Before you read my story, here’s a quick disclaimer: My body image is something that will live with me forever. It’s not something that goes away with the loss of a few pounds, a guy being attracted to me, or finally feeling like I’m at a healthier weight. That’s part of why I wanted to share my story – because while people have not been shy to tell me I look great – there’s a whole lot more to it than my outward appearance. Every single day I work to have a stronger self-image, stay positive about myself, and keep my head up through everything – it’s an ongoing process that I plan to work on forever. We all have our off days, we all have our moments, but my goal is to keep everyone honest who’s reading my blog – in hopes that one day we can all say we’re no longer critiquing or comparing ourselves, wishing we had bodies we don’t, or talking about getting work done (don’t even get me started on that). Another reason I’m sharing my story is because I want to convey the message that everyone is on their own journey. While I’m all for/constantly preaching about accepting our bodies, I’m also all for doing things for the good of our health. And the reason I did this actually came from the new found love I have for my body, and wanting to treat it better and become a healthier version of myself. By no means did that ever mean talking down to myself, wishing I was skinnier, or hating my body – which is what past weight losses have looked like for me. It was all about realizing that my body wasn’t the happiest, healthiest, and most energized it could have been – and loving it enough to make some serious changes (again, this is ultimately up to YOU if it’s about your body).
Well, here goes… my honest story that I hope resonates with you, or helps someone in the process.
It all started with a check-up at the doctor in May of 2017. Well, it didn’t necessarily “start” then, but rather it started with the first doctor who ever told me I needed to lose weight. So, scratch that and backtrack about 15 years when the first doctor told me I needed to lose weight. Since then, there have been very seldom times that I was told I was at a healthy weight (even if I felt it), and this year’s check-up was no different – post college life had me bigger than ever and not even realizing It.
I’ve been through the trials and tribulations of being told to lose weight – by either a doctor, friend, or family member in some way or another – which typically followed by me getting pissed about it, maybe dieting and losing some weight, and then finding myself back at square one by either gaining the weight back or just having zero success. In all honesty, it has felt like a never-ending, daunting, and terrible process. That is, until now, when I finally realized I love myself and wanted to do this for the good of MY health – not for anything or anyone else.
My appointment in May 2017 was with a new doctor that I found through a friend. We did a routine check-up, but of course, the elephant in the room was brought to the forefront – my weight. My doctor very kindly expressed her want for me to try to lose weight – giving me a realistic goal of 7-10 pounds in the next 3 months. I left her office that day sad as usual, but ready to make some changes. Unfortunately those changes, and that willpower I thought I had, weren’t there right away. I returned to the office at the beginning of August thinking I was AT LEAST 5 pounds lighter, but nope, I had lost a pound. One freaking pound.
This was two weeks before my weight check-in with my primary doctor, and also when I decided to confide in my best friend Lauren – I was fed up and ready to really make changes. Tears were shed on my bus ride home, and opening up to her to ask for help wasn’t easy for me – but I knew it was what I had to (and wanted to) do for the good of my health. For the next week or so, Lauren helped me with my grocery shopping, giving me tips for meals and what to buy versus what to skip out on. I learned a TON, and sent her pictures of my grocery carts, or screenshots of menus at restaurants for the next few weeks. She also recommended that I switch from iced lattes to black coffee – man it was hard, but my taste buds adjusted – and I really think it has made a huge difference.
The next step was committing to a workout that was going to “kick my ass” (as Lauren described it) at least 2-3 times per week. I was working out, but admittedly not hard enough, and not regularly enough. She suggested Shred415, a treadmill and weights interval training class that I was absolutely terrified of. Lauren took me to my first class (I barely made it through) – and shortly after taking it, the studio manager reached out to me offering a new client deal for an unlimited membership. So I did it – I bought the membership. I committed to going to Shred 3 times a week at the studio near my apartment, and then also going to my office gym and taking ClassPass classes the other days (also giving myself rest days). From August 2017 to now, I’ve fallen in love with Shred and continue to go to 3 times a week, and am feeling stronger and better than I have in a longggg time. To think that I’m running/sprinting every single week on a treadmill is crazy if you would have asked me 6 months ago, but here I am! (If you’re interested in trying it – seriously reach out to me!)
Full force on my new lifestyle (because no, this is not a diet), I went back in two weeks later to have my official appointment with my doctor – and in two weeks I had lost 12 pounds. I think she thought the scale was broken, ha. But I was proud to say that it was all a result of hard work and dedication, and assured her of all the healthy changes I had made that were adding up quickly. My doctor was extremely proud – and we set another goal together and made a follow-up appointment for three months from that date. Continuing my healthy eating and exercise, I was up to about 34 pounds lost by our November check-in about 3 months later, and my blood work showed major signs of improvement in my “bad” cholesterol levels. My doctor was again extremely proud, as was I. I left that appointment absolutely beaming – I felt electric. Fast forward to now, I’ve lost 45 pounds and am slowly working towards another goal for my next appointment (but feeling damn good).
I’m not going to act like this whole thing has been easy – it hasn’t. It’s taken a lot of determination, willpower, and work in the gym that I truly never thought I could accomplish. It also took a lot to finally admit to myself that I needed to lose a significant amount of weight. But instead of looking at it that way, I decided to look at it in small chunks – like 5-10 pounds at a time over a period of time – so that I don’t get overwhelmed. It makes it a whole lot easier on my mental state – and it makes it that much more exciting when I’m exceeding goals week in and week out. Another thing I’ve practiced consistently is positive self-talk – from the day I decided this whole thing was going down, I told myself “I can – and I will – do this.”
But I’m not going to lie when I say there are days when I look in the mirror and have moments of hesitations, bloated days, or days when I’m scared I’m going to gain again. It’s normal, and that’s because this is an ongoing process, mentally and physically. It’s an ongoing process to keep a positive mindset about our bodies, and something we all need to continue to practice day in and day out.
When these negative thoughts do come, I’ve trained myself to shift them to the side and override them with positive, forward-looking thoughts. Sometimes I almost feel like, “is it enough?” or “I want more” – and my greedy side takes over. When that happens, the most important thing I’ve learned to do is live in the moment. I do that by reminding myself how far I’ve come, reminding myself how amazing I feel, and being present in the moment – not thinking about what I could be doing or wishing I was at any other stage than I am in this moment (check out my recent blog about positive self-talk for other tips of this nature).
While the exterior changes have been amazing, the reality is – it’s not about what’s on the outside. It’s really all about my health and readjusting my lifestyle to focus on the inside – my mind, what I’m putting into my body, pushing my physical and mental limits in the gym – which have all helped to shape a much happier, healthier, and more energized me. And while yes, I may look “better” on the right side of this photo, I am by no means tearing down my same beautiful self on the left, but am grateful I took the plunge.
Again, thank you to those who have supported me, given me positive words of encouragement, and ultimately helped me along this whole process. I seriously couldn’t have done it (or be doing it) without you all, and am excited to continue to share my journey. Cheers to continued self-love in 2018!
If you have questions, comments, or just want to have a chat for that matter – I would love to talk to you! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Instagram (@thecurveconfessions).
To see the best treadmills for you and your workout, check out this article on Reviews.com!