I’m Bailey. I grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis and had your standard, run-of-the-mill upbringing. One thing made me different than everyone else, however. I was always the biggest. Ever since I can remember I was the biggest kid in class, biggest girl in the group and soon I grew up into always being the biggest person in the room. I remember being a size 12 in women’s jeans in 6th grade and 230 pounds in 10th. I tipped the scales at 293 pounds at the time I decided I needed to get my health under control. I was binge eating, having joint pain, crappy sleeping patterns, shortness of breath and a general lack of enthusiasm for my life (and I mean really, what healthy 22 year old has ankle pain when they get out of bed in the morning? Clue #23238534 that I needed help). That was April of 2015, at 22 years old. I was also in nursing school and working in a hospital. I realized I was in school learning to care for patients yet neglecting to care for myself. I felt hypocritical being at work helping patients, a lot of them who are there due to lifestyle choices, get better while I was making myself sicker by the day and headed right for the bed they’re in. Almost two years later, I’m down 125 pounds and have finally started living a life I’m designing for myself – not one where I’m held back from experiences because of my size and poor overall health.
Baaaack up a second. How did you do that?
Oh hey, good question. One day in early April of that year, I made the two block walk into work from the parking ramp to the hospital. Out of breath and sweaty by the end of it, as usual, but this time I felt a sharp pain in my chest. Every once in a while I would get this, but this time it was enough to jolt me into action. The fact that I had become accustomed to feeling heart-attack like symptoms was terrifying. I began researching sustainable ways to get my health in-check. Then, like some divine intervention from the universe, my best friend told me about this thing her hairstylist (of all people, right?) was doing. The Whole30. Intrigued, we bought the books Whole30 and It Starts With Food. You can read more about my experience and reviews of them here.
After successfully completing my first Whole30, I had dropped 22lbs and honest-to-goodness never felt better. My sleep was amazing. My energy was that of a 12 year old after downing a dozen pixi-stix. I was getting shit DONE, man. My clothes fit better. I had quit smoking. Hell, I was even nicer to people. I know, I know, you’re thinking, “she’s already crazy super nice, how could that be?” But I swear, everything about life was just.. clearer.
And I ain’t even bein’ over dramatic.
After those glorious 30 days, I knew I needed to keep going. I had caught a glimpse of how good I could feel and realized how downright awful I felt before. Funny, huh? You don’t even realize how bad you feel until you see how you should feel. I used to use my days off in between work being a bum and “recovering” from my work week. During that month I had the energy to actually use my time off as, well, time off to DO things and not sit on the couch, too physically and mentally exhausted to do anything with my time. I saw myself having the opportunity to have a life that wasn’t centered around when my next meal or nap would be. I took it.
Paleo Bailey’s Recipes
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