A New Year, A New Me

It’s 2017, I’m almost 30 years old, and I feel like it’s finally time for me to make some major changes in my life.

I’ve decided to create this blog more for myself than anyone else. To keep myself accountable, make plans for the future, and to reflect on choices/changes that I’ve made. If you’ve stumbled upon this blog, not knowing what the Hell it is, I’d just like to say, “Welcome!” Feel free to read on, if you wish. And, if I’ve already caused you to become bored out of your mind, I do apologize, and would like to let you know, that you are welcome to leave, if you’d like.

So, let’s start with the basics…For most of my life, I’ve always done things for other people, catering to their needs and wants, always putting my own needs and desires on the back-burner. And, I suppose I was just okay with that…I guess. I mean, I allowed it. I let it happen and would go out of my way to do favors etc. You could say I was a selfless person, a “yes” woman, an enabler, or someone with absolutely no backbone (I’d personally say a nice mixture of all four).

Well, I’m not Super Girl or Wonder Woman (although that’d be pretty awesome if I was), so of course I started to break down. I was caring for other people so much, that I could no longer care for myself – I ate really poorly – basically eating my feelings until I was numb, barely slept at all, became depressed, began experiencing severe bouts of anxiety, was always really tired, stopped bathing regularly (I know, pretty gross), was always emotionally drained, and I just stopped putting effort into my outward appearance altogether. I stopped caring about the clothes that I wore, stopped fixing my hair and wearing makeup (not that makeup is a necessity), and let my weight go out of control.

When I started high school, I was around 160 lbs and my height was 5′ 8, so I was in the normal range. However, by the time I was a senior in high school, I only grew an inch in height (5′ 9), but gained about 50 lbs in weight, weighing in at 210 lbs (40 lbs above a healthy weight for my height). I felt like a loser and a fat slob. I hated how I looked so much, that I rarely ever took pictures of myself that year, which is sad, because your senior year of high school is supposed to be the best year of your life, right? (I’d beg to differ).

Being obese is such a viscous cycle. For many of us “heavier” people, we didn’t eat too much because we’re selfish, gluttonous pigs that stuff our faces with ice cream, cake, and fried chicken every chance we get. No, that’s not it at all. People often forget that obesity is often a sign or result of extreme, long-term emotional pain. And what do we do when we’re in pain? We try to make it go away. People have used drugs, alcohol, cutting, and other risky behaviors to make the pain go away, at least for a little while. So, my drug of choice was food. Food was something that comforted me when I was sad and, honestly, eating was one of the few activities in my day that made me experience a fleeting moment of happiness. But, as everyone knows, that happiness was extremely short-lived. Because as soon as I finished eating my meal or my snack, I’d be immediately hit with guilt, berating myself for not making healthier food choices. I ate to make the hurt go away, but by turning to food, not only did it not fix my preexisting emotional issues, it tacked on another by making me overweight, thus adding another emotional problem to the mix. Oh how cruel the cycle is.

During my first year of university, I was able to drop down to 175 lbs, but let me assure you, it wasn’t for healthy reasons – I tried out anorexia, barely eating anything, and exercising like crazy. Of course I thought I looked HOT! But, that came at a price. I was irritable all the time, literally starving, always dizzy, my hair was falling out, and my periods became very irregular. Luckily for me, I didn’t stay on this “weight-loss” plan for long. Bad news for me though was that I slowly slipped back into old habits: Eating the heck out of my feelings. Not only did I gain back the 35 lbs that I had lost, I also gained more. By the time I got my Bachelor’s Degree, I weighed 235 lbs. And, by the time I finished my first semester of graduate school a year later (Dec 2010), I weighed a whopping 250 lbs. My heaviest weight ever.

Needless to say, I felt like I needed a change…Kind of how I feel right now, but I’ll get to that a bit later. I decided that I’d exercise every single day for an hour, started counting calories (keeping it between 1600-1800 a day), and made better and healthier food choices. And, within a few weeks, I started to notice a difference. My clothes were getting baggier, and I felt like I had more energy. I had my ups and downs, of course, but by May 2013, I was down to a cool 170 lbs. I was extremely proud of myself and all the hard work that I did. I was sure that I would NEVER put the weight back on and that I’d stick with my plan forever. But, you know if I did stick to the plan, I wouldn’t have made this blog post, or this blog for this matter. The problem is that after graduate school, I had no job lined up, which meant no money in my pocket, so I had to move back home. And, well, that did a number on my diet.

Losing weight is easier to do when you live alone, because you don’t have other people to tempt you with food or pressure you to eat things. So, when I moved home, I was constantly pressured to eat my mother’s cooking (delicious, but not always the healthiest of foods) and my younger sister, who had no weight issues at the time, would always get me to eat junk food with her. Within 5 months, I weighed 215 lbs, meaning I gained back 9 lbs a month. Of course that made me feel like a failure and a loser. How is it even humanly possible to gain that much weight in that short amount of time!? By that time, I was so depressed, but at the same time desperate. So, I decided to join Weight Watchers.

Weight Watchers seemed promising, especially after I read some success stories, and at the beginning, I was losing weight with the program. Within a couple months, I made it to 200 lbs. But you know how life is…Always unpredictable and always making things difficult! And, I ended up gaining that weight back by the beginning of 2014. And, really, I’ve been yo-yo’ing with my diet between 200 and 220 for the past 3 years or so, and sadly, by the start of 2017, I weighed in at 235 lbs, the heaviest I’ve been since probably 2011.

So, here we are. It’s 2017, I’m almost 30 years old, and I still feel like I’m nowhere near my potential. I’m not so happy with where I’m at right now, and I want to be better. So, that’s why I’ve created this blog. I want to document my journey to improve myself. Not just physically, but also emotionally and spiritually. My goal is to make one change every week, that will get me one step closer to becoming the person that I want to be. I want to become a better version of myself.

I’m taking a more holistic approach to this self-improvement thing, which I’ll definitely talk more about in later posts, and I’d like to make one change at a time, rather than too many. I feel like when I make too many changes at once, I’m more likely to fail and fall back into old patterns.

I will start making changes for my “new life” this coming Monday. January 23rd. That is my day 1. So, stay tuned! I will update every Monday, and may throw in some extra posts here and there if I feel like it 🙂