From #mcm to #tbt, social media has identified a hashtag for almost every day of the week. Upon pulling up my Facebook newsfeed this morning, I noticed a handful of friends who have posted for #transformationtuesday. Our society is so influenced by social media, and it provides a ‘feel good sensation’ to those who decide to post photos of themselves and how they have dramatically (or maybe not so much) changed over the years. Some do it because photos of themselves from the 80’s or 90’s are too hilarious not to share. Some show pictures of their high school graduation next to their college graduation photo. But in the world of weight loss, #transformationtuesday is a big deal! It’s an opportunity to show others how far you have come and to feel loved by how many “likes” you get on your photo… and I’d like to bet that majority of those “likes” are from people you no longer keep in touch with. It makes you think how much things have changed over the past 10 years, especially in regards to social media. 10 years ago, I wasn’t posting selfies during English, or using snapchat between classes… I’m not even sure I was checking my email on a regular basis! We could dive into the psychology of social media (I’m sure they are offering college courses on this) and its influence on our generation, but that’s not where I’m going with this. Guess we can discuss this further on a future post!
So this will be my first time sharing my transformation on social media. This is an opportunity for me to write down my story- my strengths, weaknesses, progress, emotional roller coasters, and where I want to see myself. It’s an opportunity to express the desire to push myself to be a better person, mentally and physically. This gives me a chance to highlight why I started this blog and hope for a happy and healthier community in the future. So, here it is.
For as long as I can remember, I have always been a “bigger” girl. I wasn’t too overweight or heavy as a child, but the moment I entered junior high and became “a woman”, my hormones dramatically shifted and my weight spun out of control. I remember my 7th grade year all too well. I gained almost 50lbs throughout the year and I couldn’t control my unhealthy eating habits. I was your typical pre-teen, always emotional and always blaming it on someone else. I became quickly bitter and frustrated about my self image. I was angry at my siblings and my friends for being so thin when I was continually blowing up like a balloon. I ate my feelings, and I couldn’t stop. I specifically remember my 14th birthday. I was in Mr. Owens’ science class and we were doing a lab on frogs. It was time to clean up, and I remember bending down to pick up something off the floor. I heard a loud ripping noise and quickly stood up to find that my pants ripped completely down the seam through my butt. I WAS MORTIFIED. Thankfully, I had a friend who lent me her extra sweater so I could tie it around my waist. The walk home after getting off the bus was just as awful as ripping my pants. Our family recently moved to a new house, and the bus had to drop me off at the beginning of our driveway, which is approximately 1/4 mile away from our actual home. You can’t see our house from the beginning of our driveway, which meant all the kids on the bus thought my house didn’t really exist. They would yell at me outside the bus window, saying that I was a monkey who lived in the trees. What a terrible birthday…
I stopped gaining weight in high school (thank God), probably because I was somewhat active with marching band. However, I never felt good about myself and my image. Being overweight in high school is the worst. I wanted to look good, but couldn’t figure out how to do it. I was emotional about keeping and maintaining healthy friendships, or what boys thought of me. This is when I first became introduced to dieting. My Mom and I did the South Beach Diet, only making it through Phase 1 of the book (2 weeks of no carbs or unhealthy sugars). I lost some weight, but couldn’t continue with the strict parameters of this diet, so I ended up gaining it back.
Fast forward to my college years, at Ohio University. My weight and body image was still a challenge, and I’m now going on almost 10 years of being miserable in my own skin. Late night study sessions with free food, coffee and other sweets, and the unlimited amount of cafeteria food did not help my weight. I wanted to change and be happy and healthy, but it seemed so out of reach. I joined Weight Watchers and finally felt like I was able to control my weight issues. I lost 25lbs, the first time I have ever lost weight, and I started to see the light, AND IT FELT SO GOOD. I was able to understand how important it was to feed my body the proper nutrients so that I would be happy, physically and mentally. And like all diets, this one didn’t last. I ended up gaining the weight back by the end of my time at OU, weighing 225lbs. Yikes.
I moved to Ithaca, NY to begin graduate school. They must have put something in the water, because for the first time, I desired a change in my life. I made some pretty big changes during my first year of school. I cut out all fast food, stopped eating bread, and went to the gym on a daily basis. I spent more time outside, hiking waterfalls and enjoying the beautiful landscapes of upstate New York. I was hooked, and for the first time, I was happy about being me. I lived in Ithaca for 3 years, and lost a total of 40lbs.
I moved out of Ithaca in June and have maintained my weight since then. I am frustrated that I have not lost any weight, especially since I have been working so hard to do so. I’m not a huge fan of New Years Resolutions, but I did decide that I was going to start running this past year. I have gone from only being able to run for 1 minute to being able to run 20 minutes without stopping! I have been pushing myself to be more active, and I am happy with my progress throughout this year. Unfortunately, I have not dropped any weight since June. On the other hand, I should be happy that I haven’t gained weight the past 5 months, but I’m determined to get to my goal (a total loss of 50lbs).
Since my move to Philadelphia, I have been more active then ever, walking to the city close to four days a week, which is around 8-12 miles in addition to the time I have been spending running on the treadmill. So why haven’t I been loosing weight? I have been doing a lot of research about different foods I have been eating, which led me to watch “Hungry for Change”, a documentary on Netflix. This documentary explores how our society is obsessed with dieting, and the negative impact it creates when we jump from one diet to another. The documentary then introduces ways to eat in order to provide the correct amount of nutrients (vitamins, fibers, proteins) our body truly needs in order to be healthy and happy. After watching this, I realized that I am hungry for change, not just physically, but also emotionally. I was so inspired that I decided to start this blog, allowing friends and family to connect and feel a sense of community on our journey of finding health and happiness.
Definition of transformation: a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance. A change, alteration, mutation, conversion, or transfiguration. I’m sure #transformationtuesday will be with us for many years to come, and every Tuesday, people will post before and after photos, highlighting their drastic change over the years. I’m not going to restrict thinking about my transformation to just Tuesdays. I want to remind myself daily of where I was, and where I am headed. I’m hungry for change. I’m hungry to do something bigger and better. The possibilities are endless, and I finally feel ready to push myself past this plateau and move forward. Here we go.