It had been over a year since I had stepped on the scale. I knew that I was overweight, but I figured I could put off doing something about it as long as I didn’t know how much I weighed.
I’ve never been the skinniest in my classes, but I’ve never been the biggest either. All through middle school and high school I was relatively average. Weighing from 130-150lbs. I had a big group of friends and I was happy. In the fall of 2011, I started college. The pressure to drink and go out to eat existed all around me. I accepted the Freshman 15 fate, and continued to stuff my face with empty carbs. Instead of gaining the Freshman 15, I gained 25.
I didn’t realize that I had gained that much weight until I had to take a trip to the ER and was forced to step on the scale. Instead of doing anything about my weight I accepted it as “college” and continued with my unhealthy habits.
My sophomore year, I lived with two girls who could practically eat anything they wanted and they were still able to maintain their small statures. I was not blessed with their metabolisms, but that didn’t stop me from joining in on every late night milkshake run and 4th meal from Taco Bell. My mom and sister both began commenting on my weight out of concern, but I brushed it off. “I can’t be that big, they’re overreacting,” I would continuously tell myself.
I added the “approve this photo” setting to my Facebook for the sole purpose that I wanted to make sure that I didn’t have a double chin or look fat in any photo that I was tagged in. If it wasn’t on my timeline and the world couldn’t see it, I didn’t have to accept the fact that I was 5’1” and a size 14. I began becoming more and more miserable…finding more and more ways to hide my weight gain from the world. I stopped going out to parties and hanging out with friends. I would skip classes (sorry mom and dad), and I started wearing loose fitting clothes. Luckily for me, the large t-shirt style was very in.
I was involved in several organizations my sophomore year, and one of those was being the Assistant Director for the Miss AU Pageant. My Director and other co-assistant directors were all beautiful and skinny. I hated being around them because I hated how envious I got over their outward appearances. The night of the pageant, in January of 2013, we took group photos. Those photos are what changed my life forever. That night I got the requests to add photos to my timeline and I was horrified with what I saw.
The very next day, I called my mom and told her that I needed help to make a change. I made an appointment at Medi Weightloss Clinic. Medi helps overweight people lose weight through a medically-monitored diet plan focused on low-carb eating. My first day at the clinic, they did a series of tests. I found out I was 188 lbs and had a BMI of 35.5 which meant I was considered obese from a medical standpoint.
The first few weeks without bread and sweets were rough, but I kept thinking about how horrified I was by looking at the pictures of myself, and I kept pushing through. Slowly, the weight started coming off. As the weight started coming off, I started gaining my energy and happiness back. I began recognizing the girl in the mirror and I began accepting myself again.
During my time of being overweight, my GPA took a dramatic hit. As my weight decreased, my GPA increased. By the start of my junior year (August of 2013), I had lost 38 lbs and was a size 8.
I was proud of myself. I started going out on dates, and in October of 2013, I met my boyfriend. We fell in love and he made me feel beautiful. Over the first year and a half of us dating, I gained 12lbs back. He never said a word to me, but I slowly began losing confidence in myself. I began worrying that I would get back to 188 lbs, and who would love me then? I started being less social and covering my body again.
January of this year, my boyfriend found out that he would be deploying to Iraq for a 9 month tour. I needed something to keep me busy and distracted and knew that I could finally set out to reach my goal weight of 110 lbs. I decided to minimize my intake of processed sugars and empty carbs and maximize my intake of natural sugars. The week before my boyfriend left, I took a “before” picture of myself. This picture ended up being my motivation throughout those 9 months. Every month, more and more weight would fall off, and my happiness, confidence and grades skyrocketed.
I would take monthly comparison photos and would smile from ear-to-ear as I watched inches shed off my body. I was seeing numbers on the scale that I hadn’t seen since middle school. For the first time in my life, people would use the word “skinny” to describe me. I loved it. Last month, I stepped on the scale and started crying tears of joy when I saw “110.3” on the scale. I had reached the end of my two year journey. I will never forget that moment.
A few years ago, I would have laughed if someone told me I was going to be a size 0-2 my first year out of college. I don’t even think I was a size 2 in middle school. I had given up on myself physically and mentally. I accepted being overweight as my fate, and didn’t think I could ever have the body I wanted to have.
If you are reading this, and you feel like you are stuck in a hole and don’t think you’ll get out, I am here to tell you, it is possible. Whether it be your weight that’s bringing you down, a relationship, school, fear of the future or addictions, there is always a way to find happiness again.
Not on Monday. Life is short, we are constantly reminded of this, but it is true. Don’t live your life hiding from your true potential because you don’t think you can do something. I hid from the world for two years because I was ashamed of myself…ashamed of myself for something that I could have prevented or reversed from the get-go.
I let myself go, and I wish that I could go back in time and shake past-me. I gave up several great opportunities, friendships and memories because of my weight. Don’t let life pass you by. Your future is in your hands. If there is something in your life that is bringing you down, find a way to change it. Ask for help. I promise you that you’re not alone.
I am so lucky that I had a wake-up call two years ago. I have never been happier with myself. I have never felt more confident or beautiful in my entire life. It is all because I decided to take hold of my life and do something to better my future.
I am by no means promoting 110lbs as a healthy or “perfect” weight for everyone. Ask your doctor about a realistic and healthy weight loss goal for yourself.