My Weight Loss & Fitness Journey

I have always been “bigger.” I come from hefty midwestern stock, so I always knew I’d never be a stick-thin size 0, especially as a fourth-grader: already 110 pounds, I’d guess a size 12. I guess I never expected to be small, but that didn’t stop me from feeling the typical insecurities through high school and even into college about my body. It’s ironic, looking back, really – it seems like when I finally started to really love my body and myself, I also got a little “freer” with my eating and behavior.

March 2012
March 2012 in Chicago, roughly a size 20

I was in college for a really long time – a solid size 16 on entering in 2005 and was wearing 18s and 20s when I graduated in 2011. It must have started with the Freshman 15 – I couldn’t put down the pizza or chocolate milk. My first summer of college I was a fixture on the elliptical at the campus gym, and weekend nights saw me burning the calories I’d drink through dancing. I was able to lose some of it, and it was awesome! As summer ended, so did my gym sessions, and as they say – I “went through some things.” Through all of it I was very body-positive (which I encourage! Love yourself, screw media perceptions!) My grandfather’s death in 2009 had me seeking solace through food, and when I started dating Sixx in early 2011 I became very “settled.” It’s true – you do kind of let yourself go a little more when you’ve found commitment. I wasn’t living in sweatpants, sure, but I wasn’t turning down the last slice of pizza, either. In September of 2012, I moved to the south and joined a gym. I’d been wanting to get active and figured that that was the time – and then in late September, Sixx broke up with me. Instead of drowning myself in beer (which was really what I wanted to do! but I was still reeling from the cost of moving and didn’t have the extra cash) I devoted myself to the gym. I’d go to water aerobics and then spend some time on an elliptical or bike. I’d try classes, attempt to remember swim workouts from high school – anything to shut my brain down.

Thanksgiving, 2012. You can see the change in my face.
Thanksgiving, 2012. You can see the change in my face.

While I’m not sure exactly what my highest weight was, I would guess it was between 225 or 230. (Those are big numbers!) I wasn’t so invested in the scale – mostly just how I felt and how things fit. In the first two months of religious workouts, by Thanksgiving 2012 I was down ten pounds and a full dress size. I decided that I wanted to start really running, and not just churn out laps on my first love (the elliptical.) I wanted it all to be for something, so I found a race that set my heart on fire – the Flying Pig in Cincinnati, Ohio. I originally planned to run the 10K distance, but after some training injuries, I dropped to the 5. The joy of crossing the finish line was amazing, and I’ve signed up for more races – including a half-marathon in October. Throughout all of it, my goal was to be a size 12. I didn’t want to lose 100 pounds – I wanted to be a size 12, and I even had it written on my whiteboard throughout college. On June 8, I bought a size 12 dress. While I still have some inches to go before I can buy pants in that size – it still felt like a fantastic win.

Progress pictures - May 2012-June 2013
Progress pictures – May 2012 / June 2013. Size 20, ~225 pounds / size 12-14, 205 pounds. Crazy how only 20 pounds makes that much difference (thanks weight training!) And yes – that’s Micky Dolenz.