I’m going to be completely honest with you all. I’ve been dreading this post. Mostly because there are people out there who don’t have the slightest clue that I used to be overweight. Unless of course they did some intense social media stalking.
Growing up I was always super skinny. I ate whatever I wanted, when I wanted. I even had trouble gaining weight at various points in my life. I was downright scrawny. In high school it was just me and my size zero jeans all the way through graduation. Once I got to college I noticed some weight gain, but nothing like the freshman 15 everyone was always talking about.
Somewhere between my junior year of college and graduation in May of 2011…I got fat. At my peak I wore a size 14 in women’s pants. And not the sexy-built-to-be-curvy size 14 that Christina Mendez is rocking. I. Wish. To say I had let myself go would be an understatement.
When I finally acknowledged my weight and stepped on the scale I almost had a heart attack. That’s probably not an exaggeration considering the lack of exercise paired with all of the fatty foods I was consuming regularly. It read 178. I panicked. The last time I stepped on a scale I was at the doctor’s office several years prior and the number read 110 (a number far too small for my 5’7” frame, but that’s another story). WHAT HAPPENED?! My mind was a blur trying to process those three not-so-little numbers. Luckily this happened after my workout, otherwise I’m quite positive the shock would have sent me running out the front doors. I can honestly say it was one of the most overwhelming experiences I’ve ever had. Up until that point I had let everything roll off my shoulder. I ignored it all, the Facebook messages from an ex-boyfriend calling me a fat b*tch, the degrading hoop and holler from boys when they drove past me on the street and worst of all, I ignored the fact that my “friends” were saying these terrible things about me behind my back and I was just standing by letting it happen. Screw that. I made a commitment, not to prove it to any of the people who put me down, but to get on track for myself.
I started documenting, I prefer this word to counting (26 and Not Counting calories, years flying by, how many items are in my online shopping cart compared to the dollars in my bank account..you get the gist). I started tracking calories and workouts in the myfitnesspal app, committed to 5-6 workouts a week (including weight lifting, which I had never done in my life) and limited my booze fests with friends (which had been going on far too often) to one night a week.
I hate the word diet. Diet is typically defined as something you “go on” before a big trip and it usually means that whatever crazy thing you are doing to try and shed pounds (the grapefruit diet?) will eventually have an ending point. Maintaining my body will be a daily practice for the rest of my life. I had to marry that thought from the get-go. Seriously, ’til death do us part. Even several years later, my list of 27 things includes goals for my body. Take a peek here when you’re done reading! Needless to say, all of the things I incorporated into my life a few years ago are still things I do today.
The first time someone noticed I had a lost a few pounds (8 to be exact) I nearly fell off my bar stool. Yes, I was at the bar celebrating a friend’s birthday (I had found a happy balance and kept my social life, hallelujah!). The words were simple, “Jess you are looking good.” I can’t tell you how thankful I am to that person that they recognized the work I had been putting in.
I’m proud to say that I currently weigh 140lbs, I’ve wrestled some unhealthy habits into portion controlled treats, found that I’m a much happier person when I workout and I’ve grown into the person I am meant to be. Not only did I shed pounds, but I shed a ton of negativity that consumed my life.
Of course you should also know, there is such a thing as a skinny fat person. Someone may appear to be skinny, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are healthy. Being fit doesn’t mean fitting into a size 2 (or even 4, 6 or 8) for all women (Serena Williams and Whitney Thompson are perfect examples). Oh and one last thing, just because someone appears to be “fat” doesn’t mean they can’t outrun your ass! Be kind 🙂