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December 17, 2017

The Picture That Started It All

I spent about half my life hating myself and my body. As a child, I always felt fat. Looking at old pictures I have discovered that in fact, I was not overweight, I guess the crazy started then.

In high school I was overweight, weighing around 170 pounds, wearing a size 13/14. In college, I gained the “freshman fifteen” bringing me to 185 pounds give or take.

My turning point was Spring freshman year of college.  After seeing pictures taken on St. Patrick’s Day I vowed to lose weight.   My first step was to write directly on a picture with a paint pen, “Don’t eat even when drunk” then circled my offending belly and thighs and wrote fat, not once but twice.

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Searching for sound diet advice, I asked my very skinny neighbor in the dorms about her diet and exercise plan. She had an amazing body, never really ate and worked out frequently, even hung over, she clearly knew what she was doing. She shared with me that she recorded everything she ate on her calendar. Judging by her calendar, she did not eat much, especially compared to me. She also wrote her daily workouts on her calendar. During that conversation, I decided I would join her at the school gym. The first day I remember running for a minute then stopping to walk because I could not keep running. I kept walking and running intervals while she ran 3-6 miles effortlessly. I remember being envious at the ease of her running.

To her credit, I never once felt like she was judging me.  I was comfortable working out with her, so I stuck with it, joining her several times a week. That was the only change I made at that point. I kept up my steady partying routine involving high-calorie drinks. I ate the same way I always had, lots of, sweets, candy, soda, and huge portions. At the time, I worked at Red Lobster and would eat about 6 Cheddar Bay Biscuits per shift.

Summer came, and it was time to move out of the dorms. I lived at home that summer and attended summer school. While I was home, I began running around my neighborhood and slowly but surely running was getting easier.  I must have been losing weight although it’s funny I don’t remember that. One would think that I would remember losing weight because that is all I had ever wanted to accomplish. I think my priorities at that time must have been friends and drinking.

That is the story of how my weight-loss journey started. I have spent the last 18 years fine-tuning my approach. You will see there have been bumps in the road. I share my stories candidly so that you can learn from them and hopefully not make the same mistakes.

I hope you laugh too; I mean seriously look at this picture. Yes, you are getting advice from this bitch! By the way, bitch is a pet name to me, reserved for those I love dearly.

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This picture was taken in my friend’s dorm room after a white trash social, I know it’s not politically correct, but it’s funny. Can you say Kraft Easy Mac-N-Cheese?

I also want to address that I understand weighing around 185 pounds at 5’7” is not on the extreme end of overweight. There will be some of you out there who have 100 plus pounds to lose. Yes, I understand that losing 45 pounds is not the same as losing 200 pounds.

However, whether you have 10 pounds to lose or 200 my message of encouragement is the same. I also know any amount of weight loss is possible with the right mindset. You can and will lose whatever amount of weight you desire, begin to tell yourself this powerful message frequently, even if you do not fully believe it in the beginning.

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