Body

Tipping the Scale

I must be doing something right! This morning I got on the scale and it was great! After fluctuating up and down since basically August, I finally broke the 40 lb mark! Only by 1.6 lbs, but still!

Over the last two weeks, I have been back at the gym, done the videos for arms and abs, and gone to yoga. I’ve also been more conscious of what I’m eating and started logging my food on MyFitnessPal again. I even didn’t give in to drunk food or hangover food this weekend. I mean, I definitely drank a lot, but whatever, I can’t win at everything!

Before today I hadn’t set another goal past my 228. And despite knowing I still have a bit to go before my ultimate goal weight, I hadn’t thought much about my next step. But now, I’m inspired to keep going, to look forward to the next milestone.

I’d like to see 215… it’s crazy because it has seemed so far away and unobtainable for so long. And 215 feels so much closer to 200, and then under 200! I don’t even know how I’ll feel then but I know it’ll be worth celebrating. A big celebration!!

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s not just about the weight. I feel good and I can feel the changes and see the changes. In the way my body looks and feels, and what it can do. But no matter how good I feel, I will admit that small victories like one I experienced this morning make a difference in a journey that sometimes feels like it’s going to last forever.

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Boys

The Leave Behind

This weekend I spent most of my time with Coach. We went out on a proper date Saturday night and got breakfast on Sunday. And then I saw him again Sunday evening…

So one might think “wow! That’s basically the whole weekend, this is getting serious!” But hold up… while I would’ve loved to see him again Sunday night just because, that was not the case. I saw him again because of The Leave Behind (not that I’m complaining).

The Leave Behind is a trick, or tactic, that one uses as a way to guarantee another get together. Example: a friend of mine recently hooked up with a guy and he left his sweatshirt at her apartment. And his toothbrush #ew. Obviously he’s going to see her again. And if he doesn’t, he’s going to be cold and have bad breath.

Now I want to clarify that the Leave Behind is not a tactic used by the person whose abode y’all were at. If you hide someone’s shit on them just to get them to come back, you are crazy and that person should definitely run.

Moving on. Coach left his cell phone charger. A cell phone charger is something one needs to survive these days. I forgot mine at home today and my phone was at 8% battery by 1pm. I had to borrow a coworkers.

So when I realized he had forgotten it, I called him and told him. He said he realized just moments before I called and that he would have to come by later. By the time he got back to my apartment that evening, his phone was dead. Basically he had no other option but to come back. And I had no other option but to invite him inside. Again, I’m not complaining.

My friend from college put it best. In her best Carrie Bradshaw voice she said: “I couldn’t help but wonder if leaving your phone charger is the new leaving your earring.”

I vote yes.

My reasoning:

  1. We can’t all pull off the OG Leave Behind because we a) don’t have glass slippers, and b) even if we did, would we really run across a grimy club/bar floor barefoot?
  2. At the speed of modern dating, earrings are too small to notice before y’all swipe right on the next person. Phone chargers, on the other hand, are very obvious. Who doesn’t notice extra wires hanging around an outlet wasting electricity?

Unless you really don’t want to see each other ever again, leaving your phone charger basically guaranteed immediate response and action from both parties. Not sure what this says about our society’s inability to unplug, but whatever.

So Coach came back over and we just hung out and watched things and he fell asleep, and for some reason I wasn’t as annoyed by his snoring as I usually am by snoring. And it’s a good thing too, because apparently I left my visitor parking pass in his car. Definitely not the perfect Leave Behind.

Boys

Do I Know You…?

Okay so the weirdest thing happened a few weeks back, and I didn’t even realize until yesterday. And now, I cannot figure it out!

So about a month ago my sister and I were walking to the train from our apartment and this guy passed us on the other side of the street. I saw him, he saw me, and then he did this weird chuckle thing and shook his head. I noticed it but didn’t think much of it because I didn’t know him. But it made an impression that I couldn’t quite shake.

Yesterday I saw him again. I was heading to work and walked to the train. As I searched for an empty spot on the platform to wait, I saw him. The same guy that did that weird laugh and shake of the head. I stood next to him on the platform and minded my own business, but out of the corner of my eye I tried to get a good look at him. I couldn’t help but think he looked familiar.

If I’m being honest, he fits the physical description of the type of guy I usually go for – tall, dark, handsome, broad shoulders, and a strong jawline. I have a pretty specific type #sueme.

So I start thinking about the last time I saw him… what was that?! I very well could have matched with him on a dating app or even gone out with him… but I. CANNOT. REMEMBER! His reaction makes me feel like we’d gone out and somehow I offended him in some way by not texting back or simply telling him I wasn’t interested. But the only guys I can think about that I did that with are The Moaner and The Cheater. He resembles The Cheater a bit, but like, not enough for me to be convinced it’s him. But that reaction would make sense from him since he messaged me months after I told him I wasn’t interested asking if we could give things another go.

I honestly cannot think of how I know him. He’s not someone I’ve drunkenly made out with, or someone I met through a friend. I’m even wondering if this is a case of mistaken identity and he thinks I’m someone else. Though I feel like I have a pretty unique physical appearance and have actually only been mistaken for someone else once in my whole life.

I might have to confront him next time I see him… in a totally non-confrontational way. But then if I say “hey, do I know you” and I have been out with him… does that make me seem… idk, vain and uncaring?

Either way, if I did actually date him, it would’ve been at least two years ago! That’s a long fucking time and he needs to get over whatever beef he has with me, right? It’s just so weird.

Booze

To Drink, or Not to Drink… that is the Question

This evening I have plans to go out to a popular 90s night with friends.The place is kind of a dive and basically 90% of the patrons are college kids. Being 27, I fit right in!

It’s very fun, though I typically prefer the Saturday night music (early 2000s) because I’m a product of Beyonce. Anyways, while it’s a good time with lots of dancing, I find that alcohol is a basic requirement. And by alcohol, I mean I lots of alcohol. To deal with people shoving into you as they mosh to Smells Like Teen Spirit. The problem is: this bar has really shitty booze. They have this homemade stuff that is supposed to taste like fireball whiskey, but really it tastes like cinnamon cough syrup. Of course I’ve taken shots of it on a number of occasions because I’m super classy.

So as I prepare myself for the night, I’m trying to figure out how much I need to drink to reach the perfect level of fun dancing drunk, avoid making poor decisions, and wake up hangover free tomorrow morning so I can go to a Zumba class at 10:00.

You’re probably thinking “well that’s easy, just have two or three vodka sodas and drink water before going to bed”, and I hear you. But… what you don’t know is that this place is like the Bermuda Triangle. I don’t think I have ever been able to go and have the next morning be rainbows and unicorns. To prove my point, here are a few examples:

  • The invention of the Finger Linger. This was the high (?) point of a night out with friends. Not quite sure how that came about, but obviously it involved alcohol and unnecessary flirting, which for me is a somewhat harmless (?) byproduct of the drinking and dancing combo. For those of you who don’t know what Finger Linger is… it’s when you run your fingers up and down a guy’s chest and linger toward the bottom of their abdomen. Usually a good Finger Linger starts up by the collarbone and includes a down, up, down motion. Anyways, that night I think it was someone’s birthday and I ended up buying a couple rounds of shots, mixed the cinnamon cough syrup with cheap tequila, and woke up feeling like hell.
  • The Cold Kiss (aka Mother’s Day Eve). Was the night before Mother’s Day. I mentioned this in Blame it on the A A A A Alcohol. The night was the result of a much needed ladies’ night during which I also bought a bunch of rounds of drinks, drank so many vodka sodas that I lost count, and ended up making eyes at a guy across the room. So when I see him up close, he grabs me and kisses me. Despite my state at that time, I was immediately aware that it was a bad kiss and I needed to escape ASAP. His mouth was very wet and cold. Like he had just popped an ice breakers gum. I know the commercials say “break the ice”, but I want the world to know that cold kisses are not desirable. So I ended up just walking off. I may have said I needed to go to the bathroom, but honestly probably not. I found myself on the back patio and saw a gate open to the dumpster. Somehow this triggered me feeling nauseous (or maybe it was the cold kiss), so I walk over to the dumpster ready to ralph in the corner, when someone who must have worked their told me that I couldn’t be out there. So I go back inside, find my lady crew, and dance the rest of the night away. Until we go to leave and somehow the bartender lost my credit card. I’m concerned, but drunk, so we just went home. The next morning I feel awful and end up dry heaving for what felt like forever. But was not forever because somehow I was able to pull myself together (with the help of my sister) just in time for us to get Mother’s Day brunch with our parents. Who also happened to be hungover. #classyfamily
  • The Bait and Switch (aka Father’s Day Eve). Just a month after The Cold Kiss, we went out to this bar again for one of my roommates birthdays. We started drinking at other bars so there were no bad shots (thank god) but it meant the night started at like 6:00. By the time we’re dancing, I unknowingly black out, only to come to making out with this guy on the dance floor in what one calls a classic DFMO (dance floor make out). Everyone checks in with me and I’m fine and just continue. Eventually I get bored of the situation so I tell him I need to go to the bathroom. And being me, I grab two of the girls that were out that night to come with. In the bathroom mirror I notice a giant hickey. We all notice it really, as it was basically the size of a fist. #howwww! And I say something along the lines of “Idk why guys do that, if I’d been making out with one of you, this wouldn’t happen” (it’s true). Next thing I know, we’re back on the dance floor and I’m making out with one of the girls I was just talking with in the bathroom! Needless to say, she was a much better kisser than whatever guy was macking on my neck earlier. The next morning, I wake up with a giant hickey and that Ana girl in my bed, and frantically search for a scarf so I can go meet my father for a 8:00 breakfast.

So I assume after those three long-ass examples, you now understand my concern.

I haven’t been to this bar in maybe 8 months, and I haven’t drank like that in almost as long. I’m feeling like I might just be screwed.

On the bright side, I’ll have another great story to share…

Boys

Walking the (Booty Call) Line

Earlier this week, I told Coach I wanted to see him this weekend. He seemed on board but I’m going to attribute his indifference to him being horrible at texting. Which he is. “LOL” is not a quality response to anything…

Anyways, basically ever since French Toast, I’ve been very aware of how quickly one can fall into the booty call trap. Clear signs you’ve been trapped: he only suggests getting together after like 9:00, and you only hang out at one of your homes. With FT, we tried to hang out a number of times during the week starting at what I would consider regular hours. I like to be in my bed by 10:00, so getting together at 9 or even 8:30 on a weeknight is not high on my priorities. Eventually I called him out on it. Since then – even though I wasn’t really looking for anything serious – I was careful to avoid booty call status.

Last week Coach came over later on Saturday night. But it wasn’t a booty call in my mind. I even told him after he left the next day that the next time we get together we should probably go out and do something. My apartment isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Continuing that non-booty call attitude, I called him. On the phone. #ShockingIKnow! Of course he didn’t answer. But then a bit later, he called me back! ON THE PHONE. I realize this is stupid because people talk on the phone all the time. I call my mom, my sister, my friends, pretty regularly. I even have one guy friend I FaceTime with pretty frequently. But there’s something about talking on the phone in today’s dating culture that seems so foreign to me. Anyways, we talked for a bit and it was nice. Very next step in our kind of dating situation.

So, anyways, we were trying to make plans on the phone for this weekend. And it just wasn’t going well. I’m going out Friday and invited him. But he has to be up early Saturday and is working all day. I have nothing Saturday during the day but am babysitting at night. Sunday we’re both free in the morning but I have plans with a friend around 2:00 and he has something at night.

This morning, motivated by simply seeing him over the weekend, I suggested he come over after I babysit Saturday night (after 11:00), and immediately regret it.

I somehow forgot that booty calling goes both ways.

I don’t want him to feel like our relationship is only physical. I promise it’s not! We talked on the MF phone! Y’all can probably even tell that I like him. It’s weird for me. But I’m trying to not overthink it too much. So even though I wanted to double, triple, quadruple text him and explain that I wasn’t trying to treat him like a sex object, and actually really like him… I just waited for him to respond.

Did I mention he’s a bad texter? After a while, he said “We’ll see.” AAKSHFKSLD

I’m very aware that I’m overreacting here. It’s cool. I’m cool. But. I know I hate being told to come over late. After the person has done their own thing. After they’ve been out having fun with their friends or whatever they’ve done. They might as well have sent a text that says “oh, I didn’t meet anyone out that I wanted to bring home, so you should come over.” Feels great.

So now I’m walking the line. Like Johnny Cash. Hoping that if he does come over late Saturday, we both understand that it’s not because I don’t want something more.

 

Boys

If You Don’t Have a Vice, I Can’t Date You.

I’m not talking hard core drug use or a gambling addiction… but I genuinely find it weird when people don’t drink coffee or alcohol. Like… please pick one. It’s good for you to enjoy something bad for you. When it comes to dating, if I’ve been talking to someone on an app and suggest to meet for coffee, I expect them to drink coffee. Up until a little over a year ago, I hadn’t been aware that not everyone saw this as a requirement.

Around that time I had been talking to this guy on Hinge. I think we’d matched on other dating apps, but we hadn’t every really talked and definitely never got to the point of meeting. So this time, I sent him a message and after a bit of friendly chatter, we decided to meet up. For coffee.

It’s important to note that:

  1. I am one of those people that actually really likes the flavor of coffee. I was obsessed with coffee milk as a kid. My favorite ice creams are coffee based. And after the typical sugary coffee drink stage that everyone goes through in middle and high school, I started drinking my coffee black. Like my heart. Kidding…
  2. I typically view first dates as “meetings”. This probably has come about as a result of our current dating culture and norms where we actually are meeting someone we do not know. To me, this first meeting isn’t a date. It’s like a meet and greet. If we decide we want to go out again, then we can count that as a date. When I’m first meeting someone I’m just trying to figure out if you’re a decent enough person to go out with again. I’m definitely not thinking I want to marry you… or 99% of the time even if I’m attracted to you.

(Slight side bar: I think this is where men and women differ. Because men are so visually stimulated, they likely know if they want to have sex with you before they even meet you. Us ladies on the other hand… while there are definitely guys out there we are all about, most of the time the attraction is based more on personality than looks.)

Anyways… so this guy agreed to meet me for coffee. We planned to meet at a place near Boston Common and me being me, I arrived early and bought myself a cappuccino – because I was feeling fancy. He comes in a little later, sees me and then goes to order. I watch the man struggle – so much so that a line started to form behind him – and eventually order an iced mocha latte.

Well, I’ll be the first to admit that I judge people based on their coffee orders. Sue me.

We got our drinks and I suggested that we walk around the Common and chat (that’s my go to btw). After maybe like 10 minutes I notice that he hadn’t taken even one sip of his iced mocha latte. He is simply using it as a prop. So, I ask him if there is something wrong with it. He tells me he doesn’t drink coffee.

I may or may not have stopped short and looked at him with a contorted facial expression that was a mix between judgement and confusion. Why had he agreed to get coffee if he didn’t drink coffee?! And… why hadn’t he just ordered tea? Coffee shops serve tea! I ask him these questions in a tone I hope is more concerned that judgmental. He shrugs and finally takes a giant sip of the drink. Andddd winces. I’m sure it was gross. I watched him put like 5 sugar packets in it.

He takes two more sips of it before I grab it from him and throw it in a nearby trashcan. We keep walking. Eventually he tells me that he doesn’t drink alcohol either. I try to make a joke and ask him if he has any vices. It gets awkward. Mostly because he then tells me he’s a personal trainer and starts telling me different things I could do if I were interested in getting into better shape… k.

After a little bit longer, I tell him I have to go meet my sister for dinner and we do an awkward hug goodbye. On the train home, I get a text from him that says “Hey, are you sure you’re 5′ 10”? You seemed taller.” Again… k.

While of course this date made me realize just how weird men are about height (women get all this shit for only dating tall guys or whatever… but sorry you said you were 6 feet on your profile when you’re really only 5′ 11″), it also made me realize that while I don’t need to be sooo judgmental when people don’t drink coffee… but if they also don’t drink alcohol, I want nothing to do with them.

Not that there is anything wrong with people who don’t drink coffee and alcohol, but because both are such a big part of my life, I’d like to be able to have that weird little insignificant connection with the person I’m dating. Couples that are hyper/hungover together, stay together. And in the world of vices, coffee and alcohol are like the least concerning…

Oh, what’s so weird is that I saw this guy like six months later on the bus. And I swear to Beyonce that he knew who I was because he pulled up his hood and took out his earbuds. And I’m 99% sure he spent the bus ride listening to the conversation I was having with my friend. Sooo maybe eavesdropping is his vice… who knows!

Body

Off to the Races!

As I’ve mentioned before, I hadn’t really been running much… so I figured the best way to get back into it was to have a goal. And although I didn’t technically make a new year’s resolution, in December I told myself I would run five 5k races in 2018… and hike more, but it’s too cold for that right now.

Sooooo, a friend and I signed up for a 5k in March! And I’m very excited for it and though I haven’t run that far in a while, I figure I can do it no problem. By no problem, I mean… with some more frequent running sessions and the help of an app and a good playlist.

Today I re-downloaded the C25K app and headed to the gym after work. Since I don’t actually have a full 8 weeks to train and I’ve already done the program, I skipped week 1 and went straight to week 2 – 5 minute warm up and cool down with 90 seconds of running and 2 minutes of walking for a total of 31 minutes.

I will say that I had forgotten just how challenging it is to do intervals, and running for such a short time made it hard to really find my stride. However, I enjoyed it and plan on doing it again tomorrow. And the next day. And the next day!

My goals for the training are to:

  • Increase my speed. I run pretty comfortably at 5.5 mph, but would like to find my way to 6 mph. I may also throw in some elevation changes when I’m on the treadmill mostly to give my butt some love.
  • Run more outside. I’m not a fan of global warming, but I won’t complain about a 55 degree day in January. Even if it’s kind of rainy like today. I’m going to try to take advantage of those days and run outside. This will be a challenge if there are a) snowbanks, b) dogs, and c) things to look at #Igetdistractedeasily #Ialsogetlosteasily

In my running adventures, I’ve found that having a program to follow helps. Especially when trying to get into a routine. I know it’s basically the end of January, but I feel like I’m just finding my way back. I know this 5k will help me get there. I’ve paid for it, so I’m doing it!! The only downside to a Sunday morning race is that I can’t go out the night before… maybe I can convince my friend to do a post-race brunch with lots of mimosas as a reward.

Will provide any updates on this. And, of course, a race photo!

Boys

But When Do You Know, Really?

People always say “when you know, you know” when it comes to meeting someone or finding your (quote, unquote) soulmate. And like… I get it in theory. But when do you know, really?

Like when do you decide you know? That the small sense that the person you’ve been spending time with is absolutely, without a doubt, really someone you want to have a relationship with or *gulp* marry? And how do you know?!

So over the weekend I spent a significant amount of time with Coach and though I was sick of swiping anyways, I finally decided to stop keeping my options open. I deleted Hinge (because it sucks anyways) and hid myself on Tinder. I also canceled a date I had scheduled for tonight with a new guy. He seemed super nice and smart and a good guy and I hope he finds someone. I texted him to cancel our date tried to explain the situation.

Drafting the text was weird because it wasn’t a typical breakup text. Honestly, I think we would’ve gotten along if timing had been on his side. But it was also weird because I was just sitting staring at my phone, trying to figure how to tell a total stranger that I couldn’t go out with him because I’m in a very new, not yet exclusive, not yet defined, potentially could end at any point dating situation with a guy who I’ve only seen on five different occasions… thank God I know his last name.

And the whole situation feels weird because a) I’m me and b) it’s completely new territory…

The guy I was sorta, kinda seeing over the summer that I mentioned in my post about first kisses… the one who responded to my final okay emoji with a thumbs up emoji (I’m going to call him French Toast because on our first date we went to brunch and he kept talking about how much he loved French toast and even though it wasn’t on the menu asked the waitress if they had any)… was probably the closest I’ve ever come to liking someone that I was dating. As a write this, I realize that this makes me sound like a heartless ice princess, but I promise you I’m not. It’s just hard for me to let people in and therefore I mostly experience indifference (and attraction, of course).

Anyways… so French Toast and I went out a number of times. We got along fine, but I don’t think either of us like really liked the other. Instead we continued to go out and hang out because we didn’t not like each other. Does that make sense? He was fine company and he didn’t do anything that I would count as a red flag or a dealbreaker.

Sometimes relationships are founded on a mutual non-dislike of each other. Very romantic, I know. I’m not saying these are the best relationships, but I’m sure it’s common. People don’t want to be alone.

With Coach I’m also trying to not jump the gun or put the cart before the horse or count my eggs before they hatch, etc. because as I’ve mentioned before, liking someone feels awful. But I do like him and while it’s not really a “when you know, you know” situation, what I do know is that he’s worth getting to know.

And as Reese Witherspoon’s dad says in Sweet Home Alabama: You can’t ride two horses with one ass.

Booze, Boys

Two Pitchers of Margaritas Later I’m Thinking about Bad Boys

It’s not even 9:00pm and I’m in my bed. I could fall asleep so easily if I allowed it. But I’m waiting up to see Coach. It’s weird having plans with someone three times in about a week. And despite the later hour, this ain’t no booty call. It is all new territory for me and I’m trying to go with the flow.

He had plans to take his brother to a movie tonight. *Insert aww here* He really is a good guy. It’s slightly nauseating. But nice. Of course.

So now I have sloshy margarita belly and I’m laying in my bed trying not to fall asleep thinking about why I can’t name another guy I’ve dated that is a “good guy”. I’d like to think I don’t just go out with ass holes…

But despite the fact that the “nice guys finish last” idea is simply ridiculous and completely stemmed in male entitlement… is it true? I’ve been out with a number of guys that I’ve deemed too nice. For me, and in general. It’s not that I’m a bitch… I mean maybe sometimes… but I will admit that it’s kind of a turnoff being with someone who comes off too eager to please (not like that, get your head out of the gutter) or too afraid to step on toes. And in addition, if I meet a guy and think I would a) break him (not physically, but like emotionally or mentally) or b) chew him up and spit him out like a 10 cent chicken wing… I’m not interested. If he’s not going to hold his own, call me out on my shit, and argue back, then he’s not the one for me.

The guy I went out with a few times who’s fiancée left him for another woman was one of those guys that opened every door for me, rushed in front of me to speak with the host, waited to sit until I was seated, and insisted I had the first bite to eat at dinner. I realize these are basic manners, but for some reason it was just too much. He ended up sticking his tongue down my throat – an unwelcome action – so I guess he wasn’t really that nice after all.

Anyways, imho we women are perfectly rational beings (no matter what day we are on in our cycles) and yet more often than not, we choose to steer clear of nice men when we meet them. But what is it about guys that aren’t nice #badboys that draws us in? Is it their indifference that leaves us wanting more or some fucked up Freudian shit that makes us seek the attention of men who simply could not care less about us?

For me personally, I think it’s less about them being nice or not nice, and more about them giving me my independence and acknowledging that I am capable. When a guy is distant, I (incorrectly) read that as a “you do you” situation, which I think is a really important element of a mature relationship. I’m not about clingy. However, the majority of the time it’s simply a lack of interest or that they are keeping me on the back burner as they look for something better. Not a good guy move.

Theory number two. There is also always a thrill to the chase. Us ladies can’t play like we don’t know the game. We make the game! I think I’ve mentioned that most of the time I’m pretty indifferent about guys I’ve dated… so for them my indifference is a challenge. And for me, their indifference is endearing. We are both sooooo wrong and I feel like once we actually connect, the “will they, won’t they” spark disappears.

My third, and I think most accurate, theory is that with a guy that we know is bad news, there is less potential for heartbreak because there is less potential for feelings. And when things don’t work out, even once we get to the point of maybe thinking he’ll change, knowing he’s a dick makes him easier to get over. Telling your friends that the sex was great but he is a piece of shit person is easier than saying that you let your unrealistic expectations of changing him get the best of you and now you’re heartbroken even though deep down you knew better.

So while these margaritas are making me sleepy, they are also opening my brain up to the idea of maybe not doing what I normally do when it comes to dating. Takeaways: Good guys are good and indifference and games are bad. And sloshy belly is never a good feeling.

Body

It’s Not Just About the Weight.

Somehow despite the fact that I’ve not been totally on top of my healthy food and exercise game, I’ve been feeling pretty good about my body (yes, even after all the chocolate covered pretzels). And that’s something that’s kind of new. I’m aware more than ever that it’s not just about the weight.

As I mentioned in my post about my first mile of 2018, I wasn’t a fit kid. I literally can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a belly and bingo wings. I’m 5’10” (and have been this height since about the age of 13) and was always told I was big-boned (which I am), so for a lot of my life it didn’t really occur to me that I wasn’t healthy. I just thought, “well my height makes up for it”. But I hated going to the doctor and getting weighed, and I knew was bigger than my friends. Somehow, neither of those things made me want to make a change.

Until senior year of high school. I weighed 274 lbs at the time. My all time high. It was much too close to 300 for my liking so my mom and I joined Weight Watchers and I started going to the gym. Motivated by prom, I lost 30 lbs. I went from a size 22 jeans to a size 18.

Throughout college, I continued going to the gym… but only just enough to balance out the junk food and sugary alcohol drinks (sophomore year my go to was Hawaiian Punch and Malibu rum… #why). By graduation, I was back up to 252. I moved home and started to focus on being active and making better food decisions. It was a slow process,and I hit a few bumps along the way, but within six months I saw 238. It was the lowest number I’d seen in my adult life at the time and I was inspired to keep moving forward.

I started my first real job out of college and moved in with roommates in Boston. Somehow in the first four months, I avoided buying jars of Nutella and eating them with a spoon (even though it was a common thing in the house) and since I didn’t have many friends in the city, I spent most of my free time at the gym. I also may have been slightly motivated by the possibility of sex. I mean… who doesn’t want to look good naked? One day in April 2014 I stepped on the scale and said 229. Another all time low!

The sex didn’t happen (thank God) but after a while, the good habits I had formed fell away and I gave into eating jars of Nutella with a spoon and began skipping the gym.

A little less than 18 months later I had unknowingly gained almost 40 lbs.

After my cousin’s wedding in late August 2015 I had been tagged in a bunch of Facebook photos. When I saw them, I was mortified. The dress I wore was not flattering. And I’d worn it many times… why hadn’t anyone told me I was huge!? (That’s harsh, but it’s how I felt looking at the photos.)

I untagged myself and told myself I would make a change.

Fast forward just about two and a half years later, I’m back down to about 229.

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But I feel completely different than I did in 2014 – and it’s not just that the size 16 jeans that were tight then are almost loose now. Obviously losing weight has played a factor in how I feel, but I don’t think it can take all the credit.

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It’s not just about the weight.

Many people think losing weight is the solution to their problems, and it’s not. The “when I lose X lbs, I’ll be _______” attitude isn’t realistic and I think is actually really harmful. The truth is: Losing weight isn’t going to make you happy. It’s not going to make guys like you. It’s not going to get you that promotion at work.

I know people that have lost a ton of weight and don’t see themselves any differently. They still look in the mirror and see themselves at the “fat” girl. The girl that needs to wear baggy clothes to cover her body. The girl that isn’t good enough. But we can’t focus on the flaws.

Instead, focus on the positive.

I think that’s been the biggest difference for me. While I wanted to lose weight, I framed it as wanting to be more active and be healthy. And while there are days, weeks even, when I might not feel great or I know I didn’t make the best decisions that I could have, I remind myself what I’ve accomplished. A year ago, I would’ve been ecstatic to see the number that I now see as negative when I step on the scale. Why should it be negative now?

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The number on the scale doesn’t tell the whole story. I don’t think I’ve lost weight in almost 3 months. I’ve been fluctuating between 228 and 235 for what feels like forever. And looking at the picture from April 2016 to today, the changes don’t seem drastic. Nowhere near the difference of the first few months, and yet it’s a difference of (almost) 20 lbs.

But when I look at myself in the mirror, I can see slight changes in the shape of my belly and the curves of my hips. And when I look in the mirror, instead of being critical about that shape or that curve, I’ve become more accepting of what I see. That shape is constantly changing and that curve brings all the boys to the yard. Why not be thrilled?

So forget the number on the scale! I recommend taking lots of full body mirror selfies. It’s amazing what we don’t see from one day to the next. And as my mom always tells me, take your measurements! Appreciate the small changes in not just how your body looks, but how it feels and what it can do. It’s a tough journey and many people will never find their way to positivity and acceptance, but the fact it: it’s a journey. And one that is worth the weight.

(That was cheesy, I know. It’s late and I should be sleeping).