the dreaded “before” pictures.

“Before and after” shots, progress pictures, whatever you choose to call them, have been helping to motivate and inspire many people on a weight-loss journey. They serve as a reminder of the past and ultimately, a celebration of the future. Just earlier today I read an article on my fitness pal’s blog about the positive impact these photos can have.

Today, as I stood in my bathroom, taking those dreaded photographs on my cell phone while still maintaining some bit of modesty (not an easy task…) so they might one day be shareable, I vowed to never have to take these photos again.

This isn’t my first rodeo. These pictures have been taken before. I’ve heard the gasps as friends and family compared side by side photos after I lost some weight. But in the end, I always gained it back.

My denial and laid-back attitude towards diet and exercise always caught up to me. Not this time.

Everything about my life is different now. I’m different. I don’t have any of the excuses I’ve used before. Not one.

  • I have a normal, day-shift job. No more 16-hour night shifts with vending machine dinners.
  • I’m not exhausted every day, getting crappy sleep, and struggling just to fit basic life things into my schedule.
  • I can afford to purchase quality, healthy food.
  • I share most of my meals with my live-in boyfriend (who happens to be an amazing cook), so gone are the excuses of “well I can’t cook a big healthy meal for just me….”.
  • I have a gym membership at a gym I like, that’s open 24 hours a day, and I even have several workouts I can do at home.
  • I’m no longer in an ankle brace or boot, and my only restriction is running.
  • And more importantly, I know I can do it. I did it before, I can certainly do it again.

So today I took those pictures, and I look forward to the day I can share them with you next to those “after” shots.

Bonus motivation: I realized if I lose approximately 1.5 lbs/a week starting now, I can reach my ultimate goal weight (or at least the one I have in my head…) by the time we go on vacation this summer (roughly).

Who I Am & Why I’m Here.

You can call me J.

I’m a twenty-something Registered Nurse, freelance writer, dog mama, bookworm, and professional nerd.

And, I love carbs. And lattes. And wine. And basically everything that contributes to weight gain.

My Story: I personally hate “sob stories.” I don’t want you to feel bad for me because I gained weight or make a ton of excuses. I, myself, got myself in this position. And I’m going to get myself out of it.

I have weight-cycled my entire life. I’ve been up and I’ve been down. I have successfully lost weight and I’ve gained it right back. I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) which makes it harder to lose weight and easier to gain it. But I’m done using it as a crutch.

I’ve started my “weight loss journey” a thousand and one times. But this time is different, because everything else in my life is different. My motivations are different – and they’re real. It’s beyond “I want to look skinny.”

I want to one day have a wedding and wear the dress of my dreams. I want to have a baby, and without sustainable healthy weight loss this may not be possible. I want to feel comfortable in my skin, whatever size that is. I want to wear clothes I find cute and stop avoiding them because I don’t want to “look fat.”

In my previous attempts at weight loss, having a blog focused on this has been crazy beneficial. It helps to have some accountability, to have documented successes (and failures), to share your experiences, and find a network of support – and, hopefully, being that inspiration for others.

Now, for my very first blog post – I’m going to tell you about my big fat cheat meal I’m going to have for dinner tonight. I had dental work done yesterday and can’t chew on one side yet. Every time I have dental work (and I’ve had more than some people have in a lifetime…), I get mac&cheese. It’s my favorite comfort food and I’m going to let myself have it. So tonight, I’m going to indulge and not feel a single bit of guilt.

For the sake of documenting my progress, here are my stats:

Height: 5’2″, HW: 180s lbs., CW: 168 lbs., GW: TBD. (I have a number in my head, but the people in my life tell me I would look like a skeleton so…we’ll see. The goal is health, not asethetics.)