When I was in high school, I ran cross country every year, and distance track for one season. At 5'3", I weighed 120-125 pounds and was fairly comfortable in my own skin.
When I went off to college, I didn't participate in any sports, but I didn't gain the stereotypical "freshman 15" either. Freshman and sophomore year I dated a "fitness buff" and had my first real introduction to weight-lifting. Psychologically it was very hard for me to feel like I had gotten in a really good workout unless I practically ran myself to death, so I wasn't a big fan of lifting right away.
Moving into my junior year, I weighed about 130-135 pounds and was trying to go for runs once a week. I could run three miles with a nine minute mile, and I was satisfied with that even though it wasn't as fast as my high school pace. The number on the scale didn't bother me, but I was starting to be unhappy with certain aspects of my body.
Fast forward a few years, and I started getting Depo-Provera injections to cope with my migraines. In a pretty short amount of time I gained 10 pounds, and then continued to put on more weight at a slower rate. This is when I really started to be unhappy with my body, but I was no longer suffering from migraines, so it was something I was willing to deal with. I talked with my doctor about the weight gain and she seemed to think the two were unrelated, and my lifestyle was solely to blame. I will admit I was a little less active, but not completely sedentary. My eating habits were basically the same as they had always been, and one of the most common side effects of Depo IS weight gain. (Side note: I have since switched to a new doctor.) In January of 2017 I weighed in at 152 pounds and I decided I really needed to actively do something differently.
I tracked my food using MyFitnessPal and I made simple changes to my diet. I looked up recipes that had easy substitutions such as honey instead of sugar, or nonfat Greek yogurt instead of butter or oil. I also paid attention to my macros (fat, protein, carbs) although I didn't know what portions I should be eating. I didn't restrict what I was eating, I just paid attention and tried to make smarter choices. I also made sure I was wearing my Fitbit most days, and I tried to walk more, even if it meant pacing back and forth in my apartment. From these small lifestyle changes, I lost 12 pounds over the course of two months, and I kept the weight off for another few. My clothes fit better, and I was much happier, but still not where I wanted to be. I had never set a specific goal, so I really had no direction. Although I had lost weight, it felt like I wasn't making progress. The number on the scale changed and I could feel my clothes fitting better, but when I looked in the mirror, nothing seemed different. So I stopped tracking my food.
In May, I graduated from college and got a full time office job. THIS is where my lifestyle was majorly to blame for my physique. I was very sedentary all day, and I really wasn't exercising outside of work either. My food habits were basically the same, but I wasn't tracking and I was drinking a lot more beer. My clothes started getting tighter again, but I didn't pay attention to my weight. Eventually I realized I weighed 175 pounds, and I was miserable.
This is when I decided I needed to do something drastic. My fiance and I joined a gym that offers a six week challenge. We were given a very specific meal plan and needed to attend at least three workouts per week. We made it four weeks following everything we were told to a T. Due to some management issues that I won't go into, we left the gym and received a full refund for the four weeks we were there. Over the course of those four weeks, I lost 5 pounds, and my fiance lost 20. Most of the weight he lost was actually muscle which is part of the reason we left. This was not a healthy way to lose weight, and this gym was focused on getting people to lose weight quickly rather than doing it the right way. We found a new gym with a personal trainer, but everything was less strict, and I reverted to my old eating habits. This gym unfortunately is farther away, so we only go once a week.
As of August 21, 2018 I weigh 163 pounds. I get married May of 2019, and I want to make real physical progress for that special day. More importantly, I want to be healthier, and make long term lifestyle changes to STAY healthy. I hope by blogging my journey, I can stay more accountable, and on days when I feel like I'm going nowhere, I can look back and see how far I've come.
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