When I started this blog my initial idea was to update y’all on great fashion trends and give my opinion on what you need to be wearing…and what you shouldn’t be wearing. Well, that idea has evolved. Because to me, being stylish means a whole lot more than just the eternal question of: Skinny Jeans or Not Skinny Jeans?
Being stylish is having a sense of yourself. Of not just knowing who you are, but being proud of who you are. This way, you present yourself to the world in a manner that says “I rock!!” And it’s more than your clothes, but it really comes down to confidence. It always comes back to confidence, doesn’t it?
When I was growing up, I wasn’t exactly the quiet kid, but I certainly wasn’t out at all the parties, dating lots of boys, or anything close to that. But I’ve always been quite aware of who I am. I’m friendly, I care deeply about my family and friends, I’m a decent writer, a better reader, sometimes funny, mostly corny, and I love, love, love to laugh. I’m also overweight. I have been my whole life. Recently, though, something shifted. I can’t explain it. I’ve tried tons of different ways to lose weight, but finally, finally something has clicked. This time…this time I will NOT give up.
I would say I officially started on this journey in January, though I had lost about 8 lbs. the fall before. When I officially started, it was because of a wake up call from none other than my gynecologist. He had asked if he could do a metabolic system work up on me. I was like, sure, take some blood, why not? I had no idea what “metabolic system” was, but figured he’d fill me in. And oh, did he. My cholesterol was too high. My triglycerides were too high. And, worst of all, I was dangerously close to developing diabetes.
That word literally scared the shit out of me, excuse my French. I was really, really upset. How had I let it get so bad? I knew I was overweight — at that time, 275 lbs., to be exact — but I never faced the realities of what it was doing to my health.
So, on the meds I went. I began taking a cholesterol medication and an insulin medication (something I still don’t fully understand, but basically, I was insulin resistant, which my Dr. said was affecting my ability to lose weight) every day. I took a multivitamin and two fish oil pills every day. And I took a vitamin D supplement three times a week.
The upside to this visit was the nutritionist. She sent me a packet of info with what I should be eating at each meal, and encouraged me to continue the path I had started on last fall — eating between 1,500-1,700 calories a day. And exercising. A LOT.
And so it began…I, thanks to my friend Summer, started doing something I never, ever thought I’d do. I started running. At first it was tough. My shins hurt, my hips hurt, my thighs really hurt. But you know what? I felt athletic. There I was, all 275 lbs. of me, loping around the indoor track at my gym, and I felt great. I completed the Couch to 5k program, little by little increasing my distance. I’m not fast. Not at all. But I could do it. And I ran the Rumpshaker 5k with a group of friends (you rock, ladies!) this spring. It was seriously one of the proudest moments of my life. More so than graduating college, or even grad school. I just felt like I’d really accomplished something.
Then, came something even better. Three months after that devastating visit to the Dr. I went in for a follow-up blood test. And guess what? All the hard work paid off. My cholesterol and insulin levels are both back in the normal, healthy range! My triglycerides are still a little high, so I’m working on that. And. I’ve lost 40 lbs. The great news is, I don’t want to stop there. For the first time, maybe in my life, I can feel what it would be like to be under 200 lbs. And I’m not going to stop until I get there.
I’m telling you all of this because I’ve found that telling my friends about this journey has encouraged me to keep going. I’ve read books (like Former Fat Girl, a great book, but I disagree with her on this one point) that tell you to keep your weight loss goals a secret. Not me. I like being held accountable to the people around me. I used to tell people “Oh, I’m going to lose weight. I’m going to do this program or that program, and lose 30 lbs. by the end of the summer.” And it never happened. Or it did, and I’d gain it all back. Well, this time I’m proving myself wrong. I CAN do this, and the support and encouragement I’ve received has made it even more possible.
The other reason I’m telling you this is because I believe that being comfortable in your own skin is the true way to live a stylish life. And that’s whatever comfortable is to you. You may be super tall, or teeny tiny, you may be heavier like me, or skinny as a rail. If you feel happy, if you feel healthy, than you will project that confidence that allows you to be a Stellar Fashionista in every way.
I’ll update you periodically on this blog on my health/fitness/diet goals. Like I said, doing this for myself makes me feel even more sassy when I put on a hot dress and high heels. And I think if you and I help each other on this journey, we’ll get to that point where we can be all we can be!