I graduated high school at 120 pounds. I’m pretty sure my forearms had a greater circumference than my upper arms. It took a week for facial hair to show up on my lip after shaving. At the time I felt insecure about my body because people were always commenting on how skinny I was. I tried to play if off by using self-deprecating humor, but at the end of the day I felt very self-conscious about my weight and my “baby face.”

Over time things slowly began to change. I was able to gain some muscle mass in my shoulders and arms over the next couple years. By the time I was a junior I had put on 30 pounds, most of it good healthy weight. Between the summer of my junior and senior year I put on another 15 pounds or so. It felt so sudden, too. I hadn’t changed my eating habits or my diet, but all of a sudden I had a little bit of a belly. And then I went from feeling insecure about being too skinny to feeling like I was getting fat and putting on weight too easily.

The trend continued. Weight was easier to gain, harder to lose. By my first year in grad school I was 175 or so. That next summer I got married and had put on another five pounds. I was active all the time, too, but my body’s metabolism had changed as I got older.

For the last three years or so I’ve hovered right around 200 pounds, a weight I never ever thought I’d be. And although I’m fairly active and I don’t eat a ton of junk food, it feels like I haven’t been able to lose any weight.

But as I’ve been making lots of changes in my life recently, I knew that addressing this part of my life would need to happen as well. I keep telling myself that I want to start losing weight soon, but I never really follow through. It takes a lot of thought, intentionality, planning, and the ability to say no to myself consistently.

I’m not the type of person to try a completely different lifestyle of going to the gym regularly or trying a new fad diet. I know that I can lose weight by making simple and small changes in my daily life. Cut out junky snack foods. Watch my portions. Don’t drink soda and beer very often. Stay active. Get outside. Ride my bike when I can.

If I stay consistent with those simple changes, then I know I can lose weight. I have a goal that if I’m able to get back to about 175-180 lbs, which I think is a fairly healthy place for me to be, I’ll get a nice tattoo. That’s 25 pounds. I think it’s manageable. I’ll take it slow and steady.

But I’ve been establishing good daily routines in my life recently, and this will fit in nicely. I just have to stay motivated and committed.


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