Weight is one of the hardest topics for me to discuss these days. But, weight has always been a predominant aspect of my life.
Growing up, I remember going to Weight Watchers every Saturday with my mom. At a young age, I was already being exposed to how important our society focused on weight.
Younger Years & High School
My first experience with actual weight loss occurred when I started doing sports conditioning camps right before middle school. Honestly, I fell in love with working out and seeing what my body was capable of, but yet, I still didn’t see myself as “skinny” or “in shape”.
Until college, I would say I was average. Not overweight, not skinny but just stuck in-between.
Flash-forward to college, where I was barely eating and graduated with arms so tiny you could probably break them with a light touch. Okay, I’m over exaggerating but looking back now, someone should have called me out for how sickly skinny I was.
After college, I continued working for a retail company where I was constantly moving around and lifting heavy boxes. For the first time since those summer sports camps, I had little baby muscles going on! But, a horrible relationship made my weight drop back down once again.
Until the day I met a great personal trainer who honestly, changed my life for the better. I began weight lifting about 3-4 times a week with a little bit of cardio on the side. This time period was incredible – my body was the strongest it had ever been and also the point where I reached my lowest, yet healthiest, weight of my life.
If you guessed that my life and weight would flip 180 degrees, you’d be correct.
Unfortunately, about a year later, money was an issue and having a personal trainer was no longer an option. I went from working out 90% of the week to barely working out even one day a week.
A lot happened in that year following. I started a new job, met David, moved in with David (first time moving out of my mom’s house), became a sort-of step mom to David’s kid, lost my new job unexpectedly, unemployed for 3 months, and then started at my current job. All while dealing with severe anxiety, emotional ups & downs, and depression.
Honestly, with all of that going on, I didn’t even realize that my weight had skyrocketed. But of course it did, I was never working out with everything else going on in my life. At my heaviest, I had gained almost 100 pounds from my healthiest weight!
Then came my brain tumor diagnosis
If you’ve read about my journey with a prolactinoma (aka a benign tumor affecting all of my hormones), then you already know that my severe weight gain was, in most aspects, due to hormonal issues.
Looking back on my absolute heaviest weight now, I’m almost grateful. I do believe I took being in-shape for granted. Not that I’m saying I deserved to be overweight, but it’s definitely the most humbling experience I’ve ever been through. Just being able to bend over to tie my shoes is a small blessing I’ll never take for granted again.
Being on medication to manage my hormones, I’ve started to see the affects on my body and weight. But, better than that, I have a whole new respect for my body.
So, what did I learn and my tips for you!
For context, here are some stats. At my average weight, I was 155 pounds and wore a size 10 jeans. During the days of 90% working out, I was able to fit in a size 4 dress and weighed about 135 pounds. My all time heaviest, I was in size 22 jeans and weighed 255 pounds. Currently, I’m down to size 16 jeans.
Here’s what I’ve learned through my ups & downs with weight and my tips for you:
- Don’t push people away. I lost incredibly beautiful friendships (yes, MULTIPLE) because I just could not cope with the idea of them seeing me at my lowest point & highest weight. I refused to interact with anyone (partially because of my weight but also because I couldn’t find the motivation to do so). It’s my only regret to this day.
- It’s okay to go through periods of time with no motivation to workout. But, please please please, never stop working out for super long periods of time. Motivation will come back to you but you have to be willing to find it and hold on to it! Don’t be like me and keep putting it off – you will regret it later on.
- For the love of everything, find something else to focus on besides the scale. The scale does not matter. How you feel, the way your clothes fit, the fact that you can walk from the parking lot to the store without getting winded – those are the things that matter!
- Keep looking forward. I used to look through old photos and feel nothing but regret and horrible thoughts about the person I had become. But, looking back is an evil necessity. Instead of having regrets though, find motivation in old photos to push you in forward in the direction you want to go. Instead of feeling sad, feel proud of the person you were and can become again!
- Find what works best for you. I have come to realize over the years that having someone to tell me what workouts to do is what works best for me. That’s why, during quarantine, I started using the free app FitOn to encourage me to workout and it’s been wonderful. But, find what works for you and stick with it!
Want to know which apps I recommend if you’re trying to lose or manage your weight? Check out this article.