“Today, I'm going to start a diet.” We've all said that at some point. Then, a few days later the sentiment shifts towards “I'm gonna start a diet tomorrow/next week/ after this last cheeseburger.” But, let's face it, without the proper motivation, it ain't gonna happen.
I came to that realization during the summer of 2014 when I watched my weight jump about 15 pounds. I kept telling myself I'll start losing the weight “soon,” but every attempt led to failure. That is, until I found out my now ex-boyfriend called me fat to one of his friends in a text message I probably shouldn't have read, but oh well, I did it anyway.
He broke up with me (go figure) a month or so later, and I was certain that no matter what excuse he gave about needing to “get his life together,” that my weight helped to solidify his decision.
At about 180 lbs and standing 5-foot-9, I didn't think I was big at all, and I still don’t, but if homeboy wanted to break up with me for my weight, I was determined to show him that I can be slim, too, and better yet, slim and without him.
This was September 2014. It was a slow start. I mean, I hadn't attempted a diet in at least eight years, when I slimmed down to 150 lbs. (the smallest I had ever been since puberty), but I was determined. First, I downloaded the My Fitness Pal App to help me figure out my diet strategy. I was on a strict 1,400 calories a day with other carb, fat and protein restrictions. I also started a bi-weekly cardio and abs class at the gym.
But I found posting my journey on social media to be the most helpful and my biggest motivation. Not only were a couple hundred of my “best friends” watching me to see if I would fail or give up, of course, I also wanted to thirst-trap my ex.
Then there was motivation from my co-workers. Before I began my journey, they were all on a health kick and constantly at the gym or trying an awesome cleanse, and I wanted to join in the fun, but I was just too lazy. Then, one day, I complained to an editor about these terrible headaches I was having. I was convinced I needed an MRI. She asked, “Have you been drinking water?” I wasn’t. After that, I made a point to drink at least two 24 oz. bottles of water every day, and within a couple of weeks my headache was gone. I realized then that losing weight shouldn’t be just about being slim, it should be about getting and staying healthy all around.
I went from drinking almost no water to a gallon a day, and I stopped eating cheese-its and pretzels for dinner and went for balanced, healthier meals. I also got on a multivitamin to supplement anything I might have missed.
I was starting to feel and look better. Eventually, I made it down to about 165 lbs.
But the whole process was moving far too slowly for my revenge purposes. So I kicked it up a notch: low carb dieting. Low carb (under 150 grams or under 100 grams on a good day) is probably one of the hardest diets to maintain, but it was the most effective for me. It helps because your body seeks to burn carbohydrates before it burns fat, so if it burns through all those carbs in the earlier part of the day, all it can do is burn that fat. Within a week, I lost another 5 lbs. and the weight just kept falling off.
A few weeks later, my abs started peaking their head and my jeans were too big!
I added a weekly kick-boxing class and things really got serious. Enter weight training. I learned that weight training shouldn't be put off until AFTER weight loss, since it can actually help you to lose more weight because you continue burning calories even after the workout, unlike with cardio. I also began walking as much as I could (which is easy in New York City). Walking helps to effortlessly burn calories.
By December 2014, I was certain my ex's jaw was permanently attached to the ground.
Sometime around Christmas I reached out to my ex, but something hit me: I didn't even care about our situation any more. As the saying goes, “I can do bad all by myself.”
In the end, the weight loss became all about me and my health and my happiness. I refused to be skinny to please a man who didn't even deserve to stand in my presence.
I reached the lowest weight I have ever been in my post-pubescent life: 135 lbs. And I've kept the weight off ever since. This is a healthy weight for my height and I don’t want or need to be any smaller because I know that I’m beautiful no matter what my size.
And thanks to Serena Williams, my new goal is to get toned and shredded.
Since February 2015, I've been on the maintenance track. I am a size 2 (down from a size 10). I bumped up to 2,000 calories (sometimes more) and I pretty much eat whatever I want (including fast food) and I balance it with exercise.
I'm no Serena Williams yet, but I'm getting there. As for my ex, I blocked him on Instagram and deleted him on Facebook. He doesn't know what I look like, or what I'm doing. It's time for me to find my Swolemate.
(Photos: Nicole Phillip)
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