Now that is something I have struggled with for longer than I can remember. Since I turned 12 and the wonderful hormones of puberty decided to kick in, in my body, I have struggled with my weight. Majority of the women in my family are on the heavier side. Now that’s not to say we’re all obese and spend our family gatherings eating and drinking to our hearts content (who am I trying to kid, of course we spend our family gatherings eating and drinking!! That’s part of the fun!) But, on a serious level, the women in my family are typically not super model skinny. We have curves, we have larger thighs and yes our assets are very much so there. Am I blaming my life long struggle with weight on family genetics? Sure! I’d absolutely love too, but the reality of it is, I haven’t always made the best choices when it came to my diet and exercise habits so that has played a role in my life long journey of health and wellness.
So in my pre-teen and early teen years, I started to put on weight. I ate what I wanted based on the food my mom sent to school for lunch and what she made for dinner. Breakfast was always some type of cereal with milk. My adoptive dad loves his sweets, so we always had dessert and junk food around. I don’t remember over eating on the junk food in my pre-teen & teenage years, but I’m sure it happened from time to time. Then at some point I became conscious of my weight and looks and wanted to do something about it. I distinctly remember comparing myself to my closest friends who were much thinner than me. Do you remember having close friends and you just LOVED their top, or skirt or bathing suit and you would try it on to see if it looked good on you too? Well that was me, I loved my close friends fashion style but when it came to trying on clothes and sharing clothes, I just couldn’t. My hips, thighs and ass were much too large to fit into their jeans and my shoulders were too broad and torso much taller than theirs so shirts really didn’t fit well either.
At this point I was very conscious of my size and weight and started to “diet” and exercise. I was involved in karate and would workout 3-5 times a week at home plus train at the dojo 3-4 nights a week. I did this for a couple of years and managed to get myself in shape. I weighed around 155 lbs and was the most fit I’ve been in my entire life. At this time I was in my mid-teens and continued working out and “dieting” throughout the rest of high school and into college. Of course my weight fluctuated throughout the years and I do not ever recall being completely happy with my size or looks. There was this one summer, I was 20 had just moved into my own apartment, worked full time (in fact I worked 2 jobs because well why not) and I worked out a lot. I remember I had this white mini-skirt that I absolutely LOVED wearing. Until recently, that summer was the only time I felt happy with my body and I felt comfortable in my own skin.
Flash forward to marriage a baby and years upon years of stress and I was turning 30 weighing in over 240lbs at 5 ft, 7.5 inches. Simply saying that I was depressed does not come close to how upset I was over my self image. I hated myself, I hated my body, I would beat myself up every day that I didn’t go and workout (which was quick frequent). Instead of making healthy choices about food, I perpetuate my self loathing by taking comfort in food. I really do enjoy cooking and baking, so I baked and while I was baking I enjoyed an adult beverage (or 3!) Don’t get me wrong, the baking experiments were a ton of fun, and quite delicious but they didn’t help me loose the weight. I would drop 5-10lbs, be so happy with myself and treat myself to my favorite unhealthy meal complete with adult beverages and dessert! Then a few weeks later I would realize I put some or all of those lost pounds back on.
Somewhere between 31 and 32 I realized I had to stop this cycle and make A LOT of changes and get healthy. I needed to do it for myself and for my son. He needs a mom that can keep up with his never- ending energy level. Plus, more importantly, he needs me to set a good example for him because he is going to learn from seeing me how to live healthy when he is grown up.
I am proud of myself to say I’ve lost over 40lbs and am hovering just above 200lbs. This is the “skinniest” I have been in almost 10 years and I am very proud of what I have achieved so far! I am still a work in progress and would like to lose another 40-5lbs but, I am happy! Better yet, I have taught myself how to be kinder to myself and love life while living a healthy life at the same time. I still really do love food and adult beverages, and I love experimenting with baked goods but I have discovered that I can have a balance and it is OKAY.
I recently became a Just Strong Ambassador and cannot wait for my Progress – Not Perfection tank top to arrive! I should probably order a few more because I’m going to want to wear this tank for all of my workouts!
I am for sure not perfect. I’m not a perfect mom, I don’t have the perfect body, I don’t have the perfect eating habits and I don’t always follow the perfect healthy lifestyle. But, I am a work in progress and during the time of working and making progress I’ve learned to stop hating myself because of my downfalls. I can look in the mirror and tell myself “wow, girl you look good today.” 5 years ago, forget it, I didn’t see beauty in any part of myself.
I’m sharing this story hoping you too will find strength and encouragement in knowing you’re a work in progress and you do not have to hate yourself or beat yourself up because of it.