So I’m going to share the story typically untold. All around us there are stories of weight loss and body transformations, backed by endless before and afters, workout tips, inspirational messages, training and resource offerings, etc. Less often do I come across the stores of how the weight came about, which I feel is equally important and should be discussed. I think its an important reflection to share because there are others likely going through similar life hardships whether it be emotional, physical, financial, etc…all of which can lead into unhealthy habits and decisions that can impact your weight, health and wellness. What I want to point out (that I lost sight of during my struggles) is that although there may be times in life where we may feel like things are out of our control, and sometimes things really are beyond our control, that even with those things which we cannot control, there are still plenty of things that we can control. i.e., our food choices/intake, exercise and even our attitudes. And those are the very things that we MUST maintain control over.
“ I said it before and I’ll say it again, EVERYTHING in life comes and goes: boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, family, houses, jobs, cars, clothes, money, etc. BUT your body, YOUR BODY is the ONE and ONLY thing that stays with you the entire duration of your life. So please do all that you can do to take good care of it! “
That being said, For some, being heavy, overweight, full figured..however you chose to define it was always a way of life, but for others it was something that sort of just happened. Maybe it had a distinct cause, maybe it just gradually came about. Regardless, I think it’s important to talk about the before aspect of the weight loss journey and not just the after/now. So here we go, a tale of two me’s…
I wasn’t always overweight. In fact, if I had my high school body back I’d be DOPE as fuck! And although statuesque and padded in all the right places, compared to my peers, I was a relatively fit teenager and young adult. I gained the typically Freshman 15 in college but it just made me #fitthick and possibly even more popular with the guys. I was active in college, jogging when I could, playing intermural soccer, teaching gymnastics and anything else I could do around studying and working to keep me active.
My body started to fall downhill in 2008 (post graduation) and after/as a result of my first foot break. If you haven’t heard the story it basically goes something like this: I was trying to workout at home and I was doing a variation of high knees, came down wrong and hard and….SNAP…there goes my foot. What makes the story hilarious (looking back) was that I was home alone with no phone and downstairs. Ironically I had internet and a computer that was upstairs, which meant I had to drag myself up the stairs, Yahoo messenger (does the still exist?!?!) And for the record a totally platonic male friend to call my then fiance at work (awkward) to explain what happened and send for help. Now my panic led to his panic which lead to an at-work incident that further held him up. I spent six hours crying, laying in a puddle of sweat and tears for him to finally come home and rush me to the ER.
I spent the next three years continuing my foot break saga. 2009 foot break running up TWO steps to the front door of my condo (although in my defense my foot doctor said my foot likely was already fractured at the time and running was checkmate). 2010 Foot break in pole class, attempted a twisted grip kickup, rolled my ankle and the pressure on the side of my foot went POP! 2011 foot break on the in-door soccer field. A teammate kicked me in the foot during warmup and SNAP! Four years, four consecutive foot breaks – three on the left foot, one on the right foot. It might be a good time to add that I have a calcium and vitamin D defiance and also that I supinate when I walk, so clearly those things didn’t help. Finally in 2012 I had surgery to have a titanium screw inserted into my foot to prevent further breaks. Four foot breaks and a surgery later, I was left overweight and severely out of shape…only to follow that up with a broken rib (I’ll talk about that and show the video another time). I must say though, that without these setbacks, I probably wouldn’t be where I am and who I am today. My love for fitness and flexibility (which gave birth to #flexyfit) was born through having to recreate myself.
At the time, I’m sure I blamed my foot breaks as the reason why I gained so much weight. But looking back now, I see that it was really a culmination of things and by things I mostly mean bad choices. Broken feet prevented me from working out the way I would have liked to, however they alone were not the cause of my weight loss. The actual causes of my weight loss were:
Poor food choices – I engorged myself in all sorts of comfort foods. Partly because food was the only happy thing I felt I could still control and also because I had a fiancé that didn’t cook and all he knew how to do was pick something (fast food) up on the way home. And possibly he felt that feeding me good stuff was helping to make me happy and cope. So he showered me in wine, cupcakes and all of my other comfort food faves.
All the alcohol – again, wallowing in my agony and using alcohol as an escape. Verdi wine being the drink of choice at the time.
Lack of exercise – the first few foot breaks I worked out NADA. Not realizing that there were things I still could have done had I reached out to a fitness professional or just tried.
Depression – I don’t know that I realized this at the time but I was severely depressed and that comes along with side effects of its own.
Four years of foot breaks and poor decisions caught up to me in the worst way. At only 24 I was pushing 260 and had became a neck up girl… you know what I mean that girl that has mastered the art of taking selfies from the neck up in a way that you’d never know what she looks like down below because she’s got a pretty face and a rack that’ll knock your socks off. She’s excellent when it comes to angles! I was down to wearing the same 2 pairs of pants to work because that’s all that fit. If I went out I was sporting jersey dresses, because despite my weight gain my legs were still seemingly #thickfit and the extra material in the midsection hid my belly. I feared being tagged in photos on IG (that was back before they had all of the fancy content control tools we have now). When I deleted almost 90-95%% of the pics that I took in attempt to get the perfect angle and deny the reality of my life, or rather the rest of my body. I was throwing money around to gain friends and disguise my body flaws.
I never really looked at myself in the mirror. I would look in the mirror only enough to brush my teeth, wash my face, do my makeup, but I was never really looking at ME, looking at myself, looking into my life. I was looking past me and beyond me. Looking only enough to get the job done. walked around consistently sucking my belly in and lived in total denial about the reality of my body. I was doing everything to draw attention away from my body and to every other aspect of my life. That’s no way for a 24 year old to live. Not when you’re so full of live. Hell, that’s not a way for anyone to live, especially when you don’t have to. So foot breaks sucked! Yea, but my choices about how I lived my life, what I ate, what I did to my body, what I didn’t do, I didn’t take advantage of the things that I could still do – that was all on me. Maybe I didn’t know that I could, but I didn’t try. I didn’t reach out for help. I just…sat back depressed and unhappy and accepted what I thought my life had to be. Not realizing that it could still be anything that I wanted it to be. And so, that’s how I ended up FAT, OVERWEIGHT,TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTY POUNDS…5’8″ 1/2 busing out my jeans with a muffin top. Closet full of clothes that I couldn’t fit. Until one day I made a choice – I’m not buying anymore “fat clothes” hell, I’m not buying anymore clothes period. This isn’t what I want or who I was meant to be. I want better for me. I want to look better, I want to feel better, I want to do better. I made that choice and to be honest, I had a lot of ups and downs between then and now. Between that decision and finally getting to a point where it was not a diet, or a 21 day challenge or just the need to get ready for one specific event. Instead it became a LIFESTYLE CHANGE where I said: I’m going to live my life differently. I’m going to do different, I’m going to be different, I’m going to be better to create a better body and be the best me that I can be. So yea, I gained the weight, but I lost the weight. And you can do it too The choice is simple. The work is hard but the choice is simple. But it’s probably the most rewarding thing that I’ve ever done in my life. And you can do it too!