I Started Counting Macros To Lose Weight—And I Finally Broke Free Of My Food And Drug Addictions

My name is Mallory King (@mallorykingfitness), I'm 28 years old. I currently live in Castle Rock, Colorado. I am an online health and fitness coach. I was using food and drugs to soothe my emotions, so I started learning about calorie counting and macros and lost 100 pounds in two years.

I was overweight ever since the third grade. I was bullied a lot in school. Not just for my weight, but for the disability in my arm called Erb's palsy (which causes weakness and loss of motion in the arm). After a sexual assault the summer before high school, I started gaining weight quickly and reached 220 pounds (for reference, I'm 5'3''). All of high school and most of college, I did drugs to escape my reality.

I had watched adults around me in my life use food and drugs to cope with pain, so that's what I learned to do. I felt sorry for myself. I felt alone. I felt hopeless. I didn’t think it could be any other way.

I never weighed myself when I was overweight. (I dealt with my problems by ignoring them and numbing them.) The only reason I knew my weight had reached 220 pounds was because I stepped on the scale at the doctor's office. That doctor changed my life. She explained to me what was in store if I didn't get my weight under control. I realized that *I* was my own solution. It was either die—or change.

That day in the doctor's office was my "aha!" moment—I realized that my health and well-being were things in my control.

So, slowly, I took the wheel. There was no other choice. I was no longer going to be a victim of my circumstances.

When I first started my journey to better health in 2018, I knew nothing about nutrition and fitness. Unfortunately, there's so much misinformation out there and I thought that I had to eat perfectly "clean" to lose weight and be healthy. I tried to cut out all my favorite foods and only eat whole foods, but that left my feeling deprived and I would keep falling off the wagon.

About a year into my journey I learned about counting calories and counting macros. I gave it a try and started tracking my intake on MyFitnessPal. It changed everything for me. I was able to eat the foods I loved most but learned how to have them in moderation.

I learned I could eat a balanced diet that included pizza and ice cream sometimes but also incorporated a lot of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, etc. Slow and steady was the name of my game! I knew I wanted to make a lasting change. It was more important to me to keep the weight off for good and be able to sustain a healthy, balanced lifestyle than to just lose the weight fast.

Here’s what I typically eat in a day now:

  • Breakfast: Protein oatmeal (oats cooked in the microwave, a scoop of protein powder, cinnamon, fruit of choice, and nut butter).
  • Lunch: Grilled chicken, rice or potatoes, vegetables sautéed in water.
  • Snacks: Greek yogurt and fruit.
  • Dinner: Pretty much anything that I lighten up. Sometimes we make homemade pizza or burgers, and we just use a lighter crust recipe or a leaner cut of meat and use light cheese, load it up with veggies, etc. The recipes on my blog show that I eat all sorts of food and just lighten up the recipe to fit my needs.
  • Dessert: Ice cream. Always! A small bowl of ice cream almost every single night is what has kept me sane and loving my diet.

I lift weight three to four times a week, and this is something I have done for most of my journey. While I was focused on weight loss, I did about 30 minutes of cardio on the elliptical three to four times a week, too. Now that I'm focused on maintaining my results, I continue to lift weights and ensure I'm active throughout my day, averaging about 10,000 steps.

I wouldn't have been successful if I hadn't tried to become a more positive person.

In the beginning of my journey I was so negative, especially towards myself. I would constantly put myself down and it just left me feeling discouraged. I realized I need to be my biggest cheerleader and lift myself up, so I started doing positive affirmations every day.

Instead of telling myself I was fat and lazy and lacked discipline, I told myself the opposite: that I was awesome, determined, healthy, fit, strong, and that could accomplish anything I set my mind to. Telling myself that over and over again motivated me to actually become that person.

I also found productive ways to deal with my emotional baggage. I had a lot of unresolved pain that I coped with poorly for years. I went to therapy for a long time and started using exercise as a way to productively navigate uncomfortable emotions. Overall, communicating how I felt and being able to sit with and deal with those feelings allowed me to stop turning to food or drugs.

I have lost 100 pounds in two years.

Whatever time you think it's going to take, double that. This is a slow journey and it requires a lot of patience. But guess what? That's actually pretty awesome. Change your perspective on "slow" progress. It's a good thing. It affords you plenty of time to actually build better habits. To create a life for yourself that you look forward to waking up every morning.

You have an opportunity to really deal with the habits that caused the weight gain in the first place. Slow progress means you're more likely to keep the weight off. So take your time. Work on being more positive, on being patient with yourself and enjoying the journey, and never give up. Your success is inevitable, so long as you don't give up.


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