Making the decision to lose weight is one of the hardest choices we have to make. There are a lot of personal questions that need to be answered, such as:
“How did I get to this weight?”
“Why do I want to lose weight?”
“How should I start my journey?”
“How do I maintain my progress?”
If you’re currently thinking about losing weight or starting a new fitness or wellness regimen, congratulations! I mean that with all sincerity! Anybody who has battled with their bodies can tell you how easy complacency is. While there’s nothing wrong with loving and accepting your body at whatever stage and condition it’s in, the problem arises when we don’t feel happy with ourselves and rely on the comfort of acceptance rather than push ourselves to change.
In today’s blog post, I’m going to walk you through my beginning stages of the current journey I’m on, and hopefully it’ll be something relatable to anybody struggling with their beginning stages also. As a whole, this weekly series will highlight a few things I’m doing throughout the week to work on my goal, whether it involves some exercise routines, new recipes, or just real posts such as “Why Are All Black Women Expected to Look Like Beyonce or Gabourey Sidibe?” SERIOUSLY, THOUGH.
How Did I Get To This Weight
I was always the fat kid growing up LOL! While none of the adults in my life approved of my weight, nobody was hesitating to pull through the McDonald’s drive-thru and let me get a large adult combo- with a milkshake instead of a soda- when I was eight years old, either.
What I’m trying to say is… it wasn’t hard for me to get fat. Both within my home and outside of the house, poor food choices surrounded me, and I didn’t have the restraint, knowledge, or support to make better choices.
When I graduated from high school, however, I decided to make better choices. I wasn’t in school, wasn’t working at the time. I lived the most stress-free life at 18 years old, and had nothing to do but workout and take pictures for roughly nine months. Over the course of two years total, I managed to lose a total of 100 pounds. It was great, it was exciting- it was a little strange how quickly the weight came off, but every doctor I visited assured me I was ok. I started with a 40 pound weight loss over 6 months just by controlling my portions and walking 4-5 times a week. I stopped eating fast food and take-out completely, and really cut down on sugars. At the turn of the New Year in 2010, I was so motivated that I started going to the gym, running, doing Pilates at home, etc.
Glow up game strong lol: Left side is October 2008, size 20, 270 pounds. Top Right: June 2009, size 20, 270 pounds. Middle and bottom right: February 2010, size 16, approx. 220 pounds.
However, things got weird around early 2011 when I started taking hormonal birth control to regulate my menstrual cycle. I gained about 20 pounds in a month. But my clothes still fit fine, and my doctors still couldn’t find anything wrong. Over the next year, I would increase my workouts trying to combat the rising scale, but nothing seemed to be working. I began to lax a little on the workouts, enjoy a little more junk food. By the time I moved to another city to finish college, I was back up to at least 230 pounds, and wearing a size 12/14.
Top Left: November 2011, size 10, 185 pounds. Top Right: August 2012, size 12, 220 pounds. Bottom Left: April 2014, size 14, approx. 240 pounds. Bottom Right: December 2014, size 16, approx 260 pounds.
Living on my own as a broke college student wreaked havoc on my body! I mostly ate starchy, processed foods, so despite walking everywhere, I mostly stayed around a size 14 for the duration of college. After I graduated, things got real, however. Both in the real world, and with my body.
I didn’t get richer, so I was still eating poorly. However, I wasn’t nearly as active as a new graduate as I was when I was in college. I literally just went to work, went home to laze, out to eat and drink with my friends, and then repeat. I don’t know why I was so shocked when, by June 2015, I was 265 pounds and rightly fitting a size 18!
L-R: October 2015, size 16, 250 pounds. December 2015, size 14/16, 240 pounds. April 2016, size 14, 225 pounds.
I got back on the weight loss train by August 2015, and it’s been an uphill battle ever since. Between health issues, grieving the loss of my mom and best friend who both passed away in early 2015, and moving back home with no diet plan… I’m right here at about 265 pounds, somewhere between a size 16 and 18.
Why Do I Want to Lose Weight
I’m just not happy with the way I look and feel at this size. I’m accepting of how I look, but I know I can look better!
Also, my health is struggling. So far, I’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, as well as a few mental health issues that honestly make it hard to get out of bed before noon some days, much less do 100 sit-ups before breakfast. But knowing that a host of cardiovascular diseases, as well as kidney disease and diabetes run in my family, it’s imperative for me to be in the best shape I can be in before I hit my 30s in about 4 years. This is primetime to start establishing a healthy lifestyle and habits that will increase the quality and longevity of my life!
How Should I Start My Journey
I canceled my gym membership I wasn’t using anymore, and I’ve restarted mine slow and steady by walking. On average, I’ve been walking about 3 or 4 times a week. I walk at the beach or in the park, places where there’s an incline and therefore an opportunity for me to use more leg muscle and cardio strength. I walk 45 minutes to one hour, completing between 2.5-3.5 miles each session. That’s roughly an 18-20 minute mile. By the summer, I want to be finishing a mile within 15 minutes. I’m going to start incorporating Pilates at home on days when the weather sucks.
As far as food goes, I’ve been cutting back on certain splurges and portion sizes over time. I live back at home now, and it is stressful trying to eat a certain diet when everyone else in your household eats what you’re trying to cut out… and brings it home by the Costco bulk-load weekly. Luckily, however, I’m moving out soon! My diet is going to dramatically change in about a month when I simply can’t afford to eat nonsense or waste food by not portion-prepping. I’m also excited to experiment with more fresh ingredients.
How Do I Maintain My Progress
As painful as the journey of losing weight just to gain it all back within 8 years has been… it was necessary. I know what I need to do this time around as far as maintaining, and my personal weight gain warning signs and triggers. For me, it’s being overly stressed or too idle. It’s also half-priced margaritas and flatbread pizzas at Happy Hour.
I’ll be using my Apple Watch to keep track of my activity and MyFitnessPal to keep track of my food. I won’t be weighing myself much. My weight is skewed because I’m 5’10 and built like a brick house lol. I just happened to get weighed at neurology the other day and know I’m around 268 pounds currently. I weighed around 165 pounds when I finally fit down into a size 6 for a month once upon a time… I’m not within anyone’s “normal” weight guidelines lol! This was me a few weeks ago for reference:
It’ll be interesting to see how my past experiences and maturity affect this journey, and I hope you guys come along with me!