My fitness journey and acceptance of body changes has been something I have wanted to write about for a while. But I have not been entirely sure how to. It has been a subject that I barely want to address with myself, let alone with other people. In the last few months, I have made some big changes in the way I look at and treat my body, and I suppose now is the time to finally put my experiences into writing.
For the majority of my life, I was always thin, a size 0, and my weight stayed around 95-100 lbs. and never fluctuated over that. I never had to worry about gaining weight or my clothes not fitting. Technically I was in a healthy weight range for my height but I was definitely underweight at times or at least on the edge of being so. I got a lot of comments such as “you should eat a cheeseburger!” or speculation of having an eating disorder. I did eat cheeseburgers, plenty of them in fact. As well as pizza, pasta, and whatever other foods typically associated with gaining weight. I could eat as much of those foods as I wanted, maybe I would get bloated, but my weight would remain unchanged. I was always active from a young age, involved in sports and such. I kept up a pretty active lifestyle through college, until I graduated and started working full time. Then I worked out rarely and thought oh, I’ll be fine. I don’t need to. Well. If only I knew. I started steadily gaining weight around 26, I’m almost 29 now. The first 20 pounds, my body honestly needed. I saw the number on the scale going up and freaked out, but at the same time I had people telling me how much better I looked. The second 20 pounds, not so much. I came to a point where I embraced body positivity, looked at pictures of myself and thought wow I actually do look great with this weight on my body. 20 extra pounds has improved my self-esteem! But I still wasn’t working out regularly, and still indulging in all the foods I had before. Its fine, I would tell myself. I won’t gain any more weight; I look good like this I can still eat whatever I feel like. My size went from a 0 to a 2, to a 4. Its ok I thought. At the beginning of last year, I reached a point where I realized I needed to make some changes to my diet and activities. And then…. quarantine.
Quarantine started with me having the best intentions to start my fitness journey but let me tell you, that did not happen as I planned. I have always loved baking, and I found myself occupying my time with making decadent desserts and savory breads. I craved comfort foods, and I always liked cooking but I started to get really into it during quarantine. I was making way to many pasta dishes, and drinking wine pretty much every day. All while telling myself my 20-minute home workouts a couple times a week would be sufficient to counteract this (they weren’t). Coming to the present, I discovered in the winter of 2020 that I had reached my heaviest weight ever (damn that second 20 pounds) and had gained 40-45 pounds from my days of being 95 pounds. I was a size 6-8, and I felt I needed to do something. I want to add here that in no way is being this size or weight a bad thing. Humans are beautiful at all shapes and sizes. For me, being that I am 5’1and had reached the highest end of the healthy weight range for my height. I didn’t feel great, my BMI was telling me I was technically overweight. My body positivity was at a shaky place. I no longer liked the way I looked in the mirror. I never want to be 100 pounds again, but I would to return to the happy medium that I was at 20 pounds ago where I felt healthy and confident in my skin. Thus, began my current journey of losing 20- 30 pounds.
I owe a lot of thanks to my brother for motivating me and helping me form my routines to build a healthier lifestyle. I probably couldn’t have done it without it him, or attempted it but failed. He deserves a huge shoutout!!! My workout routine is strength training 4-5 days a week, combined with a brisk walk for cardio afterwards. The other days of the week I do 30-45 minutes of stationary biking. I usually give my self one rest day per week, maybe two if I’m feeling sore or burnt out. At my brother’s suggestion, I’ve started counting my calories with my fitness pal. By some miracle, have managed to not go over that goal since I’ve started tracking. I didn’t eat super unhealthy before, but I have made small changes that have helped me so much. Cutting down on carbs, fat, sugar, and sodium has made a huge difference. Eating more whole foods instead of anything processed, and increasing my protein intake by a lot (a lot a lot). I have tried in the past to restrict myself from foods I love (and drinks) but it hasn’t worked for me. I would do well for a bit but then get tired of being deprived and binge on the unhealthier foods I had been avoiding. Probably a huge reason why I kept gaining weight. Now I eat healthy, whole foods and eat light 90% of the time. But I still enjoy the foods and drinks I love. The thought of giving up pizza, pasta or red wine completely is kind of horrifying, and I have learned that you can still indulge in such foods while being healthy. Since it has been several months since I started my workouts of lifting weights/cardio and mindful eating, I thought I would weigh myself last week. I have lost a few pounds but am not anywhere close to my goal yet. I had somehow convinced myself that I would see a lower number and when I didn’t, I found it discouraging. I still went and did my workout for the day and haven’t let that sway me from my routine. The advice my brother gave me was to not pay attention to the scale. Since I’ve been lifting weights so often, I’ve gained muscle. Maybe I’ve lost more fat, but my weight registers higher from muscle gain. While I have a way to go on my goal weight, I have noticed changes happening that make me feel amazing. My clothes are fitting better and I look in the mirror and see muscle developing. I like what I see and how I feel more and more every day. I have cut back on drinking a good amount and now drink two 40 oz Iron Flasks a day of water. This has resulted in so much less bloating; I sleep better (and pee a million times a day), and yet I still enjoy alcohol in moderation. Starting April 9th, I am doing a 28-day cleanse that involves eliminating red meat, dairy, gluten, processed/white flour food, alcohol, and coffee for the duration. The focus is to remove acidic and inflammatory foods from your diet and fully detox, then slowly reintroduce them to see how your body responds. One meal per day will be replaced with a shake, and you also take detox supplements and drink your greens with a powder you can mix into water. I am so excited to be trying this and look forward to the benefits it will bring. I hope that the cleanse will both bring me closer to my weight loss goal as well as improving my overall health. I will be posting about the cleanse throughout, please let me know if there’s any specific questions you have or things you want to know!
This journey is about living a truly balanced life and finding what works for me personally to lose some weight and be as healthy as I can be. Not everything I do will work for others, and a huge part of me writing this post is to share my honest, raw experience of weight gain/loss and body image. I’m not here to pretend its easy or say that I made these changes and immediately lost weight. A big part of motivation for me is that I’m doing this just to be “skinny”. Being strong, healthy, and fit is what makes me feel absolutely amazing. I have to say it feels great to get these words out on paper.
If any of you are interested in workouts, healthy recipes, or tips for living your best-balanced lifestyle never hesitate to message me! What are some of your workout routines or weight loss tips? Comment below I’m always curious to know! 😊