I have been exercising like a madman since I weighed in at 273 pounds at 14 years old. Last week I weighed in at 197. Only took 18 years...

I am now a well practiced martial artist capable of teaching multiple styles of Tai Chi, one style of Karate, and tons of self defense skills.

I am also a well versed in Orange Theory Fitness style classes; similar to Crossfit without the Olympic lifts and extreme exertions.

I have completed a few foot races, some swimming races and a Spartan Race.

I am open to any questions.

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When I turned 50 I had a t-shirt made up that read "It has only taken me 50 years to look this good!!" Two years later my BMI is still 23.

I do a min of 10k steps each day (Fitbit Charge 2) often over 20k and I run 5k twice a week with a longer run on Sunday's (after Sunday School of course).

I just did the washing up after my evening meal......one "Nutribullet" container....!

I am the "lazy one" in my family. One of my brothers swims over 20K each week, the other does marathons and Iron Man triathlons (4k swim,180k cycle, full marathon). All my nieces and nephews will have their Black belts by the age of 18.

I have recently started taking the 5k seriously and found that cycling 20k (about 45 minutes) every other day (on a static bike at home watching TV news) is improving my running times.

I was always extremely athletic growing up. I used to be a competitive figure skater, ice dancer, and pairs competitor. I was into swimming, cross country, volleyball.....the list goes on. If it was a sport I played it and loved it....

As a teenager I fell into addiction - severe addiction - and at the age of 18 I slowly started to gain weight. Everything got substantially worse as I started drinking...then I got married, had a baby, had a C-Section, and fell into depression - my husband - unsupportive - time for exercise - non-existent...So...yeah. I gained a lot of weight. I gained even more weight as I took anti-depressant medicine for almost a year following a hard divorce...

I what I found is that I HAD to address my trauma - first. There really was no way to fully recover and lead a healthy lifestyle physically if I was not OK mentally.

I'm now involved in an intense program with my therapist to address how food became a coping mechanism that substituted for what was previously marijuana and alcohol. The process is slow.

I've focused my food habits on simply trying to eat the most nutritious food possible. I make meals that are between 300-400 calories each and try to make them with the highest nutrient content possible. And I eat these small meals throughout the day. It's way cheaper preparing ahead. I try to eat at least one new vegetable a week, and experiment with at least one new recipe to try new things on a regular basis. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Eliminating sugar from my diet has made the most difference. And I've become totally addicted to homemade kale chips!!!! AND...I LOVE making corn tortillas from home from SCRATCH - yeah! I do the whole nixtamalizacion process and grind it up in a mocajete - the ONLY way to eat corn tortillas!!! Mexican food healthy style!!!

Anyway...and I work out every day to some capacity whether it be swimming, rowing, walking...lifting weights....

I am still work in progress.....

It took almost 17 years to get out of shape - I'm hoping it will only take a few years to reverse the damage of years of abuse!!!!

Sounds like you went through an ordeal or two, to say the least.

Congratulations on getting your diet in order. I exercised for years, but was lax on the diet side. Only after my roommate/best friend and I supported each other was I able to drop 80 pounds over 2 years.

Real quick, my only two diet rules (maybe this will help someone confused by the myriad of diets):

1) Avoid Nutrition Labels; buy fresh food and prepare it yourself (reduces sugar, salt and oil additives)

2) You still have a life to live; if rule 1 is unavoidable, choose the best thing possible (lots of $12 salads when I go out)

Again, great job on improving yourself Belle.

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