About two years ago, I was over 200 pounds. I was physically unhealthy and mentally unhappy. Today, I am about 80 pounds lighter and overall healthier. Sharing my weight loss journey on social media was terrifying to me because I was so embarrassed and was afraid of backlash. However, after receiving so much love and support from my friends and family, it motivated me more to continue with my healthy lifestyle as well as with helping others who want to start their own weight loss journey.
I receive questions all the time about how I lost so much weight and how I kept my motivation, and many people expect an easy answer. The first truth is that it is a lifestyle change. I hate calling it a “diet” because it isn’t. In order to lose weight and to keep the weight off, I had to completely change my mindset to eating nutritiously and working out for the rest of my life. Many people think that once they reach their goal weight, they can go back to eating unhealthy, but that will only cause the weight to come back.
The next truth is how I stayed motivated. I have always had a weight problem as a kid and have tried so many methods to lose weight. None of them worked because I realized that I was only trying to change my appearance for my family, who were pestering me daily about my weight. I was also changing for society due to beauty standards. I was only successful when I finally became healthier for myself and for my well-being. As I saw the number on the scale decrease weekly, my motivation kept growing. I craved progress.
The third truth is that a cheat day is not going to ruin your progress or cause you to gain weight overnight. I treated myself so many times throughout my journey! Life is short, and sometimes you need to satisfy your cravings. But with every cheat meal, you need to make sure to get back on track and not lose sight of your goal. The fourth truth is that it is 80% diet and 20% exercise. Changing what you eat and being in a calorie deficit is the biggest factor to losing weight. Working out with strength training helps with building muscles and tightening excess skin. Just because you ran for three miles or completed 100 squats does not mean you can binge-eat hamburgers and fries.
While weight loss gave me a lot of happiness and self-love, there is two final truths I want to talk about. I definitely feel more confident, but one negative aspect from weight loss that not many discuss, is body dysmorphia or “phantom fat”. Even after knowing that I am at a healthy weight and that I am
smaller than before, there will be times that I still feel 200 pounds due to the fact that I have been overweight my whole life. I would feel so self-conscious that I would not look in the mirror or even feel like my family and peers think that I’m “fat”. I would even catch myself feeling guilty for having a cheat day. I have to constantly remind myself that I am healthy now and to love myself at every phase of my weight loss journey. I am still working on myself, mentally, and my main goal is to stop being so hard on myself.
Finally, the last truth, is that I learned who really cared about me for me, not because of my appearance or my weight. My parents, my friends, and my boyfriend have been so supportive throughout my journey, loving me before and loving me now. However, I have learned that many others are shallow. I’ve noticed that more guys, who completely ignored me before, are all up in my DMs. Some girls, on the other hand, now want to be friends.
My weight loss journey has really taught me so much about myself and about the people around me. I hope to keep progressing towards being more fit as well as keep inspiring others. In the future, I want to help others with their journey and to advise those who have eating disorders. Most importantly, I want to be able to inspire others to love their body, no matter their weight and no matter their body shape. Loving themselves is the first step to a healthier lifestyle.