This is kind of a long one. But my journey with weight and finding out how to be happy with my body has been a long one too.
When I was in high school, I stayed healthy and at a steady weight, because I was an athlete. I had plenty of physical activity, and let’s face it: I still had the metabolism of a high schooler. I struggled internally with my weight though…a lot. Most of the other girls my age were skinny minis…and I wasn’t. My weight became a self-fulfilling prophecy: I thought I was fat, so I stayed fat because I ate things that kept me fat. What’d the scale say when I graduated? 180.
College was an interesting four years of my life, weight-wise. Not surprisingly, I gained weight, because I no longer had any physical activity to keep me fit, and I ate even worse than I did in high school. So…let’s add 20 pounds to the scale…200. My self-confidence and understanding of my body type got better, though, so I became more comfortable with this weight and started to embrace it…then junior year happened.
I went through the two hardest experiences of my life within a span of six months: the first was the ending of an unhealthy friendship. I had been friends with that person for over a decade, and ending it was like cutting off a limb. I dealt with it as you can imagine – lots of crying, lots of eating…and countless episodes of Dawson’s Creek. This continued through the second semester and into the summer, when the second experience took place. That was an unsuccessful internship. I struggled with mental and emotional abuse from my supervisor in the month-long experience, and it was extremely difficult to cope with, especially with still dealing with the lasting effects of the friendship ending from a few months prior. The eating pretty much just compounded – I ate out almost every meal, and ate in between meals, because it’s the only way I knew how to cope. I wasn’t emotionally prepared to face the healing process, so I didn’t. Let’s add another 20 pounds (10 per experience) to the scale…220.
Senior year was okay, but I had to make it okay despite the weight gain. I just bought new clothes, wore a lot of sweat pants, and said “It’ll balance out.” I tried dieting and exercising a few times, but it never stuck. My second semester, I took too much on by working three part-time jobs, class two days a week, a bowling league, and the responsibilities that come with moving and trying to graduate. As a result, I experienced burnout…BAD. How’d I deal with this new “life struggle”? Boone’s Farm. Alllllll the bottles of Boone’s Farm…so let’s add 18 pounds to the scale…I’m now at 238. I had gained 58 pounds since high school.
Okay, so here I am, at my first real big kid job out of school, and I’m heavier than I’ve ever been. Like I said though, through college (at least the beginning of it), I developed more self-confidence. I was happier with myself, so I was happier with my weight. Right after college, my mom & I went on a shopping spree and purchased a whole new “business” wardrobe for me. I didn’t really take notice of the sizes I was buying, even though they were 2 sizes bigger than what I wore in high school. I was starting a new chapter, invigorated and excited to begin my life, and I had a brand new wardrobe to do it with!
One weekend, I went with a friend to another friend’s bridal shower. We had all known each other for years, and I was excited to celebrate. The bride-to-be (now a wife of 3+ years), posted a picture of the three of us a couple of weeks later on facebook….and this proved to be my wake-up call.
I’m the one on the far right (aren’t my friends pretty??). I looked at that picture and couldn’t recognize myself. I saw a woman who was happy, yes, but let that happiness turn into ignorance as she let her weight spiral out of control. I came home, and developed a plan.
I joined a local fitness club that next week, and started a weight loss challenge. Over the next eight weeks, I transformed into a healthier, happier, more confident person. My weight loss was real, and something I could actually see was making a difference. This picture was taken a few months into my journey.
You can really tell the difference (or at least I can), especially since I’m wearing the same shirt! After the weight loss challenge, I joined the next one, as well as starting to train for my first 5K. The training lasted for a couple of months, and I turned into a person who loved running (I NEVER thought that would happen). I successfully ran my first 5K with one of my best friends, and the scale?? It was down to 202. I’d lost 35 pounds. I felt better and looked better than I had in my whole life (weighing less in high school doesn’t mean much when you’re not happy).
So I was healthy, learned how to manage my eating, loved to run & exercise, drank a lot of water….it’ll be that way forever right? A few months after those pictures were taken, I took a trip to Europe. It was the most fabulous trip of my life, and when I went, I loved the way I looked and felt. However, since I was “on vacation,” my diet and exercise went out the window. When you’re eating in Parisian cafes that give you bread & butter like it’s chips & salsa at a Mexican restaurant, when you’re going to German bakeries to get more hazelnut cookie goodness, and when you drink wine & beer at every meal…you are not thinking about your weight, or your diet. You are thinking about how you may never be in a Parisian cafe or German bakery again, so you make it worth it. This ultimately proved to be my undoing, because when I got back, I didn’t go back to my healthy behavior.
The Last Two 1/2 Years
Since Europe, I really haven’t exercised much…or eaten very healthy…or weighed in…or anything. As months & years have gone by, my clothes have gotten tighter, my energy has gotten lower, and my weight has steadily been creeping back up. I kept telling myself, “As long as you stay under 238, you’ve still technically lost weight!” This attitude and way of thinking has led to today’s scale…242, the highest number I’ve ever seen on it. It’s time for a change.
I do want to mention that I still feel great, and I’m the most confident in my body than I’ve ever been. Losing the weight before led me to experience a level of self-confidence in my body type that I’d never felt before, and even though the weight has gone up, that feeling hasn’t gone away. I love the way I look, and I’ve learned that if you surround yourself with the right people, they won’t notice the difference between being all dolled up and skinny, or eating cheese breadsticks with no makeup and sweatpants.
I want to lose the weight now for me. It’s not about feeling any pressure to do so. It’s about wanting to run up the stairs at work without feeling winded…it’s about wanting my v-neck colored shirts to stop hugging every curve…it’s about wanting to feel the high that can only be experienced after an exercise…I want to lose weight now, but it’s not because I feel like I have to. And that feeling is inspiring.
The goal is simple…I want to see 200 pounds on that scale again. How do I do that? With a plan, motivation, & accountability.
I plan on starting on Monday January 16. I have joined an eight week weight loss challenge with my aunt and purchased a digital scale (since I can lie with a dial scale). I will go to class five nights a week (see below), and rest the other two days. I also have the seven minute workout I plan on doing daily. I will track my food by calorie counting using myfitnesspal, and I will weigh in every Monday.
I am planning on motivating myself with incentives (see below) and the good old-fashioned quote / motivation board.
Blogging is my accountability! I found that losing weight before was much easier if I posted about it and kept myself accountable. So I will be posting occasionally (I refuse to make a blog “schedule”), doing social media updates, and using my support system to keep me accountable. I will also track all my food, even if it’s a horrible cheat day. On my motivation board, I will write down my weigh-ins, and track my workouts on a calendar as well.
Fitness Plan Incentives
Monday – Kickboxing 230 lbs – Pizza Pub
Tuesday – Zumba 220 lbs – Insomnia Cookies
Wednesday – High Intensity Walk or Run 210 lbs – Tup Thim Thai
Thursday – Zumba Goal Weight! – TBD
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Yoga
So there you have it….the good, the bad, and the ugly. I can and I will do this!!!!!!!