This is a realistic story about a girl who isn’t stick thin and isn’t obese, but just sorta average with a few pounds to lose.
*Disclaimer: If you came to this post looking for my weight in pounds or before/after pictures, you’re fucking with the wrong girl’s blog.*
Although I never actively recognized it, I was thin throughout my youth. I never struggled with weight, not really. I was a naturally small girl. Sure, my breasts made their appearance at an age younger than what my peer group was used to, but it wasn’t anything explosive or anything I showed off. I just had B’s before my friends had A’s, C’s before they had B’s, so on and so forth.
I’ve always had a naturally bloated belly. I don’t know why or how, but it’s just how it is and it’s my absolute biggest body insecurity. I can look at a piece of food, and my stomach extends. Unlike the majority of my best girlfriends whose digestive systems work properly resulting in always-flat stomachs, mine is like NAH. It’s been this way since I can remember. Smallish arms, smallish legs, extended tummy that I could give AP courses on how to suck in like a pro, and boobs. However, in the grand scheme of things, not all that bad of a hand to be dealt.
Literally the only time I’ve seen my stomach flat is during the saddest times of my life, when food wasn’t going into my mouth (AKA the rarest occurrence ever). Fortunately for my overall mental health but unfortunately for my body and stomach, there have been very few saddest times. So the flatness of my stomach was always short-lived. Almost like a dream that never happened.
My thinnest in adulthood was right after college, believe it or not. It’s like I woke up a few months after graduation and all the beer/pizza/shots/pizza/beer weight had just disappeared into fat air. On top of that natural weight loss, I was in a mind fuck of a struggle dealing with whether or not to remain with my college boyfriend, from which the anxiety was so intense, I was eating half as much as usual. So, in 2009, I was rocking 0’s and 2’s like it was nobody’s business. But, of course, I’m sure I still made statements like “I’m gross” or “I’m so fat” because I have a vagina and that’s just what happens. So.
^ That’s me in 2010, y’all. I was a TINY human. You know someone’s thin when they can tuck a form-fitting WHITE tank top into a pair of shorts and have absolutely zero qualms with stomach or love handle issues. This is a world I only knew for a very, very short time and will most likely never get to revisit.
So, cut to a few years down the road into the real world, and I was a much happier person who had adjusted to a different type of lifestyle and was eating normally again, thusly putting back on some of that lost weight. But NBD. I knew I wouldn’t stay that thin forever, so I didn’t kill myself over it (clearly, because I’m here typing this).
But then. BUT. THEN. I made a career change. I went from being in the world of sales to actually pursuing my dream of writing and joined the twisted world of advertising. I went from an office with a built-in, very health conscious cafeteria, A GYM, and a building full of gorgeous, thin, 20something girls to a traditional advertising office full of beer, whiskey, and men who DGAF. Quickly and surely, my body started to adapt to my new surroundings. And by “adapt” I mean grow. At first, I didn’t notice. I was all “Whatevs! I can still fit into my clothes so who cares even.” The gym culture is not a popular one within advertising, so it’s not like I had coworkers running off to the gym every night after work, indirectly motivating me to go. They motivated me to have another beer, stay longer for more whiskey, or order food to fuel our fire as we worked late.
And, a year and some odd months later, it blew up in my face. And by “it” I mean my jean’s button. Just kidding. That has never happened, thank the good lord. But I’m sure I’ve gotten dangerously close. They say to always go by the way your usual clothes fit, and the day I realized it was either stretchy pants or moving up a size, I knew things had gotten really bad. I hadn’t made eye contact with a gym in an embarrassing amount of time and was on a self-inflicted rewards program wherein I would have a few salads throughout the week, then reward myself with queso and dessert another few times a week. I was that girl. I just didn’t give a shit, I guess. It wasn’t anything out of control, but there was literally no awareness going on at any point of any given day. I’ve always been a 0% or 100% type of person: whatever I’m doing — be it healthy eating, frequent gym visits, Instagram stalking — I’m either all in or way the fuck out.
But by this past December, I did the adult thing and came to grips that I was heavy… for me. 13 pounds heavier bad to be exact. 13 fucking pounds. Now, to the untrained eye, it was next to not noticeable. But to the eyes that know me, see me enough, and know how I used to look, I’m sure it was somewhat noteworthy. And I’m also sure that haters whispered to themselves, “Oh YES. She looks kinda like shit.” As I said at the beginning of this post, I fully aware that I am by no means “fat” or “overweight,” but if you’re used to being a certain way and you have done nothing to take care of maintaining that certain way, things inevitably change and it affects you just as it would anyone else of any size.
So, starting on January 1 like a true NYE resolutioner (but mainly because I like well-rounded, perfectly configured dates to start new things), I said NO MORE and buckled the fuck down. And guys…
What? It is. I’m not writing this to be like “And OMG, y’all. I don’t miss pizza AT ALL. Carrots are GOD and ice cream is the devil. Give me a heaping bowl of cucumbers for dessert, AMIRIGHT?” If it were that easy, everyone would be slender as hell. However, I promised myself on January 1, 2015 that this wasn’t just Emma on one of her health kicks. No. This is Emma now. This consistent workout schedule, subbing salad for fries at least half the time if not more, eating way more vegetables for dinner and snacks: This is my life now. It’s a lifestyle. As much as it can absolutely suck in every way imaginable, it’s for the long haul and I mean it.
Every day since Jan. 1, I’ve eaten breakfast.
I’ve weened myself off sugar in coffee (although, I still use my Coffeemate fat-free hazelnut creamer because SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE).
I’ve mastered how to eat a pile of roasted brussel sprouts or cauliflower with a side of quinoa for dinner and halfway ENJOY it.
I’ve tried really hard to choose vodka over beer even though GOD DAMMIT I LOVE BEER.
I’ve woken up early 2-3 mornings a week to workout for the past almost six months, and made up for the missed mornings in the evenings and on weekends.
I’ve gotten fairly used to not stuffing myself at every meal. More than half the time, I leave some food on the plate to be sent to a place where uneaten food goes. This is huge for me since I’ve been a top ranking member of the Clean Plate Club since I can remember, and a firm believer in Louis C.K.’s method of eating until you hate yourself, not until you’re “full.”
I’ve subbed carrots for chips at lunch, and have tried my damnedest to reserve drinking alcohol for weekends only.
I’ve somehow convinced myself that a portion-size serving of healthy trail mix is filling (it’s not. It’s just a game you have to play with yourself).
The bottom line is: I’ve changed. I’ve changed the way I operate with food on a daily basis, and it has not been easy. In fact, it’s been incredibly hard, and the results have been slow to show themselves. As of today, I’ve lost somewhere between 5-6 pounds and maybe a half inch off my waist and hips. And I still have a long way to go (for me, personally).
It’s progress, for sure. But it’s not at all what I thought it’d be by this point. And that’s kinda why I felt inclined to write this. Because I want every other girl out there who might stumble upon this blog to have a more realistic idea of what it looks like and feels like to lose weight the “right” way. To not crash diet, kill yourself by deciding on a 1200 calories/day intake (which, by the way, is impossible. It’s like one carrot and a piece of air), or expect to be at your goal weight in just a few months. If you’re in it for the long haul, it’s the worst fucking marathon you’ve ever run. There are no short-cuts. There is no one BIG secret weight loss tip. It’s just you, making smart choices, working out as hard as you can when you can, and being mindful.
But of course, you must cheat. Duh. The first step in ruining this for yourself is not cheating ever. That’s just dumb. Everything in moderation, right? It’s really 80/20, so Monday through lunchtime on Friday, you do the absolute best you possibly can. Eat those veggies. Choke down that water when all you really want is a soda. Then, come Friday night, all bets are off. You’re going to fuck up on weekends, ok? Just accept it now. Because if you don’t, you will make yourself crazy about it come every Sunday night. I mean, don’t spend Friday-Sunday literally taking shots of queso and doing lines of eggs benedict. Control yourself, but let yourself enjoy life. Then, get back to it Monday. Oh, and workout at least one weekend day. It helps distract your mind from what you did last night and what you’re probably going to do tonight.
If nothing else, remember this: you didn’t put the weight on overnight, so it’s going to take a while to get it off. But, done the right way, hopefully it stays off (that’s the goal anyway). Keep at it, don’t get discouraged, and keep in mind that you can only do so much. You’re a fucking human being who loves food and wants to have fun and go to dinners with friends and drink alcohol and LIVE LIFE. So let yourself have that by kicking your own ass at the gym, eating boring shit, and indulging when necessary.