My name is Christie, I’m 24 years old and live in Regional Victoria, Australia (however, I aspire to move to the city very soon). I’m originally from Melbourne, Australia but have lived in Regional Victoria for roughly 4 years. Currently I am full-time student majoring in Agricultural Science and Land Management at La Trobe Univeristy. I mention the university because it is probably the biggest factor in my transformation (I also previously did 2 years of a psychology degree, where I learnt about many cognitive processes behind health related behaviours). On the 1st of December 2013, I travelled to India as the Psychological Science Representative for Latrobe University with 9 other students of various science fields. I also travelled with an associate professor of biochemistry and stayed at 3 different universities within India; Chennai, Mysore and Ooty – for a total of 2 weeks. This was the most remarkable experience of my life for a multitude of reasons. At this point in my life I had finished a year of psychology (and absolutely loved it) but I had moved away from a toxic family situation that affected every aspect of my life for the better part of 22 years. In respect for myself and my family’s privacy I’m not going to go into detail, but my childhood was somewhat of a hell I endured due to substance abuse issues, mental health problems and emotional, physical and mental abuse my whole family was/is victim of. In 2009 I reconnected with my current partner, whom for all intents and purposes, is my family.He is my best friend whom was also victim of my toxic family situation for a time but always stood by me and supported me, no matter how horrible it got. We have been together for almost 6 years now but we have been through a fair bit now. But after I moved away from this toxic previous life I started to flourish in every way. I started to understand the idea of self-love. I started discover myself.
The past few years have been a mixed bag of negatives, positives and opportunties for growth. As I started to lose weight, I also started to address a lot of the issues that held me back from reaching my full potential. Initially, I was reasonable about the weight I needed to lose and started to lose the weight by eating healthier and exercising. I was determined to lose weight the healthy way. But all that pain underneath the weight was just waiting to be explored. I answered many unanswered questions about my identity and values, and in that I also suffered a mental breakdown. My mother was diagnosed with renal disease and cancer in one of her kidneys and I had just transferred to a new university course. This university course and weight loss become a focus that is difficult to describe. I wanted to excel… in everything. If I didn’t get the mark I wanted or demonstrated an acceptable performance I would punish myself by reducing my food intake. First it started slowly, over the duration of the first month I restricted from 1000 to 800 calories. By the third month I was eating 600 calories and working that off each day with 1 hour on my exercise bike. I lost a lot of weight, I lost a few kgs over my over my original goal weight. It became apparent to me that my eating habits had become very disordered. I was very suicidial and crippled by anxiety. I somehow managed to claw my way out of this hole, starting with making an appointment to see my doctor. Initially, I wasn’t keen on medication, as I had been on it before and didn’t help me. I starting seeing a counsellor and took responsibility for my life. It was a long hard road. At first the only reason I bothered to make an appointment was because my partner begged me. Now I wake up in the morning and realise how lucky I am that I didn’t follow through on my plans to end my life. I’ve been on medication for a little while now. I have addressed many of my food issues, although I still struggle everyday. That is the story behind my url, finding balance is my goal. Not weight loss. Not looking good. Not being the best. Finding a sustainable, balanced lifestyle that I can follow for the rest of my life.
When I first began my fitness journey I had just come back from a two week study tour to India. During that time lots of photos were taken and when I saw them I was shocked. “Sure I had put on weight but I couldn’t possible be that big…”, I was in huge denial. It took a couple of months before I started making changes. Not really enough to make a huge difference in my weight, but I guess it was a start. In April 2015, I went to the blood bank to donate blood and during my application I was weighed. 92kg flashed on the scale. I was horrified.From that moment I promised myself I would never see that number again. I started slowly but a little more momentum than last time. I knew absolutely nothing about nutrition, and I’m sure that was reflected in my physique. I was 32kgs overweight and this seemed like a huge task. I started to research using the internet, university resources and asking questions to gain as much knowledge as possible. It took me months to build up a base of knowledge and I’m still learning. I didn’t have money for a personal trainer or even workout clothes. I was a broke student living on McDonalds and cheese. So I started small – walking 20 mins each day, counting my calories and doing some strength training. I lost 15kg in my first 3 months. All of a sudden I started to enjoy being active. I enjoyed eating well and having energy. I did have a cheap gym membership for 3 months through my university and I was given an exercise plan – I still, to this day use that information as a reference for workouts. I absorbed all the information I could.I managed to lose 27kgs by this point, I only had a few more kilos to go and I was at my goal weight. Unfortunately, my life took a bit of a down turn and I started to restrict my calorie intake. I lost a further 10kg in those 3 months, but it wasn’t healthy and my body composition suffered. After some treatment for my anxiety disorder and depression I came back out the other side a little wiser. I always try to find my own lesson in every experience, and from this I learnt so much. I discovered who my real supporters were. I found my strengths and more importantly my weaknesses. I learnt to accept them and use them to my advantage. I’m an action oriented person. I want something I go get it. I wanted see how campaign projects were run – I entered the La Trobe Leadership program and collaborated with students to run a domestic violence campaign. I wanted to go overseas – I applied for a university program to go to India. I wanted be more educated – I applied and completed TAFE and university courses. I wanted to lose weight and increase my quality of life – I studied up on it and I lost 34kg. It does come with a cost. Sometimes I don’t realise I have limits and I burn myself out, I over-reach. I think a lot people struggle with this and I made this Tumblr to not only keep myself accountable and interact with some of the most awesome people in the world and fitness community, but I also thought that maybe I could help someone else who is/has gone through a similar journey to me. I hope that I can provide a little reassurance that it gets better. I’m a firm believer in being the change you want to see in the world. I think that if we are more open about our food and body issues then we place ourselves in a better position to support others also struggling with these issues. I believe that holistic health – mind, body and emotions, is the key to self-actualisation.
I can guarantee that you, reading this right now, have this amazing mind, full of ideas that are different from the person next you. You have ideas that no one else could think of because you have seen perspectives that no one else could possibly comprehend. You are amazing and the best version of you – is the healthiest version of you.
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Categories: Before & After Weight Loss Stories