Why I'm healthier 15 lbs heavier

For a long time I romanticized the way I looked around the time I started dating my husband. When we met, I weighed 113 lbs and I never set foot in the gym. I admit, I did donate to my local gym every month, but I never used the services I was paying for. I wasn’t toned, but I was thin, and at the time, that was all that mattered.

A typical day for me would consist of a muffin and a sugary iced tea for breakfast, a half of a grilled cheese and some over-fried French fries with a Diet Coke for lunch, and some Bagel Bites with another Diet Coke for dinner. Woof. Just so, so bad.

Granted, at this time I had also just turned 25 and I had age on my side, but my metabolism was absolutely awful. I feel like – and this is in no scientific term or basis – that my body was getting zero nutritional value added to it, so it would hold on to dear life whatever I had eaten to try to get any bit of nutrients out of it. So for the complete lack of really ever having a complete meal, it makes sense that I was so thin.

I remember I turned 26, and my husband and I had just moved in to a different apartment, and I put on almost 10 lbs without even realizing it. My diet changed a little bit, but I was still eating complete garbage and not working out. I decided then that I had to do something.

My husband is big into fitness and is in incredible shape (and was then as well) so I started trying to incorporate protein shakes into my day and more veggies. I even tried going to the gym for a few months before I eventually quit. I lost about 5 lbs and was hovering around 118 and could live with it, but I still was doing it completely wrong.

Over the course of the next few years, we slowly weaned out soda, and then fast food, and started adding in more home cooked meals and less baked goods. It became a journey instead of a cold turkey diet. This really worked for us because we both look back on certain foods and think, “How did we ever eat that?” I mean, eating a Five Guys burger with French fries and a Diet Coke, then washing it down with a big box of Nerds, wasn’t exactly a shining moment for me. (True story – I have never felt more full in my entire life. I could barely move off the couch. I remember wanting to just fall asleep so my stomach pain would go away.)

I eventually started back at the gym near the end of 2014, and I have been going ever since. My husband and I actually get up most mornings at 3:45, and are in there by 5. I lift weights with him for about 30 minutes and then do cardio for 30 minutes.

We also went Vegan last Summer, which has been it’s own evolution in itself. We were junk food vegans at the beginning, just so excited about anything that didn’t have any animal products in it. We’ve slowly phased a lot of that out, and are focuses more on non-processed foods and fresh veggies, fruits, beans, and grains.

The revelation of how I really feel about my body has also been a journey in itself. Like I mentioned in my opening lines, I romanticized my 25-year-old body for years. It was my goal to get back to, and I honestly think that my healthy body weight just can never get there again, because when I was at that weight I was so unhealthy.

I was laying on the couch next to my husband a few weeks ago and we were talking about my body. I had said that I still wanted to lose a little more weight. He, being the incredible husband that he is, told me he thinks I’m beautiful now but will support me in whatever healthy choices I make. He actually told me he prefers my body NOW over my body when we met. This was such a huge statement from him for me to hear. A lot of my body issues stem from my own self-consciousness, but a lot of them are me just trying to be more perfect for him. Yet all this time, I actually already was. I’m finally starting to see it.

Right now I weigh about 128 lbs, and I honestly don’t give a shit who knows it. You know why? Because this is the healthiest my body has ever been. I have some bicep muscles, and some definition showing in my back, and when I workout I feel GOOD. I am feeding my body the proper amount of protein. I am working on getting my servings of fruits and veggies up, but it is 300% better than six years ago. I drink more water. I’m actually trying to take care of myself.

Do I still have work to do? Absolutely. I still have those days where I grab my stomach in front of the mirror and think, “Come on! Work with me here!” But I know that my body is in such a better place now, and is thanking me in more ways than I realize. I looked good at 25, but I look great at 31.