My struggle with my weight has been a life long journey. For as long as I can remember, I’ve watched the numbers on the scale climb and fall along with my self-esteem. Today I am happy to share my story from a place of peace with my body and my mind, but make no mistake, every day I wake up and recommit to this process, and continue to work my ass off.
My weight has definitely been the result of a variety of factors. Obviously genetics is a key player, but dealing with traumatic situations at a young age has also been a huge barrier for me. When I was 9 years old and away at summer camp I was woken up early in the morning by my counselors who told me I was going home. My first response was, what’s wrong? That’s when I learned that my dad was sick and in the hospital. Being as young as I was, I didn’t think it was anything too tragic, but I was wrong.
He had suffered a massive heart attack, significant brain damage, and was on a ventilator. He passed away two months later. At such a crucial time in my life, I was destroyed. It wasn’t long before I started wearing my emotional pain in pounds.
At age 11, I joined weight watchers. It worked for a short period of time but soon I found myself back to my old habits. My weight was fluctuating so frequently, and my mom did everything in her power to try and help me. No matter what I did, I just couldn’t gain control over the situation. In high school, we met with a doctor who prescribed diet pills. I worked with him and lost around 80 pounds, but you can’t be on pills forever. Needless to say, as soon as I stopped taking them, I gained all the weight back, plus some.
It wasn’t until my junior year of college that I realized I was fed up. I decided that I refuse to continue being unhappy with myself and my weight, and I was going to do whatever it took to change my reality. I wanted to make changes that were healthy and would be sustainable, because there are no quick fixes to being overweight; there is only hard work, dedication, and changing your eating habits. So that’s what I did.
I reached out to Ricki, founder of Break the weight and told her I needed her help. I did the Break the weight program for 4 months and lost 25 pounds. The program held me accountable, which admittedly I didn’t always like, and taught me how to eat correctly. The most important lesson break the weight taught me was to keep moving.
However, I started noticing there was more to this journey for me that I had neglected, which was working on myself on the inside as well, I fell off the wagon for the last time.
Then, 6 months after college graduation, a totally new life venture took place; I joined Weight Watchers for the final time and told myself I was going to stick to it no matter what. I started to go to therapy and truly focus on healing my painful past. I also kept in mind notes of what break the weight had taught me:
- Make sure breakfast is the biggest meal of the day
- Make sure dinner is the smallest meal of the day
- Drink 64 oz of water everyday
- Walk 10,000 steps everyday
I became a pescatarian and went completely dairy free (well, besides the greek yogurt I have in the mornings). The weight just starting falling off. Now, I work out 6 days a week, and never do the same things two days in a row. My activities vary between the following:
- Yoga at Blue Yoga
- Cycling and Rowing at Cycle and Row
- Boot camp at Get Some Fitness
- Orange Theory Fitness
- Pure Ryde
To date, I have lost a total of 95 pounds, and could not be happier about this accomplishment. I continue to see a therapist once a week to talk about how I’m feeling and to deal with my father’s passing. I still have about 15 more pounds I’d like to lose, but I know that it’s a marathon not a sprint.
I’m in the best place I’ve ever been in my life.
So for anyone who might be facing a similar struggle as mine, my best advice is don’t give up. No matter how hard it seems at times, just keep fighting. I fought every odd that was against me, through emotional pain, and through nearly a hundred pounds of excess weight.
Don’t ever settle for a life that isn’t the one you want to live. It’s never too late to get up and start all over again.
Break the weight,
*Shelby, 24, is currently living in Birmingham, Michigan. She thinks being 24 is “old” and loves organizing closets. She can be reached at:W[email protected]