Posted by: Hallie | March 3, 2009

Learning to Love Me: Weight Loss Pt. 2

Read Part One of my Story

After nine months of eating less and exercising more (well…exercising at all) I was down to about 153 pounds when I pretty much stopped losing. I’d go down two, up one, etc. And although I looked and felt better than ever before, I refused to believe that my body was destined to stay in the low 150s. I “knew” I had more to lose. So I started trying more structured (read: stricter) eating plans.

First, I tried Weight Watchers. My first week on WW I probably lost 3 pounds, and that was about it. I remember at one weigh-in that showed small gain I was asked what I was doing “wrong” and I said I didn’t know because I was eating the very fewest points “allowed” for my weight. The leader suggested I try eating more, which I see now was probably sound advice. I thought she was crazy and that was the end of Weight Watchers for me.

Then, my boyfriend’s trainer (I know I’m backing up a little from where Part One left off; it’s hard to remember exactly what happened when) put me on a strict diet and exercise plan. I paid him $100 to tell me I had to eat exactly X for breakfast, Y for lunch, Z for dinner, and nasty protein bars for snacks or I would never lose any more weight. It was years before I could look at a turkey patty or a sweet potato again (how sad is that?). That diet didn’t work, as life would get in the way with a plan like that. So I was back at square one, frustrated as hell.

Like I said before, amidst all this, my boyfriend broke up with me, seemingly out of nowhere. I can now imagine I wasn’t very much fun to be around at that point in my life, but when it happened, I was devastated. I still thought of myself as that chubby girl and I never thought I’d ever get anyone else to love me.

I think my sadness over losing that part of my life fueled my obsession with all things food/exercise. I began obsessively scouring the websites like WebMD and Weight Watchers.com, reading every diet/weight loss article I could find (P.S. they all become the same after awhile…”eat from smaller plates, choose brown rice over white, etc. etc. etc.”). At the same time, I would watch Food Network all day long, staring at food that I “couldn’t” eat.

After a while, I began exhibiting signs of a binge eater. I’d eat little in public only to stuff my face by myself, and occasionally I’d compulsively eat random foods (I remember in particular binging on my mom’s dried dates). I was ashamed at what I was doing, consumed by my feelings of worthlessness, but at the same time loving the attention I was getting from my friends and family due to my recent weight loss. This cycle continued most of the summer before I started college.

My mom realized something was very wrong when I had a mini-breakdown after work one day. I couldn’t find my gym access card and therefore couldn’t get into the gym to work out. The thought of missing a workout was so terrifying and upsetting that I broke down and almost couldn’t drive home, I was crying so hard. I told my mom, “I don’t want to live like this anymore,” and next thing I knew I was sitting in my doctor’s office getting a prescription for anti-depressants. I only took the pills for a few months, but I think they really helped me during that time, more than my HMO’s therapists ever did. By the end of a very eventful summer, I was about to enter college with a more stable mindset. Over time, I began to learn to accept and love myself the way I was (something I still work on to this day, to be honest).

I started college, and of course I was scared about gaining back the weight I had just lost. But at the same time, it was college! So while I always tried to make healthy choices in the dorms, I definitely ate larger portions and more desserts than I did at home. I also started drinking/partying with my new friends, and with alcohol comes 2 AM pizza nights and such. I tried to keep up with exercise, but between school and work, I’d say I only worked out 2 times a week consistently. So I gained some weight, which I would always lose when I’d come home for a break. It was an up-and-down cycle and by the end of college I was probably about 7 pounds more then when I started.

Here’s me on my 21st birthday, before we hit the bars. Trust me, the pictures don’t get prettier as the night goes on. You only turn 21 once right? (THANK GOODNESS)

21st

And yes, for about a year I thought black hair and white skin went really good together.

dark hair

By the time I graduated, I was ready to leave college behind, and ready to leave behind the pounds that came with it. (Not that Wingz Over Ithaca wasn’t worth gaining a pound or two…don’t get me wrong!)

Check back for Part Three of my story, which might be the hardest to write it’ll go to the present, and my health/fitness/happiness story is being rewritten every day.

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Responses

  1. thanks so much for sharing this! having had/still having binge eating episodes – I know exactly how you musta felt!

  2. I love your writing style.

    So sorry for the mental things you’ve gone through with the binging and such.. I can relate! Can’t wait for Part 3.

  3. thanks so much for sharing your story- i cant wait to read more

    Kelly Turner
    http://www.everygymsnightmare.com

  4. Sorry to condone the bad eating beahvior but, I LOVE Wingz Over Ithaca…

  5. Thanks for sharing this part of your story!

  6. love hearing about your journey!! 🙂

  7. Great story- can’t wait for part III

  8. Thanks so much for sharing! Really looking forward to the next part!

  9. Thanks for the feedback, guys! This was difficult to write so I’m glad people are responding well to it. 🙂

  10. THANK YOU FOR SHARING. I think your black hair and skin look beautiful. 🙂 BUt I see you’ve lightened up!

  11. Hi! I am reading your story and feeling like your emotions are SO resonating with me. I understand what you went through completely and it is SO scary to think that we talk ourselves into believing that people won’t love us for who we are just because of the way we look. I am so happy to be reading your thoughts on this, because it makes me feel less alone…Thank you so much for sharing. For me, I’m not ready yet to go in to so much detail about my weight gain and loss, but it is inspirational people like you who help me emerge little by little from my little shell. 🙂 Thank you!

  12. Thanks for sharing this!!! you rock!

  13. It’s amazing how different you and I are, and yet, I could practically have written this myself. I identify 110% with everything you’ve written here, although I’ve known more dickish guys who didn’t bother to disguise their feelings about my weight. It’s amazing how people can say things about another person’s weight without a second though to how hurtful it can be. So, that being said, I will say this: You’re beautiful and amazing and that wouldn’t change if you weighed 353 pounds 🙂 I’m glad you’re finally with a good man who thinks the same. I can’t wait to meet him!

  14. i’m ready for part 3!!!

  15. […] in Progress: Weight Loss Pt. 3 Read Parts One and Two of my […]

  16. Wait a minute… did you go to Cornell? I just clicked over to your blog from your comment on Angela’s post today (the blogger comparison one). I went there and graduated in dec ’07 (I’m class of ’08 tho). Wingz over Ithaca is definitely great. About to read part 3…

  17. […] I was NERVOUS to start this program. I am no stranger to a good workout, but given my past issues with restrictive eating, I was really afraid that the diet I was to follow would bring up some old demons. I was also […]

  18. […] however, I can see that the the restriction with the meal plan is potentially taking me to that unhealthy place mentally that I don’t want to […]


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