Thursday, July 2, 2015

I'm back!

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted. I was 45 lbs down in my first post, and I am now a whopping 70 pounds down! I am officially back at my old "normal" weight of 185. I was this weight through high school and into college. I fluctuated occasionally, but 185 was always where I felt normal. Today I want to write about something really personal for me, and I think it's something that many people who are overweight can understand. That's right, I'm talking about insecurities. Body image. And how weight loss has affected mine.

At my highest weight of 255 pounds, I found myself reminiscing on my old pictures almost daily, just wishing that I could be like that again. I told myself that I would kill to be that small again, and I was angry with myself for ever feeling self conscious at that size. I thought that if I could just get back down to where I was, all my self esteem issues would dissolve and I would never take my smaller body for granted like I had before.

Well, here I am at that weight, and I still feel fat. I still see the flaws in my body when I look in the mirror. It's strange, because it seems like no matter how much weight I lose, no matter how small my clothes are, I still see a fat girl in the mirror. My body is not what I thought it would be at this weight. I don't look the same as I did before I had gained weight. My belly is stretched, saggy, and really lumpy. It's foreign to me and I struggle with it often. My body has the same unappealing shape as it did when I was heavier, but it is just scaled down a bit. But the lumps and rolls are still there. It's frustrating to say the least.

Lately I've been trying to be more mindful of how I speak and think of myself. Sure, I feel fat and unattractive on some days. But other days I feel strong, confident, and proud of myself. It's easy to look in the mirror and only see my problem areas. But as much work as I still have to do to get to where I want, I can appreciate the body I'm in now. This body is strong! I mean shit, I've lost 70 pounds already. That doesn't happen without some effort. I've trained my body, built my strength and endurance, and I now feel a dedication to my body. I feel obligated to treat my body respectfully and appreciate where it has gotten me. I love this body.

My body is flawed. It's far from perfect and I know that even when the number on the scale is where I want it to be, my body will still be flawed. I will always be stretched out. I will always have stretch marks. I'll always have loose skin that reminds me of where I've been. And that's OKAY.

Here are some pictures I took earlier this morning. When I first saw them I cringed. Then I looked back at my first post and was in awe of how far I've come.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A little bit about me...

I have always wanted to be skinny not fat. As long as I can remember, I have been overweight. I have no memories of ever wearing a bikini, and the only proof that I ever wore one is a picture from my family vacation when I was roughly 4 years old. I remember looking back at that picture when I was 12, envious of my previously tiny frame. I recall having to be weighed at school in fifth grade, and I clocked in at 130 pounds. By eighth grade I was 160, and by my senior year of high school I was 185. Those numbers sound fantastic to me now, but that doesn't change the fact that I've been steadily gaining weight pretty much my whole life.

I spent a lot of time during my teenage years contemplating the odds of being overweight. I always heard that one in four Americans was overweight, and I would wallow in the fact that I drew the short stick, as if my obesity was a game of statistics and not caused by any fault of my own. I played the victim, and I felt sorry for myself.

After high school, I met my ex-fiance and father of my child. I got pregnant a few months after meeting him (smart, I know) and that's when the weight piled on. The second I found out I was pregnant, I made a conscious decision to say "fuck it" and eat/drink/do/not do whatever I wanted during my pregnancy. I mean, I was growing a HUMAN after all! I was entitled to whatever I wanted. Buffalo sauce on literally everything? Check. Lying sedentary on the couch for hours on end while watching Netflix? Check. Baby back ribs and a chocolate shake? Hell yeah! I started my pregnancy at 190 pounds, and weighed in at my final prenatal appointment at 244 pounds. Right after my daughter was born I was down to 228 pounds, a number that I wouldn't see again for a long time after that.

Motherhood was tough on me. Breastfeeding made me gain weight instead of lose it. My IUD birth control made it absolutely impossible to take weight off even though I was on Weight Watchers and following the program religiously. (I have since switched to the pill and haven't had any issues!) Not to mention I was always tired as hell, and I spent the majority of my time at home. By the time Evelyn (my daughter) turned one, I was up to 235 pounds. Then my ex and I picked up our family and moved to Illinois, where I proceeded to gain 20 pounds over the next 10 months that I would live there.

When I got to 250 pounds, I hated myself. That was the weight that you see when you're watching football and they give statistics for linebackers and other big, strong men. That wasn't supposed to be a number associated with a 22 year old mom who stands at 5'4". Being part of the "250 club" (what my friends and I called it) was embarrassing. I felt like an unattractive slob who stopped caring about herself. By the time I hit 255, I decided to head back to Weight Watchers and invest in a gym membership. I lost 10 pounds in two months and I was building the self confidence that I so greatly lacked.

Then, life threw a plot twist at me. I woke up one morning to a knock on my door, and it was some random girl my ex had been sleeping in a relationship with. In fact, months after the fact I found out that he had numerous "girlfriends" on the side. I was disgusted. I picked up my whole life and left everyone I knew and loved in sunny, southern California and moved to the middle of absofuckinglutely nowhere in Illinois for this guy. So, I did what any sane woman/mother would do and I packed my shit and hopped on plane back home with my daughter. I worried that the stress of my break up would cause me to gain weight, but I was surprised to find that I felt more relieved about the situation that I had originally thought. I wasn't devastated, and I wasn't heartbroken. I was thankful I had dodged a bullet. I was lucky enough to find this out three months before the wedding instead of after the fact. For the first time in three years (the length of time I was with him) I felt like I could breathe, like I was where I was supposed to be.

I found out about my ex's cheating on a Tuesday morning. I moved home that Friday. The days in-between were painstaking. I was focusing on packing and organizing my stuff, and would occasionally lash out at him when the reality of the situation would hit me in waves. I recall telling him that I was going to go home and get fit, and he was going to hate himself the next time he saw me. In hindsight, he's far from my motivation to lose the weight, though it will feel great to throw it in his face one day. But in actuality, I am on this journey for no one but myself. I feel deserving of a great body, deserving of a confidence that glows when I walk into a room. I'm doing it because I love myself, and that's something that I couldn't have said six months ago. I'm doing it because I am worthy.

As of right now I am 209 pounds. Which means that I am down 46 pounds from my highest weight! I feel so proud of myself, and my journey to becoming fit is far from over. But I know that I can do this, and I know that I am mentally ready to commit to it. I feel unstoppable, and I want to put my story out there because I want you to feel unstoppable too!

This is me shortly after moving home to California. I was about 245 pounds in this picture.

Down 30 pounds, so I was 225 pounds here.

And this is my most recent photo, 210 pounds!