This post is a follow-up to my 'i used to be fat' post back in February. It's a wee bit personal, and I'm slightly terrified to share, but sometimes people need to see others have courage in order to speak up or make a change.
I've received tons of e-mails asking about my little weight loss journey and asking for motivation. It's been quite a surprise. I never thought writing about such a personal issue, such as my weight, would receive so much feedback. I, by no means, think my body transformation is one for the record book, but I'm flattered to have heard from so many readers. I'm always open to answering questions or giving encouragement, so keep the e-mails coming.
Back then, I was so terrified of putting that post up because I was afraid. I was afraid of the jokes that might be made. I was also afraid of the criticism from those who believed I didn't have it that bad. I am fully aware that my body wasn't in the worst shape it could have been. However, the body I was in was slowly killing the girl within.
I'm about to be incredibly embarrassed, and you're about to see a photo I swore I would never show anyone. It was the biggest I had ever been. I took it when I first started my journey, in order to mark the progress I made along the way.
This was when I was thirty pounds over weight. That weight not only held my body down, but it held my spirits down too. I had no self esteem. I had no confidence. I despised what I looked like, and I despised myself for letting it get that far. I was starting to lose the girl I had always been.
Despite my own putdowns, I was in a relationship where being called "fat" was a regular occurrence. I struggled with intimacy because I was ashamed of my body. When I tried to get healthy and on track, there was little to no motivation from my boyfriend. I got comments like, "Should you really be eating that?" or "That's all the time you spent on the treadmill today? That's nothing." I was crushed, and fell back in my old ways.
I found comfort in what was making me gain weight; food and alcohol. I would sit in front of the TV and mindlessly eat a bag of chips. Later I would beat myself up for doing it. When I went out with my friends I would get too tipsy. I was unhappy and drinks made me forget that for a few hours.
I don't know when it hit me that I needed to make a change, but slowly I mustered up the strength to let go of the mentally harmful relationship I was in. Once I did, I began the journey to start loving myself again. The first step was getting healthy. I surrounded myself with motivating people, even if they were just in the fitness magazines I purchased. I was determined to get my old body back. Counting calories and going to the gym became a regular part of my day. I started dropping pounds. I looked better, but most of all I felt better. I was able to run longer and I didn't feel sick from junk food.
It took over a year, but I lost the thirty pounds. While I lost the weight, it took awhile to lose the old attitude. I still struggled with being confident. I still felt ugly, even though I had physically changed. I was looking for reassurance in the wrong places, especially in dating. I struggled with finding love for myself, and so I tried to find it from people who were unable to give it. Being alone is what led me to find that confidence again. I got in touch with myself and all the things I used to immerse myself in; writing, painting, reading, all the things that made up me.
I'm living a healthier and happier life now. I still go to the gym and I still eat healthy. I do it because it makes me feel good, and because there are always things I could tighten up! I stopped going out so much, and drinking isn't very appealing anymore. It's been nice waking up early, without a hangover, ready to take on the day. It's also been nice to stop drinking empty calories.
There are those weak moments, but whenever I feel like I want that whole bag of chips while I'm watching 90210, I think of this quote,
"Don't trade what you want most for what you want at this moment."
So, for those who want to make a lifestyle change, stay motivated! It takes time, but you'll get there. I promise. And if you ever find yourself in a relationship that is unhealthy and makes you unhappy with yourself, leave. It's not worth it. No one deserves to ever feel put down. Don't lose the love you have for yourself. Hold onto it tightly. And if you do lose it, fight to get it back. The strongest relationship you have should be with yourself.
Stay healthy and happy, my friends.