"I’ve always been the athletic one in my family. Of course, growing up in America for nearly 10 years makes you extremely competitive in high school sports. To make a long story short about my very short lived athletic career, when I was 14 years old I tore my ACL and meniscus which resulted in me being the slowest girl on every sports team. Everything changed after that. I went to sports camp after sports camp, and signed up for every fast twitch muscle/power building programs I could find and I was still just slow. I felt like I had lost my identity, everything that I ever did had to do with sports, and now that I wasn’t a goal scorer, everything was different. Two years later I graduated high school a little bit heavier than I would have liked, but was motived to slim down for university.
Now don’t’ get me wrong, University was great. The usual happened, some good grades (some bad grades), parties, exams, and an eating disorder. From the ages of 18-24 I had an eating disorder that literally took over my life. I didn’t look as lean as I was in high school, because I was moving less and wasn’t playing sports anymore. Food became the enemy, and I never enjoyed it or being around it. The feeling of being full scared the shit out of me. Not eating “perfectly”, going out for ice cream, having a potluck dinner, losing control of any eating situation scared the shit out of me. After a couple years of help, it definitely got better, but the one thing I still didn’t understand was what the heck was I supposed to be eating then? I knew I could have anything I wanted, but I was still quite active and truly do believe in living a healthy lifestyle but no one was telling me how to eat.
I’m obviously writing about my fat loss experience, but you needed the background of my knee injury as well as my food struggles for story purposes. I met Paul about 8 months ago, and was recommended to him by a good friend of mine, Eric (who is very good at writing these things so I feel the pressure). I had obviously seen the amazing results that Eric was getting, and was curious. I thought I knew a lot about health and fitness. I mean, I did take health and physical education at University. Eat less, move more, right? So, I was eating 1200-1400 calories a day, drinking way too many processed low calorie protein shakes, exercising 6 days a week doing F45, and sometimes weights after. I also forgot to mention that I am on my feet 10 hours a day working at a café. I was at 77kg, and I’m 5’5. I came to Paul waving my health and fitness white flag. I was exhausted, hungry, grumpy, and chubby (the worst combo). Paul immediately put up my calories to almost double and gave me a pretty simple weights program that I was to follow 4 times a week for 2 weeks. I have never felt so full in my entire life, but man did I feel great! After only three days of following Paul’s plan, I seriously never felt better in my life. I was eating whole foods, zero protein shakes, sleeping 8 hours and waking up feeling energized. Fast forward two weeks, and I had lost 5kg by EATING MORE AND EXERCISING LESS.
I thought the next 8 months was going to be this easy. I thought 2 weeks later, another 5kgs. Pft easy. Next check-in was another 2kgs, which I was still excited about. December, I switched jobs, which I know on paper doesn’t sound very stressful, but when you have a visa is it. January, I lost my job, which sounds stressful on and off paper. These two months were months of sleepless nights, and an extremely high stress time in my life. If you know me, you know I don’t get that stressed out, so this was very different for me. My weight wasn’t going anywhere even though we had reduced my calories. It seemed like nothing was working out. I was sitting at roughly 71kg and it wouldn’t budge. I wasn’t cheating on my eating, I wasn’t sneaking chocolate into my meal plan, and I was still very determined on losing fat. If this didn’t happen to me personally, I would have never known how important sleep and stress levels are for fat loss. February came around, got my old job back, started taking melatonin to help my sleeping patterns get back to normal, and of course, started to lose fat again. Now I thought, I am definitely on track again!
March was a great month minus the crippling back injury, kidney stone, and glandular fever. So it turns out, you can’t lift weights for up to 6 weeks when you have glandular fever or your kidneys will explode. I also sprained my sacral joint (aka my butt), so I didn’t exercise in total for roughly two months. I thought FOR SURE I was going to gain weight. How can you lose fat while not exercising am I right? Paul put me on very doable calories (just over 1800) to eat every day, and of course, I still lost fat. I’m sure Paul doesn’t want me to tell you to not exercise, but here I am (living proof) that probably about 80% of losing fat is diet. You always hear that everywhere, but to see it for myself makes it real. The only thing I really have to say about the kidney stone is that I hope you never have one.
It is now the middle of May, and I am obviously still 5’5, but I am now 67kg, and probably around 19% body fat. I am eating more than I ever thought I could, while being as lean as I’ve ever been (minus eating disorder years). I can easily say that Paul changed my entire life. Paul taught me how to eat smart in social settings, and gave me the tools to even roughly maintain my body fat percentage on vacation. The greatest lesson I have learned so far is that eating healthy doesn’t have to suck, you don’t have to starve yourself to lose fat, and EVERYTHING IN MODERATION."