Weight

This post has been a long time coming. Actually, deep down, this topic may be the real reason that I started a blog in the first place. Seeing that it’s the start of a new year and a perfect time for resolutions, I think it’s high time that I got my thoughts on this dreaded topic written down. So, here we go. Here is my brutally honest, and terrifying [for me], but necessary post about weight.

I’ve never been “fat“, but I’ve always struggled with weight. Growing up, I was always bigger than most of the girls in my class which made me feel self-conscious, but was great for my elementary school basketball career. I was the tallest, or second tallest, kid (including the boys) in my class every year up to sixth grade. Because I was taller and bigger than most of the boys, I always felt like somewhat of an ugly duckling.

Hiding in the back behind everyone at the beach

Early high school years?

I believe that genetics plays some role in your predisposition for gaining/losing weight. My family has a history riddled with obesity. My dad’s side of the family is a large Italian family in more ways than one. Mostly everyone weighs 300+ pounds, sometimes with life threatening results. To put it in perspective, my dad is known as the skinny uncle…and my dad, although I love him dearly, is by no stretch of the imagination “skinny”.

My parents were always very careful with us growing up. Watching what we ate, making sure that we were involved in sports, and I am grateful for that. But regardless, my weight tended to yo-yo. Most of it had to do with my lifestyle choices. When I used to come home from school and eat a bowl of chips, I gained weight. But when I stopped doing that, and started going to soccer practice instead, I lost some of it.

These trends have continued into my adult life. As a senior in high school, I had a few extra pounds on me and I always felt self-conscious about it. Even though I played soccer, I ate A LOT of pizza. Like, A LOT of pizza. Plus, once soccer season was over, I just stopped exercising completely. My weight ballooned up to the 170’s.

Senior Year Beach Week

Then I got to college. I started forging out on my own, making my own decisions, on my own time. I started exercising every single day, sometimes for 2 or more hours. I was in great shape and got down to my lowest (and healthiest) weight in my adult life: 150.

At my lowest weight. And yes, I am dancing in a High School Musical Parade, SO WHAT!

I was able to still eat pretty terribly, but maintained my weight anyway because I had the time to work out every day. But then graduation hit. And so did sitting in an office all day. During my first job out of college, most days I would be out for 13 hours+ between commuting and work. I just didn’t have time to exercise like I did in college. Plus, by the time I finally got home, I would be way too tired to lace up those running shoes. I started making not-exercising a standard.

I stepped on the scale today and saw a number that shocked me: 175. Over the past two years, I’ve gradually (and somewhat unknowingly) gained 20 pounds. That’s just unacceptable. If you don’t believe me, here’s some proof.

2009

2011

2009

2011

I can see it and feel it all over. So, I started thinking about how this happened. I think weight gain (and loss) mostly has to do with your everyday choices.

I know my eating habits aren’t the best, but I never realized that I’ve been making excuses for myself. Sometimes I find myself telling people that “I’ve barely eaten anything today”, even though I ate a Poptart (200 calories), pretzels with peanut butter (300 calories) and a candy bar (300 calories). That’s 800 calories I’m not accounting for in a day when I’m just mindlessly eating. Then I’ll go and order a pizza with the mindset that it’s okay because “I’ve barely eaten.” This sort of thinking is unhealthy and absolutely needs to stop.

So, why am I talking about this in excruciating detail in my blog? Well, I’m starting a challenge…with myself.

The challenge: lose 20-30 pounds by 2013…that is, if the world doesn’t end, of course.

I want to get back down to where I was at my healthy weight in college. We’ll call it my feel-good weight. It was the time in my life that I felt physically and mentally the most at peace with my weight. Right now, although it may not seem it, I am teetering the balance between normal and overweight on the BMI scale, and I don’t like that.

This isn’t just all for vanity. I’ve been feeling the effects of the extra weight more and more lately. I don’t have as much energy as I used to, running is more difficult, and sometimes I wake up with a stomach ache after a night of binge eating pizza and cookies. Waking up with a stomach ache is pretty much the worst feeling in the world. Lately, I’ve just had a general feeling of “blah”.

  • The Challenge: lose 20-30 lbs by 2013.
  • Starting Weight: 175
  • Goal Weight: 150
  • How I’m going to do it: 
    • Start counting calories. I plan to use the MyFitnessPal app for iPhone. I don’t know how long I will count calories, but I’m going to do it at first because I honestly have no idea how many I consume on an average day.
    • Cut portions. I’m an American, and I eat oversized portions. We all do, it’s true.
    • Less carbs. I’m a carbo-holic. I love them, I live for them. I’m still going to be eating pizza and bread, but probably just less of it. I must condition myself to like salads.
    • Drink more water. Did you know that most of the time when your body thinks it’s hungry, it’s actually thirsty?
    • RUN! At least 3 times a week, preferably 5 if I can fit it into my schedule
    • Stop making excuses. They’ve just got to stop.
    • Blog about it. I’m thinking maybe a bi-weekly post with an update. That will provide some accountability. Plus, then I can share things that do/do not work for me.
    • Take before and after pictures. I love to see progress. Maybe I’ll even post them.

Any advice? Success stories? Failures? Also, if anyone wants to embark on this journey along with me, the more the merrier. I’d love to have a support group to help keep me accountable.