How I struggled with being overweight and how I plan on tackling my self-image in 2019

Welcome back! We made it through 2018. This year, for me, has been a rollercoaster. I moved to LA, graduated college, and signed a lease for my very own studio apartment! Sure, I struggled, especially when I totaled my first car and fell into a pit of depression. BUT! Here I am! Thriving and manifesting!

Since it’s about that time of year to make resolutions, I thought it be a great idea for me to share some of my goals for this upcoming year. This is a great time of year for people to take control of their fitness and health. Summer will creep up soon, and everyone wants to look good!

Most of my life, I have been overweight. My earliest memories the pediatrician’s office consist of the doctor’s telling me I am not like other girls. One doctor so lovingly put it, “Some girls can eat 10 brownies and not gain a pound, while others look at a brownie and gain 10 pounds.” Doctors should really not talk to young girls this way, because it pits us against each other while feeding into the unrealistic standards of beauty. Of course, growing up chubby was not easy. All my friends were skinny and got a lot of attention as they went through puberty to become beautiful women. I was always tall, heavy, and awkward. I truly hated my friends for the longest time due to their looks and all the attention they got when I was young. Now, of course I’ve come to my senses and realized hating skinny people will not make me lose weight or be healthy. I struggled throughout high school as well. Since I went to an all girls Catholic high school, I struggled with body positivity because I was always comparing myself to others. “Why can’t I be as skinny as her?” “I wish I had a thigh gap.” “This jumper makes me look so much bigger than I already am.” I lost a couple pounds my senior year of high school, which made me feel great! Girls at school could tell I was someone toned when my thighs would slip out from my jumper. I started running at the time, but quickly made an excuse to give it up.

On top of that, advertisements for women’s health and beauty only highlights skinny, toned women. Thankfully, I had a Tumblr during high school that opened my eyes to the double standard for women’s health. Say what you want about Tumblr, but I think I would have been much more depressed and suicidal if I wasn’t on Tumblr as a high schooler. It felt good to know there were other girls out there that looked like me and struggled to find real representation for their bodies.

College was rough. So fearful of gaining the Freshman 15, I started incorporating a gym routine my first semester. I would go to class with a gym bag. On my big break, I would work out and shower before my next class. I grooved with this schedule a lot, until I had to go for my annual doctor’s visit. My bloodwork showed my thyroid levels were messed up. This destroyed all my momentum to continue taking care of myself. I felt defeated that my body was chemically inclined to not want to lose weight. However, through a few follow up appointments, the doctors concluded I didn’t have a thyroid issue. It must have been a virus or something temporary. I didn’t care about that, because I didn’t think my health really mattered. I went through college eating crap and barely taking control of myself. It did not help that I worked at a sports bar where I would eat greasy food late at night. I gave up any idea that I have control of my weight.

Moving to LA forced me to have control over what I put into my body. I started to cook for myself. For the first time, I felt good about the food I was eating. Learning about the control I have over my food in this way really helped me see my body for what it really is. I am not fat. I have fat. The fat can go away if I put in work. I came home to visit my family and friends in August to find out I lost 20 pounds over the summer! I was not working out or really trying to lose weight. Taking that step to cook for myself really opened my eyes to how much control I really have over myself. Now, I started working out more. My body feels like it is growing strong.

I gave up the idea a long time ago that I would be a size 2/Victoria’s Secret model skinny. I am sooooooooo happy that pop culture promotes “thick” women. Sure, the representation might not be the best yet, but women are working together to ensure everyone feels represented.

There is one thing that will sound bitchy, but I need to address it for my sanity. If you are skinny/have low body fat and you know it, stop complaining to your heavy friends. It makes us feel like shit, even if you don’t intend that. Your words deflect onto our self-image. Instead of saying “I look fat,” say “I feel bloated today” or “I do not like how these clothes fit me.” You will never understand how painful it is to hear someone who fits the standard complain about their weight when you know that your BMI is on the obese scale. Yes, our society teaches EVERYONE to hate the way they look, but stop talking like this because it’s feeding into it. Change how you discuss your weight with people who do not have the same body shape as you.

2109. What are my goals? I plan on working out 4-6 days a week, depending on my work schedule. I know people might be wondering what I do in the gym. Well, I go for an hour. I start my workout by run/walking on the treadmill for 15 minutes. I walk at 4 mph with a 3.0 incline for the first 5 minutes. Then, I run at 5 mph at 1.0-1.5 incline for 4-5. Back to walking like before. I am working towards running the entire 15 minutes, but I need to pace myself. After the treadmill, I do some weight lifting with the machines at the gym. I rotate between arms/back, legs, and abs. I like to do 4 sets of 15 reps on each machine. This has really helped me enjoy the gym, because I can feel my body gaining muscle. I have fallen in love wit the feeling of building muscle. After weights, I do another 20-30 minutes of cardio either on a bike or elliptical. I will sometimes split that time and do 15 minutes on different cardio machines. Once my workout is done, I sit on a massage chair for 5 minutes. Finding a relaxing activity after an intense workout really helps motivate you to finish your workout and center yourself for the rest of the day.

Since I am learning to love my body through this change, I want to be able to take more pictures of myself. It is sad I missed out on some many photo opportunities because I looked fat. I want to be happy with my looks, and taking/posting pictures is a great way for me to stay motivated throughout this weight loss journey.

Here are my resolutions for the new year!

  1. work out 4-6 (like I mentioned)
  2. Write everyday
  3. Watch all the movies that I keep saying I will watch or just sit in my Netflix Queue
  4. Make enough money to start really saving and investing for the future
  5. Continue working on self-control and letting go of the idea that I have control over situations and others that I may be involved with.

Thank you for taking the time to read this! Feel free to share with me some of your goals. I am taking film suggestions for the new year!

Love,

Sabrina