My First Impactful Weight Loss Journey

My First Impactful Weight Loss Journey

And what it taught me.

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Weight loss, when doctor recommended, is a journey that can transform your whole life. But not necessarily in the ways that you think.

I remember when I was turning 17 years old, I desperately wanted to lose weight and achieve my "dream body." I cut down on calories, exercised, and eventually started seeing results. Sounds simple enough, right? Well I'm holding back a few details from you.

By "cutting down on calories," I actually mean going from a very reasonable 1,200 calorie diet, to a very drastic 200 calorie diet on days I didn't "splurge" on 500 or 800 calories a day. I kept a detailed journal of my eating habits and feelings of accomplishment, and basked in the figure I was transforming into, which never seemed to be quite skinny enough. I still had lower belly fat despite my trimming waistline. I was confused and misunderstood my own body by assuming it was because I hadn't lost enough weight. This "understanding" is what I told myself whenever my mother sat me down and tried convincing me to eat more, or when my brother and sister raised concerns over my new habits. Little did I care, however. Instead I turned to "thinspiration," an online community fueled by millions of people facing eating disorders and encouraging themselves and each other to follow unhealthy eating habits. I saved photos to my camera roll of gorgeous skinny girls that held headlines such as "be strong" and encouragements not to allow myself to eat unhealthy, promising of the guilt that would come afterward...which consequently always had. I faced this lifestyle for months, until I had eventually concluded that I had reached my goal weight, even if I still hadn't reached my "ideal body." I breathed a sigh of relief as I came to the "realization" that I could now eat whatever I wanted, because I had worked hard and I couldn't possibly gain it all back after achieving such a slim figure.

In the blink of an eye, I gained all of my weight back.

And that's the sparknotes version of the story of how I nearly fell into an eating disorder, but was saved by my own ignorance. When I had seemingly suddenly gained all of my weight back, enough time away from my former way of thinking had passed where I was able to reflect and realize how scary my mindset really was. I became so obsessive over losing weight, I allowed it to be all I could think about, all I wanted to work on, and my favorite topic of conversation. I considered myself a near expert in nutrition and felt pride in every plate of food I left unempty and every morning I woke up seeing less of myself. While I started to gain the weight back, I was upset about the loss of my physical progress, but relieved about the gains I made mentally. After this one, every weight loss journey I had embarked on since was unable to be successful through calorie counting. I just couldn't do it anymore, my willpower to micromanage my calorie intake had left along with my ideas of "healthy eating."

Looking back, I'm fully aware that while I may not have yet to achieve and maintain my goal weight or body image, I am ten times happier because of the fact that I can recognize right from wrong and am given the chance to approach weight loss healthily. When you achieve something the wrong way, you never truly feel as though you accomplished anything. For example, having hatred for yourself won't go away once you "finally" look the way you want. In fact, when you are so unhappy with your image, you often will never feel a true sense of accomplishment, regardless of the number on the scale or reflection in the mirror. It is as if you threw yourself into a bottomless pit to get to your destination. The further you fall, the closer you believe you are--but in reality, you're nowhere close because the destination doesn't exist within the route you took to get there. You may lose all of the weight you wanted to, but you're nowhere close to the happiness you thought you'd achieve by doing it the wrong way.

Now I plan on doing things differently. I've had enough of focusing on weight loss so much that I let it get in the way of my being happy. I'm living in the moment and making decisions based on what I believe is best for the person I see myself being, with the mindset that I already have it all. I'm trying to create a new mindset that will guarantee my success because I stopped giving it so much importance and attention, and if you're struggling with weight loss as well, I encourage you to work on this with me.

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12 Things Only Low-Maintenance Girls Understand

I promise we aren’t lazy, just easy going.
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Sometimes low-maintenance girls are looked at as lazy or sloppy. But in reality, I think low-maintenance girls are just so confident in who they are that putting in that extra effort isn't important to them.

Here are 12 things that only low-maintenance girls understand:

1. Leggings or sweat pants and a T-shirt is your normal everyday outfit

Why spend the day uncomfortable in some tight jeans or mini skirt when you can lounge around in some comfy clothes? We aren't here to impress anyone, we are just trying to sit back and chill.

2. Makeup is a special occasion

If you catch a low-maintenance girl with makeup on, take it as a compliment. We are trying to touch our face and rub our eyes as much as we'd like without makeup getting in the way. Not to mention, we wouldn't dare spend over $15 on some foundation.

3. We would rather stay in with a movie then go out for the evening

Something low-key and low stress always sounds better than spending the time, and the money, for a night out. I am perfectly content with taking advantage of my $7.99 monthly payment for Netflix.

4. You're always the first one ready

While your friends spend hours doing their hair, makeup and then finding the perfect outfit, you sit around and wait. Your 10 minutes thrown-together-look gives you time to nap while everyone else takes their sweet time.

5. When you say you "don't care what we do," you really don't care

Seriously, a date night off the McDonald's dollar menu is fine by me. I am not expecting you to wine and dine me on a big extravagant evening, I'm just trying to get a Big Mac in my mouth.

6. Your messy bun isn't a fashion statement, it's actually just your hairstyle

We aren't about to spend time curling or straightening our hair everyday. Every day is a good day to throw your hair up into a ponytail or bun.

7. The extent of your jewelry collection is one pair of earrings and maybe a necklace

Who needs more than one pair of earrings? Diamond studs match everything… right?

8. And your shoe collection is even smaller

Should I wear flip-flops or Converse?

9. Shopping isn't exactly your favorite thing to do

Who has patience for finding the perfect designer brands or finding the best fit? I am perfectly content with my T-shirts and leggings. One size fits all.

10. Your favorite gifts are the sentimental ones, not the expensive ones

A homemade card or a small gift that makes someone think of you is forever better and more meaningful than an expensive present. I don't want your money, I just want to know you thought of me.

11. You don't put in the effort to chase after a guy

I'm awesome and I know it. If a guy is worth it enough to be in my life, he can come after me. I am not down for any games or players. Just someone who embraces my low-maintenance qualities.

12. You are always the first person to help someone out

Giving your friends a ride or lending them two dollars isn't a huge deal. Just helping someone out gives you peace of mind. Everyone should have time to help a homie out.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.cosboots.com/sale/christmas/christmas.html

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My Goodbye To Bath & Body Works

We had a good run, but I guess its time to move on.

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Dear Bath and Bodyworks,

I used to love sorting through all of your scented products and finding just the right product for me, but I guess I won't be making my selections from your lines of lotions and shower gels anymore. My skin just does not react very well anymore to the heavy fragrances and scents which are a staple of your brand and the lines you advertise. It looks like from now on I will be sticking to your hand sanitizers and candles.

I used to buy your smaller bottles of lotions when they were on sale so I would always have something to keep in my backpack in case of emergency, but now it is time to make the move to fragrance-free lotions.

BATH AND BODY WORKS COLLECTION www.youtube.com

I will miss your body sprays, which I also always bought when deals were offered on the smaller bottles because they kept me smelling fresh after a.m. gym class.

Getting gifts of the shower gels and lotion combos, which are really thoughtful and I appreciate getting very much, just is not the best option as they currently throw my skin into a tizzy.

I would prefer not to have red blotches pop up all over my body so until you begin to carry a more sensitive skin friendly line which is not as heavily scented it looks like I will be shopping elsewhere for my skincare needs.

Going fragrance-free is probably not the best marketing move for you. The majority of your customer base buys your product specifically for the scents and quality of your products; however a line of essential oil scent based lotions for sensitive skin could expand your market a little bit. Whether its a line worth adding is up to you to decide, but until then, goodbye Bath and Body Works (except for hand sanitizer because I honestly do not need any more candles).

Thanks for the fun while it lasted,

Sincerely,

Miss Fragrance-Free

(P.S. I will be back for hand sanitizer but that is it. I promise.)

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