Around this time, just last year, I was in the best shape of my life, and I don't just mean thinner. I was thin, I had great muscle tone, I could squat way more than the average guy, I was really proud of my body and my hard work (I was a thrower for my university track team), and best of all, I could go shopping for clothes and literally fit into anything without having to worry about hiding certain parts of my body (such as love handles, chunky legs or arms). I will definitely say that being on a team and having to work out about 2 hours a day (some cardio, a lot of lifting, and a lot of technique for throwing) had a very significant part in getting me into shape. Team motivation is irreplaceable. I lost about 30 lbs or so and it was AWESOME!!!
I am a totally open person about this kind of thing, so I'm not going to be embarrassed!! I've struggled with weight pretty much all my life because I TOTALLY love eating, and I have a habit of OVEReating. When I started working out for track, my appetite pretty much stayed the same and the intense exercise got me working off a majority of the calories I took in. Here's a collage of me during track season:
Now, once track season began and our hard workouts got easier, (over working during the week wasn't good for competitions on the weekends) I slowly started to gain my weight back because I wasn't really exercising as hard and my food intake was still the same. By the time summer came a long, I wasn't exercising at ALL and worse, I was at home all the time, snacking ALLLLLL day long. I went to Wyoming on a summer internship and I tried to get a workout routine going to lose the weight I'd gained back. The altitude is crazy high in Wyoming making breathing a bit harder (ESPECIALLY for working out) so I ended up giving up on that, all the while still gaining weight. I started school again and thought about doing track, but because it was my senior year, I decided not to because I wanted to aim for a 4.0 GPA and I knew I wouldn't have the time I needed to dedicate to school if I did track. So, I didn't do track and I was still eating the same, still gaining weight.
Since I'm being so vulnerable, I might as well tell ya like it is. I have ended up gaining more weight than before I even started track. It is a scientific fact that 80% of women who lose weight, gain all of it or more back within 2 years or so of losing it. We all know how I like to fight the crowd, but I fall right into this statistic. I'm at the heaviest that I've ever been and I'm also at a jean size that I've never been in. (Thankfully they are actually a little loose, so I haven't FULLY grown into them... lol!!) I'm not trying to hide my struggles, so here is a collage of me workin' what I call, "The sexy chunk" look. :P
|Note the strategic hand placement over the love handle... you totally didn't even know it was there ;) hahaha|
The hardest part about this whole thing, is how FAST I gained the weight. Like, literally in one year, I lost 30 lbs and then gained like 50!! To make it a little more real for you, I went shopping at the end of the school year and bought about 4 tops, but I literally gained too much weight before I could even wear them!!! So right now they are just hanging in the closet, and my beautiful size 12 jeans are chillin there too... Like, I am STILL not used to being this size! I still shake my head when I look in the mirror or I try to put a pair of shorts on or a shirt that I'd forgotten were so small... Cuz I had been that small. I will get moments of complete dissatisfaction with myself because I know it was literally a year ago that I was in fantastic shape. Now, I'm not saying I hate my body or that I hated myself. I'm saying that I was NOT and AM NOT satisfied with the state that my body is in at this moment in my life.
Alrighty, so I've laid it all out there for you. Here is the reason I've decided to post this on my blog and also link it to Facebook for all my friends to see. Most people might think it's nuts... I mean, the only GOOD collage is a before and after with weight LOSS for the 'after' part... As you've noticed... my weight GAIN and current status is the 'after' part. Stay with me... there IS a reason.
We are surrounded with images of boney, skinny, flawless women who make it seem effortless to be exactly how they are. And there are countless articles written by women who stand up against this ridiculous cultural view of beauty. These are women who speak up and tell us that we don't have to be skinny to be beautiful. And I'm here to say the same thing!!! I definitely ain't skinny and I know I'm still pretty!! YEAH I SAID IT! I'm downright good lookin' and you know it. But here's where the plot twist comes in... Women are always telling other women to never settle for a guy. We say that you should want someone who is GREAT for you and who treats you better than anyone ever has. Not settling means you wait for the BEST to come, to make you feel confident and satisfied. Well, call me crazy but, shouldn't we hold the same standard when it comes to our own bodies?
Hear me out. If you are content with the way your body is, whether you are a little overweight, a lot overweight, or even a little skinny or a lot skinny, and you don't feel the need to change, then that's fine! Live it up! But I'm taking a stand for my body because I know that I am most definitely NOT content and I know there needs to be a change. I don't want to sit around and be content with 'just the way I am' when I KNOW I can be better. I HAVE been better. I can't keep sitting in dissatisfaction. I have to DO something. I'm not settling for an unhealthy, unfit body when I can make it better. And when I get to a point where I am truly satisfied again with my body, then I shall work to maintain and take care of it.
Ladies, if there are any of you reading this blog post, thank you for bearing with me. If you are reading this and thinking to yourself that you are sick of settling with the way your body is now, remember these things: 1) You are beautiful no matter what. 2) It is WORTH the work you put in to feel greater than you have ever been. 3) We often underutilize our power as women to be supporters. I mentioned before that team motivation played a key part in my weight loss and healthier living. Get with another chick who wants to get in better shape too and ENCOURAGE and SUPPORT each other through it. More often than not, we are pitted against each other in competition. But let's be honest. We ALL struggle with self-image. This isn't about what looks good on the outside or what other people think looks good. This is about what YOU feel looks good for YOU and how YOU feel in your body. Don't try to look like women on tv or in magazines or some 'flawless' girl you see walking around school or work. Aim to look and feel like the best YOU. You don't have to settle. It was only a year ago that I was 40-50 lbs lighter and BELIEVE me when I say that even 20 lbs less feels amazing. And if you aren't trying to lose weight, you just want to get in shape, BELIEVE me when I say that 20-30 minutes a day, after a week or two, starts to feel amazing and you seriously start to feel the results that quick. Magazines don't lie when they say that exercise makes you feel better, clearer, and more confident.
I'm done settling. I am done pining over the size 12, absolutely adorable, floral pants that I still haven't gotten to wear yet. I'm done looking in the mirror wishing I looked like I did last year. I'm done putting of the exercise with excuses such as: homework, feeling tired, have other things to do, its too late... I'm done eating everything in sight and every time I feel a little hungry!
It's time for me to work my butt off 30 minutes out of a 1440 minute day. It's time for me to start eating healthy and with control and discipline!! It's time for me to realize that it's okay to have 2 cookies instead of 4 and to stop eating BEFORE I feel like I ate an entire cow. It's time for me to stop settling, to put the work in, to encourage others who want to do the same and to ask for some accountability. Ladies, let's fight for ourselves!!! I know I am.
I'm done being a wannabe. I'm a GONNABE.
WHO'S WITH MEEEEEE!???!!
Too much? NEVER! lol