When I was in high school, I had a pretty consistent weight of about 135. I never had any self-confidence, and I always felt like I was fat.
|Senior Prom April 2007|
In the fall of 2007 I went to college 3 hours away from my hometown. I slowly started gaining weight. It was such a slow progression that I didn’t even realize it was happening. I joined a sorority and we would go out to eat Mexican food, or go out for ice cream, and I was no longer paying any attention to how I ate or treated my body.
I was a bridesmaid in a wedding in the summer of 2009, and when I saw the pictures I realized for the first time how much weight I had gained. I couldn’t believe it. I chose to live in denial. I refused to acknowledge the weight gain. I remember talking to friends about how much the sizing had changed at the stores that I shopped.
|At my sorority formal winter 2009|
I moved back home January 1, 2010. At some point during that January I stepped on a scale for the first time in two and a half years. The number I saw rocked me to my core. It disgusted me. I cried. I sobbed.
That’s my number. It’s impossible to think that I’m sharing that with the world. I could no longer ignore the problem. I didn’t just think I was fat… I actually was fat. Something had to change.
|Picture at my heaviest weight|
I joined a women only gym and I slowly began walking on the treadmill and using some of the weight machines. I only went for about three months, but I was living with my dad and he only buys healthy groceries. I no longer had access to soda at home. I didn’t have chips to eat. I didn’t have candy lying around. What I did have was salad. Hah! I feel like that’s all I ate for months.
The weight came off slow. So slow I didn’t notice. One day after someone asked if I had lost weight I decided to weigh again. 185. I wasn’t even excited about reaching this number. I was still so upset that I had gotten that big.
The progress slowed when I moved out of my dad’s house and into a house with a roommate. Throughout the year I lived there I slowly dropped to 170. The summer of 2011 I went on a sailing trip for three weeks in the Caribbean. I remember every single day hating how I looked in a bathing suit and feeling like I was so much bigger than the other girls. I came home and something in me had changed. I had learned how to be happy on that trip. There is nothing greater than the gift of happiness.
|Hiking in Saba on my sailing trip|
July of 2011 I moved into a house by myself. I was on a tight budget, so I was cooking at home and eating as healthy as I could. I finally hit a breaking point where I realized that my body was not going to change if I didn’t make an effort to change it. I started with Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. Once I finished the 30 days I started taking a Zumba class twice a week at my local activity center. I saw a little bit of a change in my weight, but not much.
I started C25K in March of 2012. I never thought I was good at running and had avoided it at all costs. I fought through the hard days and eventually I realized that I was ‘good’ at running. It became my way to unwind at the end of the day and it cleared my head.
|My first 5K in May 2012|
I tried my first hot yoga class in August. I fell in love, absolutely head over heels in love with yoga. It made me feel so good. I started going to yoga twice a week until my yoga teacher went to visit family for three months in India.
I am now at 156 (at the beginning of my Advocare Challenge). My goal weight is 135. I would love to reach this weight before my wedding. I’m working hard to achieve this goal. If there’s anything I realized through this journey is that health and happiness are so much more valuable than being ‘skinny’.
|My fiance and I.|