Weight loss and dieting became a part of my life very young – struggling with weight and body image are problems I’ve had in my life longer than I haven’t. By third grade, I was being told phrases like, “you will get taller!” or “it’s just baby fat.” They seem very innocent and in all actuality, they are. I don’t believe the people who said them meant me any harm. I could see that I was different, but didn’t know what weight loss or dieting was or that adjusting your eating habits was the solution. Then, a cousin of mine moved in with us. We will call her Lara for privacy.
When Lara moved in with us I became highly aware of my weight. This is really when my irrational thinking patterns swung into full force. Lara shared the same body image problems as me though she was much smaller in size. She would remind me that boys would never look at me if I stayed the weight that I was (looking back, I really wasn’t as big as I saw myself).
She suffered from bulimia and introduced me to different methods of losing weight. I won’t lie, I tried the throwing up method as a pre-teen, but never stuck with it. I loathe throwing up and couldn’t bring myself to do that. Lara, however, continued on. All the boys always liked her and never looked in my direction which in my head confirmed what she had told me. Boys really didn’t like bigger girls (I know this now to be untrue!). This brought on the yo-yo dieting, the social isolation, the withdrawnness. Those moments in my life really defined who I became.
In 8th grade, I cut back on eating during the summer and finally got to a size 13 which was still larger than most of the girls I went to school with, but I felt somewhat normal. I could buy stylish clothes and started feeling better about myself. Those positive feelings didn’t last long though. I remember riding home on the bus from school in 8th grade. I was trying to rest from a tiring day at school. The boys sitting in the seats next to me began whispering about my legs jiggling as the bus hit bumps. This began the spiraling down of my self-image once again. I wasn’t one with a lot of confidence and took others opinions of me to heart.
By the time I graduated high school I was around 250lbs – my highest weight being 292lbs hit in my early 20s. It wasn’t until after my daughter was born in 2012 at 26-years-old that I finally found the strength and courage to do what it takes to lose the weight. Knowing she deserves a healthy mom, I started my weight loss journey by counting points with Weight Watchers. After I lost around 50lbs using portion control, I started swapping out foods for healthier choices in order to sustain energy throughout the day (also swapped to MyFitnessPal). I lost about 122lbs the first year putting me down to 170lbs!
I continued to lose after the first year – my lowest weight being 147lbs. Comfortable. That’s how I could describe how I felt at my lowest. For the first time in my life, I felt normal. I didn’t feel like eyes were peering at me. I didn’t sense judgment if I ate something “bad.” Free, I was! Or I thought. I’m guessing I didn’t feel deserving of that feeling because here I am back at 210lbs. It has been a daily struggle to stay on track and keep motivated. I am determined though for I have done it once, I can do it again! This time I will be blogging about my experiences and hope to keep myself encouraged and motivated as well as others who may need the boost. Starting out I will baby step with portion control as I did before, slowly moving into swapping out foods.
It’s not a race!
I will be weighing in every Wednesday with a Weigh In Wednesday post! Look out for those! Also please share your weight loss experiences! I would love to hear them!
How did you overcome your struggles?