I’m working on another more emotionally-intense piece – so I thought I’d take a break and share something light and awesome with you all first!
Pictured below are photos of me from three months ago, taken April 5th, 2015, alongside photos of me currently, taken July 8th, 2015 (at an ungodly hour of the night).
The difference is about 12 pounds, more muscle, and a much brighter outlook. I’m not done working hard – I still have a ways to go before I’ll feel I’m at my healthiest, and even then I won’t stop striving for fitness and progress.
Back in April, I made the commitment to get back into shape. I joined an online accountability group, and had my own “coach” that I would check in with each week. I bought the 21 Day Fix Extreme, and even though it felt weird working out in my tiny loft, I stuck with the workouts and cleaned up my eating significantly. In that month alone, I lost nearly 5 pounds.
In May, between the stress of finals and the fun of having a new boyfriend, I gained a bit initially, but came out of the month with a net loss of about a pound. In June, I took a trip with said boyfriend to Austin and weirdly lost 2 pounds? And post-breakup (the day our trip ended, yikes), the rest of the weight has slowly but steadily been falling away.
Now, posting these pictures is hard. Taking those starting photos was pretty miserable, because I had to finally own up to the negative behaviors that had made me feel and become so unhealthy. The evidence was right in front of my eyes, and I couldn’t deny it any longer. I’m very glad I have these progress photos on file, though – because when I start feeling unmotivated or dissatisfied about myself, I have a reference of where I WAS, how FAR I’ve come, and just how much I’ve GROWN in these few months.
An important thing to note (and something I constantly have to remind myself) is that there isn’t anything WRONG with the “before” pictures (or the “current” ones). Fundamentally, I was, am, and will always be ME. In the “before” pictures, people found me attractive, I had great friends, and my life was perfectly alright. The true difference between the photos my attitude.
Not to diminish the personal pain I’m still sorting through, and the residual fear and confidence issues related to my recent breakup – but this is the BEST I’ve handled myself in a very long time. Sure, sometimes I do feel a bit wary about future romances, or like something is wrong with me, or even just sad in general – but those feelings don’t own me and my reactions anymore. I’m finding things to focus on (like new workouts, clean eating, photography, nature walks…), and they make me happier, make me feel good about myself, and truly do make me better in the wellness department.
Life happens. We all have to deal with what it throws our way. We won’t always be happy, but we also can’t let a spot of negativity ruin our entire outlook. Over the years, I’ve had a lot of ups and downs – everyone has! – but this is the fastest I’ve come out of a slump, the most positive way I’ve treated myself during a sadness, and the most excited I’ve felt about life since I don’t know when.
I just wanted to share a little piece of cheer with you guys! Thanks so much to everyone who has helped me along the way these past few months (and longer) – your support means the world to me. I’m doing more than alright (I am AWESOME), and I trust in myself and my resilience to bounce back no matter how many times life knocks me down.
Please feel free to reach out (comment, email, Facebook, ANYTHING!) if you want to talk. Even if it’s just let me know something cool that’s happening in your life – I want to know how you are doing! Seriously!!
I love you all lots, and I’m wishing you the best!