STARTING STATS (SEPTEMBER 2013): 372 POUNDS – 47% BODY FAT – 48 BMI – HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE – TYPE 2 DIABETES – TACHYCARDIC 

That will be a total of 170+ pounds of weight loss over a 5 year period. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK!? All done with blood, sweat, and tears (oh god the tears) versus bariatric surgery or “magical” little patches or potions or wraps or whatever. No hate, I’m just saying real food, discipline, hydration, and movement really are the best way, sorry not sorry.

At the end of last year/beginning of this year I was pretty effectively able to remove my head from my ass and made a commitment to start focusing on smaller goals, really dial-in my diet, and commit to forming new habits and breaking old ones. I’m happy to say it’s been pretty effective.

 

“Before” – Oh sure I look happy, but you know what’s not happy? My internal organs. OUCHIEEEEEE!!!

 

“Afterish” – I am not yet where I need to be but hot damn this is progress, and I am very proud.

 

I’ve read for years that dieting doesn’t really work and that you have to make a lifestyle change, and blah blah blah. Well, that isn’t bullshit. Dieting is bullshit. Like, SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCH bullshit. For years I “dieted” – for the love of everything holy, please don’t diet. If you struggle with your weight and you are truly fed up, and you truly don’t want to deal with it anymore, a fun thing you can do is to just take a complete step back from obsessing over it for a bit and just take some time to educate yourself about food in general. It’s actually surprisingly interesting and that’s saying a lot coming from me because if it’s not hilarious, dog, or music-related, I have a pretty alarmingly-short attention span.

“Being honest and being patient were two fairly HUGE things I practised and learned more about this year.”

I do want to add a sidebar here though because this newfound gusto for learning about food can quickly turn into something like when you WebMD your common cold symptoms and self-diagnose yourself with Addison’s disease. It’s a really good idea to reach out and find a bit of guidance to give you a bit of direction, if at all possible. If you happen to live in the Quad City area, I highly recommend The Well U. I don’t live in Bettendorf. I can’t just afford a nutritionist like no big deal, but Katie at The Well U is insanely affordable, knowledgeable, and supportive. I truly owe a large portion of my success this year to what I learned from working with her and I suggest you check it out before you spiral down a Netflix vegan documentary rabbit hole.

“You didn’t gain it all overnight, so you won’t lose it overnight.”

Also, being honest and being patient were two fairly HUGE things I practised and learned more about this year. Being honest about what I was eating, and stocking in my fridge/pantry, and ordering when I went out (or, you know, not eating out for every meal and god forbid actually just cooking for myself), and tracking in MyFitnessPal (”Oh if I don’t put it in the app it doesn’t count as eating it, right?” Um……..). And patience? Oh, patience. “Patience is a virtue.” I did not have that virtue. I don’t know that I’ve ever had that virtue. And there will always be times that I will falter and will need to chill the fuck out and remember to sit on down and reach for that virtue. But when it comes to weight loss, especially significant, sustained, healthy weight loss. Patience. Is. Key.

You didn’t gain it all overnight, so you won’t lose it overnight. There will be SO MANY TIMES during the process where you will feel like you are treading water, or you are backsliding (which you probably are), or you will succumb to old habits, or whatever, but if you can just have the fucking patience to see it through and hold steady over time with your head down (or up, feel free to hold it up too!), you are going to be successful.

Anyway, I guess the biggest thing I learned this year when it comes to weight loss is to be willing to take the time to find what works for you. And what you can sustain, day in and day out, for the rest of your life. Remember, fuck diets, just change your lifestyle.

Oh! Also! And this one is HUGE! This is probably why I made the most progress this year to be totally honest. When you make the commitment to improve yourself, do it for yourself. For such a long time, like an EMBARRASSINGLY long time, I was so caught up in wanting to “be skinny” because I thought people would like me more or this guy or that guy would find me more attractive or blah blah blah. Bitch, that is sad. I mean, it’s complete and normal human nature, but just stop it. Are you 14? I really do feel that success comes when you can buckle down and really get serious about something, and to really get serious you need the proper motivation. When it comes to self-improvement your motivation truly has to come from within and it has to come from a place of self-love and self-respect. If there was ever an appropriate time to embrace the “seriously fuck what anyone else thinks” mantra, it is most certainly right here and right now.

But you better believe I do not get tired of all the amazing compliments I’ve gotten acknowledging my hard work. I am truly grateful for my support system. Absolutely amazing friends and family sure have made this journey a party. See you in 2019 when I go on and on and on and on and on again in another blog post!

Also peep these people that have helped me reach my goals, they kick ass:

The Foundation: http://www.thefoundation.fit

Fleet Feet Sports Davenport: http://www.fleetfeetdavenport.com

The QC Meal Prep King: https://qcmealprepking.com

The Well U: http://thewellu.com

Lauren Alexis Wood

@laurenalexswood

More of her weight loss stories here