Let me catch you up here before we get into the dirty details. At 19, I topped the scale at about 260 pounds. I walked with my head held high, because that’s who I was. January of 2012 I started my weight loss journey, and over the course of a year and a half I was down 110 pounds. After that major loss, I was very “skinny-fat” and spent a lot of time gaining 20 pounds of muscle. Even though the scale was bigger, I was smaller. So much toning occurred in the next year or so. At this point it’s November 2014. Last year at the time I was in the best shape of my life. Since then, it’s been a downward struggle, and for anyone on this type of journey, I want to give you a little bit of reality.
From January 2012-September 2013 I found this type of confidence I didn’t know existed. Outwardly, my head was raised as I paraded around in size small sundresses. Inwardly, I feared that my midsection was too big, or that my lumpy loose skin was showing.
October 2013-January 2015, I experienced a different problem. For a year and a half I didn’t see food as food, but rather as numbers. When I started losing weight, I counted calories. It was just a good measure to see what I was eating. After a year and a half, I got so consumed in the numbers I spent the next 15 months seeing every object as its caloric count, rather than food. It consumed me. This past January I started to let go of the fight, mainly because I got to a point in my friendships and relationships where they were sick of me telling them how many calories were in their burgers, beers, and cheez-it’s.
From January 2012-present, my body changed. Let me be the first honest person to alert you that social media is a liar. I have tons of loose skin, lumps, bumps, and stretch marks. Losing weight is NOT a “get of your old body” free card. You will forever live with what you once were. Those girls who have these “transformation pictures” on Instagram know how to pose, how to play to their advantages, and how to downplay their weight loss “leftovers”. Why do you think I’m always standing sideways? Hides the gut, celebrates the butt.
The purpose of this blog post is to be the realist, in a word full of fake. You see, I understand that you’re looking in the mirror, while tears stream down you face. I know you wonder that if you lost 20 pounds if that boy would look at you. I get that you fear being the fat one in your group of friends. Some days you have a mental breakdown & cry for hours because you feel like “what’s the point” of even trying. Well, here’s a little insight for you: You’re not alone. At least once a week for the past five years, I’ve cried over how I look. I panic that Dylan will leave me for the skinny girls he has to talk to at the bar. I panic that my friends won’t want to hang out with me because they’re too small to fit into my clothes. I panic that I can’t enjoy that ice cream, that beer, or the Mcdonald’s because I could gain all the weight right back.
It’s hard to admit to, you know? I show my “super awesome, super cool” life on the Internet, just like you. And society tells me I should hate my body, just like you. And USED to wish I had it easy, like those girls on the Internet. And I KNOW some of you say that about me. You message me saying “you’re SO lucky to lose that weight since high school”. It made me mad to think that people only saw my smiling face next to celebrities & didn’t realize that three hours earlier I was panicking about how I looked in the shirt I was wearing. Then it hit me, I do the same thing to the girls I follow on Instagram. They’re real too.
There’s something really important that you can take from all of this: Before reading this, you had NO IDEA, did you? My life seems pretty great. I get to hang out with celebrities some times, I have awesome friends, I go on adventures, and I get to spend the rest of my life with the person that lets me fart in front of him. You see the things I WANT to show you. You don’t see me when I lay in bed sad, or when I panic if I can pay rent, or when I’m sweaty & cleaning the toilet. You compare your “bad”, to all of the rest of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter’s “good”. Take it from me: Even the most put together girl is struggling. Those girls you see in the media still have to get past their own issues. It’s NOT FAIR to compare your life to theirs.
I once read this somewhere & think it’s pretty important:
We need to stop comparing our behind the scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel.
My weight loss journey has been a very big struggle. But it’s been the biggest blessing too. Just like your journey with whatever you’re fighting against. Just remember, it’s your journey. If you didn’t HAVE a behind the scenes, you wouldn’t get to celebrate your highlight reel. Make a highlight reel you’re proud of working on behind the scenes.