The start of my journey – Yo-yo dieting, eating disorders & why I weight train

As a kid & early teen I was always “the chubby one”. My parents called it big boned, but I later realized we just had horrible diet habits! Coming from a Spanish family, eating is a passion and it is easy to indulge too much in yummy food without understanding what it does to your body. Instead, the majority of the family always went on trending diets; we tried Atkins, McKenna, Weight Watchers, Cambridge, Nutrilett, GI, LCHF, 5:2, Danska Rikshospitalets Diet (wtf?!), Juicing/Detoxing. Yeah, pretty much any trend diet people on this planet have made up.

Picture of teen Johanna & mother in Spain

That’s how it went – we indulged and we dieted. Think we ever achieved our “goal weight”? Sure! Sometimes. Think we ever kept our “goal weight”? Never! Some family members are STILL yoyo-ing to this day, and I myself have not landed at a place where I feel I am happy and comfortable in my own body.

Because that’s just the thing, once we start living like this it is so insanely difficult to have a healthy relationship towards food. I mean, how can we? We have never ever even had the thought that food ISN’T BAD (yup, that’s right) but that it’s the way we treat it that is bad! We have eaten with our eyes and with the short-sighted illusion that there’s no tomorrow, only that tomorrow always comes and then we regret the whole thing, stress the f out because “we’ve done it again” and then we choose whatever diet is most talked about during that time, read all the bullsh*t articles about how great it is & how FAST we will lose weight (and usually need to spend our money on something for it) and so we start the self-torture…

After a few weeks of that, we have then restricted ourselves from certain foods only to crave those exact ones even MORE and so create such a bad understanding, never once thinking that food itself isn’t the issue, food is there to fuel our bodies & as an extra way to enjoy life – It’s our own self-control & decision-making.

Just as I was “the chubby one” my parents also got me into Aerobics class when I was little (probably as a way for me to move my tush more without the need to diet since I was too young for that – good thinking, parents! Really 😊). I don’t think I’ve ever seen a before-and-after picture of me during this time, showing that aerobics class actually worked during my teenage years, but I am sure it did something and I am thankful my parents realized I needed to move more! Better than nothing. The main thing was that it created a good habit to get out and move my body, to have fun & meet other people while doing it.

A few years later I thankfully also found the gym & weight training. I believe my older sister was already a frequent “gymmer” and she introduced me to a few machines and exercises. I remember being inspired by seeing so many different people there – no matter what size, age, color or history. All there to work on themselves. It looked hard! But it didn’t look impossible. I kept going back a few times and then I was hooked. I loved gymming/weight training and for a few years I did it frequently. I didn’t know exactly what I was doing but I found some new exercises here and there, inspired by my sister as well, and I just kept going.

However, keeping a habit for a long time was hard and having the past experience of always yo-yoing also kept boundaries in my mind; I kept falling back into old habits & not pushing through the road bumps and I kept falling back into the “quick fix diets”. As expected, I got tired of it and then ate my way up the scale again and so the yo-yoing has kept going… And that’s the thing, I have always been either on top of my workout routine but still not understanding the power of food, or just been completely off and having a “f*ck it” period – no balance.

It has been the last couple of years that I have found some role models promoting living a balanced lifestyle that has boosted me to keep going to the gym. It’s also inspired me to start changing my perspective towards food. It is not a certain “look” that I’m after (although, it is of course nice to not be “the chubby one” anymore), but this is more about being proud of seeing the work I put in! (More of that in another post 😉) It’s about learning how working out and eating balanced makes me feel, both mentally and physically.

This is about actually feeling strong and building confidence and self-belief. Feeling like my knees do not hurt when walking in stairs or when I squat. That I CAN squat! I can lift heavy things and not pull my back out. I can push or even hold things over my head, like heavy boxes on top of a drawer. I can get back up from the toilet seat or the couch without needing the help of my hands. And the best one yet – not needing a “strong helping hand” from a guy 😉👊 “THX DUDE, I’VE GOT THIS!”

So, I finally got tired of the way I’ve done it pretty much my whole life and I started to realize that I am worth more than this. I decided to learn more and study to become a personal trainer & nutrition coach so that I can help myself, my partner & others like myself – really anyone who wants to find a healthy balance!
That’s where I am at right now and this blog will follow my journey, but this motto is what I will keep in my mind;
To help other women like me & how I have felt (searching, unhappy, uncomfortable and with no confidence) to find their way with health & beauty, help them feel like their true self & like they can do anything in life. The world needs more empowered women!

We get a new chance every day! Well, until we don’t. Let’s start treating ourselves with more love & less judgment ❤️ It’s time to own it. #initforthelongrun

Much love, strength & happiness,