July 9, 2012

Put Your Mind To It, Go For It, Get Down And Break a Sweat

I can trace the beginning of the struggle with weight back to around 6th grade. My grandfather, with the intention of complimenting me, mentioned what a catch I'd be with my "birthing hips." Yup. Birthing hips.It's ok, you can laugh. I do now.Throughout middle school, I was always conscious that my body shape was curvier than other girls. Even though I was active in dance, I still didn't feel that I had the right shape.This continued through high school, and as a senior I finally succumbed to the pressures of my first crash diet.

Like most girls, once college came, I packed on what I had worked off. And then some... And then some... and by Junior year I was the heaviest I ever was. I found this out on a trip to Campus Health, were I was diagnosed with Mono. Which, as Romy and Michelle can attest, really is the best diet ever. I continued to yo-yo through my early 20s. Always losing and gaining the same 15-20 lbs. I had a number that I would reach as a warning sign... and each time I'd gain weight back, the "oh shit!!" number would get higher.

Two years ago I decided that I would get my act together. I had been laid off, so I had plenty of free time on my hands to work out and get healthy. I was in great shape, and once I got back into the swing of my new job, the comfort of a live in boyfriend (we are all familiar with "love weight"), and then the stress/depression of realizing that this new job was a nightmare, the weight crept back on. This time, I would take drastic measures to take that pesky weight off. In April of 2011, I did HCG. Yup, I woke up every morning and I stuck a needle in my stomach. I ate rabbit food with no dressings, oils, or fun. But, man did I drop that weight. :)

Surprise, the weight came back and brought some of his friends! That type of strict diet is nearly impossible to maintain. Add in a (new) high stress job with 60 hr weeks and lunches on the go, it is easy to quickly become a fatty. So I said goodbye to that job (with some guidance of my boss who told me the trial hire wasn't really working out) and I was depressed again at the idea of finding a new job. The motivation to work out wasn't there, and instead I focused on found love of the Ghost Whisperer. Once a new (and awesome) job was found, I tried to get back into the swing of things by doing what I had always done: setting weight loss goals based on events.

Goal one was for Halloween. A goal I had made numerous times before, so I could fit in with the other girls and be a slutty bunny, or a slutty mouse or a slutty nun, etc. I failed. Goal two was for New Year's. I failed.Goal three was for an upcoming trip to Vegas to see a friend's band perform... partial success. I was motivated by the fact that I was 5 lbs under the heaviest I have ever been in my life. So with moderate work outs, and a strict diet I dropped 10lbs, but couldn't get my act together for more.

I had become reclusive. I didn't want to go out because I didn't want people to see me.  When I was finally convinced I had to, there were three outfits I would rotate that I felt comfortable in. But then I was so insecure. I would try to sit to look skinnier. If people hadn't seen me for awhile, I wondered if they were thinking about how much weight I had gained. If people were meeting me for the first time, I wondered if they saw me as the fat girl.I would see girls and wonder if they were thinking "was she that fat when she met her boyfriend, or has she let herself go?" Cmon, you've wondered it about people before, I know I have. I'd dread seeing Facebook the days following an event, because there was sure to be an unflattering photo that I would rush to detag. And then eat my feelings in the form of nachos.

Rock bottom finally happened April 28. It was the day of the Warrior Dash, a muddy 5k that I had told my friends I would participate in, and I had every intention of using as my motivation to train and lose weight. Only I never signed up. And I never trained. When we found out that one of my friends was pregnant as wasn't able to participate, I jumped at the opportunity to use the excuse that someone had to be there with her as a spectator. The day of the run came, and I felt like a loser. People heavier than I was were chugging along. Couples were running through obstacles holding each other's hands. My friends and my boyfriend were feeling victorious. And I felt like an insecure, lazy piece of shit.

That's when I decided to really get my act together. When I decided that before I turned 30, I wanted to stop being the fat friend. I wanted to stop worrying about cropping photos, about posing the right way. I wanted to feel comfortable going out and spending time having fun, because that was the person I really was. The person that had been hidden by insecurity and blubber.

I broke my two weight loss goals up by events (old habits die hard). I wanted to lose 18 lbs by my cousin's wedding on June 9. And I wanted to lose another 12 by my trip to Vegas for my 30th birthday at the end of June. I was up at 530 am working out every day. I was eating right, eliminating processed crap and starches and taking care of myself. During this time, my 4.5 year relationship came to an end. Instead of using it as another excuse to give up, I pushed through. To be honest, the new physical and mental strength I had kept me going when I wanted to completely shut down. But I knew I couldn't give up; I didn't want to start another decade of my life not liking the physical person that I was.

I passed goal one by 6lbs, 3 days early. I was elated. For about 12 hours. The day after I found out I had dropped over 20lbs, I had one of my worst workouts because I woke up still feeling like I had so far to go. It was so hard to congratulate myself on everything I had worked for. As the days came closer to Vegas, I stayed off the scale. I had started to plateau, and I didn't want to discourage myself with the number not moving. I felt more confident. I felt stronger, and I looked better. My clothes fit better. I was able to spend time with my friends and be the fun loving person I really am. I was able to hang out at the pool without my cover up. And when my sister posted the photos to Facebook, I didn't make her crop every single one.

2 weeks later I was able to push through the plateau, and I am just a few pounds away from a number set I haven't seen in 5 years. Am I where I want to be yet? No, but I am working towards it. Taking care of myself is a priority, and the only person who can get me where I need to be is me. If you want something bad enough, you stop the excuses. You don't hit snooze. You don't say tomorrow. You get up and you get moving. Because no one else is going to do it for you. Unless, of course, you're a puppet with strings.

So, this November I am staying true to a new promise I made to my Warrior Dash friend. I AM GOING TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DIRTY GIRL 5K MUD RUN. Because by then, I'll be supermodel status. ;) 
I will continue to be on track with my healthy life, because I care enough about myself to never get back to that point. I will never go back to allowing how I felt about my physical person affect how my internal person behaved.

But now- I've got to get some cardio in. Thank you for indulging me.

tl;dr: I struggled with weight for 15 years until I reached rock bottom. I got my ass in shape (literally) because I didn't want to start a new decade hating what I saw in the mirror. If you feel that way- get up. Only you can do it.


steph said...

What a friggin' treat to have a new post from you... and such a good one too.

First off, you've always been a beautiful girl inside and out. That's not an obligatory comment, either; you're a gorgeous girl with an amazing spirit.

Second, doesn't it suck to be a chick sometimes? Why do we do this to ourselves? Paul has told me that he doesn't remember a time in our life together that I hadn't been focused on my weight. That seems kind of crazy, but I know that he's probably right. Somehow I was conditioned to feel not good enough externally... maybe because I was awkward and clumsy, maybe because I didn't know how to appreciate pink or fitted clothing.

Similar to you, I chose my 30th birthday to be my motivator... and a trip to Cancun. We went to Cancun in January, and I avoided the camera while in my bathing suit. When we came home from Cancun, we decided that it was the right time to try a lifestyle change... So that we did with the help of MyFitnessPal (yes, the phone app). I slowly started understanding how many calories I was putting into my body and how many I was exerting... Blah, blah, blah.

I dropped just about 10lbs in 5 months (he's down just about 20lbs), and I'm feeling great. Now I need to throw in some working out to actually tone up (good for you for already fitting that in)... But that'll have to wait until after I take the GRE because my little brain can't handle that much effort all at once.

Anyway, kudos to you. Thanks for the inspiring story. Keep kicking ass!

Marissa said...

Thank you, Steph!! xoxo

and yes, it does suck to be a chick sometimes. guys have no idea the amount of crazy that really goes on in our brains.

and good for you too!! :) good luck with the GRE, hpw exciting!

keep kicking ass, like you always have. :)

( I feel like there used to be some way to "reply" but I'm so out of touch with this thing)

Allison said...

You are a rockstar, girl! Let's go for a hike! (Seriously. :D)

Keep it up!!!

Marissa said...

Thank you, Allison! And YES! Let's take a hike! ;)