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Starting is the Hardest Part: My Personal Weight Loss Story

December 29
by
Olivia Hathaway
in
Health
with
.

Pig. Fatass. Gross. Overweight. Obese.


Those were the words I often heard. I have never been stick thin, but I have never been overweight. However, the summer before my freshman year of college, I felt overweight. My clothes started becoming tighter, and I started to feel less comfortable in actual clothes and more comfortable in sweats.

I was disgusted with the person I saw looking back at me in the mirror. However, the more unhappy I became the less I wanted to do something about it. I wanted to sit there and feel sorry for myself. It wasn’t until I became involved with an all-star cheerleading team again that I felt like I should make an effort to change.

This did not work.

Life smacked me in the face. I felt dependent on compliments that were clearly forced, and I felt like my whole world had started to become smaller because I had become bigger. It was because of my weight gain that I tore my ACL not only a second time, but also a third.

With each injury, the feeling of helplessness grew stronger. My sophomore year of college was a challenge: relationship drama, coming back off of an injury/surgery, and trying to figure out how else I could become involved in my school. The insecurities overcame me, and the weight kept increasing. Before I knew it I was heading into my junior year a good 25 pounds heavier than when I started my collegiate journey, and there seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel.

After yet another knee surgery I knew something had to change. Doctors told me that I was looking at a fourth knee surgery if I didn’t turn my life around. Other doctors were concerned with the weight gain and started doing tests. I had every test imaginable done hoping there was a medical explanation, yet everything came back negative.

“You are in the 70th percentile for your weight.”

Those words cut me like a knife, how could I be that off track? I had almost lost all hope but then I received Insanity as a gift. I realized that it would be a long road but I knew I had to start somewhere. However, again my knee gave out on me. I realized that I was not strong enough to even begin a weight loss program and again fell into a depressed state of mind.

Not only did I feel lousy about my appearance, but others had noticed my weight gain and felt the need to mention it. While walking around town I heard people snickering that my leggings were too tight or my shirts showed my love handles. I knew that I needed to shut people up, I just didn’t know how.

Senior year. The golden year.

Well, that’s what I thought anyways. I thought that having worked out occasionally the summer before my senior year meant that I would be able to come back with my head held high. This was not the case. I felt even more self-conscious. All my friends had gotten the weight loss memo and had out done the work that I did. So, senioritis set in, and all I wanted to do was celebrate my impending graduation and live it up before entering the real world.

I had the most amazing Lily Pulitzer dress to wear at my graduation dinner and couldn’t wait for all the photos to be taken on graduation day in my cap and gown! Every picture I took made me disgusted. I looked like Violet from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and there was no amount of editing that could fix it.

As I readied myself for job interviews and the real world, I realized that all the clothes that were professional did not fit me at all. This made me even more upset with how bad I had let things get. It wasn’t until my final drive home from college that I realized that I was not happy, to the point that I did not want to get out of bed in the morning to put on clothes that made me look even fatter than I already was.

I took a good look in the mirror and told myself that I need to make a change or else I will regret it later in life. I did not have money to cover another knee surgery since my insurance deemed ACL reconstructive surgery “cosmetic” and wouldn’t cover the cost anymore.

I searched in my bags for Insanity this time not backing down when I felt the need to give up. This time I took a picture of myself and composed additional pictures of myself for my “before” photo and was more excited for the “after” photo than I ever anticipated.

%tags Health Overcoming Challenges

For a month, I completed every Insanity workout, strictly following the outline given in the package, and noticed that I lost 5-10 pounds, but I wanted more. So I went out to Barnes and Nobel and bought a book on eating healthy. I read up on nutrition and what I needed to do to lose weight and keep it off.

Not only did changing my entire diet help me feel more energized, but I could finally finish a workout without stopping and taking a break.

Three months went by, and I was already down 15 pounds. This gave me the drive and desire to continue. I went to the doctor’s office to find out my weight from senior year of high school and decided that would be my goal weight; 115-120 was doable, and I would be in the correct percentile for my height.

Fast forward six months to January. I had so much to celebrate! Not only did I keep off the 15-20 pounds, but I felt amazing! I finally accepted the person in the mirror; however I still felt like something was missing. The scale had said the same thing over and over (and over and over).

How could it be that I was doing so much work and not losing any more weight when I had once been so successful?

I fell into a rut yet again, and that’s when I started to see the scale go up. How could I let myself become the person I had worked so hard to escape? Was this really going to be how my journey ended? I called my mom and told her what was going on.

Not only did she feel sympathy for me but also fear. Fear that I would yet again become the person I once was. I could not go back to being that person. It was then after grocery shopping that I received a sign. My co-worker Kait called me and told me that she wanted a workout buddy at Lifetime Fitness doing team fitness.

Without hesitation I agreed, I mean what could I lose right? Then it hit me, the countdown I knew was coming and yet wanted to forget. I had four months before my best friend’s wedding! I couldn’t go try on my dress feeling and looking the way I did, let alone make her look bad by being in the bridal party.

It was time to kick it into high gear. As I was about to drive home to think of how I could really slim down for this wedding, I noticed a small orange paper under my windshield wiper. It read “Come Tryout Orange Theory;” it was like the universe knew exactly what I needed. I remember participating in Orange Theory when it first opened and loving every minute of the workout.

Base Pace. Push. All Out.

Here went nothing. I was in the studio and paid to take this class. There was no way I could back out now, and who knew maybe I would love it. Holy Cow! The workout not only kicked my butt, but I burned 450 calories? It was the best day thus far. I knew I could do it. The last couple of months leading to the wedding I would work out five times a week and rest on the weekends. It would be just like cheerleading practice.

I was use to grueling schedules, and it was on the way home from work anyways. Who could pass up this type of convenience. As I began that long month of February, I realized that I had finally found a schedule that made me want to put on a sports bra with no shirt. The pounds felt like they were flying off, and the scale solidified that feeling. I finally passed my threshold and got to my 2nd mile marker: 137 pounds

It took me so long to see those numbers all on the scale at the same time that the tears started pouring down. I had worked so hard for this, and I was finally excited to put on a bikini and stand next to my best friend as she said ‘I Do’ to the man of her dreams.

I could finally wear shorts without wanting to hide in the house or wear a tank top that was form fitting. It felt like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders and the days seemed brighter. I finally looked forward to going out with friends, or going on dates with my boyfriend. Finally I was happy.

The end?

You may think this is the end of the story, but that is the farthest thing from the truth. I am constantly fighting to stay at the weight that I am while also trying to lose weight. The secret to weight loss does not start with the workout and how rigorous it is or how healthy you have it eat, or even how much you work out. It starts with your support system.

I could tell you that it was only because of all these positive changes that I made which helped me lose weight, but I couldn’t have done it without my personal cheerleaders. I knew if I feel down or lost faith in myself there was someone there waiting with a hand to hold or a shoulder to cry on. They motivate me every day to continue what I have started and today I can finally say I have lost 32 pounds.


My Recommended Resource:

I am far from done on this journey, but for the first time I am even more excited to see where it takes me in the end.

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