A Realistic Story About Weight Loss

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.*

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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.

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^ 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…

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It’s awful.

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.

xox,

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When You’re The Last Single Friend Left

*originally written for thoughtcatalog.com*

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I don’t know when or how it happened, but one day, I woke up and realized: I’m the last one. That’s it. It’s just me. I’m in this alone.

Slowly but surely, my closest friends dropped like it was hot, one-by-one, until I became the last single girl standing.

And yes – I’m not that unaware. I knew it was happening all along, right in front of my face. There was no stopping it. It was its own force of nature, with 80 MPH winds chockfull of emotions, romance, and commitment. It just forgot to sweep me up in its path.

One friend met her soulmate at 19, never having blinked or second-guessed it since.

Another met hers during a sporadic weekend trip to a different city, and they both just “knew” right then and there.

Another friend had just moved to Dallas, caught the eye of a mutual friend a few weeks later, and they’ve been together for three years.

Another had to go through a somewhat minimal amount of frogs, the last one being the worst, until she met her prince who moved in with her after six months.

And it’s not that I’m not happy for all of the couples out there – I am. But I’m not writing this to play nice and stay neutral to both sides. I’m writing it to say that

Being the only single one in your group of friends fucking sucks.

“But you get to play the field!” They’ll say. “Ugh, I miss that beginning feeling of something new,” they’ll moan. “Just knowing anything can happen has to be so exciting!” They’ll insist.

But they’re wrong. They’re so, so wrong. Because, in this day and age – this “hanging out” day and age – wherein no one under the age of 30 (and even that’s stretching it) has any desire to commit to anything but a Netflix binge, it’s hard to get excited about much when it comes to the opposite sex (or same sex).

Sure, “playing the field” is fun, but also rage-provoking and anxiety-inducing. No one plays games, yet everyone plays games. Everyone’s sick of the bullcrap that comes with dating, yet they’re the biggest part of the problem. Oh and that “something new” feeling that everyone seems to be so jealous you still get to experience? It lasts for about one date until the wondering and worrying when/if you’ll ever hear from or see them again comes charging into the front door of your mind, setting up shop for weeks on end.

As much as you love your friends, you know and they know it’s just not the same being social with friends who have boyfriends. At the end of each night, they’re going home to their partner. Even if they don’t live together, they’re going home to call them or text them or sleep easy knowing they have them. The mindset of staying out just to stay out isn’t one they can fully grasp any longer. So, because of this, you’ll be practically forced into “branching out.” You’ll try with every fighting effort to “put yourself out there” to find new girlfriends, and you will. These are not friends you have history with nor have taken the time to build trusting foundations with, so an underlying layer of side-eye will be ever-present. These new friends are not the type you can count on to check in on you at random or sit comfortably in silence while you watch a movie together. You keep each other around specifically for social outing purposes, and that’s usually where it ends. The first time two of you find yourselves vying for the same type of male’s attention, it’s over.

But, for a while there, you’ll feel somewhat better about your situation. You won’t feel as alone in this singlehood endeavor, and soak up any opportunity you can to get dressed, go out, and take pictures with your new, unattached lady friends. Your coupled friends and you will probably suffer a bit of distance, but this is normal. They know you’ll be back soon.

You’ll realize that your go-to in case of an emergency are your friends, and each of her’s is her boyfriend or husband. You will begin to realize you’re being “squeezed in” on weekends and weeknights while they save the bigger blocks of time for their loves. But you don’t blame them – you’d do the same damn thing if you had the chance.

Everywhere you turn, it seems everyone’s moving on without you. Moving in together, going on trips together, shouting to the world “HEY. WE’RE A SERIOUS COUPLE JUST ICYMI.” And, you swear to all that’s holy, if you see one more social media post about an engagement, marriage, or pregnancy, you may pull your own eyes out and be admitted to a psych ward.

Why you’re alone will remain a mystery to you. Some days, you’ll be super positive about it, knowing with every fiber of your being that it’s going to happen for you. It’s just a matter of time. “You’re a late bloomer,” one friend will say and you’ll whole-heartedly agree. But other days, they’re all full of shit and are clearly not telling you what’s wrong with you. You can’t imagine how the hell anyone actually gets together, and you can’t foresee any possibility in which you would be coupled up. Ever.

But then, you have one, maybe two, great dates with a new prospect. And, against every natural inclination, you allow yourself to get excited. You feel hopeful. Rejuvenated. Perhaps on your way to something great. And, for that moment (however long it may be), being the only single friend and having to have dated around for so long isn’t so bad. At least you’ve got stories for days.

There Are 62 Types Of People In The World

I find myself saying this phrase at least once a week, and the laughability of it — that is, how we can so easily dumb humans down to fit in either one category or another — is so entertaining to me, that I decided to craft a list of examples. I feel the following probably speak a good amount of truth to how you define and categorize who you are as a person. 

There are two types of people in the world…

Those who love Chipotle and those who love Qdoba/Freebirds.

Those who listen to NPR and those who hate it.

Those who love talking about their shits and those who pretend they don’t poop.

Those who enjoy belonging to public gyms and those who consider the outdoors a public gym.

Those who own cats and those who would rather die alone than ever own one.

Those who think HIMYM is a great show and those who are normal, well-adjusted humans.

Those who consider Seinfeld one of the, if not THE, greatest shows of all time and those who are horrible people.

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Those who pretend to enjoy eating clean and those who are boldface liars.

Those who have tattoos and those who always talk about the tattoo they would have if they were to have one.

Those who makeout with their dog and those who are disgusted by the notion.

Those who like gel nails and those who got tired of picking it off only to worsen the issue every single time.

Those who love using “af” and those who clearly have too much time on their hands and opt to type it out in-full.

Those who wear curve-revealing clothing and those who would rather drown in an oversized sweater.

Those who can fall asleep with loud music playing, the TV on, every light blaring, a tornado approaching, and an earthquake happening and those who wake up at the sound of two cotton balls rubbing together.

Those who shop at the mall and those who shop online.

Those who charge $1.67 to a debit card and those majestic creatures who have something called “cash” on them at all times.

Those who post on Instagram once a month and those who post once an hour.

Those who are always up for driving and those who only ever want to ride passenger.

Those who get angry at the cuteness of puppy pictures and those who have no soul.

Those who say hello to old friends or acquaintances they spot out in public and those who will shamelessly avoid the shit out of it (head down, pretending to be on phone, remain cool AF even after making accidental eye contact, showing no signs of recognition whatsoever).

Those who use Spotify and those who are dumb.

Those who are always on time and those who are always late for no other reason than they just are the worst with time management.

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Those who can calmly deal with cockroaches and those who literally shit and piss themselves, cry tears of horror, call their mom to scream about how they don’t know how to dispose of it, and break vocal chords at the sight of them (me).

Those who don’t mind talking on the phone and everyone else.

Those who are always fucking cold and those who are constantly overheated (extra thought here: if you’re unfortunate enough to enter a relationship wherein one of you is one and one of you is the other, it’s upsetting) (me).

Those whose phone looks like this and those who are sane, organized people:

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Those who have the natural ability to tell when someone’s in a bad mood and those who have literally no social awareness and keep talking to you after you’ve given them several evil eyes.

Those who work with headphones on and those who couldn’t possibly imagine doing so.

Those who start the day with coffee and those who start it with soda or sweet tea (it’s a Texas thing, y’all).

Those who are a man of their word and those who are sketchy as hell, but you’re used to them flaking by now.

And, lastly: Those who can and those who cannot.

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xox,

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The 5 Stages Of Putting On A Swimsuit For The First Time This Year

**originally written for and posted on postgradproblems.com**

 

Ladies, it’s May. Which means it’s almost summer. Every female, whatever her shape and stature, is mentally (and maybe even physically, if she’s more motivated and on top of her shit than you are) preparing for the inevitable, terrifying, permanently damaging situation that is:

TRYING ON YOUR BIKINIS FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE LAST SEASON.

There they are, crumpled up and stuffed barbarously in your bottom drawer. They taunt you, tease you. They know you’re working up the courage to try them on, and they can’t wait to see your reaction in real time. They’ve got a front row seat to your mirror. Once the mood strikes and the moment is just right (i.e. you accidentally skipped dinner the night before and worked up a small base tan last weekend from hanging out on your back deck) you dive in.

Stage 1: Denial And Isolation

That’s not me. No. What? I don’t look like that. No, no, no. I don’t remember it being THIS bad. Hang on, maybe if I go grab my glasses…nope. That just made the reality of this situation a lot clearer. This mirror has always been a “fat” mirror, though. I have proof of that because my friends say so. Here, I’ll try doing a self-timer photo because that’s legit. Oh wow, no — that’s awful, too. My phone’s camera must be totally fucked up. Everything is wrong except for me, and I’m not leaving my house until it’s all fixed.

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Stage 2: Anger

FUCK THIS. Sorry that I’ll never be naturally thigh gap thin. Sorry that clearly starving myself on salads for the last, what, TWO DAYS has done nothing. Summer is dumb. Swimsuits are dumb. This swimsuit in particular sucks ass. Hanging out at the pool is overrated anyway: oh wow! So fun sitting out here in 100 degree heat, drinking cold beer and other fun poolside bevvies, turning different shades of sexy bronze! Whatever. I’m getting cheese fries.

Stage 3: Bargaining

If I had just done six days at the gym instead of four (or zero)…

If I wasn’t a product of my environment and inundated with leftover donuts, cake, cupcakes, cookies, chips, and dips every single day within my workplace…

If I hadn’t said “fuck it” so often and ordered a small Domino’s pizza and finished it all in one sitting…with ranch…

If I didn’t enjoy heavy, craft beer so much…

If I didn’t get high off the adult freedom of being able to pour a glass of wine at the end of a moderately stressful workday…

If my dad didn’t pass down the amazing ability to never not be hungry and carry my weight in my stomach…

If I had just said to no every carb, sugar, and cocktail and gone into a severe depression caused by lack of happiness or anything delicious to ever look forward to…

If I had just not unfollowed the annoyingly chipper Instagram fitness freaks (see: Blogilates)…

If I was a method actress who had to play a Holocaust victim or fashion model with a coke problem (I can say the former. I’m tribe)…

If I had been more a bitch and ordered dressing on the side…

If I just lived in Alaska, where swimsuits are obsolete…

…I could keep going.

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Stage 4: Depression

This is horrible. When did I become a real woman with a real woman’s body? When did I make the transition from doing what I wanted to doing what I wanted and immediately seeing it take effect via my body? I guess I won’t partake in anything fun this summer. I don’t foresee being okay with swimsuits, the general public, and me in the near future. Sure, I could work out like a crazed gym fiend for the next few months, but for what? A little bit more tone that will fade by September? I’m just going to order a pizza and sob blubbery, fat tears. And I’m going to do it all while wearing this swimsuit, because I like to make things worse for myself. It’s fun.

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Stage 5: Acceptance

You know what? Fuck it. Who cares? Why do I think that anyone is actually going to check me out that much? No one’s perfect. I mean, at least I have my face – it’s pretty legit. The only way I’d ever feel completely confident in skin-tight nylon that bares both my midsection and all other sections is if I ate cottage cheese and air for every meal. We all know that’s not going to happen, so there’s no sense in being such an asshole to myself. This is me. This is my body. This is my adorably cute suit that distracts your eyes up to my pretty significant rack. Now, pass me a beer and let’s get drunk to the point that our fat rolls rest on top of each other. Later, we can dance around in the pool. Because that’s how summer should be.

xox,

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