Change in eating habits: She was tested for food intolerances. “Some of my food sensitivities made absolute sense, whereas others came as a bit of a surprise,” Garwacki said. “Getting in the habit of constantly eating measured proportions wasn’t easy, but I was lucky to be working from home. I’m the type of person that gets engrossed in work and forgets to eat lunch, so having to pause in order to grab a snack or eat my lunch was surprisingly therapeutic.”
Camila’s steps to change:
- Make new habits: “I made a habit of going on daily walks around my neighborhood while listening to podcasts or audiobooks, and it’s one of my favorite things to do.”
- Finding the fit: “It took a while, but we eventually tried all the different dairy and gluten alternatives in order to find which dupes we liked best — food should never feel like a chore.”
Exercise routine: “At first, I worked out four to five days a week with my husband, since I was working from home,” Garwacki said. “Apparently, my body’s not a fan of overly doing it at the gym, and I was actually gaining fat in the process because my body thought I was starving or something like that.” When she focused instead on walking, “I thought it was a little ridiculous, but like magic, the pounds started melting away.”
Biggest challenge: “In May of last year, my husband and I were flipping/remodeling a home, and I injured my foot while working on tile. I just thought I had bruised or stretched something in my foot, but the pain remained,” Garwacki said. “Eventually, I found out that I had a hairline fracture on the ball of my foot, so my exercise/walking routine had to come to a halt. This also prolonged my journey, but I eventually reached my goal weight.”
Camila’s strategies & tips:
1. Pre-prepping proteins in vacuum-sealed bags.
2. Find alternatives that you enjoy when removing foods such as gluten or dairy.
3. It’s OK to slip or treat yourself once in a while. “Especially when you have a long journey to your goal. Food should never be considered bad or taboo,” Garwacki said. “Just be conscious with your cheats — make sure they are worth it.” She suggests savoring cheat treats, such as a gourmet candied bacon-topped, maple-glazed doughnut instead of prepackaged powdered ones.
How has her life changed: “Knowing which foods to steer clear of has helped me completely eliminate the seemingly permanent heartburn I used to experience on a daily basis,” Garwacki said. “Aside from the obvious 30-pound loss, this journey has truly helped me understand my body much better.”
Seeking readers’ stories of lifestyle changes: We’re looking for stories about changing health habits. While The Atlanta Journal-Constitution does not endorse any specific programs, we include names and links for the benefit of readers who want further information. If you would like to share your story of a lifestyle change, please contact reporter Michelle C. Brooks and include your email address, phone number, and before and after photos (by mail or JPEG). You can email her directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.