I started this year around 90-something kilos [this was already not ideal for me, and it wasn’t about appearances, but I genuinely felt so unhealthy at 90-something kg’s]. By mid-year? I was 100.1 kilograms, and I was barely able to walk up stairs without feeling so legitimately puffed out, I was asthmatic, I was type 2 diabetic [recently diagnosed], I was … feeling like I was drowning in my own overweight’ness [not a word, but let’s roll with this for the purposes of this non-scholarly blog post].
We’d have branded photo shoots, and photos would roll into Dropbox, and I’d look at me without recognising it was me and think, “who is this person?!” … but it was me. I can’t describe the disappointment of that realisation, every time it was realised, and by July this year? This was many, many times.
I knew I was overweight, but the thing is, when you’re putting make-up on for work in the morning, you hold your face up to apply the foundation correctly etc. and I guess for me, I probably didn’t realise that I was rapidly clocking up x4 chins. I’d never know it when I was putting make-up on in the mornings, but I’d see it when we got photos back from our photographer etc. [and it was these moments I used to think, I actually don’t know how to turn this around].
The craziest part? … I was 69kg’s when TDP began just x5 years ago, and so in this blog post, I want to break down some of the key reasons I now know entrepreneurship has [dramatically] impacted my weight, and then I’ll finish off by letting you know what I did to overcome it all [let’s be real, that’s likely another blog post within itself].
Reason #1 – The startup years will f*ck you, if you let them. And I did. Jesus. Pumped with adrenalin, I went into TDP’s first year with a rose-coloured-glasses-approach to how I felt I was going to tackle that first year of all work / zilch pay, and it was with 80-90 hour working weeks. Spoiler alert? All o’ that adrenalin, minimal sleep, poor nutritional choices [because of a lack of time, and money], reaching for sugar at 10pm because you are so tired but just-need-to-finish-that-somethin’-somethin’, well it uh … doesn’t end well.
In that first year? I’m pretty sure I went from 69kg’s to 79kg’s, which sounds like a lot, but for me being as tall as I am? It was barely noticeable, and a super slow way to gain weight without really realising it.
Year one. Literally, the first 3’ish months of TDP. 69kg’s.
Reason #2 – Cortisol. Tying back into the startup year f*cking me? Let’s talk about cortisol, because by the end of year 1, I was pumped with stress-induced cortisol. You can eat a fairly healthy diet, and exercise fairly regularly, but if your body is literally coursing with cortisol, I wish you all the luck in the world losing weight.
Spoiler alert? It’s almost physically impossible, and my cortisol levels were just climbing by this point. I was – at this point – trying to improve my diet, and I signed up for a rigorous personal training schedule, but nothing was shifting and deep down? … I knew it was cortisol [even my personal trainer said, you’ll need to address your stress levels if you want to move the needle on your weight loss story, and she was right].
Reason #3 – Second year sadness. Like, epic sadness. By this point? I was so genuinely alone in this business. I was coming up against some pretty aggressive [and also really sneaky] bullying [the type of bullying that has you questioning yourself, and your sanity, and looking to others as if to say … “did you just see that?!”]. I actually can’t put into words how desperately unhappy I was. If anyone asked something as simple as “how are you?”, I’d legitimately have to blink away tears.
That second year in business? … it was like being in a prison, but like … gaffer-taped, because I couldn’t say a GD-thing.
So what did I do instead? I turned to food. Fully fledged comfort eating. And I’ll spoiler alert again for you all, but what began as comfort eating, spiralled into legitimate binge eating [I’m talking … hiding-food-in-your-bedroom-away-from-your-husband kinda binge eating].
It took about a year to progress from comfort eating, to binge eating, but Jesus … once you’re in binge-town? You genuinely think you’re on the verge of Elvis-Presley’ing yourself, lemme tell you.
Reason #4 – More cortisol. Sleep deprivation. Constant stress. Frequent interstate travel [sounds glam. but I promise it’s nothing more than the exhaustion of multiple flights, sh*tty airport food, uber eats on arrival at your hotel, and waking up every hour overnight worried you’ll miss the strategy day with xyz client the next day, ha!]. Poor nutritional choices. Zilch time to prepare healthy meals. Looking [desperately] for “quick” options.
etc. etc. etc.
Number 4? Pretty much an accumulation of business ownership, and reasons 1-3, tbh.
This snap was at my tipping point, 100.1kg’s.
Guys? I look around and I see this story unfolding everywhere. I literally see it with my own eyes. I watch business owners on IG stories talking about working a late one, and ordering in Uber Eats and I think, “yep, that was me too”. I hear business owners in IG stories talking about the same things I experienced, i.e “man, I just cannot keep this creeping weight off”, and I know they’re at the start of it all like I was where it feels slow and creepy at the start … and then you’re x4 years in > looking at photos that have landed into Dropbox > genuinely unable to recognise that this is actually you.
My advice from someone who went from 69kg’s to 100.1kg’s in x5 years?
Slow down. Respect your body. Respect your adrenals. Put yourself to bed early as much as possible [sleep is so good for weight control!]. Don’t overextend yourself. Don’t say yes, when you know you should be saying no. If something or someone is making you sad? Don’t turn to comfort food, turn to a really good counsellor [believe me, you can spiral from comfort eating to binge eating fast, or at least … that was my experience]. I remember tucking into donuts thinking, “showed them!” [in reference to my bully], but Jesus … I wasn’t showing anyone anything.
The legitimate key? Smaller [healthier] portions. A well-rested business owner. Adrenals in check. And for me? The kind of exercise I’ll be returning to will be something that supports my ab.so.lute adrenal burnout, before I hit the gruelling “drop and give me 20” kinda stuff, tbh.
First I recover from adrenal fatigue … then I drop and give someone 20, ha!
Me today. Diabetes-free. Happier. Healthier. 75kg’s, and probably 6kg’s off my goal weight.
I’ll post next week re: how I dealt with recognising my weight gain, and what I did to turn it all around, but p.s? I’m still not “there” yet, however I am also happily far away from 100.1kg’s, and it’s somewhere I never want to be again.
Not because of the number on the scale, honestly … but because of how it made me feel [which was sh*t!].