Whole30 Spotlight: The Weight of the World – A Glimpse Into What’s Eating Maranda Lee
I was born into this world weighing 7 lbs 5 oz, an average size baby. I was fed soy based formula because I was unable to tolerate breast milk, so my struggle with food began at birth. I grew up in a home where you ate everything on your plate and that was usually some hamburger h
High school was a time of being 100% active in every sport that was offered year round, and eating anything and everything I wanted to because I was a “healthy” size 00 and weighed just shy of 98 lbs. Around the age of 15 my parents got a divorce. I found cigarettes, alcohol and not so good friends. All of this led to a disease called anorexia. I got down to just below 85 lbs by eating one piece of toast for breakfast, riding my bike for 25 miles and rollerblading for 5-6 miles every day and finishing up with a Gatorade for dinner. These choices awarded me a nice little hospital stay to get my head on straight and my weight and life back in order.
At age 16 I met my wonderful husband and I wed him at the young age of 17. Add the stress of being a young, naïve and broke couple to the worries of a girl with food issues, and then tack on a first time pregnancy at 19. I used pregnancy as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted, and for 2 people. I gained 72 lbs with my first pregnancy (I was on bed rest for the last 2 months, not that that is any excuse). With breast feeding and cycling I was able to get my weight down to 164lbs in time to be pregnant with my second child. I started gaining weight with her as quickly as I did with my son and realized I was going to hit 200 before it was said and done. I started eating a little healthier towards the end and weighed in at 199 when she was born. After Kaitlyn I tried Atkins, weigh down workshop, starvation, and counting calories to try and take care of my eating disorders, love of food and weight issues. All of them were successful in their own ways, but I always managed to throw the weight right back on and usually a few extra pounds to boot.
Bring on middle age, and a comfortable marriage and lifestyle. About 5 years ago I weighed about 215lbs and I was trying to climb in the back of my husband’s lifted Chevy pickup. I tried and tried and I did not have the strength to pull myself up into the back of the truck. The next morning I was driving to work and I heard an ad on the radio for a boot camp challenge called “Biggest Winner” at a gym called Next Level Fitness Academy (which would eventually become CrossFit Springfield). It was like a sign from God. I filled out the application and so began the CrossFit and healthy eating journey that I have been on for the last 5 years. May God bless Jessi, Jeremy and Mel for coming into my life at the right time.
I gave everything I had at that boot camp and I got stronger and lost 25lbs. I also found my love for boxing during that time. We all know that life happens and over those 5 years I have struggled with smoking and allowing food to control me emotionally. I have stuck to boxing and CrossFit off and on for that time, but it wasn’t until October of last year that I really started to tackle the food demons. In September of 2012, I weighed in at my heaviest weight ever: 223lbs. I was in a bad point in my marriage, my job and my life and I needed to get it figured out. I was 36 years old for heaven’s sake! How long could I let things control me instead of me controlling my life??? I quit smoking and I committed myself to the Whole30 way of life (Thank you to Elizabeth and Robin for coming into my life at the right time). During that W30 I had an epiphany. I was driving past a Sonic and I thought, “ I really want a tots and cheese”. I could cheat and eat it and no one would know. That was when a little voice inside of me said, “you would know.”
This whole time the only person I had been cheating by smoking and eating this way was me. How was I ever going to get out of the black hole of overeating if I couldn’t even trust myself to take care of me? It was such an eye opener for me! Since then I have completed several W30s and committed myself to myself! I took a few vacations over that time and fell off the wagon a bit, but I knew that getting back on the W30 wagon was what was best for me and my body.
I no longer let food control me. I have been cigarette free for 11 months, I am at the gym WODing 3-4 times a week, doing some kind of boxing training 2x’s a week, and training for the MS150 2-3 times a week on my bike. I choose what I put in my body not by emotion, but knowing how it will make me feel. Do I still have pizza and cheesecake? Of course I do, but it is because I am in a good place and I know that one piece of cheesecake, eaten for the right reasons, won’t kill me. I am down to 175lbs which is the lightest I have been since I was pregnant with my now 14 year old daughter. I am in this for the long haul. I know I will stumble along the way, but I have the tools, the support and the attitude to continue this journey for the rest of my life.