Danielle Martin Before and After
3 years ago, I got the scare I needed to realise that something needed to change. I was having health problems, mainly heart related, due to my weight and it was affecting my life. I was still young and this should not be happening to me. I shouldn’t be missing out on all the things my friends were doing just because I couldn’t control what I was eating. I was an emotional eater, and that needed to change.
I started small. I cut out junk, processed foods and stopped getting takeaways. I gave up alcohol for 6 months (which really helped kick start the weight loss) and I started cooking everything from scratch. I had never really cooked before, I was just putting things in the oven, or turning the microwave on. I started buying fresh foods, some I had never tried or even heard of before. I changed the taste of things with herbs and spices, rather than covering it with fatty sauces and I discovered a love of cooking. I actually became pretty good at it. After 6 months, of not really trying, but just cooking more healthily, I had lost 40lbs. I hit a plateau at that point and I knew I had to kick it up a gear, and that meant exercise.
Again, I started slowly, as I knew that I couldn’t just head out and run a 5K. I got a Wii Fit and did some gentle yoga everyday. Not only was it stretching my muscles, ones I didn’t even know I had, but it was relaxing me too. It was great for my mental health and that was something that really helped with my emotional eating. I then started going swimming too. It is a gentle exercise that doesn’t put too much pressure on your joints, which is perfect if you are overweight, and it is a brilliant cardio workout. I moved out of the plateau and the weight started coming off again. I then needed more, so I started going to the gym, picked up a few workout classes. With Zumba and step aerobics and with a LOT of hard work and dedication, I reached my goal in February 2011 – in time for my wedding in May. It wasn’t easy. There were times when I wanted to give up, and times when I did give up and ate too much, but I never let one bad day turn into a bad week. I always got straight back on the wagon. No matter how tough it got though, I always kept my goal in sight, and that was improved health. With each pound, I could breathe better. When I reached my goal, I felt amazing, like a different person.
The battle did not stop there. I have been maintaining my weight since then (up and down a few lbs here and there) and I truly think that is the hardest part. I can never eat whatever I want all the time, as I will put on weight so much quicker than other people, because of how much I have lost. That doesn’t mean I don’t treat myself, I do, but I still have a structured exercise routine to burn it all off and I eat clean 95% of the time.
I started this HungryHealthyHappy website and the Facebook page back in June. I wanted to help other people who are in the same situation. The recipes on this site are all about healthier alternatives to the foods I love. So, healthier cakes, and healthier alternatives to takeaways play a big part.
It isn’t just about weight loss, it is about making lifestyle changes so you can be healthier. That includes eating better and exercising more. This website and the Facebook page keeps me on track and it allows me to pass on all of the things I have learnt along the way. If you ever have anything to ask me, just head to the Facebook page and post on the wall or go to the contact section of my website.
Credits: This has been written by Danielle Martin. You can find her at the HungryHealthyHappy website or her Facebook page.
You may want to view: Ketna’s Ayurvedic Cooking Class