Hello everyone! Long time, no blog.
I’ve been wanting to write a post about my weight loss for a very long time, and I think that I am finally in a place where I not only feel like I am able to write about the journey fully, but I really want to. So buckle your seat belts, ladies and gents. This is going to be a loong one.
Here are some pictures documenting my weight loss, with my most recent “after” picture in the top left and the “before” picture in the bottom right.
I had always been bigger, I was one of those girls people would call “bigger boned” or, my personal favorite, “stocky.” Blame it on genetics and the fact that I had absolutely no knowledge of what a balanced and nutritious meal looked like. The self-esteem issues, which should really have their own blog post documenting them, started pretty early for me… Around the time I started to go through puberty, which for me started in the fourth grade, was when I started to think that I was different. I was convinced that all of the girls in my school were smaller and thinner than me, and I convinced myself that I was fat. I wasn’t obese at the time, but I was bigger. I was not, however, the biggest girl in my class, like I was convinced that I was. I have never been diagnosed, but as I look back on my memories of how miserable I made myself, I think I had BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder), and it is still something I struggle with to this day. But as I said before, I will write another blog post about my struggles with self-image and confidence.
Because of this, ever since the sixth grade, I have gone through two week to month stints of crash diets and intense workout programs that I would find online or in Seventeen magazine. They never lasted long. I would eventually grow tired of these and I would revert back to my unhealthy eating habits. We’re talking rich mac and cheese or TV dinners as after school snacks. I would drink coke like water. My weight increased steadily until I reached 185 pounds in my junior year of high school. I wasn’t happy with how I looked, and I would look in the mirror and cry. I made myself so miserable.
A night in February, 2014 was when it all changed. I can’t explain it, but one night after I finished my homework, I decided that I wanted to work out. There was no pivotal moment where I thought to myself now is the time where I make a change, like in all the other weight loss transformations I’ve watched and read before. I just wanted to work out.
And for some reason, it stuck. I started exercising every night after dinner, doing YouTube videos in my room on my beat up violet yoga mat. After school, instead of snacking, I would ride the exercise bike my father had bought at Kmart some months before. I went from biking one mile to two to eventually fifteen miles every day, all the while documenting my completed exercise routines in various fitness journals and calendar printouts.
I can also attribute a lot of my weight loss journey to the girls over at Tone It Up. I discovered them through Lauren Conrad’s Bikini Boot Camp (one of the programs I attempted to complete multiple years in a row but was never successful with) while I was in middle school, probably around 2011. I fell in love with the workouts that they posted on YouTube, and in 2014 I started following their Weekly Schedule, which they post on their website (click here to check them out!) I’ve followed them ever since. I should really write an entire post/review about them and their products, because, besides their free content on their website and their YouTube, they have published a great book and put out multiple workout DVDs that I’ve used and found really helpful. Tone It Up really kept me in line with my workout routines and kept me accountable, especially when I made a TIU Instagram account. The women in the Tone It Up community are all such incredible, supportive and beautiful people and I would not have been able to accomplish what I have without their support. This, along with the inspiration that Karena and Katrina, the TIU creators, provide.
However, when I went to college in the fall, my lifestyle changed tremendously. I started going to the free gym provided for us in the student center and running around the lake on campus to keep up with my fitness. Thanks to this, I was able to swerve the freshman fifteen. The biggest challenge was finding something good to eat amidst a wide selection of all different types of food. That, and not eating ice cream with every meal just because it was there. I will write more about how to keep fit in college soon. Maybe right before school starts again in August?
Ever since I have gotten back home from school, I have gotten back to following the Tone It Up Weekly Schedule. Right now, they are doing their Bikini Series, which is an exciting 8 week program that they do every year. This is my third year following the program, and even though I had a late start due to finals week, I’ve been able to keep up on the workouts. I just haven’t been so religious with my Insta check-ins this time around… Oops!
I would like to say that I am in no way perfect. I am, however, more confident and physically fit than I ever have been before. I can run a mile in about ten minutes pretty easily. I learned what foods are healthy to eat and how to work out regularly. I am even planning on someday soon getting my personal training certification! But most importantly, I’m happy. And one of the biggest lessons I have learned through all of this is that if something makes you happy, you have to work toward it and fight for it, no matter what.
P.S. If you want, you can follow my fitness Instagram account @ellietonesitup, and we can keep each other accountable!