Weight. It’s a heavy word for a lot of people. Pun pseudo intended. 😉 I think everyone has their own personal struggle with managing their weight. I think it’s especially touchy here in America, where magazines and television and ads tell us (directly and indirectly) how we should look and give many a false sense of healthy and realistic. I think it’s especially touchy here in America, where we have the highest obesity rate per capita and fast food filled with shit is the normal diet for too many because eating healthy has a perception, or even reality for many, of being too expensive.
This is not to sit and debate those areas, although we could definitely do that. But more about where I’ve been and where I am personally in my life.
I never struggled with weight when I was younger. I thank my parents for that, who never let us have a Nintendo and encouraged us to join sports or at least get outside and be active. But I’ve also never been teeny. I’m definitely more big boned and will never be able to be model thin where my thighs don’t touch. But, that’s okay, because I think that looks weird. 🙂 I tried many sports when I got to middle school. Did track for a year. Joined the swim team and stayed with that through most of high school (and still did practices with them even after I left the team). I still love swimming and being in water. I find it relaxing and mind clearing. Kind of how I think runners feel when they get that peaceful high. And found my niche in tennis in high school. Played all four years. In season. Off season. It was all about tennis. I still love that sport and don’t play enough these days. Anyone up for a game?! 😉 Needless to say, all that activity kept me able to consume most things without thinking and I was at a healthy 140lbs at my 5’6″.
Enter college: Where you’re suddenly responsible for yourself and no one is telling you that you should probably not eat those shitty nachos for the umpteenth day in a row. Or that you should probably at least get out of your dorm room and walk instead of watch The Simpsons. Where sodium laden Ramen and all-nighters are standard. Plus, you know, eventually legal drinking age and I’ll be the first (and not the last) to tell you that the booze is not calorie free. 🙂 I felt like the weight went on slowly, but it definitely comes off slower. I’m sure the serious relationship I got into for 3 1/2 years of college didn’t help. Relationship comfort weight is a thing, peeps! Don’t let your comfort in being with the one you love add on pounds. He and I both added it on in those years (he also has lost a ton of weight and I’m so proud of him!). I don’t think we even really noticed it. That’s almost the scarier part to me. We were happy and blind to the unhealthy side of it. Take my advice and just stay healthy while you’re happy, okay? Your man or woman want you to be happy, healthy, and around for a while. 🙂
As college was ending, the aforementioned boyfriend and I broke up in a messy fashion. Admission: food is a comfort zone for me. And I turned there. When all of this was said and done, I had gotten up to 250lbs+. Yep. You read that right. And I know even people I’m friends with will find that hard to believe. I can’t say I “looked” that weight. A lot of ladies my height and that weight look much heavier than I did. I think that kept me in denial for a long time. But it doesn’t matter. I wasn’t healthy. I think the breaking point came when I was going to have to buy size 20 in pants. I was once an 8/10! How had I gotten to this point?!
So what changed? I had to admit I had a problem and identify it. I started with something simple: cutting out soda. I have a serious Coca-Cola issue. Haha. It’s soooooo good!!! But I cut soda entirely for a whole year. I now only drink it in a mixed drink or on a special occasion. I still refuse to keep it at home, unless I have some rum around, but then I keep it in the pantry, because my issue is that if it’s in the fridge, I will just grab it and drink it mindlessly. I’ve replaced it with water. And I feel better and have better skin because of it. This step alone lost me around 15 pounds in my first 2-3 months! I then worked on portion control and healthier eating. I love fruits and veggies and healthy food, so that’s fairly easy for me to eat and enjoy. My problem is that I also love crap. Like Cheez-it’s and Oreos and the like. So I just stopped buying them. If I have them in my cupboards, I’ll eat them all. Immediately. I have zero self-control. It’s kind of sad, but the brilliant part is that I KNOW it and ADMIT it and do something to prevent it. And so the rest of the weight has fallen off slowly over the past couple years.
My battle now is working out. I feel better and don’t even hate it when I do it, but I struggle doing it regularly. Moving to Chicago actually helped, because I walk everywhere. Especially now that I don’t have a car…public transportation and walking are my way around. It’s like forced exercise. 🙂 But for 2014 I’m going to be making myself workout 3-4 times a week minimum. I’m sure I’ll increase that as it becomes habit, but I wanted a starting point. I know that last 50 will fly off if I increase my metabolism with regular exercise. And I’m excited. I want to wear a bikini again. I want to be back into those 8/10 pants (although I’m proud to say I’m in 12s!!! so I’m soooooo close!!!). I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I feel better than I’ve felt in years and years.
The key is to realize that you’ll have bad days. You’ll have days you fail. But each day is fresh and new. So just pick yourself up and reboot! Find a buddy if it helps you to have someone kick your ass every once in a while. Don’t check your weight every day (humans fluctuate, so you’ll just be disappointed). Judge based on how clothes fit better or how you feel in general. Pull up photos of yourself as time passes. I never feel like I look different, but then I look at photos and am alarmed at where I was. Just remember: you’ve got this! No one can get in your way but yourself! And then when you see where you came from, you’ll never want to go back. 🙂