I’ve always been a bigger girl…
But I haven’t always been this big. When I was a child, I was definitely bigger than the other kids… but I was also taller (at 10 years old, I was already almost 5 feet). I was never teased or bullied because of my weight, which I’m incredibly thankful for. I didn’t really start to care about my appearance until I was about 12 or 13.
I only noticed my weight at all because of my family, actually. My grandma and her siblings had a lot of health problems due to their weight, and my mom was hyper-aware of her weight and was always trying the new fad diets, exercising daily after work, etc.
I started to really notice and care about my weight in middle/high school. Most of my friends were thinner than me. We couldn’t swap clothes at sleepovers, and I couldn’t always fit into the same stuff they could. At the same time, I wasn’t the biggest girl in my friend group either so I never felt overly out of place.
Looking back now though, I was CUTE. This picture is from my senior year of high school and probably my lowest weight ever at my height. I’m 5’7″ and have been that height since I was 15. Also, rare picture of me with my actual natural hair color.
After high school, I gained quite a bit of weight due to a variety of factors. One of them was simply the fact that I was out of high school, had my own car, and had more access to different types of food / could eat when I wanted to as opposed to a school schedule.
But I was also in an unhealthy, turbulent relationship and wasn’t really aware of what I was eating. On top of that, I was commuting an hour to go to my dream college. I ate on campus with my friends often, but they all lived on campus and I didn’t, so they had meal plans while I was paying full price to eat there. Most of the time, we went to a buffet-style cafeteria so I often felt like I needed to eat seconds or thirds just to get my money’s worth.
Those factors alone led me to gain about 75 pounds in just one year. And I kept gaining weight as well.
After that, I kind of stopped caring. I did, thankfully, end up leaving that unhealthy relationship, and I moved on campus. I felt extremely free. I wasn’t paying attention to what I was eating at all… the cashiers at Chick-fil-A literally knew me by name. I was working part-time and was heavily involved with extracurriculars on top of actually doing my homework, and even now I’m not sure how I would’ve fit exercising into that schedule.
Around that time, I found the plus size fashion / body positivity community on youtube. There were a lot of plus size girls talking about feeling confident and empowered even when you’re plus size, how to dress your body when you’re plus size, where to get plus size clothing… and I needed that so badly at the time because I was still not used to navigating the world after my weight gain. Those channels helped me come to terms with my body and showed me I didn’t need to hate my body or hate myself just because of weight gain, which is an amazing message!
That’s when the lines started to become blurred between “You don’t need to lose weight to be a valid human” and “Losing weight is BAD.” Some of the more extreme channels in that niche that would spread messages like “you can’t be body positive if you lose weight” and “weight loss is inherently fatphobic” and other similar sentiments. They would express how betrayed they felt if a plus size public figure lost weight or got weight loss surgery.
I am a bigger person, but I can honestly count on one hand the amount of times I’ve been treated differently because of my weight, and I know that I’m privileged for that. I do believe fat people are, in general, treated worse than thin people. I’ve seen it happen, and we as a society are definitely taught to hate (and even fear) fat bodies. We are taught to become terrified of being fat, and it doesn’t have to be that way. So for a long time, I felt like I was betraying the community that had come to help me be okay with myself by attempting to lose weight.
But my body isn’t a statement.
That picture is probably at my highest weight. At that time, I had pretty much stopped taking selfies and I have very few pictures of myself over the past few years, which makes me sad. However, I did get to meet Elsa and Anna at Disney World so it’s not like I wasn’t going to share that.
I graduated college in 2016 and was almost immediately offered a full-time position at the company I was already with. The position was a “stepping stone” position and I wasn’t super thrilled about that specific job, but I was happy to stay with that company, to work full-time, and to have benefits.
After a year and a half, the company eliminated that position. Thankfully, I wasn’t at risk of losing my job, but I would no longer be responsible for everything I enjoyed / the tasks that would advance my career. Plus, in the meantime I had moved and the commute was now 45 minutes, so I started searching for another job.
I started my new job in February 2018. It turned out to be an extremely toxic environment and I was absolutely miserable there. My eating habits became the most unhealthy they had ever been. I was eating out for every meal. Sometimes I would go to both Starbucks and Dunkin’ in the same day, just as a coping mechanism or as a “reward” for surviving the day without crying. And it’s not like I was getting a small, decaf coffee.
And… here we are now. February 2019.
I’ve unsubscribed from a lot of those youtube channels. There are a couple of people I just can’t let go of, but I’ve reached the point now where if they say something I disagree with, it doesn’t mess with my head.
I’ve also realized that I need to prioritize my health, and not just in the form of my weight. I’ve never had a healthy relationship with food, and I haven’t been nourishing my body. I’m not as active as I used to be, either.
I have tried several times in the past to lose weight, but quickly lost momentum. I did learn that what works well for me personally is calorie counting, so that’s what I have been doing.
I decided on January 1, 2019 I would start my official weight loss journey. I was not about to skip out on Christmas meals!
If you’re interested, you can follow along with my journey. I will be discussing how much weight I’ve lost, my goal weight, what I’m eating, etc.
If you like my blog, I’d love it if you signed up for my email newsletter! You’ll receive weekly updates on any posts you may have missed, plus extra freebies and exclusive content!