We've all heard it before. "Watch what you eat, you don't want to gain the freshman 15." Like its some sort of monster that will ruin your life. For some girls, it does feel like it's ruined your life. I'm not writing about how I've lost the weight or about me learning to embrace my new appearance, its about learning to love myself enough to put forth the effort to be healthy again.

I have never been a small person with the best figure, but before college, I was at a weight I was happy with and had worked for. Then the stress of college, "adulting," and a hint of laziness took over. It did not help that I met my now fiancé and became so comfortable with him that I could eat whatever he ate. Beer and wings for dinner? My favorite. All of these factors added up to gaining way more than the freshman 15.

This change in my appearance sent me to a dark place. I hated myself. None of my clothes fit anymore, my face was rounder, and my self-confidence was gone. I was unhappy and depressed which sent me running back to my favorite comfort foods. It was a vicious cycle.

Then one day it hit me, hating myself isn't going to change anything.

Before I can truly be a healthy version of myself, I have to love myself enough to try.

Figuring this out has been a game changer.

No, it hasn't been a life-altering decision that I have seen and felt immediate results from, but I have decided to be more conscious of what I am eating and how much I eat. When I put on the clothes that I hate my body in so much, I encourage myself to do better instead of focusing on the bad and tearing myself down. It will be a process and I have a long way to go, but I am learning to cut myself some slack and become happy with myself as a person and not consider my looks my only defining quality. This has helped me work on building my self-confidence which has, in turn, empowered me to work towards my physical goals.

Love yourself enough to get where you want to be.