I’ve always struggled with my weight. I was born weighing in at 10 pounds, and I’ve always joked that that started things off. I was always a solid kid, despite the fact I was busy. As I got older, I got heavier, and I remember there being times when I thought I should do something about it, but I never did. The only time it really bothered me was when it came time to buy new clothes and not much fit.
In college, I gained the freshman 15 and then some. Our campus had an Harvey’s in the pub where we went for lunch, so every day I had a breaded chicken sandwich or a hot dog. I knew it was bad, but it tasted so good. A lot of my new friends were even heavier than I was - it was the first time in my life I wasn’t the ‘fat friend’. I felt alright about myself, despite my weight.
Jump ahead to 2010, and I knew it was time for a change. I hated the way I looked, I hated having no energy, and I hated the fact that I got sick really easily. I would look at pictures of myself and want to cry because I was so fat. I was absolutely disgusted with myself for letting my weight get so out of hand.
So, I made changes. I started eating healthier and working out, and within four months, I’d lost 40 pounds. I was a machine - I learned that I loved working out, and although I found eating healthy hard at times, I did my best. But…I burned myself out. I couldn’t keep up with the workouts, and I slowly just stopped. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, I fell apart with my eating. I gained back 15 of the precious pounds I’d worked so hard to lose. I would go through kicks where I’d get at it again - lose 10 pounds, but then gain 5, and on and on it went like a never-ending rollercoaster of highs and lows.
Then I was back to being disgusted with myself for what I’d let happen yet again. I saw the pictures from my 28th birthday in December 2011, and was horrified. Did I really look like that? Had I really let myself gain all that weight?
So it was time for more changes. I started working out again, but didn't put so much pressure on myself so that the workouts would be more sustainable long-term. I started eating healthier, but didn’t deprive myself or beat myself up when I ate too much or had something I maybe shouldn’t have. The thing is: this isn’t a diet. I don’t have a few pounds to lose, I have a few dozen pounds to lose. This is a lifestyle change, something I’ll have to keep up for the rest of my life. It’s not going to be easy, and there will be times when I want to quit, but I can’t quit. Not this time. This time has to be different - for my physical health, and for my mental health.
The weight is coming off slowly. Very s…l…o…w…l…y. I’m actually kind of concerned about how slowly it’s coming off when I’m working so hard, but it just means I need to continue working hard. With summer coming, it’s definitely incentive to work extra hard. I want to buy new clothes and a new bathing suit, and feel good in them. One of my best childhood friends is getting married in June, and I want to like how I look in the pictures. I want to have energy to run around with my nephews at the park and on family trips. I want to go to the beach or the pool and not keep covered up because I'm afraid of what people will think.
I’m going to talk about my progress a lot, and probably start sharing pictures. I like the idea of being held accountable, and I find it therapeutic to talk about it. Plus, I’m hoping maybe other people will take comfort in knowing they’re not alone on this journey. I know I always love reading success stories and seeing before and after pictures - it’s so inspiring - but sometimes it helps to read about people who are in the process, too. So if you’re looking for support, motivation, or inspiration, I’m happy to listen, I’m happy to be a cheerleader, I’m happy to give you a kick in the butt when you need it. Just let me know!