Danae Matthews is a 20-something living in San Francisco. She writes for Women's Health Base, an on-line health resource for women.
While browsing the internet the other day I came across one of the truest depictions of my former weight loss outlook. Via imgur:
How poignant! In high-school I had baby fat that precluded me from being able to indulge in all the popular trends: hipster jeans, thong strap above the band and a crop top, a la Ms. Spears. In college although I had slimmed out I still felt self-conscious next to the L.A. transplants that trolled around my school in full make-up, short shorts and UGG boots. What do they put in the water down there anyway?
Throughout those eight years there were two constants: I wasn't happy with my body and I never did anything about it. I was the girl that stood in front of her mirror scrutinizing every dimple and slight imperfection only to turn right around and order chicken nuggets for dinner. Still, I wanted sympathy for my plight! I wanted to be a size 25! I wanted fairy dust to fall from the sky and overnight turn me into Giselleâ€¦body not face.
But why was I so unmotivated? If I wanted to feel better and to look slimmer why couldn't I just make it happen? I mulled this over for a long time and came to a really honest conclusion with myself: the idea of changing my life scared me. I was scared that if I fundamentally changed the way I thought and cared about food, fitness, and health I would be bound to it for the rest of my life. The idea that I could lose weight and be on some sort of restrictive diet for ever to maintain it seemed unbearable to me. This thought had allowed me to remain complacent in my weight rather than ever pursue a change.
When I started working for a health company I was exposed to a new group of people. People who were actively pursuing greener and healthier lifestyles and seemingly not letting those decisions impede their social life or fun. It inspired me once and for all to take baby steps towards progression. I didn't want to be the girl standing around complaining about the way I looked and felt, but refusing to make a change-how annoying is that person!? I took my path towards a healthy lifestyle day by day. I substituted healthier food options in place of junk, joined a gym and walked where I could in lieu of taking public transport. Now, I don't even know that self-loathing person anymore.
The fact of the matter is that you can read a million posts, surf hundreds of blogs, sign up for a gym and still not be where you want to be. There has to be a switch that is flipped within you that drives you to want to make a change in your life. It's like hitting a rock bottom except slightly less dramatic. Trust me it is scary to abandon what is the norm especially when it's so comfortable for you, but once you do you will feel so much lighter- emotionally and (eventually) physically.