A group of girls had decided to all get together for dinner and drinks on a Saturday night. We made plans to try a new and trendy restaurant in town. As is typical with my fashionista gal pals, one checked in with me via text to find out what outfit I planned on showcasing that evening. "I will be wearing all black as I am mourning the death of my metabolism," I responded.
My entire young adult life, my weight has fluctuated between 123 and 128 pounds. A healthy weight for a 5'5" female who is moderately active. At some point during the last six months, though, my metabolism decided to let off the accelerator and without any real changes in diet or exercise, I found myself weighing in at 135 pounds. I have never been that weight in my entire life, and not a single pair of pants would fit. I don't remember much of a gradual change, I simply remember the day my favorite pair of skinny black jeans could no longer be pulled over my legs and the scale registered a weight I had never seen. I was on the verge of a full-blown emotional breakdown fueled by plummeting self-esteem.
So, Iâ��ve spent the last three months battling these extra 10 pounds that have mostly taken residency on my ass and thighs. I began addressing this issue by trying to watch what I ate, while complaining about it to friends and loved ones. The typical response was to empathize, feed me the compliment I was fishing for, then shrug and change the subject.
That is until I turned to my younger sister who happily fills out her jeans with a rounder butt than the average magazine cover model. She found an image on Pinterest with a quote and showed it to me. "The only thing keeping you from achieving your ideal weight is YOU." It was a wake-up call.
I really never paid much attention to my lifestyle as a young female constantly “on the go” because my health seemed to be on autopilot. I enjoy salads as much as pasta, I feel no guilt indulging in cheese or wine, and every so often I go to yoga or on a walk for exercise. I'm quickly approaching 30, my body is changing, and the scale called my attention to the notion of consciously living a healthy lifestyle.
Body image issues are rampant in females, and I am in no way supporting the notion that we all need to be a size two in order to feel beautiful. I do believe we feel most beautiful simply when we feel our best. For me, that means drinking more water, regularly exercising, reaching for sweets less often, and trying to substitute a heavy lunch with a power juice at least once a week. I am striving to be healthy while still allowing myself the occasional indulgence in pasta or wine and cheese nights.
The result? I now weigh in at 132 pounds, I’m dating someone new who compliments me frequently on my personality as well as character, and wear dresses to play up my femininity when I don't feel like facing the pinch of my jeans. It's a work in progress, but still not a bad start! I encourage you to make healthy lifestyle decisions about diet and exercise, so that the smile in your eyes is reflective of how good you feel inside and out.
Images courtesy of Thewritingrange.com, 3.bp.blogspot.com
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