Week 8: The reasons this is happening to me.

This week will be my 8th week being a healthy happy person, and I’m down 12.6 pounds. It’s not where I anticipated being, but it’s better than I was.

8 weeks ago I never saw this happening. 8 weeks ago I didn’t see myself going to the gym 4-5 times a week, or making good choices when I eat, or not dying because I didn’t get to have chocolate (and trying so, SO hard not to eat it). As I keep going at this rate, I’ll be down to my goal of 120 pounds by the last week of December. I can’t even see myself at that point, but I couldn’t see myself where I am now, so I have no doubt that it’s happening.

I’ve had a few lapses though, like convincing myself that peanut butter cookie had more protein in it than a chocolate chip one (great rationalization, right?). It fit into my calorie budget for the day, but I’m still doing those little things to convince myself that it might be okay to cheat. I think everyone does it, but I haven’t relapsed yet, and I’ve learned over 8 weeks “how much is too much,” and that those small lapses are okay, as long as you get yourself back on track.

I’ve gotten a lot of questions though about why I’m doing this to myself. Why I’m putting in all of this effort, and spending so much time at the gym, and working toward a goal that seems so distant and intangible, so I figured I’d answer it.

1) 8 weeks ago I was a complete mess. I had just gotten over some stuff, and I was really unhappy with the direction my life was going, and with myself. After partying all summer, and eating like complete shit, I felt disgusting and I gained 20 wonderful pounds that I hadn’t expected (from April, when I moved into my house, until I started dieting and exercising in late November). I didn’t feel pretty, or adequate, or even smart. I just felt like a blob of emotions with no outlet for them, and no reason to even go outside. Working out hasn’t completely wiped the mess clean, I’m still far from it, but every mile I run, or ever rep I complete, or every time I push myself when it hurts, or when I think I can’t do it anymore is one step closer to feeling better about myself and my choices, and crushing the ever present myth that I’ll fail at this forever.

2) I’m 22 years old and I’ve never enjoyed my body. I’ve never worn a cute bikini outside without feeling completely disgusting, I’ve never been able to pull off the clothes I’ve wanted to, or just feel like someone really appreciates my body and what it can be. I’ve never even looked at myself and thought “wow, I look really good today,” and I think that’s one of the worst feelings a girl can have. You want to feel pretty for not only yourself, but society too. You don’t want any of that “you have a really pretty face,” bull crap. I want, and I want other people to, appreciate what I’m working for from the ground up. When I have great abs, or nice arms, I want that superficial complement because it’ll make me feel great. It comes from within too, I suppose, but it’s okay to want people to notice.

3) I don’t have anything else, and maybe with working out, and getting fit comes all of the other stuff I want. Maybe it doesn’t, but it’s literally the only thing that is keeping me sane.

I think getting to the root of why you want to do something is really important. If there’s no driving force behind it, it’s so easy to give up. All of those things, though, make me feel like I don’t want to give up. I’m sacrificing 8-9 hours a week, for one year (and carbs, although I dearly miss them right now) to be happy with myself, and that’s something that doesn’t get to be taken away from me. I may have to endure long days, and days without sweets, but I can pat myself on the back when I go to sleep every night, and smile because I’m doing it, and I have no intention of giving up until I’m done.

Then, when I’m done, I have to find a new goal to crush, because let’s face it, I’m not really done with this process until I’m dead.


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