calories! (there are 3500 calories in one pound)
    This means you pack on an easy 5 POUNDS a month!!!
    and lets be honest people…the calories are straight up fat and suger (6 g of fat and 40 g sugar in the soy machiatto + 14 g fat and 42 g sugar!!! = 20 grams of fat and EIGHTY grams of sugar (HALF A CUP!!!)

    • Natasha says:

      Woah! Crazy when you break it out like that, right?! Isn’t it amazing when you actually start to really look at what we’re eating?! I shake my head at my younger myself a lot these days! 🙂

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