My name is Sarah and I live in Northern Michigan with my amazing boyfriend, our three pups and my pet mini pig. I am a nature lover, avid adventurer, sportswoman, amateur chef (or so I like to think), fur momma, girlfriend, and brand new employee to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (my dream job). Right now, my life seems so perfect to me. I am happy, I am healthy, I am loved. However, it wasn't always that way and here is my story of why I decided my life needed to change.
I could start back really far in my life, but I will keep it short and sweet. When I was in middle school, I was a rather large adolescent. Size fifteen is the largest I remember wearing. I was always uncomfortable, I could never wear what was in style, and I always hid under giant hoodies and t-shirts. I remember taking a hip hop dance class with my friends and not doing the recital because the outfit showed our legs and stomach. To be honest, I block out most memories from my middle school days because I hated how uncomfortable with myself I was.
Fast forward to high school, I was still overweight BUT I started back up with swimming (which I had taken a break from in middle school). I quickly lost weight, but still never truly felt comfortable in my own skin. There are very few pictures of me in a bathing suit, unless it was the swim team photos we had to take. My ex boyfriend from high school was so tiny, I am talking I could wrap my arms around his waist and grab my wrists tiny. It felt like a constant comparison between how small he was and how average I was.
Next step in my life, college. Let me tell you, the freshmen 15 was REAL. It was more like the freshman 40. At first, I lost a TON of weight due to emotional stress and a new environment. Not eating for three weeks will do that to you. Thankfully, I had amazing friends who forced me to eat, even if it was only cinnamon toast (you da best Alex). Then came the pizza, the french fries, the late night trips to the infamous cafe, jimmy johns, and BEER. So Much Beer. I packed on weight faster than you could blink. It felt like I was in middle school all over again, that awkward and ugly girl nobody wanted to talk to. I was in a few abusive relationships, either mental or bordering on physical. I was told "I won't love you if you are fat" or "you need to lose weight, nobody likes fat people." Sometimes, I looked at being overweight as a way to hide my emotions. Truthfully, I would stop eating for weeks due to emotions effecting my appetite, followed by binging on pizza and beer. It was a vicious roller coaster ride I thought would never end. When I graduated, at first it wasn't any different than when I was in college. Huge emotional meltdown = huge weight loss. Follow that by a period of extreme happiness and love, and I gained a LOT.
This period of extreme happiness is when Justin entered my life. It was like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, a man who finally treated me as his equal, who loved me unconditionally. I had been trying to eat rather healthy before we started dating, but then I started slacking. I would eat boxed noodle meals, bread in high quantities, and a lot of fried foods. He was amazing and loved me through this time. For once, the weight gain did not negatively effect a relationship of mine.
THIS is when I decided to make a change in my life. I had the love, the support, the happiness I needed to propel myself to where I wanted to be. Now, a lot of people may be thinking "huh, she just wanted to be skinny." That is farthest from the truth, I wanted to feel healthy again. I was winded walking up hills for my job, playing with my dogs, and my blood sugar levels were all over the charts. Physically, and mentally, I needed a change. From the day I decided to make a change, it hasn't been the easiest, but I will never stop pushing forward. I still fail sometimes, but I am always failing forward. I refuse to go back to the girl who was afraid to wear a bathing suit, hid under oversized sweatshirts, and had no confidence.
The most important love to seek is self love. Love yourself, your body and your soul. After
all, we only get one shot at this. It is high time we all make the best of it.