Making Better Choices

At the beginning of the year, I wrote a post about my 8 goals for this year. One of those goals was weight loss. I know. I know. That is so basic. It’s always on everyone’s list. It’s the worst repeat offender of all time. But when I put something on my to-do list, I do it and that’s all a New Year’s resolution list is. It’s just a big to-do list stretched out over the course of the year. In February, I took some time to re-evaluate myself and my lifestyle. I’ve never been a super active person, mostly because of how uncoordinated I am but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to understand that working out is essential to a long healthy life. So, I work out. I do 1 hour of cardio three times a week and 30 minutes of resistance training four times a week. Plus, I walk everywhere because I don’t have a car. Yes, my legs are very strong.anigif_enhanced-buzz-9965-1402961405-27

But even with me doing all of this, I wasn’t really losing weight. I was staying toned but I was dropping weight at a glacial pace. What gives?

This made me re-examine my diet. Overall, my diet is good. I used to make the joke that I’m chubby because of my love of ice-cream. Over the course of a two-week experiment, I realized that it was actually true. I am chubby because I love ice-cream. Here, let me explain a bit.

Once February hit, I started taking this whole “30 lbs weight loss” thing seriously, so I started making adjustments to my eating habits. My normal diet was never really bad, it was just lacking a few key ingredients like…vegetables. So, I’ve been adding more of those into my meals.

I’ve also been snacking better. Instead of eating junk food when I’m craving something small but comforting, I’ve started snacking on fruit such as apple slices with peanut butter and plain/vanilla yogurt with granola and fruit. When I’m making a salad, instead of buying the garden salad mix which is basically just iceberg lettuce and shredded carrots, I started buying bags of expensive leaves. Yes. I said leaves. I’m talking about kale, spinach, chard, and arugula. I feel like I’m being ripped off because they honestly look like leaves I can find during the summer time on the trees outside my house, but I digress. I still eat my salads with ranch dressing but I no longer add the cheese and the croutons and all that extra stuff. I do eat my salads with baked chicken and I can attest to the fact that it tastes amazing.


I also gave up ice-cream or more accurately, broke up with it. I used to eat ice-cream every single day as if it was its own food group. The only reason my weight didn’t balloon out of control was probably due to my workout schedule. I still eat ice-cream but it’s not allowed in the house. And if it is in the house, it has to be one of those pint-sized containers. I read an article about getting unhealthy food out of your reach. For me, I really enjoy ice-cream so it recommended that I didn’t have it in the house. If I wanted it, I had to go out and buy it. For ice-cream, that means I either have to buy it in the pint-size containers (so there isn’t any left for the next day) or I have to go out to an ice-cream parlor. Both of these options are kind of pricey if I do it multiple times a week, so I know I’d be able to stick to this rule. I hate wasting money.

Over the course of two weeks (even without me working out) I lost a noticeable amount of weight. I’m currently working on revamping my workout routine as well so I can maximize my time and get the best results. I really want to lose the weight but I also want to make sure I can keep it off and live a healthy life. So, I’m not going to do anything crazy or stupid to lose the weight. I’ll keep you updated on my journey. I’ll start posting pictures once I go down a pant size.

My Weight Has Always Been A Struggle

My Troubles With My Weight Started When I Was Six

Puberty hit me like a train and I went from a string-bean that use to climb through the railings of my family’s dining room table to a plump little dumpling. As a child, I was a bookworm and was too uncoordinated to ever play any sports so all the normal trappings of childhood that would have helped me lose weight didn’t really apply to me. Plus, I wore glasses and my parents hated replacing them.

As a child, I didn’t overeat but I also didn’t eat a lot of vegetables.  I loved my sweets (still do) particularly cookies and ice cream but my parents never overindulged me although both of them liked to snack after dinner. This is a habit I took with me into adulthood. I find myself craving a dessert after dinner, most nights.

I was always just a plump kid. Never too big for people to worry about my health but never the “right” size either and I was fine with that, for the most part. I didn’t become aware of the fact that I was overweight until I was in middle school. You know, the stage in life where it becomes more apparent that kids like each other in a romantic manner. But even then it wasn’t really a problem. My self-esteem was suffering from other things back then and even though my weight and how people perceived me for it factored into my low self-esteem, it wasn’t the root cause.

In my 8th grade year, I got really sick and lost a lot of weight. I think it was about 20 lbs and that’s when I noticed how much my weight had factored into my social life. Suddenly, people were interested in me. Suddenly, people noticed me. Suddenly, the boy I had a crush on showed interest. Suddenly…

That Was A Wake-Up Call

That was the mentality I went to high school with. My freshman year of high school I worked out every night and maintained my weight loss from the previous school year. Everything was going fine until I was diagnosed with scoliosis. My physical therapist told me to stop working out a) because they were worried about my spine and b) because it was taking my muscles too long to relax during our sessions and I was wasting time and money. So I stopped working out but I didn’t stop eating the way that I had been eating. So the weight started to come back. I went from a size 8 to a size 10 to a size 12 to a size 14.

I remained a 14 for the rest of my high school days. After physical therapy ended, I tried to get back to working out but I didn’t really want to. Eventually, I got back into the groove but I wasn’t doing the right type of workouts. I was doing toning exercises with very little cardio, so I ended up with a very toned solid body shape. Meaning I was a 14 but I didn’t have a whole bunch of flab except for my arms–those things are the devil.

By the time I went to college I noticed that I was losing weight again. I probably dropped down to a 13 but they don’t really make those so I was a loose 14 most of my freshman year. Then my dad died and I ate my feelings and I went from the 13 to a 16 in the span of a summer. Grief will do that.

I stayed a 16 until my junior year. That year, I actually used the school gym and I did a mixture of cardio, resistance training, and toning exercises commonly found within pilates. I went from a 16 to a tight 14 and then during that summer I went to Europe and got down to a 12. Europe was magical. All the traveling, hiking, and walking–plus the food was healthier–Oh my God! Europe was magical!

But All Fairytales Come To An End

Once I got back into the U. S. the weight started coming back. It was a combination of a lot of things. I wasn’t able to workout because I was too busy with classes and work. The food, even though it was home cooked, wasn’t as clean as Europe’s food had been. And I was actually able to afford food again because I was no longer exchanging my dollars for Euros, Swiss Francs, British Pounds, or Icelandic Króna. Those exchange rates really take a bite out of your budget.

But anyway,  before it became apparent that my weight was going back up, I’d started buying new clothes. You see, Europe changed me. It made me realize that I was an adult and that I should start dressing in a more professional manner. So when I got back home, I started buying better clothes. I’m not putting down jeans and T-shirts because those were my go-to clothing choices but they were also a way for me to hide myself and any discomfort I was feeling about my body. So this new found love for myself and comfortableness with my body coupled with the fact that most of my clothes no longer fit me, thanks to my European adventures, led me to redo my wardrobe. I was blissfully unaware that my weight was rising until one day I looked in the mirror and realized my belly was hanging again. And the tightness in my pants wasn’t because I was drying them too long. I was gaining the weight back. My size 14s were hugging just a little too tight once again.

But This Time Around, Things Will Be Different

I turn 22 next month and I’m tired of my weight yo-yoing. Last night I looked at my pictures from Europe and graduation and noticed that I look nothing like what I pictured I would look like at the age of 21. I feel like I don’t look like an adult. I’ve always had a curvy body. The type of body shape that made people wonder if you were a child or an adult but once they looked at your face, they could clearly see that you were a child. Yeah, that was me. Sweaters and hoodies because my father didn’t want unfriendly eyes on me.

But now at 21, I do not FEEL like I look like an adult. I feel that my face is too chubby or my limbs are too full. I feel like if I slimmed down, I would look older. And to look older or more specifically, my age, is what I’m aiming for. I don’t have any health problems in relation to my weight. The weight loss I’m seeking to achieve this summer is purely for aesthetics. I want to be the carefree Black girl that you see on Tumblr, at film festivals, and at the Afropunk festivals. I want to be vibrant and youthful. I want to feel vibrant and youthful and self-assured. I want to look 22 this summer and so I’m going to make some changes. I’m going to get down to a size I’m comfortable with and I’m going to keep my weight steady. This is a promise I’m making to myself and I don’t break my promises because I’m a woman of my word.