Starting A New Chapter

21 Aug

So once again, dear readers, I am going to get very real with you. I am going to discuss my deepest darkest insecurity that I have had for just about as long as I can remember–my weight. 

Since I was a little girl I have always felt awful about my body. I compared myself to everyone around me, got used to being the biggest one in my friends group, had to negotiate my love for certain fashion styles because they did not flatter me, & have just had a pretty unhealthy relationship with food. 

All my school years I played sports & in college would even run a different 5k race each semester just for fun. But those cruel voices inside my head never went away no matter how fit I was. I just never felt ‘skinny’ & truly believed this was the puzzle piece missing in my pursuit of complete happiness. I thought that when I was skinny all those voices would go away & my life would finally be fulfilled. 

Looking back on old pictures from high school when I was on the cross country running team, when I was running upwards of 5 miles a day & was a significantly lighter weight I thought, ‘Wow I looked good.” But then I remembered, back then I was also not happy. I still considered myself ‘fat’ & was miserable. 

So I shifted my goal from being skinny to instead being fit. I wanted to climb stairs with ease, carry heavy boxes without breaking a sweat & fuel my body with nutrients that were good for it. 

After studying abroad in Paris in Spring 2012, I came back to USA significantly heavier. I had enjoyed my time abroad, feasting on carbs, wine & cheese. I do not regret it, but when I came home it was time to get back in shape.

I got a personal trainer, Laurie, who changed my life. She was the first person to admire the abilities of my body & praised me for being one of her most dedicated clients. I needed to hear that. I needed to be pushed in the right direction, be held accountable with my daily food journal, & weekly Weigh-In-Wednesday. Eventually after almost 6 months of hard work, I lost all the weight I had gained in Paris & gained so much muscle as well as a newfound confidence.

However, everything was put to the test when I went to Prague. I found a gym & for a while was dedicated about going. I would try to eat as healthy as I could, but let me tell you, the Czechs are not the biggest on healthy cuisine. Luckily I was walking a ton so for a while my weight remained the same.

But then I met Filip.

They say everyone gains weight when they fall in love. & I totally did. You are just so happy. You go out to eat a ton, & become lazy with routine. Filip is blessed with being a naturally skinny boy, so he could afford to eat pizza & chocolate, but my genetics could not be any further from that.

I felt myself losing focus on my goals because I had someone who loved me so much the way that I was. I do credit Filip for being the first boy to ever make me love myself more, however, there needs to be a balance. And as much as I hate to admit it–there was none. 

I forgot everything I had learned from my sessions with Laurie & soon the weight began to pile back on.

I was lazy, gluttonous & worse of all, completely unaccountable. And it lead me into a tailspin. After arriving home, I no longer had anyone making me feel comfortable in my skin so I caved & welcomed those vicious voices of hate back into my life.

I would feel depressed going almost anywhere. Shopping became something I dreaded instead of looked forward to because sizes were all too small on me. I didn’t want to go to pools or beaches because of how repulsive my body felt. I didn’t want to go to family gatherings or see people I hadn’t seen in a while because I felt like my weight gain would be the first thing they noticed. 

These feelings, instead of turning them into motivation as I had previously done, became destructive & I turned to food. It was a lose-lose situation. 

Since June I have felt like a different person. I feel tired & lethargic. I feel bloated & gross. I feel like I am in a completely different skin & I hate it. I don’t want to do anything. I have been skipping gym days left & right & splurging way more than I ever have. 

I have absolutely no inspiration, motivation or determination. I am the heaviest I have ever weighed in my life. I am at rock bottom. 

But then, when I had completely lost hope, fate stepped in.

Last week I got a text that my personal trainer, Laurie, would be visiting Roger Williams University with her daughter for a campus tour. I met with her briefly afterwards & she told me to give her a call if I ever needed her. Then, as if she sensed it, my mom randomly said I could start doing training sessions again.

Now I have an appointment to meet with Laurie for the first time in over a year to get my ass completely kicked. & I can’t wait. She brings out the best in me. She believes in me when no one else does, when I don’t even believe in myself. She is the light of hope at the end of the tunnel. And I need her right now. She is saving my life. 

Today I weighed myself in the gym locker room at RWU & needless to say the number was bigger than I expected. Every inch of me wanted to run away, lock myself in my room, sob & stuff my face with food. 

But I just can’t be that Jessi anymore. 

I can’t keep surrendering in such an unhealthy way & making the problem worse. I am losing all the muscle I worked so hard for, throwing away clothes I used to love that are now too tight, & avoiding every mirror I see–& I am just sick of it. 

I am too young to be living such a destructive lifestyle. So it is time for a lifestyle change. It is time to be accountable again. Time to stop making excuses, caving into cravings, skipping workouts & hiding behind the shadow of the person I used to be. More than that, I just want to be confident in my skin again instead of so, so sad. 

The reason I am writing this here is to kickstart this process. It is not to get attention, whine to you or to make you feel sorry for me. It is to keep me accountable & take you on this journey with me. Now I have to stick to my word or it would be pretty embarrassing if I posted this to all these readers without making a change! 

I also want to point out that you can do this too, dear readers! Whether it is a fitness goal to lose 5 or 50lbs, we can do it together! Give me some tips & pointers, tell me about YOUR stories in the comments! Or just some words of encouragement would be much appreciated! I will do the same. 

It’s not going to be easy, but if it was we wouldn’t appreciate the achievement as much. 

No matter how low you feel, how sad, how hopeless you think a situation is–It is never too late to start a new chapter in your life. 

Now let’s get to work!

JG 🙂 


5 Responses to “Starting A New Chapter”

  1. Courtney Russo August 21, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

    love you girlfriend, you’re beautiful inside & out! tell those voices to stfu or they’ll have me to deal with 🙂

  2. pickledwings August 21, 2014 at 4:04 pm #

    Come back to the Czech Republic! Coming here was the best thing I ever did for my health, the last ten years here have been the healthiest of my adult life.

    Mind you, I have been getting a bit slack with getting out to the pool for the past few months and it’s starting to show.

    Seriously, whatever you do to get back in shape, you have to keep the focus on yourself. You have to do it for your own reasons; not for social pressure, not for relationships, not for anyone else’s comfort.

    Be selfish about your reasons and make your efforts all about you and what you’re comfortable with. If you go in with that frame of mind, it will be easier to stay motivated and it will be easier to identify when you’ve hit your goal and change the focus from losing the weight to maintaining it.

    Good luck, you’ll do fine.

    • jgravesss August 21, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

      Thank you so much! I really am trying to stay focused on personal goals, because in the end, my opinion is the only one that matters.

      I just know I’ve been lazy and unhealthy lately and it’s time to get back on track!

      I will say that for as much smazny syr & kozel cerny I was having in Prague, I gained A LOT more weight when I came home and began eating typical food in USA! Gotta love preservatives :/

  3. Chris Boden August 21, 2014 at 11:30 pm #

    You can do it!! you have the right attitude! Maintenance is hard – harder than losing and it’s easy to slip back into old habits. Commit yourself everyday and take it one day at a time. Fail to plan and plan to fail! I lost 100 lbs four years ago without ever stepping foot into a gym or using any paid programs. helped keep me accountable…and still does in maintaining. Lean on me for support if you need to!

    • jgravesss August 22, 2014 at 12:45 am #

      Thank you! You are so inspirational! It’s so hard not to plateau and lose focus, like I kind of did last time. I will definitely check out that website!

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