Me now, at Size 8, around 160-170 lbs … beautiful but work to be done.
Winter weight crept up on me – endless parties, travel for work, and the fact I tend not to exercise in the colder months. Last year at this time I was 160 lbs – now I’m 175, a total gain of 15 pounds. I can still easily fit into size 8 dresses and slacks and medium sweaters are baggy on me thanks to my wasp waist, but I yearn for the days when I was exercising, something I stopped doing in September due to overwhelming stress at my old job that ended in me leaving the company. I had been doing personal training twice a week with a combination of interval training and weight lifting plus cardio two to three times a week, and was down at 155. I was happy with myself, size 8 was loose on me, and above all I felt strong
My muscles haven’t gone – seeing as I can easily bike 50 miles without breaking a sweat and lift furniture while moving that most girls couldn’t – but my six pack and biceps are disappearing, which I don’t like. I’m finally all moved out to a townhouse right on my favorite bike path and there’s a gym at my work I can use after-hours and during lunch breaks. It’s finally warm enough to go running, and I plan on exercising four times a week for an hour each day once dad brings my bike over tomorrow, mixing running, weight lifting, and cycling to give my muscles good use. I’ve also been eating out too much since September, leading to about a twenty pound weight gain, which is no bueno.
I don’t nearly look fat, not by a long shot, but I’d like to have a flatter stomach, loose my love handles, and achieve skinnier limbs and more muscle definition. I want to be at a healthy weight. When I last committed to losing weight, I had gained over 60 pounds from bipolar medication and had ballooned up to 210 pounds on a good day and size 16 was risking it – I almost had to move to the X section and XL wouldn’t even fit. The meds still make me gain weight easily, but not as much when I was on Depakote.
Me at my highest weight – 210, Size 16 – thanks to antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. Bad hair decisions abound, but hey, there’s lipstick, and I still looked cute!
Now that I can fit into American small and mediums, and most of my weight is either my DD boobs, army man muscles, and award-winning ass, I’ve been feeling so much better. By exercising once a day for an hour and eating about 1,000 calories I lost over 50 pounds between June 2015 and Dec 2016, getting all the way down to 145 pounds. That’s a long way from 210 lbs and borderline morbidly obese. But I still wasn’t content with myself, so I wasn’t happy.
Then work started getting stressful so I exercised less and ate out more, a huge no-no. I had to learn how to not feel guilty eating food, as I would avoid social outings with food involved and was oftentimes eating only 700 calories a day. Instead, I started eating out almost every day, which is truly unhealthy, and costly to boot – something I am cutting back on now that I am moved out, only eating out on the weekends with friends. Travel was the biggest cause of weight gain – for every trip I would gain 5-10 pounds that just never came off, and sedentary laziness was another big one. But I am determined to return to my high school weight of 125 – I have lost 50 pounds before easily, and I can do it again! It’s time to stop making excuses and get my dream body ready for my August vacation.
I firmly believe in nourishing yourself and exercise, while losing weight at a healthy pace, which for me is ten pounds a month. That means in the 20 weeks between now and August I will average 2.5 lbs lost each week, and trust me, once I stick my mind to something, I can do anything! I have no idea what size I will be at that point as I’m starting out at a size 8, so I’m guessing 2 or 4. When I was 18 at 125 I was a size 7 in Junior’s and now I’m a size 11 in Junior’s, so that’s really the only frame of reference I have to go on!
Me at 135, also a size 8, 19 years old and no exercise regimen to speak of, plus an ungodly fast metabolism. Notice how my curves have always been there.
I suspect the weight will just peel off like it did last time, especially now that I’m cooking healthy low carb meals for myself like no bun hamburgers, vegetarian chili, and chicken with different sauces all paired with broccoli, carrots, salad, cauliflower, or my favorite, green beans. I can easily go on 50 mile bike rides on the weekend now that I live on the W&OD and I’m also training for a 5k run for mental health. I’m slow but steady, about ten minutes a mile due to asthma and 12 mph on my hybrid bike.
The funny thing is, I think I look the most beautiful I have in five years since the whole bipolar nightmare began. I am such a well-rounded person, muscular and hourglass, with beautiful blond hair, blessed with clear skin, and able to fit into beautiful dresses in sizes 8 and sometimes even 6. I have my dream job, am a published poet and writer, am mentally stable as a rock since I stopped drinking alcohol (just one drink a month was making me crazy!) in October, have a great friend group and amazing boyfriend, and am spiritually fulfilled.
I’ve been so content since I left my last job, and I think that inner peace shines through with all the poetry I’ve been creating and my bubbly, charismatic, I-can-talk-to-anyone, nature. I’m not bragging, and I work very hard for what I have achieved and overcome bipolar, suicide, psychosis, OCD, anxiety, nightmare syndrome, and PTSD to become a conservationist that has always gotten every job they’ve interviewed for – three so far, not counting the internships I slayed – and racked up an impressive array of experience in everything from communications to marketing to journalism since graduating one of the top colleges in the nation with a degree in biology and environmental science in May 2015.
Me at 17 around my lowest weight, 130, size 7 in Junior’s, with a blowgun in the Amazon, where I first discovered my passion for biology
My resume blows people away. My writing has won awards and I’m only just beginning to tap into my creative potential in regards to novels and short stories. Hell, I just turned 24 – I’m barely into my 20s. I know and work with (and am related to, thanks dad!) some very powerful movers and shakers in the international world of conservation and development, and as a natural-born leader that gets straight As and always makes time for everyone, a team player that knows when to listen, when to take charge, is kind, mature, and an expert on many topics, be it ecology to renewable energy or world mythology, I’ve come to believe I’m pretty damn amazing – when just a few months ago I felt like jumping in front of the subway train, thinking I could never be employed again, was a drain on society, and did not deserve to live. I’ve learned to take pride in my achievements, of which there are many, and realize that I’m pretty damn amazing, and that my weight does not equal how kind or smart of a person I am.
My body is beautiful because I can bike 50 miles in 4 hours. My body is beautiful because I am vivacious, outgoing, and fashionable. My body is beautiful because with it I can sing, dance, kiss, talk, and write. My body revels in green curry and sushi and chicken tikka masala and even pizza! My lips are the perfect shape for lipstick and my eyes blue like the Baltic sea where my bloodline is from.
I’m not losing 50 pounds to be beautiful. I’m doing it on a whim, and because I want to be healthy. Honestly, my first goal was just 150 pounds, but I decided to go the extra mile and get my body fat percentage down to athlete levels. I want my dream body, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of! I was nearly there last year when things at the old job and my mental health went south, but now that I’m successful, stable, and independent, truly a professional Washingtonian, I figure it’s time to get that last bucket list item crossed off – a body that allows the inner me to shine through.