I have been overweight for most of my life. I honestly can’t remember a time when I wasn’t chubby. I’m 5’4” and at my heaviest I was 189 lbs. I remember seeing that number on the scale and realizing that in the near future I could easily be 200 lbs. I remember losing 3 lbs, then traveling to Germany for my cousin’s wedding. A week later I flew straight to Zimbabwe for my three-month internship. I was 186 lbs when I left and despite my best efforts to be healthy in Africa, I was the same weight when I returned three months later.
For my senior year of college, my goal was to lose 30 lbs. I prepared most of my meals in advance and worked out 4-5 times a week- all while being a full-time biology student, conducting research, and working part-time. My workout plan at the time consisted of 45-60 mins of cardio and 30-40 mins of weightlifting. I honestly had no idea what I was doing, but I was so determined to lose weight.
By the time graduation day came I was about 150 lbs. I was shocked, but so proud of myself. It wasn’t a perfect process- I hit a few plateaus, had episodes of binge eating, and moments when I thought I would never reach my goals.
Fast forward to today and I’m currently ranging between 162-165 lbs. I gained weight back once people started saying I looked too skinny- which is crazy because looking at pictures I think I looked fine. I would still like to lose a little bit more fat and build muscle, but I’m learning that the scale isn’t the best measure of progress (especially if you lift weights).
As I transition into to medical school, I hope to make fitness one of my many priorities and stay on top of my goals as much as possible. I’m a stress and emotional eater, so I know it will be a challenge. I will definitely try to keep you guys updated on my journey as time goes on. Hopefully I’ll actually be consistent about taking progress photos!
At first I was going to call this post “My weight loss journey”, but I have finally started getting more comfortable with the mindset of “fat loss” vs. “weight loss”; this journey is about fitness and learning to live a healthy lifestyle.
Writing this post was actually such a good reminder of how far I’ve come. I’m often very hard on myself and sometimes get discouraged about whether I can reach my goals. I also never thought I would ever publically share my weight, but I constantly remind myself that weight is relative and not always the best measure of progress. Looking at old photos has motivated me to work even harder- I refuse to go back. So, if you are thinking about starting a fitness journey- losing, gaining, building muscle, or maintaining- start right now! Don’t wait until Monday or next week. Today is the day to become your best self. Don't listen to what anyone says you should look like just because they are used to seeing you a certain way. In the end, all that matters is that you are healthy and comfortable with yourself.
Are any of you on a fitness journey? I would love to hear your story! Let me know what you struggle with and we can support each other. Comment below with your goals, tips, or anything that helps you stay motivated. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to have a private discussion.