I don’t remember exactly when the problem started, because for the most part I have viewed it as a lifelong battle. I remember storing and hiding food in my room so that I could eat it without the shame of other people knowing just how much I was eating. Anytime something stressful happened for me, the answer was always…chocolate, cookies, ice cream, etc. However, in high school I was maintaining a fairly active lifestyle. I played varsity level tennis, and was pretty active. So while I was definitely overweight – it wasn’t something that alarmed me. Then, everything changed. I went away to college, tennis stopped, the stress and pressure of making sure I was thriving at school…. it all sent me on a downward spiral. I didn’t even realize it was happening, but quickly my meals got larger, my snacks more frequent, my clothes didn’t quite fit the same, and I was gaining weight – more rapidly than I would probably even care to admit now.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? I think the biggest impact was just my overall lack of confidence. I was so proud of so many aspects of my life but it was disheartening to never be able to be proud of my body or my own self image.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? I went to my cousin’s bridal shower and my cousins and I took a group picture and I was absolutely horrified. I felt so huge, it was as though I had no neck, no shape, no nothing, I was just a big blob. It was a really hard reality to face because quite frankly, there was a lot more to it than weight. I was struggling with the confidence that I had worked so hard to gain in high school. I was struggling with some of my classes in my first year of college and I was terrified I wasn’t going to be the “A” student that I was in high school. Looking at that picture and then stepping on the scale and realizing that I was 245 pounds made me think – had I already failed in some way? Had I worked myself up so much that I stopped caring about myself?
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? The first thing I did was throw away a lot of the snacks that I had in my dorm room and committed to not buying desserts from the dining hall. Then a couple of weeks later Summer break started and my mom and I made a commitment to workout together! I thought that we should try a spin class and we quickly fell in love with that! Taking spin classes really jumpstarted my journey and gave me a community of supportive people.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? I started to see weight loss pretty quickly, but I didn’t start noticing an appearance difference for about a month – once I started noticing that I was looking different and that my clothes was fitting differently, that’s when I got super motivated and really changed my lifestyle completely.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? Being away at school has been really hard. I rely on a meal plan for food, often times the dining hall doesn’t have a ton of very healthy options, meaning my food becomes very repetitive. You can only eat so many salads for dinner before you want to go crazy from the lack of variation. It’s also hard because a lot, if not all of the healthy options in the dining hall are significantly more expensive, draining my meal plan funds more rapidly. It’s also just hard because the culture on college campuses includes eating – pizza, ice cream, french fries, etc. All of those foods were so readily available and EVERYONE is eating them – the peer pressure is unreal!
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? I’m not going to pretend that this has been easy or that it has all been a joy, because it hasn’t. Yet it is so so worth it. It’s worth it despite the moments I have to say no. It’s worth it despite the times I feel like I’m failing. It was worth it even when I was mortified by how out of shape I was when I started working out. It’s all worth it because I learned that I truly do love myself and that I deserve to. I learned that I am so much stronger than I could’ve ever imagined. It’s all worth it because I’ve found my true self.
The thing that keeps me motivated is that self love that I have begun to feel, It’s also been being able to see myself continue to get stronger, faster, and just even become a better person as time goes on.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? About a month ago I hit my first really long plateau, eventually to get over it all I did was change up my exercise routine. I feel like when my body gets used to one routine, my weight loss starts to slow down a bit. So this time around I incorporated weight lifting into my workouts and that really helped.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? Training for the half marathon has really been one big non scale victory because it has instilled so much confidence in me. It really has gotten rid of all the doubts that I had about my abilities to make a difference in my life because, it shows SUCH progression. I couldn’t run 50 feet, now I can run 10 miles?? It’s unreal and makes me so proud. Another big NSV has been being able to help people start and navigate through their own journey.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I was definitely an emotional eater, especially when it came to stress. Stress at school was always the number one reason that I would begin to over eat. My worst habit was definitely snacking. I had gotten into the habit that every time I studied that I would eat a snack throughout the study session. It led to so much over eating.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I really started to love working very early on in my journey. When I started out, I would do a modified spin class. Now I enjoy really pushing myself in spin classes, I also started running (now I’m training for a half marathon!), and I’ve begun to incorporate some weight lifting. My favorite activities are definitely cardio: spinning, running, stair machine, rowing, etc! I love cardio because it really reminds me of how far I’ve come! I remember being the girl who would make up excuses as to why I couldn’t run the mile in gym class in high school, and now I can run 10 miles and will be running a half marathon in April!!
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- For college students: I know you love netflix! Make the gym the time you watch netflix! That way you still get to watch your shows but it’s guilt free! I have watched so much Scandal while on the elliptical!