About two and a half years ago, my life got turned upside down. For the first time in my 22 years of life, I had my heart truly broken. In high school I had my heart “broken” before, but nothing like this. This was the real deal; this was the kind of heartbreak that makes one rethink all the things they had done up to that point and all the things that they have ahead of them. So I did what any girl would do: In the midst of my sadness, I set out to show the guy exactly what he was missing! The adventure, though, taught me more than I ever could have imagined. The change I had made in my eating habits spread beyond the kitchen, it was starting to take flight in my own head and my own mind.
I learned that looking good didn’t necessarily make you more desirable. I saw the guy a few months after “the transformation,” and it was still like I never existed. He said hello and just kept on walking. Sometimes the bad things that happen are supposed to happen, and I found out soon after that he was a real big jerk (surprise!) and I wanted even more to show him that he did not deserve me and the great dreams I had for our life together.
I learned that physical attraction does not lead to a deeper connection. In my grieving time, I had my fair share of Poor Life Choices (PLCs, I call them). I flirted shamelessly with the guy at the bar for a free drink, I bought the shirt that made the girls look good, and I made out with random guys because I could (or maybe it was those free drinks and my desire to feel loved). The aftermath of those things didn’t make much of a difference to me, in fact, I felt shittier about myself. Even though the guy at the bar was cute, he couldn’t hold a conversation, and that wasn’t what I was longing for.
I learned that any change you want takes time and takes work. Losing weight was not the only thing that taught me that, but it was even more prominent because of it. Anyone that has made such a drastic change in their life knows that sometimes you stop losing, you plateau, level out, or even worst, you gain it back. To keep the positive change, one needs to invest time and effort. I don’t look like this by just not eating or changing what I ate, I look like this now because time and time again, I go to the gym, I skip on the desert, and I chose the healthy thing. Better yet, I fight with my head to know that I am the way I am supposed to be.
I learned that some things can become a passion if given the chance. The me that was with the jerk would never in a million years say that she enjoyed running, let alone the outdoors. This was possible one of the biggest surprises for the people that knew me. Having just moved to a new place, one that actually offered great opportunities to hike, walk trails, go camping, and all things outdoors, made me fall in love. No, not with a person (even though that came later) but with nature and a simpler way of life.
I learned that my body is my temple. As cliché as that sounds, when you put good in you get good out. The same thing goes for exercise and healthy eating, you get out of it the effort that you put into making a real change. Food is not all I am talking about, either. Positive thoughts matter and lead to a happier life. I realized quickly that I still have a life to live (and lots of lessons to learn) and I want to be there to witness it and be happy about it. I want to be there to be a great mom to my children, a wife to my husband that one day will be here, and lots of adventures and trips to go on.
I learned that no one can tells you how you should look. First off, I have a few choice words to the BMI. Fuck you! The BMI, nor anyone else but yourself, have the right to tell you how much you should weigh or what you should change about yourself. The BMI told a very healthy me that I still needed to lose 10-15lbs to be “healthy” (if you think healthy is skins and bones, then maybe I need to lose more weight). And to the guy I dated last year that made fun of my sandals, sorry, but I am not changing the way I dress to please you. I deserve to dress whichever way I want, after all I earned that right, not you! If I am comfortable with my weight (and my strappy sandals) then I’ll be damned if I let some stop me.
I learned confidence. Probably the most important thing I learned, and losing weight was just a catalyst for this lesson. It doesn’t matter if you have under 100lbs to your petite body, or over 250 for your beautiful curvy body. Really, the thing that matters is confidence! If you want to flirt with the bartender, go for it! If you want a new job, start with applying! And if you want to be truly and unapologetically you, forget the extra weight, just be you! There is more to life than the numbers on the scale… Your personality, your story and your path, and your belief in yourself and your skills (aka confidence) will go a long way, way longer than what you look like now. Confidence is everlasting!