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My Struggle with Health & Fitness

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
After college, I started working full time in an office. Which really lowered my activity level and caused me to gain weight once again. Luckily, after a few months of feeling badly about myself, I met a friend at work and we became gym buddies. Together we worked out everyday, and were able to help keep each other motivated to maintain a healthy diet with Weight Watchers. I was able to lose a significant amount of weight (25+ pounds) and was feeling confident and happy. That was seven years ago, and the last time I remember really feeling truly confident with body.

The bride was my workout buddy :)
But when I changed jobs the following year, I no longer was able to workout with my friend on our lunch break. I began losing motivation to exercise and eat well. With the combination of my social life and lack of exercise, the pounds slowly began to creep up. And suddenly, I was back where I started. For a few years, I maintained that weight for the most part. Fluctuating here and there, but I never felt good about myself.

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
Because I found success with the 21 Day Fix in the past, I decided to start there again. I have a close friend doing it with me, as well as a Facebook group to help stay motivated.  I am on my first round, and feeling motivated to keep going. Hopefully this post will help keep me accountable.

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


  1. Ahhh...isn't weight/healthy lifestyle such a tricky balance? It is for me, I know. I haven't had any significant weight issues but I've definitely had body image issues with feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. I'm not one for loving putting on my bikini in the summer, that's for sure. My biggest concern is to eat as healthy as I can, but it mostly stems from having a lot of stomach pain issues. I've had to illuminate a lot of foods that I love but make me feel bad after eating them; all dairy, eggs, soy, moderate my alcohol intake, and most recently gluten. I found doing the Whole30 really helped me, and it's helped one of my friends with the same struggles as you to learn how to eat better and make better choices. Mostly by reading all labels. Damn sugar gets into everything! Canned tomatoes, chicken broths, everything!

    Anyway, it's good you've recognized that you're ready to continue on this journey again. Sometimes rather than focusing on the number on the scale it's best to just feel comfortable in your own jeans. I like to go by that. As long as my jeans aren't feeling tight I feel pretty good! :) I'll be looking forward to following along your journey.

  2. I just want to say I think you are beautiful! If we lived closer I would totally be your workout buddy because I too would love to lose some weight (like 30 lbs of it!) Move to Walnut Creek so we can motivate one another!

  3. Hi Theresa, I'm not sure how I found your blog originally, but I'm glad you are writing again! I think we have similar backgrounds (I'm from the Sierra foothills/mountains as well) and I REALLY relate to this post...I have such a similar history of weight loss/gain. I got married at the end of 2014 and have basically been gaining ever since and am at my heaviest ever at this point...the number on the scale is scary for me. Your comment "I am thirty years old, I can't keep making excuses" hits really close to home -- I just turned thirty-one, but same idea ;) I will look forward to following your progress and I hope it will be motivating for me as well as I attempt to get back on track. Best, Sarah

  4. It is really hard to stick with these things and stay motivated. I was really happy with my weight, but then I got pregnant. I maintained a really healthy weight during pregnancy and only gained 25 pounds. Because of nursing I lost it all and then some after Henry was born. After I stopped nursing though I have regained a lot of it and I have been too tired and unmotivated to do much about it. Recently I have been trying to be more active. We bought a jogging stroller and I've been getting out more. Im sure your posts will help inspire me. good luck and cant wait to read more!

  5. Theresa! Thank you so much for sharing. I've always had food & body image issues. Since our wedding in October, food has been a free-for-all for me and I am currently at my heaviest weight. I am definitely hoping to make some healthy lifestyle changes in South America. You should get your fit bit back up so we can start motivating each other with some friendly competition!

  6. Girl, I feel you. I've struggled with body image my whole life, along with general health and fitness stuff. It's so hard to stay motivated to workout and eat right. I didn't realize just how much of a challenge it would be to lose the baby weight either. I gained a lot more during pregnancy than I wanted to, despite eating well and staying active through 8 of the 9 months (I even gave up sugar completely!). My weight was stagnant at first and then, all of a sudden in month 5 I started gaining and ended up putting on 50lbs in about 5 months! I still have at least 10 to lose (13 to be exactly where I was pre-pregnancy) and it is my most difficult health and fitness challenge yet. Those last 10lbs just don't want to go away! I know it doesn't sound like much to some but, for me, 10lbs is huge. And I still don't fit in my pre-pregnancy clothes, which is super frustrating. Are you on FitBit? If so, we should be friends!

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