I was – and still am – quite ambivalent about this post and the subsequent series I say I am committing to. I keep thinking “not another weight loss blog,” … “not another story.” I have read and continue to read dozens … so why another? And the only answer I have to date is to hold myself accountable. Of course, I hope to reach 1-2 who have been unable to find a story that resonates with them or to motivate someone to hang in there and not give up. But I have to admit – this one’s for me. What will follow will be a series of posts intertwined with my regular motivational, social justice, random thoughts posts 🙂. The first few will come a little more frequently as I tell my story and then they will taper off. For those who choose to follow, thanks for reading.

My story

I started running track when I was in the 9th grade. However, it wasn’t until I became a cheerleader – and probably liking boys a little more J – that I had my first thoughts of dieting. It was never anything serious, just obsessive thoughts about how I looked and comparing my body to that of other girls. It’s funny because when I look back at my high school pictures, I’d LOVE to have that body … just didn’t seem thin enough at the time.

It wasn’t until I started college that I really began dieting. I’d lost about 20 lbs the summer before while being with my family in Philadelphia (tons more walking and healthy eating) and was motivated to keep it off. In an effort to combat the infamous Freshman 15 I drastically limited my food intake. The following summer I gained everything back and then some. I kept the weight on during my sophomore and part of my junior year, and then I snapped out of it. What followed was another 12 years of on again, off again (thankfully more on than off). I’d gain up to 40 pounds and then work earnestly to get it off. On and off again … on and off again. It wasn’t until recently that I finally realized that major life changes really seem to set me over board, particular moving (which I have done quite a bit).

2012 was an extremely challenging year for me and once again the weight was back on. I think I could have gained a lot more, but the one of the things I had on my side was my commitment to return to a vegan diet. I spent the entire year phasing out meat – and eventually diary – from my diet. I think this made a huge difference. I’ve tried lots of different things: Weight Watchers, binge diets, buddy systems, online tracking tools, YWCAs and work fitness programs. But this time around, I am doing it for keeps!

By January of this year, I was ready to get started. For easy reading, I am writing my steps below in list form:

– I made a commitment! Every day was a new day – every meal a new mean (learned this from Weight Watchers). No matter how far I fell off, waiting until the following week to restart was and is not an option!!!

–  I found an excellent support system!!! Between my colleague and friend, MyFitnessPal and a few Facebook groups, I am surrounded by amazing people who inspire, motivate and support me. It has made a world of a difference.

–  I have approached this as a lifetime journey, therefore the changes I have made are things that I believe I can live with. No more extreme diets or radical eating patterns … just plain ole’ basics.

– I indulge in nonfood rewards. I started booking a regular spa appointment, buying an article of clothing, accessory or gym attire … I found ways to reward myself that don’t revolve around food.

–  I made small AND large goals – both scale and non-scale related. Of course I want to lose weight, but I also want to feel better … more confident; look better in my clothes; have more endurance; honor my body. These are all the things that motivate me and keep me going. The scale can be fickle :-).

–  I realized that I need variety. I can’t do the same thing day in and day out. Therefore, I joined a gym, found a community dance class, joined a couple of physical activity MeetUp groups and use Groupon frequently to try new things. This helps me keep it fresh and keep my body confused :-).

– While I read other people’s stories, I had to and have to do what feels great to me!

Here’s to blogging my journey …