*TW: This post may be triggering for anyone struggling with weight/EDs, so please feel free to stop reading if that applies to you!*
Back in June 2020 I decided to start working out and eat healthier to start my weight loss journey. I remember I measured my waist, hips, arms, and thighs, and weighed myself before setting a weight loss goal. I didn’t realize how much weight I had gained over the past few years until I was wearing the largest shorts size at American Eagle and most of my clothes were far too tight for me to wear. Once I was absolutely uncomfortable with my body and health, I knew I had to start working on reaching my weight loss goal. I didn’t have a plan, but my aim was to lose around 48 pounds and as many inches off my waist and hips as possible without a time limit. I started, like I said before, on June 22nd, by controlling my meal portions and going for long walks every week.
I wasn’t weighing myself or working out 7 days a week, but I slowly felt my pants loosen and I had more energy every day. At about the 3 month mark, I had stopped eating most processed sweets/desserts (except from my one square of Dove milk chocolate every night after dinner) and ate only a small portion of simple carbs every day. Most of my meals centered around fruits, vegetables, and proteins like chicken, turkey, and fish (which I love now!!), but I would sometimes have a measured out portion of pasta (1.5 oz) or rice (0.75 cup) to satisfy those cravings. One of the main skills I learned during this period of portion control was measuring almost all of my foods to know the macros I was consuming throughout the day. I’ve also become much more aware of the ingredients and nutrition facts on any and all prepackaged foods I buy. Even the “healthy” advertised ones can be full of extra fats, sodium, and sugar, so I make sure to always read the backs of any packages or boxes.
Although my diet was the catalyst for my weight loss, diligently working out 5-6 times a week was what pushed me and helped me ultimately reach my goal. I didn’t want to do any workouts that I knew I hated and wouldn’t continue, so I walked long distances four times a week, hiked once or twice on the weekends, and did 20-30 minute HIIT videos every weekday as well.
Since I reached my weight loss goal in January 2021, I basically stopped working out but I’ve continued to focus on portion sizes and types of foods I’m consuming. I’m no longer on a strict calorie deficit but I still try to eat healthier foods whenever possible and stopping consumption when I’m on the brink of fullness. I guess my eating could be considered “intuitive” in relation to today’s non-diet trends where I enjoy all of the foods I love without so much attention on restrictions.
Before I lost weight I thought I would be extraordinarily happy and everything in my life would be better, which I now know isn’t true. I’m generally treated better by people than I was when I was at my heaviest (thanks to anti-fatness in Western society) but I still often feel insecure and unhappy with how my body looks and moves. Now that I’m thinner I wish I had the boobs and ass I used to have (not that they were perfect, but still) and my lack of makes me feel ugly. I also have extra skin hanging around all over that I wish I could easily get rid of. I guess what I’m trying to get at is that I benefit from being in a small, white-passing body in an anti-fat, anti-Black society (please follow Da’Shaun Harrison on twitter @DaShaunLH for more information about anti-fatness as anti-Blackness) and I’m still not perfectly happy with how I look.
In the next year I’d like to get to a place where I don’t feel compelled to weigh myself multiple times a day and where I can look at my body and generally be okay with what I see. I’m lucky to have remained healthy and well throughout COVID so I know I should focus on everything my body does to keep me alive rather than just what I look like. I’m proud of the work I put in to losing weight over the past year and a half and that should be all that matters!