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Lost It: Pamela's Healthy Habits Have Kept The Weight Off For 7 Years

Without A Gym Or A Diet, She Lost 30 Pounds With Healthy Habits

Occupation: Marketing/communications

City: Ottawa, Ont.

Age: 35

By The Numbers: Heaviest weight was 150 at age 25; now 120 at age 35; total weight loss of 30 pounds

The Weight Gain: I was scrawny as a kid, and mocked for it. In my early teens, I put on weight on purpose to make people stop teasing me, but then dropped it quite dramatically on an unhealthy calorie reduction diet. I realize that 150 lbs on my height (5'7") is a very healthy weight for many people, but on my tiny frame, it was causing problems.

The weight gain started in earnest during university. I was dormant and spent most of my time seated. I was poor, so I was eating a very junky diet. Then I had a work-from-home job for two years after graduating, which is when I gained most of the additional pounds.

Final Straw: I began working in a new job, and within my team of four, there was a multi-time Ironman and multi-time marathoner who had began running only at age 50. I was much younger than them, yet in the worst health. I was 25 years old, sluggish, struggling to stay awake, and experiencing frequent muscle spasms.

Also, my cousin who was like a sister to me passed away in 2006 of breast cancer at the age of 31. It made me realize how fragile and precious our health actually is.

It was around this time that I decided to become vegan after a few years of eating a very dairy intensive diet. To ease my transition I decided to let myself eat whatever I wanted, as long it was vegan. One day I did a calculation and realized that I had eaten 1,400 calories worth of dessert in one evening. I was out of control.

I realized at the ripe age of 25, my habits were not serving me well, and that I should feel a lot better than I was feeling. In fact, I don’t think the objective should ever be losing weight. The objective should be to develop good habits that result in a stronger, happier and healthier you. If weight loss results, so be it. It was one of the side effects for me, along with about a million other physical and mental benefits that accompany good health and fitness habits.

The Plan of Attack: I didn’t join an international weight loss program, or even a local one. I didn’t join a gym even. I didn’t start eating foods that are known to “blast fat,” or eliminate gluten. I didn’t start dropping my paycheque on superfoods, and I didn’t participate in a single detox or cleanse.

It was changing my diet and exercise habits, and keeping them changed. I overhauled my life, with the goal of setting a positive example of a healthy and happy vegan.

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