This Year I Gained 15 Pounds… Of Muscle.

I just turned 31, and in an attempt to continue on my quest of empowerment, am going to do the thing that terrifies me the most. I’m going to tell you how much I weigh.

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In exactly one year, I’ve gone from 153 to 168. And no, it has nothing to do with the fact that Dairy Queen opened in NYC.

Gaining weight is something I’m REALLY good at. When I was 13, my family moved across the country to California, and my friends were replaced with McDonald’s Quarter Pounder Value Meals. I went from a size 6 to a size 12, gaining 30 pounds in a matter of months. 30 pounds I have been fighting to lose ever since.

Sometimes to lose weight, you have to put it on first, and that brings me to my latest set of “Skinny Girl Problems”. Last year was all about cardio. I was at spin class 24/7, turned the treadmill into my part-time residence, and when I did use weights, they were the lightest ones possible.

The weight seemed to just fall off. The more I sweat, the more I lost. I got to my lowest weight since high school, which you might remember reading about last year. But I wasn’t strong. I couldn’t do a push up. My lower back was a mess. And strength training was a concept as mysterious to me as wanting to go to a Dave Matthews concert.

My workout instructor, the great Angel Ortiz at Crunch, starts every month by saying, “change something”, and this year I took that advice to heart. I traded out my spin classes for strength training classes, and now there are muscles where my fat used to be.

I earned every single one of the 15 pounds I gained this year through long-ass sweat sessions, crazy tough workouts, a gazillion squats, and lifting all the weights. I gave my whole exercise regimen an overhaul, and in doing so, lowered my percentage of body fat, went down 1-2 sizes (depending on the store), and am now considered “acceptable” instead of obese.

Push-ups have become something I’m excited for, because I can actually do them. I love the definition in my quads, right above my knee. I love that I just had to switch to even heavier weights because the lighter ones were too easy. And finally, I love that my hip problem has chilled the eff out, because my back is getting stronger.

All of this kind of hit me in the last month. I was lucky enough to travel to Bermuda, and had an insane epiphany. As I stepped out in my new bikini, 100% conscious of my rolls, stretch marks, and cellulite, I looked out at the bluest water I’ve ever seen, saw the palm trees swaying in the wind, and felt the soft, warm sand on my feet. It took my breath away, and I realized that the world is just too freaking beautiful to worry about what little ole me looks like in a swimsuit. I’m the only one thinking about my flaws because there are too many other incredible things to look at instead.

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So now, a few days into my 31st year, it’s time as Angel says to, “change something”. And the thing I plan to change is the idea that my body is something to be ashamed of. Right now it’s the result of a crap ton of hard work, and I’m excited for what next year’s fitness milestone is going to be. Maybe by then I’ll be able to do a pull up, or have 1 or 2 abs.

A girl can dream.

The first thing I did on my bday was go on a long run... Who am I?

The first thing I did on my bday was go on a long run… Who am I?

 

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Three Quick Rules for Finding Your Inner Beyonce

I only have a month left of my twenties, and I spent the last ten years with the secret goal to not be fat for these pivotal years. Every time I saw a lucky penny or blew out my birthday candles, that is what I wished for, and the only reason I never told anyone about this is because I failed.

I spent a lot of time being insecure about life instead of living it, but for whatever reason that started changing about two years ago. Something clicked, and I was finally able to start making healthy decisions that equaled fitting into pants at H&M. I documented the process in my tongue in cheek “Skinny Girl Problems” posts, however since writing that last one, I kind of, sort of got fat again. But then I got small again, and here are the three rules that helped me find my inner Beyonce.

I Want to Wake Up Like Dis

1) Decide to.

I decided to switch out sandwiches for salad. I decided to haul my ass to the gym most nights and get myself to the 9am spin class every Saturday. I decided to cut back on alcohol and all the late night eating it brings, and I decided to start making choices that I knew wouldn’t leave me feeling guilty. Then, rule number two helped me stick to these decisions.

2) Have a kick ass support system.

There was the time I had to text Emily and Ariele for help during a work meeting catered by Buffalo Wild Wings, all the progress photos Stickles and I share with each other, my boy Jon Best at work holding me to my gym regimen and my recent #NoSweetsForThreeWeeks goal, Staci-Lyn for being the kind of best friend who always lets me talk about my weight loss and keeps me on track, and all you good people who were down to get juice or sit in the park, instead meeting up for a drink, dinner, or all the ice cream ever.

Rule three has proven to be the hardest of them all, which of course means it’s the most important.

3) Keep calm and don’t lose your shit when you go off track.

I’m not even close to being perfect, and sometimes when I lose all sense of control and eat enough pizza and french fries to put me in the running to be the next Kobayashi, I am so blinded by my missteps that I can’t picture myself getting back in the zone. Or the times when work, travel, sickness, or other variables have kept me away from the gym, and immediately have me mentally preparing to be my former chubster self, who wears shorts under skirts.

In the past, these instances have been the kryptonite to my progress, and the game changer for long time success was being able to accept my moments of weakness, and move on from them quickly so I can get back to business. In the simplest terms, it took me a minute to realize that if I took an hour, day, or even week off, I wouldn’t immediately gain all the weight back. Pretty obvious, but also good to know.

In total, I don’t know the exact number of how much weight I’ve lost, and I’m not sure I want to. I’d rather focus on what I’ve gained; confidence, a general feeling of health, strength, and the ability to wear this dress. Here’s to starting my thirties accomplishing what I wasn’t able to do for the last ten years.

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BRIYONCE