It makes me a little nervous sharing this with you and being so vulnerable. But at the same time writing is therapeutic, and maybe one of you has had similar struggles and can relate to my experiences. Usually people write these types of posts when they have an after photo, but I'm just starting my journey. I thought since I've found similar posts by other bloggers helpful, someone out there may find this interesting as well. It's a long post, and if this isn't a subject that interests you, I won't be offended if you stop here.
For as long as I can remember I have struggled with my weight, body image, and confidence. Even in high school when I was so thin, I always compared myself to others and felt like I needed to lose weight. I have always had a hard time being consistent with diet & exercise, trying every fad diet in the book. I've even had great success, but inevitably end up gaining the weight back. I've always been active: playing outside as a kid, hiking, and playing sports, etc. But, I have trouble being both active and maintaining a healthy diet. Usually I'm successful at one or the other, which hasn't gotten me very far.
In college, like most people, I gained some weight my first semester. But, during my second semester I started dieting and running to lose weight. After I few months I got pretty thin, almost too thin. I felt great, but in order to achieve that success I completely cut myself off socially. I didn't go to the cafeteria with friends for meals. I didn't drink at all, which isn't a bad thing by any means, but as a freshman in college that really limits your social life. It wasn't a lifestyle I could maintain. I missed spending time with my friends, and felt like I was missing part of the college experience. I kept exercising, but eventually during my sophomore year, I started gaining all the weight back.
|after my first semester of college|
|end of freshman year|
|The bride was my workout buddy :)|
Since then I've gone in waves of working out consistently. I've been able to lose a bit of weight, but I have never reached my goal before falling off the wagon. Honestly, it feels as though I am unconsciously sabotaging my own success. I haven't figured out what the trigger is that makes me give up. Emotional eating is definitely a factor, and lack of motivation to get to the gym without a work out partner has also been hard. I find myself asking, why can't I make this happen? Andrew is committed to diet and exercise, so you would think it would be easy. He is so supportive and always encourages me. But it has still been a constant struggle.
Before our wedding last summer, I found success with the 21 Day Fix. I did my own workouts and followed the diet plan closely. I loved it, and felt like it taught me healthy habits about portion size and the types of foods I should be eating. Because I waited so long to get started, I didn't have nearly the weight loss I had hoped before the wedding, but once I started the 21 Day Fix I was able to lose 9 pounds and felt great on our wedding day.
Unfortunately, after our wedding came the honeymoon, followed by the holidays...I'm sure you can see where this is going. I've now gained back all the weight I lost and reached my highest weight ever. Seeing that number on the scale was a big wake up call. On top of feeling down about my size, and being uncomfortable in my own skin, now I had the number to confirm those feelings. The final straw was after our recent trip to Big Sur. When we got home and I was looking at pictures I couldn't believe how heavy I looked. I knew I had to snap out of it and break the cycle. I am thirty years old, I can't keep making excuses. I know I need to do this for my health. Beyond the number on the scale, and size of my jeans, I want to be healthy. I want to live a long, healthy life with Andrew and our future family. It's time to fall back in love with exercise and teach myself healthy eating habits.
|From our recent trip to Big Sur - the "Before" pictures, if you will|
When I start my next round of the 21 Day Fix, I plan to share a weekly update with my progress. I've been keeping track of my success including pictures and measurements. I will also share the recipes that have worked for me in hopes that it will help someone else as well.
I feel like I am finally on my way to figuring out the balance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, while still living life to the fullest and enjoying a glass of wine or dinner out with friends. I think for me it's going to be something I have to work on indefinitely, it does not come easily. But, I am learning what tools help make me successful and regaining this feeling of confidence is motivation in itself.
Any tips you have for me are greatly appreciated :)
Running Shoe Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net