WHO I AM:
I’m Mary Ann Middleton, PhD. I graduated in 2016 with a PhD from the Faculty of Science at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver Canada. My love of science, learning, questioning EVERYTHING, and researching has run deep my whole life, and runs through every aspect of how I live. I love odd facts, and origins of ideas, and yet, I’m a little superstitious. Ok.. a lot superstitious!!
This page, the blog, the recipes, all combine to chronicle my continued leaning path to better health, fitness, and nutrition. I’m a huge believer in the Whole30 plan, and I encourage everyone to eat whole food and cut the sugar. If you are an omnivore, carnivore, or vegan it doesn’t matter.. EAT WHOLE FOOD!! You should get back to basics with your food, cut the processed crap, and know where your food comes from.
With my husband, we eat about a 90/10 Paleo plan, love to meal prep and recipe test. To give full credit, and he also patiently listens to my latest fitness conquests, and supports them wholeheartedly.. from a distance! Follow my transformation, and join me as I share the journey as it continues to grow and evolve into my passion.
HOW MY STORY STARTED:
As many of us have, I have struggled with my weight and my health for most of my life. The first time I remember stepping on a scale, I was 11 years old. The roller-coaster ride started out of the gate that day, and just never really stopped. Over the years, I learned many ways to try and “manage” my weight, but most of the time, I got frustrated, and ended up trying some quick fix, fad, or simply not eating until those elusive skinny jeans fit just in time for date-night. Gradually, it got harder to lose the weight, and compounded with several health problems (PCOS being a big one), and out of control allergies, I kind of gave up. I resigned myself to just being “big-boned”, and the more I gained, the harder it became to get moving. It was a deadly catch-22!! I felt frustrated, but the Dr.’s seemed to give up too. Either they didn’t know why there was pain, or they just didn’t seem invested in helping, with some even going so far as to say it was self inflicted from the weight. It’s a cycle that seemed hopeless some days.
Periodically, I would find some motivation, and I would start strong, maybe join a new workout class, or a weight-loss group. I absolutely loved kick-boxing!! I was always terrified to start a new class, and the butterflies would take over and I would want to run home, but there was nothing that made me feel happier. At my best, I could lose 30 lbs, but then the motivation would wane, or I would lose interest, or lose sight of my goals, or my priorities would shift and school life would take over. Soon, the weight, plus some, would come back. Let’s face it, after a certain age; your body just isn’t so forgiving anymore.
I was in the midst of my PhD in 2014, and navigating the challenges of academia when I was hit by a family medical emergency that my husband and I became solely responsible for, as well as several other personal crises. I put myself on hold, and committed everything I had to managing the situation at hand. Once the urgency had passed, I found myself in very poor health, both physically and mentally. I made the conscious decision to start taking care of myself. I had already lost some weight, and I decided, if nothing else, that could become the positive out of all those difficulties, but I knew I had to do it from healthy habits. At that time, when I committed to pursuing better health through nutrition and fitness in 2014, I was a size 24 and had dropped down to 248 lbs. We had to move to a house with no stairs because I was in too much pain to climb stairs in the morning, and I had never picked up a barbell, or done any weight training.
Since then, I have lost over 90 lbs, and 14 dress sizes!! I have gone sitting as much as 18 hours/day and barely being able to walk to the bus, to training for power-lifting and doing obstacle races for fun. During the course of regaining my health, I have successfully completed my PhD, I have nearly beat my allergies, my joints don’t ache anymore, and I found a passion for cooking and nutrition. I am currently in the process of obtaining my Precision Nutrition certification.
My own struggles and success in overcoming my lifelong battle with my weight and poor fitness has inspired a passion for sharing my experience and from that, helping others succeed in their journey to a healthier lifestyle. My photos show the physical change part of my transformation, but it’s been a mental and emotional journey as well. I know first-hand that feeling of butterflies when you first walk into a new gym, or sign up to try a new activity or group. I’ve told myself countless times that I had to lose weight before I could be active. I understand how the challenges of a busy life can make it seem impossible to balance the healthy life you are working hard for. But I also know how to overcome those challenges, and how it is possible to get started now, from where you are!
I will be be sharing more of my story here, as well as regular posts on food, nutrition, and fitness. Stay tuned for updates on my Fitness Lifestyle Accountability Group (FLAG) program starting September 10 and join me in my journey.. Let’s stay accountable, and achieve our goals!!
ENOUGH ABOUT ME.. WHAT IS YOUR STORY?
I know for me, that being able to share my story was very difficult, and some parts of it still are, and that’s what this page is partly about. Its my opportunity to share my story and what I learned from it, and how I can apply that. Hopefully, if my story can help even one other person on their journey, that is my ultimate goal.
So share your story with me so I can learn from you as well. I will always respect your privacy, because I also know that sharing your story can be really difficult.