“You’re fat, worthless, and disgusting. No one will ever find you attractive.”
This was the thought going through my head multiple times a day–every day–just two very short years ago. The simple act of getting out of bed and putting on clothes felt like living in a nightmare where you went to school and you’re totally naked–a constant state of humiliation. Reflective surfaces were generally avoided, but if I happened to catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror or window, the feeling of disgust and self-loathing would wash over me like a tidal wave of despair, nay a tsunami, destroying everything positive in it’s path. Then, I would eat…everything.
This is a strange feeling, I must admit, for a former college athlete who never paid attention to what she ate much less how much of it. When you play soccer and you run four miles a day, the word “diet” is not a part of your vocabulary. I can only assume it was my involvement with sports my entire life that contributed to the denial and delusion that accompanied my 6 year weight gain. In my mind, I was a 5’10, 165 pound athlete–even when I tipped the scales at 235. Denial became my primary state of existence.
It’s obvious now that the pizza/doughnut diet would lead me to be fat; I’m not sure why I didn’t see it before.
I had no concept of what I ate, how much I ate, how it affected my body, or my mental health. Additionally, I stopped working out altogether, and I decided that smoking a pack a day while drinking every night would also be a good idea. How was I shocked that I ended up fat and hating myself? Oh yeah, denial, which had become my default setting.
Denial is amazing. When you live in denial you can eat what you want, do what you want and be fat and happy. There are absolutely no consequences when you don’t allow yourself to acknowledge them. It’s great! That is until reality sets in. Like when you turn 25, find out your dad has lung cancer, and the cherry on top is type 2 Diabetes. That’s when you look in the mirror and see him. Denial fails and you wake up and realize you are not a shadow of the person that you were. You couldn’t even fit in the shadow of the person that you were. You’re too fat.
So I decided to make a change by becoming a personal trainer. Yeah I know, cart before the horse. As you read my blog, you will find that I am a myriad of clichés. I took an eight week personal training course, so that I could change people’s lives the way I had changed my own. Except I hadn’t changed my own yet. Still didn’t work out, still smoked, still ate whole pizzas and had lunch at Waffle House. Yep, it makes no sense. Most of this doesn’t. Denial remember?
So I thought, “Wait a second, I’m kind of fat! I should start working out to get in shape, so it won’t be such a joke when I try to get others in shape.” What can get me into shape in like 6 months? Hey this CrossFit stuff looks hard, I’ll try that.
In a way it’s funny how I came to CrossFit, but it really did save my life. I loved the workouts, and I loved the results. But eight months later, I was still pretty fat. Then a light bulb went off. Hmmm, should I change my diet now? (denial folks)
I basically tried everything I could to get healthy without actually changing my diet. Why would I do that? That makes absolutely no sense. Well folks, I love food. I love pizza; it’s freaking delicious. Cake is wonderful and should be served with every meal–deep-fried, sugar-coated, processed, “carby” goodness. Give it all to me. I love it! I did not want to give it up.
Eventually, the hard work in addition to the lack of results, the self-loathing, and the humiliation all won out. Plus, I realized it’s not just about how you look, it’s about what you are doing to your body.
Let me repeat in big capital screaming letters–DIET IS NOT ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS.
You can be skinny and have diabetes or cancer, and feel like shit, and actually alter your DNA so you’ll pass all your chronic illnesses and diseases down to your unborn children. The worst part is you can prevent it all with diet.
I’ve lost 70 pounds, quit smoking, eliminated medication, eliminated chronic illness, and my blog is the proof.
I will tell you what I did to change my life.
I will show you where I failed and where I succeeded.
I will give you all the information I can supply you so that you can save your own life.
I will put humiliating fat pictures of myself on the internet for everyone to see.
I will share every step of my still very challenging ongoing journey.
I will support you and make you laugh and help you through it.
But I cannot take that first step for you. You know my story, now let’s write yours.
Julie Before Pictures
I think this gives others hope that they can change, once we learn to see ourselves clearly, accept where we are and begin the journey. It is hard. I always told my kids, it is easy to dream, hard to do.
I say, “Julie go for it”. I don’t say “Good Luck” because with self awareness you don’t need luck. You are already half way to your goal when you start off with self awareness and honesty. Go, Julie you will succeed because you are succeeding everyday. Great start for an inspiring blog.
Get it girl, I’ll definitely follow your story. God speed!