I've struggled with weight my entire life. By the winter after high school graduation, I weighed 195lbs. This was mortifying to me. Within 5 months I lost 60 lbs. by doing cardio 6 hours a week and "eating clean." I was skinny! But I hated my body composition: flabby stomach and arms, no "toned" appearance.. and the weight loss never stuck. I regained and lost 15 lbs. for probably 3 years before I regained almost all of the weight due to my dietary and exercise lifestyle being unsustainable.
Fast forward a few years later. At 188 lbs. I decided again I needed to lose weight, but I approached it differently this time. I didn't just want to be skinny, I wanted to be strong. This soon turned into wanting to be muscular as well. I started my 2nd weight loss journey by getting into the weight room, lifting heavy weights, and eating at a reasonable caloric deficit while eating all the foods I loved within my caloric and macronutrient needs.
Now, over 50 lbs. lost and 10-15 lbs. from my goal weight/physique, I am happier than I ever was the first time around. At the same weight as 6+ years ago, I am leaner and smaller, have actual muscle definition, and developed a passion for exercise that I never had. I have an amazingly healthy perspective of and relationship with food. I've lost 50 lbs. eating donuts and pizza regularly, and I've deadlifted 245 lbs.! Needless to say, this journey has not only taught me about how to sustain a healthy lifestyle but about how to treat myself in the best way possible.
The My Body Gallery project needs real Women! We need your help to develop the project and build a collection of photos that will help more women see themselves more clearly. Upload a picture of your full body. Our photo submission process also allows you to block out part of the image to protect your identity, if you wish. Please note that you must be 18 to upload a photo.