In case you’re wondering, yes, the title of this blog is true.
I know it sounds crazy and weird, but stick with me here.
If you subscribe to my newsletter then you already know I’ve been on a journey, learning to love myself as I am. I’ve been trying my hardest to step out of my comfort zone in so many ways. To say it’s been challenging would be an understatement. But that’s to be expected, especially since I have about 16 years of damage to undo. (For reference, I’m 27 years old. This all began when I was about 11.)
I was young when I realized I wasn’t like all the other girls. I’ve always been hefty. Pictures from my childhood will prove that. I’ve always I tried to shrink myself into the background, to fold in to myself, or avoid a camera altogether. On the outside, I’d hold my chin up high say “fuck the world”. But truthfully I was breaking on the inside.
I wasn’t comfortable in my own body, and I’m sure many can relate to that.
I was so uncomfortable that I’d wear a cardigan or a hoodie in 100 degrees weather to hide my rolls or my flapping arms. I would only wear plain, non-fun granny panties because I didn’t feel like I deserved to wear anything else. For a really long time I wouldn’t buy anything but a plain black bra. Or any clothing that wasn’t black or dark gray (not light gray because it would draw too much attention). I wouldn’t buy a shirt that even kind of sort of referenced food. I wouldn’t even dream of wearing something formfitting. I hid myself, did everything I could to “blend” so I wasn’t drawing any extra attention to myself, which is really fucking stupid looking back on it.
But this blog post isn’t really about looking in the past.
It’s about the future.
Something clicked in me earlier this year. I realized, for the first time in a very long time, I deserve comfort. No. Wait. I deserve to love me.
I knew that in order for that to happen, I needed to make some serious changes. So, I started with the obvious…my weight.
When I weighed in on February 12th, I was at 250.4lbs. The sad part is that it probably wasn’t even my heaviest. Stepping on the scale that morning was a shock, a total confirmation that I absolutely needed to make a change in my life because I’d let myself get to that point. I was sad and mad but also very motivated to do something about it.
Now, I’ve dieted in the past. (Haven’t we all?) I’ve cut out food groups. Tried shakes. Pills. Starvation. Starved myself. You name it, I’ve done it. But nothing ever worked. Not only because I wasn’t ready, but because I wasn’t honest about the results I wanted. I wasn’t willing to put the work in. I wanted a quick fix, not a permanent change.
Once I got in the right mindset, I realized nothing could hold me back…not even myself.
Turns out, I was right.
(I want to be 100% transparent here and tell you I am on Weight Watchers. I have not eliminated anything from my diet, but I do try very hard to watch how much added sugar I am putting in my body. I also have not truly worked out during this journey until last week.)
Since that first weigh in I am officially down over 65lbs. I’m not at my goal yet, still have a ways to go, but I am not giving up. In fact, every day I grow more determined to make it to my goal. I began exercising and listening to my body in ways I never have before. I still really fucking hate sweating, but I also kind of love the burn and rush I get when I push myself on the treadmill or with the weights. I sleep better, I have more energy, AND my writing schedule has improved, making the writing process so much easier. Not only has losing the weight helped me feel more confident, it’s helped me become a better author and businesswoman…which is pretty damn awesome if you ask me.
Remember the title of this blog post though? Those pesky panties I was scared of? They weren’t the only thing I held myself back from.
Working on my weight has opened a lot of doors for me. I realized that I wasn’t putting myself first when I should have been. I wasn’t keeping a proper skin or hair care regimen. I didn’t care about moisturizing or makeup or even making sure my legs were shaved. I definitely didn’t care about what undergarments I was wearing because it was “just” my husband seeing them. (Side note: My husband is amazing. He has never, ever made me feel like I was anything less than beautiful. But…I don’t see me through his eyes. I see me through my eyes. And my eyes tell a whole different story than his.) I wore my pajamas or yoga pants all day long, even to the store sometimes (which really there isn’t anything wrong about this, but not putting effort in to your appearance on the daily can really start to change your mindset in weird ways, or at least it did for me). I didn’t care about anything of those because I didn’t feel like I deserved to feel good.
But I was wrong. I deserved that, and it turns out I really needed it.
I stopped sitting around in my pajamas all day and actually put the effort in to wear real clothes. I started taking care of my skin, wearing makeup (and not just mascara, something that even went the wayside several years ago), putting lotion on after the shower, actually shaving my legs and lady bits (and not just when I thought I was gonna get lucky with the Marine). I added color to my wardrobe (cue gasps). I ditched my cardigan and hoodies. I wore fucking shorts! I bought those funny pizza t-shirts I’ve always wanted to own. And…I started wearing those cute undies I bought years before and shoved in the back my drawer.
I started taking care of me. Not for anyone else, but for myself.
And it feels so, so good.
This journey to loving me hasn’t been paved with easy days. Nah. It’s actually been damn hard. I’ve tried going to the “big gym” (AKA, the one filled with all the Marines) and broke down crying in the parking lot. (Don’t worry, I still went home and worked out.) I’ve tried wearing a tank top out in public only to grab hold of my trust old cardigan, looking like a fool wearing long sleeves when it’s over 100 degrees out. I worn that light blue shirt that talks about French fries but I’ve also hid it away on days I felt like I was just flaunting my fatness. I’ve tried and failed and tried and succeeded. I’m still trying (and failing), and I think that’s the most important thing I can do. I wouldn’t be where I am now without my husband or my amazingly supportive #soulmate or the WW groups I’m part of. They’ve kept me motivated, kept me going, and I really can’t thank them enough.
Now, I’m going to share something that is VERY scary and and VERY hard for me to do, but I feel like I need to.
My progress photos.
I know, I know. The internet is forever. But if there is one person out there who is feeling like I was, I hope these photos can help motivate you. Plus, I am REALLY fucking proud of the progress in these photos.
You might be asking, “Why are you putting on this out there on the Internet?”
1. I need an outlet for how I felt and how I’m feeling. I’m a writer. Making a blog post only seemed natural.
2. Because I want people to know that it’s okay to take care of you.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself first. Don’t be afraid to make changes for you. Don’t be afraid to want to be healthy. Don’t be afraid of change. Don’t be afraid of YOU. You’re the only person holding yourself back. Stopping letting that you win.
Find your reason, hold on to it, and do what makes you feel good. You deserve it.