Hey hey hey! I wanted to share a little about my story and how I lost 85 pounds and started down this whole weight loss path. I have a long history of my weight being an issue. 34 years to be exact. There were times in my life where I was thinner than others but even at my thinnest, my weight was always at the forefront of my mind as an "issue". I honestly cannot remember a time where I wasn't hyper aware of my weight or size. I've come a long way but my issues with my weight go way back.
I grew up as a overweight kid with bad food habits and I remember noticing that I was bigger than the other kids in my class as early as 2nd grade. This continued pretty much throughout my childhood and it wasn't until my senior year of high school that I started to thin out a bit thanks to being active in cheerleading.
Cheerleading stopped after high school and with it went all of my exercise. In college, there was no lack of easy-access junk food and instead of the typical Freshman 15, I gained 35. Soon, I traded my unhealthy eating habits for unhealthy dieting habits. I began popping diet pills and avoiding food as much as possible, followed by episodes of binge eating when no one was looking. In an effort to counter act my binge eating, I would do tons of cardio until I felt like I had earned the right to eat again. I lost weight rapidly and I remember feeling so proud of myself because I got so many compliments on my weight loss. This is what I thought I needed to do to be "healthy". I remained in this cycle for a couple of years and then grad school hit. I stopped exercising and stopped being so careful about what I ate. The binge eating got even worse. I distinctly remember leaving night classes to stop and grab fast food on the way home. I would eat it in my car and throw away the evidence only to walk in the door for dinner number 2 with my then boyfriend (now husband). Before I knew it, I was switching out my size 10's for 18's and 20's that were getting tighter and tighter every day.
When I got engaged in December 2008, I was excited to embark on a new healthy journey (for the thousandth time). I told myself was going to lose so much weight and be so skinny at my wedding. But, just like anything else, when you do something for the wrong reasons, things don't quite work out the way you plan. I did manage to lose about 20 pounds but my self-esteem was crap and I still felt out of control with my eating habits. Shopping for dresses was a nightmare that consisted of just trying to find even one dress that made me look the least like a sack of potatoes. I would put on a smile for my friends and cry when I got home. I was very aware that when I stood up in front of people for my special day, I would be the biggest girl in the wedding party. What should have been a happy experience was completely overshadowed by my insecurities.
My Turning Point
I clearly remember the day I finally decided enough was enough. It was June 21, 2012. I stepped on the scale one morning, which was a rare occurrence during that time since I typically avoided it at all costs (ignorance is bliss). And there it was: 279. A mere 21 pounds away from 300. I got off in disbelief and stepped back on. After the second confirmation, I just cried. How did I let it get this bad? I knew I was overweight but I had done such a good job of fooling myself into believing it wasn’t that big a deal. This was the reality check I needed. I immediately decided I was so done with saying “I need to lose weight”, “I need to get healthy”. I was just going to make it happen. No more excuses. No more talk about what I planned to do. I needed action.
I didn’t really know how to begin or what to do besides eat less and move more. I started with the calorie tracking app myfitnesspal. Forcing myself to keep a diary of what I was eating in a day was eye-opening. I had little to no regard for nutritional content or portion size. I typically ate to the point of being uncomfortably full at every meal. I didn’t know any other way. It wasn’t until I actually started tracking and paying attention to portion sizes that I realized I could eat food and not feel lethargic and stuffed after each meal. What a concept! The first few months of trying to change my eating habits were HARD. I hated having to be honest about what I was eating and I resented that other people could eat what they wanted and not gain weight the way I did. I had a few days every now and then where I totally fell off the wagon but the difference was that this time, I didn’t quit. If I had a bad day where I ate everything in sight, I decided that tomorrow was a new day and all I could do was tackle what was in front of me versus beating myself up about yesterday. In the past, one bad day usually turned into a bad week and then before I knew it a year had gone by with no progress.
Now, I am not one of those success stories where hundreds of pounds were lost in a single year. I lost my weight slooooooowly. And at first, this made me feel like I was doing something wrong. But I now see that this was just my path and I will take slow and steady progress over my previous years of standstill any day. Overall it took me about 3 years to lose 85 pounds. There were periods where the scale didn’t move for weeks and I was so beyond frustrated. I won't lie, there were days where my frustration manifested itself into "whatever-I'm-getting-cheese-fries" binges. I didn't (and still don't) always have my shit together. But I kept telling myself that giving up wasn’t going to get me to my goals any faster. Thankfully, I had such a supportive group of friends and my husband in my corner that believed in me and pushed me through when I felt like all my effort was for nothing.
I maintained my loss for about 2 years and then halfway through 2015, I got more and more lenient and the weight started to creep back on. I could tell you that it was because I moved houses, or it was summer, and then the holidays happened but really those are just excuses. I was no longer making my health a priority. By the end of the year I had gained 36 pounds back. I realized I was letting things get out of control and I was so angry at myself for essentially undoing everything I had worked so hard for. I knew I needed some accountability and that’s when I created my Instagram account which eventually led me here, typing away on this blog. I have learned so much since starting that account and I have met some truly amazing people. After creating my Instagram, I rediscovered the motivation I had been lacking. I lost the 36 pounds and then some. I’ve learned so much more about fitness and strength training and now that I have incorporated those elements into my life, I have seen a difference in my body that I may not have seen if I was only using the scale to measure progress. I recently received my certification from NASM as a Certified Personal Trainer, which is so crazy to me considering where I started!
It is so crazy to me that I share this part of my life with over 40,000 people. I am thankful everyday that I decided to put myself out there because connecting with other like-minded individuals has meant so much to me. What I want more than anything is for anyone else who is where I started, desperately wanting to change, to know that it is possible. I know it's cliche but if I can, anyone can. I thought I was just destined to be bigger my whole life. Then I realized I was worth so much more than what I was settling for. I am SO excited to share the rest of this journey with you all and I couldn't be happier that you guys are here with me! Thank you so much for stopping by!