DESPITE having an active lifestyle, Courtney Schweiger weighed 97kg at her heaviest.

Her problem came down to food.

"I have struggled with eating my entire life," Schweiger says on her blog.

"When I was stressed or anxious, I would eat more. When something bad happened, I craved sweets. These cravings coupled with the shame that I felt around being 'fat', turned into many years of eating disorders," she says.

 

Courtney weight 97kg at her heaviest, but has since changed the way she eats.
Courtney weight 97kg at her heaviest, but has since changed the way she eats.

So she began counting macros as a healthier way to lose weight, but ultimately found it too restrictive and she began obsessing over the macros count for each meal.

"I lost weight, felt great, but also noticed that tracking had become an obsession. I had gotten to the point where going out to eat immediately flooded my mind with guilty thoughts before I even placed an order. Being in a position that deterred me from what was originally planned out in My Fitness Pal gave me anxiety."

Before and after Courtney’s weight loss. Picture: Instagram
Before and after Courtney’s weight loss. Picture: Instagram

"Although I was feeling pretty good physically, I was not balancing that "good" feeling with my mental health. I had gotten to a place where I feared certain foods, and I feared gaining weight. I realised that I needed to find a balance."

 

Courtney lost a lot of weight counting macros, but found it didn’t make her happy.
Courtney lost a lot of weight counting macros, but found it didn’t make her happy.

"My restrictive dieting, bulimia, and binge eating had an extremely negative effect on my body. It ruined my metabolism. It ruined my mental image of what my body was and what my body should be. It ruined having fun socialising over food and drinks with friends. It ruined family events that involved food. It isolated me."

 

Courtney has tracked her weight loss journey on social media. Picture: Instagram
Courtney has tracked her weight loss journey on social media. Picture: Instagram

But then she head about the 80/20 rule.

This basically means you keep 80 per cent of your diet clean and nutritious (from whole foods based around complex carbs, healthy fats, and rich proteins) while 20 per cent is "fun", as Courtney calls it.

 

Courtney and her husband are still able to enjoy sweet treats (without feeling guilty about it).
Courtney and her husband are still able to enjoy sweet treats (without feeling guilty about it).

"Sometimes my snacks look like apple slices and peanut butter, while other times I might be snacking on Halo Top ice cream or tortilla chips and guacamole," she tells Popsugar.

She credits the 80/20 approach "a little bit of portion control mixed with balance" with helping her lose 22kg and improving her emotional relationship with food.

Courtney lost a lot of weight by sticking to the 80/20 rule.
Courtney lost a lot of weight by sticking to the 80/20 rule.

She says the weight loss occurred gradually.

"Two pounds quickly turns to 10, and then the next 10, and then all of a sudden you're 50 pounds down".

Her new eating regimen is supplemented with regular workouts, including HIIT cardio sessions and strength training.

 

She now shares weight loss and fitness tips and tricks on her Instagram and Facebook pages with a growing number of followers.

"I am the biggest advocate that nobody should be afraid to eat," she says.

"Nobody should feel so much guilt that they have to put themselves through physical/mental pain and stress just because of one meal."


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