Monday, January 5, 2015

Donuts and Demons (or how and why I lost almost 100lbs and why you should read my blog)

Here it is.  I am finally getting around to my first blog post on this brand new, shiny, sexy blog about fitness.  I have gotten questions out my asshole from those of you wanting to know how I did it, why I did, and where exactly am I going with all of this.  So please indulge me while I span the entire scope of my weight journey (gains and losses).  Where it all started for me, and what actually has worked.  The mental aspects, the physical aspects, and everything in between.  This is going to be a long one kiddies, so please bare with me.

(This was the picture that inspired me to start this blog.  So many people responded to it and quite frankly, it didn't really click how much weight I lost and how far I have really come until I saw this side by side.)

Ever since I can remember, I was overweight.  In fact, I can not remember a single time in my life where I wasn't.  I also can't remember a time in my life where my weight wasn't almost the entire focus of my existence.  I come from a family of people who have all suffered from weight issues and the ideals and perception of weight were passed down to me from a very early age.  I don't blame anyone for how I am, but rather look to how they were raised and how diet and thin culture was pushed onto them, especially the woman in my family.  My mom didn't want me to go through what she had as a child so she tried her best to stay on top of my weight.  I was very active.  I did multiple forms of dance, horseback riding, martial arts, but no matter what I was always, always heavy.  An unhealthy habit I developed at a very young age was a taste and obsession for "diet" foods.  I don't ever recall drinking anything but skim milk even as a child, and I would sprinkle 2-3 equals on my cereal to save myself the calories from sugar.  Everything I ate was low-fat, low-calories, low-sugar chemical, processed, crystal light, snackwells bullshit.  And when I wasn't eating that I was your typical 90's kid eating Gushers and Dunkaroos, while my pediatrician would tell my mom, and I quote "You shouldn't give her those things.  No more chocolate milk in her lunch, give her carrot sticks."  So naturally at school I got teased for being the only fucking kid with carrot sticks and not fruit snacks and I would mooch off my friends anyway to get my fix.

(Dawww what a cute little muffin I was!  I wasn't that chubby here yet guys, but according to my doctor it was a slippery slope! *rolls eyes*)

I entered the 4th grade and had my real first taste of being bullied for my weight. Now, I had received passive aggressive, back-handed compliments plenty of times from people I knew and strangers. Things like “You have such a pretty face!” or “How cute, she'll grow out of that baby weight.” but nothing that I actually processed as an insult at such a young age. When I had entered school that year, kids had started noticing I was fat (as well as awkward...with big purple glasses...and frizzy, curly hair). For the entire year there was a group of 5 boys who proceed to harass me to no end. I use the word harass lightly as it could probably be classified as almost stalking. Every where I went, every single day of my life they tormented me. They would oink at me as I walked down the hall. They would watch me and comment on how I ate. How much of a pig I was. Things like fat pig, piggy, fatty, blob, ugly, the usual insults from children I suppose. I would try so hard to get them to like me, to be their friend but nothing worked and they would just badger me morning and afternoon. That year I came home everyday from school and cried in my room. Just cried and cried and thought why can't I just be normal? Why am I fat? Why aren't other kids fat? If I'm fat I must be bad cause people treat me like I'm bad. And that is the age I started up a long history of self injury and self deprecation. I remember the first time I cut myself. I had seen one of those older Scotch tape dispensers in my room, the kind that had the jagged metal end to rip the tape. I broke it off and I started scratching up my arms with it. It didn't do much, it bled a little and I don't know exactly why thought to do it or why I thought hurting myself would help. But the point I'm trying to make is I was a 4th grader...away in my room...practicing self harm. A 4th grader. A child who shouldn't have a care in the world, was cutting themselves because they wanted to be skinny. I would imagine scenarios where I would kill myself. I would draw pictures of me killing myself or dying. I continued to injury myself up through high school. Eventually it got to the point where my parents knew I was upset, they didn't know about the self harm but they couldn't take it anymore. My dad went into school and talked to the principal. Our principal was a lovely man. And he ripped those boy apart so bad when I was called in they were sobbing and eager to apologize. They stopped after that (though they gave me a bit of shit for tattling) but the seeds had be planted. That year was probably the most influential year that shaped how I viewed myself and my weight for the rest of my life. Those boys probably don't even remember. We all grew up together, my town was the only town in our school district. But even if high school, I would see them in the halls and they my have forgotten, but I never have and I never will.
When I was 10 my pediatrician signed off on a permission slip for me to join weight watchers.  At that time I was too young and needed a doctors note which she gladly gave me.  Things went well for a while until a month or so in. It was my weigh-in day after my birthday week and boyyyy was I nervous. Now if you have ever done weight watchers or any other kind of diet program where you have weekly weigh-ins, you know...YOU KNOW haha. That feeling after your birthday week, Thanksgiving week, Christmas week. That “Ohhhh shit, I'm in trouble” feeling haha. Well, I had done my best to enjoy myself and still keep an eye on how I was doing. I was proud of myself for not obsessing over it, but still staying in control. I felt like that was a healthly balance which was impressive having be practically bred to have nothing but an unhealthy relationship with weight. When I stepped on the scale, I was elated. I didn't gain, I didn't lose, I stayed the same. I had thought that was great considering I indulged a bit, but my weigh-in lady didn't seem to agree. She then began to belittle me, scold me, questioned me if I was serious about losing the weight and if I had been following the program. She then gave me a stack of food journals since she didn't believe I was writing in mine and told me she wanted to see me do better next time. I ran out of there in hysterics. I was sobbing into my mother's arms and she was absolutely horrified how that woman could speak to me like that, speak to a 10 year old like that. Needless to say I was pulled out of there. I later returned to Weight Watchers 2 more times in my life, none of them with any long term success. After that I had enrolled in fat camp for an entire summer (some of you might have seen on True Life a long time ago on MTV, yup, that was the one). Which did absolutely nothing but control everything you did and ate and was a completely contained environment that once you were out of you had learned nothing, you had gained nothing. Sure, I lost 20lbs, me and everyone else, but when you wake up at 7am and are scheduled to do nothing but different exercise classes and sports all day and eat only the food they give you, of course you're going to lose weight. It was a really great money making cycle though. Kids go, lose weight, gain it back and more over the year, next summer they are back again parents shelling out THOUSANDS and thousands of dollars. I was probably one of the only kids there whose parents WEREN'T some degree of rich cause it was really fucking expensive. But my parents knew how badly I wanted to lose weight and did what they had to to afford to send me. I was there for 8 weeks, my entire summer vacation.

(Thank GOD all that time at fat camp allowed me to fit into an XL in Hot Topic dresses)

Fast forward to highschool. I'm overweight, I'm weird looking. People are dating, people are having sex, people's bodies are changing. And here I am...still fat. Fatter than ever actually. I always had friends, a lot of time they weren't always the best people to have as friends. I befriended a girl who was a senior when I was a freshman, and we became very close and she would give me those backhanded compliments:
“Ohhh you're so pretty! I wish I was you! You have such great hair and skin and eyes!”
“...but I'm fat. You don't want to be me, you like being skinny haha.”
“Oh well if I was you I would just work out!”
She was very good at building people up and manipulating them for her own personal gains. And she would do whatever she had to to keep you around. So when I would start to become really bummed out about my weight her solution was diet pills. She had been taking them and said they worked wonders. You had to be 18 to buy them so I would give her the money and she would get me the goods. I took diet pills for several months while in highschool. They were pretty much like taking over the counter speed. I barely slept, I barely ate. Sure I lost 30lbs in a month, but I was constantly dizzy and sick. I always wore baggy clothes or lots of clothes and jewelry so people didn't notice too much, but it was enough. I had several bouts of starving myself for weeks before giving into the pain and binging. I had several attempts at trying to make myself throw up after eating, none ever had much success. And I became obsessed with trying to work out, riding stationary bike or my mom's treadmill for hours at a time, all while eating, maybe, 500 calories a day at some points. My freshman and sophomore years were a vicious cycle like that. After me and that girl stopped being friends, my eating habits went in the opposite direction. I didn't give a shit. I would eat breakfast at home and go to school and get a bagel with cream cheese and jelly and poptarts, then for lunch I would get whatever they were serving and ice cream at the snack bar. After school I would get snacks at the vending machine then go home and eat a snack, then eat dinner and dessert. I didn't care. I didn't care about getting a boyfriend because I had decided that I was fat and repulsive and no one would ever like me so I will just eat and eat. My self injury proceeded to get worse as I had moved up to stealing razorblades from my dad's cutting tools and prying them out of disposable shavers as well as burning myself. I would rip up my arms, my stomach, and my legs. Carve shit into myself like “repulsive, worthless, fat, cow”. It didn't matter. I wore sweatshirts in 90 degree weather and refused to wear shorts or short skirts, no one even questioned it. My weight and my appearance consumed every aspect of my life. It determined how I felt about myself and how I let others treat me. Most people had no idea. I was always dressed crazy, I had outrageous hair and makeup, I did very well in school, was in a ton of after school actives. I always seemed happy and friendly. I was fairly good at hiding how I actually to felt to almost everyone around me.

(Top pic is me normal day and the bottom pic is my from a school play.  I remember cause I almost passed out back stage at one point cause I felt so sick and dizzy from not eating for 3 days. There aren't many full body pics of me from high school.  I was pretty good at avoiding them.)

There was finally a point where I didn't obsess about it as much, and that's when I found roller derby. I almost didn't care because I had found a place where being heavy wasn't a bad thing. It was also around this time that I started seeing someone who even though they told me how they thought the world of me a loved me and thought I was beautiful, I was constantly in question of why they would ever love a fat, piece of shit like me and was constantly in fear that they would eventually leave me for someone better. It's not that they did anything to make me question their feelings for me, it was just where my head was. The next six years of my life, I did derby and I was in a stable relationship. I didn't give my weight much of a thought, quite frankly I didn't care. I had found someone I thought I was going to spend my life with so I wasn't worried about losing weight to impress anyone and I had found of group of friends who taught me how to use my weight as an advantage. For me, being heavy had NEVER been an advantage. Ever. I was happy-ish. I buried my self hate and instead of actually working on why I was depressed and why I hated myself, I took these external factors as the answers to my prayers. However, not paying any attention to what I ate, my weight skyrocketed and fast. Over those years I became the heaviest I had ever been. I had reached 267lbs at one point. I'm only 5feet tall, 260lbs is a lot of weight on a 5ft frame no matter how much I worked out. It got to a point at the end of 2012 I wasn't sure if I would be able to continue skating. Derby is a hard sport on your body as it is especially your knees. I had been carrying around 260lbs, skating for 5ish years at that point, my body was screaming NO. I had trouble walking. I had no stamina for anything BUT skating. I became depressed, apathetic, disinterested in things I once LOVED doing. I knew I needed to do something. I needed to finally get my weight under control. Years of yo-yo dieting, unhealthy measures, and self loathing had really taken their toll.

(this is me not giving a first)

(and when I started to feel the effects of not giving a fuck.)

I discover a program called DDPYoga (and I promise they didn't endorse me to say anything I'm saying, in fact I have tried to get their attention several times in hopes that maybe they might be like hey can we share your shit, you want some shit, thanks for spreading the word, but alas they have not haha). It's a program developed by a former wrestler named Diamond Dallas Page. He had suffered an injury and his wife encouraged him to try yoga and in turn he developed his own type of yoga combining a cardio workout with yoga technique to build flexibility and strength as well as burn calories like an intense aerobic workout might. Of course I was skeptical. I was the QUEEN of diet trends, why should this one work? I saw a video on his page about a guy named Arthur who was a disabled veteran that through this program no longer needed the use of his crutches and even was able to not only walk but run on his own. Well...needless to say I cried my eyes out. But what really got me is the selling point he had for athletes. How it could help repair your body from years of damage. After all that's the boat he himself was in when he started. Something about it made me really want to give it a shot. It just seemed legit. He had a whole social networking site for members to interact and offer support once you bought the program. He had a 3 phase nutritional program as well as the workouts. So in 2013 as an anniversary present to myself and my boyfriend at the time who had wanted to try it I bought the deluxe package with everything.

Once I bought it though I had immediate access to the website and some basic info, so I started reading up on the diet plan. Phase one seemed like something I was already doing. So I checked out phases 2 and 3. They encouraged a dairy-free, gluten-free diet with focus on unprocessed foods, no white refined sugar, no high fructose corn syrup, things of that nature. It didn't encourage counting calories or fat but rather staying with in portion sizes, eating lots of veggies, keeping a food journal of the things you ate, and eating as much organic and simple foods as possible. I did some research outside of this as well. I wanted to look into the GF/DF thing more. I had heard many conflicting things about it. Ultimately, I decided it was a good choice for ME (and we shall get more into the good choice for you later on ;-P). Before I even got the program in the mail I started eating gluten-free. I had dropped 8lbs in a week. I was amazed and needless to say it was a huge motivator to stick to it. Once I had gotten to program in the mail, I followed the instructions to the letter. I did everything meticulously, wrote everything down, read every label. I drove my boyfriend, friends, and family nuts haha. But I stuck with it. I had wondered how hard it was going to be cutting out the two things I probably ate the most of and hoolllyyy shit how could I not eat cheese?! But I just decided to do it, and after a week I really didn't miss any of it. It was probably a years before I even started eating things like gluten-free breads or pastas. I just stuck mostly to lean proteins, rices, quinoas, veggies, and fruits. I did however develop an absolute LOVE of almond milk! And I felt better. I felt like I was giving my body the fuel it needed to run. I avoided white sugar and HFCS as much as humanly possible. Ate processed garbage as little as possible and stuck with the workouts religiously.

(One of the first full body pics I took of myself when I had started losing)

The weight just started to come off. I was losing probably 5lbs a month. Nothing crazy but it was a good, steady weight lose that really kept me motivated. I was so grateful I had found this program and started it when I did because 2013 was an extremely rough year for me emotionally. My boyfriend and I were pretty much over and I was having a very hard time coping with my feelings of the whole situation. If I didn't have this program I don't know what might I have happened. I would have probably either starved myself or just kept eating until I weighed 300lbs. This program and my focus on getting HEALTHY really was a glimmer of hope during a very painful and difficult year in my life. It really helped me focus on not losing weight, but changing my lifestyle. It's not about diets. Diets don't work. Real change happens when you make real, maintainable changes in your life. Unlike with other programs, what I was eating (and what I wasn't eating) manifested in a physical difference in how I felt. The weight coming off was great, yes, but I FELT good. Every diet I had been on I felt hungry, I felt like I was missing shit, like I needed to binge just to stay sane. I have never felt this way with this program. If I want something sweet? I'll eat it. And I find myself craving those things less in general. I WANT to eat fruits, I WANT to eat veggies. Fried foods, fast foods, processed foods just aren't appealing. My body likes how this food makes it feel. The workouts were perfect for someone like me. I was really surprised how much of a cardio workout they are. I legitimately got my heart rate up enough to burn significant calories. And the yoga really helped me rebuild my blown-out knees. My skating was better than it had ever been. My endurance was better than it had ever been. My body was finally feeling good again.


In 2014 I found myself in a strange situation. I was the thinnest I had been in my adult life. I weighed less than I did in high school. My boyfriend of 6ish years and I finally split (which was painful, but on good terms) and I found myself in a real pickle and that was I had those evil, evil self-loathing thoughts creeping back into my head. And my first thought was “What the fuck, I worked so hard, I feel good physically, why am I feeling like shit?! What's wrong with me? Why can't I be happy? Blah blah blahhhh.” Tragically, my inner demons could not be silenced by the fact I had lost an entire pre-teen worth of weight from my body. So I had to do something I didn't want to do. Something I had avoided doing my entire life. I had to look inside myself and figure out why I was such a shit head to myself and how to repair the years of emotional damage from myself and others. Unfortunately, its not like it is in diet ads and when you lose weight you also shed those unwanted pounds of mental scarring and self-hatred and life is wonderful and magical and shiny HOORAYYY. They are still there. Losing weight did not fix them and now I needed to focus on repairing my mind while still repairing my body. Its like I had said, I had taken derby and being in a relationship as answers to my problems, but now I had new problems. In derby I wasn't the same skater I had been when I was heavy. I needed to (still need to) learn how to use my new body to my advantage. I'm no longer usually the biggest person on the track, now, I'm usually one of the smallest. I literally can not get away with just throwing my weight around any more. In my life, I'm not in a relationship. I don't have a significant other to tell me they love me and I'm beautiful. I only have myself to tell me, and that is something I have never done before. That is something I could ever do before. Cause I didn't love myself. I hated myself. I...hated...myself. And I felt like I didn't deserve to be loved and I didn't deserve to feel good because I am a terrible person. I needed to figure out and teach myself how to undo the years of hate and how to start loving myself. Cause I am the only person in this world that I absolutely NEED that kind of love from. You can't rely on outside things and outside people to make you confident and happy. You need to provide them for yourself. So I found myself in the terrifying and unique position of being a blank slate. I had spent years basing myself off the things and people around me, and now I was just me. It was time to start really figuring out who I am and how to love me for everything I am.


On top of all that my weight loss roller coaster had come to a stop. I had plateaued. THE DREADED PLATEAU. It wasn't bad, I had lost roughly 80lbs. But I wanted more, I wanted to keep going. I saw what my body was, and what it was now, and I was seeing what it could be if I continued. I had never had a set weigh loss goal in mind, but to be honest I had never imagined losing THAT much weight. As I started to lose the weight I had discovered something, my body was not the body that people had been telling me I had my entire life. Ever since I could remember people had told me I just had thick bones, I was just wide, I just had a wide frame. But....I don't. I absolutely don't. I am petite in almost every way. I have big hips butttt that's really it. I am not a large person, I am not meant to be. As I am rediscovering who I am internally, my body is changing. I don't know who I am anymore and I can't even look in the mirror to recenter myself because I don't see myself. I am a stranger. I have encountered family in public places who have looked right past me cause they didn't recognize me. It almost feels like you're invisible at times really. The whole experience is eerie and a bit surreal. But it's an opportunity to reinvent myself. To build myself up right. To appreciate who I am and what I am and how far I have come.


I become bored very easily, especially when it comes to exercise. If it starts to feel like a chore, I will stop. So I changed it up. I have to confess I am not as strict with doing my yoga as I was because I have found other activities that make me happy and feel good. I am really into running at the moment. I am currently working on a couch to 5k program and hope to run a 5k next year with a very good friend of mine. As for my eating I am still maintaining a GF/DF diet, though I have become more adamant about monitoring other aspects of my diet. When I was at my heaviest, I think it was good to just focus on eating the right things and staying within portion sizes. These days, that isn't enough. I have started monitoring my caloric intake as well. I use a really nifty app called MyFitnessPal. Its like a food journal that helps you figure out your caloric intake based on how much weight you want to lose and you level of activity and it also keeps track or your exercise and water intake. It is a lot of fun to use and it so much easier than carrying a little notebook around everywhere. I am still super grateful for DDPYoga and how it really has (and continues to) help me stick to a healthy and active lifestyle. I am mostly thankful for how it has helped me discover new activities that I love and can now DO because I have lost the weight. If you asked me 4 months ago, 6 months ago if I EVER thought I would run and I would tell you fuck no. But I do! And I do because I can without excruciating pain from the extra weight on my joints.

At this point I have lost about 95lbs. I am looking forward to finally reaching the 100lb mark and that will be a HUGE milestone for me. My weight lose has slowed significantly. I lose anywhere between .5-1lbs a week now, but I am happy with that. Weight loss shouldn't be super fast. When you are heavier it can be, but after a certain point a pound or two a week is normal until you reach a weight you want to maintain. I don't know how much I want to weigh, but I have physical goals for my body that I know I need to lose more to accomplish. This year started out really rough, but I have been working on repairing myself mentally and physically and the results have been wonderful. I have my days, we all do and honestly with a new body comes a whole new set of insecurities (I'll post a blog about that at some point as well), but overall I am the happiest I have been in probably my entire life. I am certainly the healthiest. I found something that worked for me. Something that I can keep up with for the rest of my life. I lost weight for health reasons and because I wasn't entirely happy in my skin. I never have been (and never will be) a believer that your weight or your size determines your beauty. People are beautiful and confident in a variety of shapes and sizes. I AM a believer in making changes in your life that will make you feel good and make you happy. Weight loss isn't a miracle cure. Most of the time our weight is only a small factor in how we feel. If you are upset about needing to lose weight or you feel like you aren't beautiful because of your size that is an indicator that there is more you need to work on than just dietary changes. Start your journey to health in your mind. Don't neglect that aspect of healing, cause it is the most important. Otherwise you'll lose weight and you'll look in the mirror and you'll never be happy. Happiness and self love start from within. I still have a long way to go on both my journeys but I can tell you, it gets easier and you CAN do it.

(This picture was taken a few weeks ago)

If you are like me if you have been struggling with your weight for a good chunk of your life. If you want to find something that finally works well, I'm sorry I don't have those answers. If you think taking a similar path to what I did will work for you then by all means please do so! But here is what you need to do, you need to look inside yourself and figure out if you want to lose weight for YOU or for others, because if you want to lose weight for anyone other than yourself you will fail. This is a lifestyle choice for YOU. If you feel the need to lose weight to please someone else, I would recommended turning your efforts inward first and figuring out why you are willing to take such drastic measures to please someone else if it's something you don't really want. If you want to lose weight for you, you need to do your research. Not every change works for everyone. That's why I'm not sitting here being a walking advertisement for being gluten-free, dairy-free or doing DDPYoga. That might not work for you. You need to do your OWN research. What makes sense to you? What is something you can stick with for the rest of your life. It can not be a diet, it needs to be a real change that you will keep up with forever. Find an exercise program that you enjoy and fuel your body with the food that makes sense to you. Whatever makes your body feel energized and gives you stamina to last through the day. Food that makes you feel good eating it and helps your body run well for what you need it to do. If you mess up, if you slip up, if you fall off the horse, don't wait. Get back on immediately. Don't think the day or the week or the month is ruined. NOTHING is ever set in stone. Get back on track and don't dwell. We all have our moments. Don't let them defeat you. Always try and stay positive. Surround yourself with people who will love and support you and never give up. If you want something bad enough you CAN do it. I never, ever thought I would be here, writing a blog about my fitness experience but I am. And I hope that maybe hearing my story might help someone with their own journey be it with their physical health or mental health.

(Most recent full body pic I have.  95lbs down and still going!)
(Hell...I even started jamming more ;-P)

Thank you for reading. I look forward to seeing your responses and please if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!!


  1. Good post! ANd you look fantastic! Good for you sticking to your guns! I can relate with a lot of stuff you say, as I've always been plump/fat. What I find really irritating is the general population doesn't seem to understand that people do come in different sizes and shapes, and I have bodytype running in my family. I'm gonna try to cut down eating crap, but I find it a struggle here in UK. I go back home to Fin every summer and get to ride my bike and swim etc, so get fit and feel good. Then I come back here and I pile on the weight as my activities are restricted and quality of food is not very good. I try to eat low carb, but very difficult here as no ryebreads and other healthy items commonly available. I gave up derby too as there was just way too much bullshit and politics and the girly cliques. :(

  2. Oh wow, you had me in tears.
    Massive congratulations on the loss and making healthy changes for yourself and sticking to them. You look amazing and this has given me the kick in the ass I really need to stop eating crap and actually force myself to stick to some changes. No more lunchtime chocolate bar. No more cakes and late night b/p sessions. I need to change for me.

    Congrats again and all the best this year!