So it finally happened. The moment of cold, hard truth. Could I pull it off wearing my first Herve Leger dress without looking like a red hot stuffed sausage?
Before I tell you… you have to understand that once upon a time I resigned to the fact that I probably could never wear a tight dress again. Tipping the scales at over 200lbs, I was all about finding A line, stretchy and flowy tunics over leggings or flouncy, poofy skirts to hide my bulging belly. Spanx were a must even for a flowy dress in order to smooth out the bulges. I cannot tell you how many times people would stop me to congratulate me on my pregnancy. That was my favorite question. “When are you expecting?” “Oh, haha I’m not. I’m just a fat ass.” Ughhh!!!
To back things up even further, all my growing years and through college, I was highly involved in sports which honestly when I was playing 5 games a day on the weekends and working out 3-4 hours daily with a young body and metabolism I could pretty pork out on whatever I wanted and burn it right off!
After college, I entered the work force. Sitting at a desk for long hours yet continuing to eat whatever I wanted slowly but surely caught up to me. I think many athlete-turned-workers encounter this issue and balloon up once their sports career is over. The weight gain was slow and stealthy… seemed to just creep up out of no where. Until before you know it, I was waddling instead of walking. Out of breath after one small flight of stairs. Buying plus sized and flowy clothes. Hiding behind other people in pictures. Eventually my body revolted and I ended up having all kinds of health issues eventually landing me in the hospital and having gall bladder removal surgery. Ugh this was not the kind of life I imagined! I needed to be healthy again and completely change my life.
My weight loss/fitness journey began in March 2015.
Before starting, I thought to myself, “OK I need to just give up my love for food and anything delicious.” But how wrong I was. I consulted a physical trainer on how to get started and after that picked it up on my own. At first yes, going cold turkey on pizza, donuts and other comfort foods was stressful to say the least. The cravings were horrible. It was like a little whiney piglet was screaming in my head saying “But but I WANT IT!!! I WANT IT NOWWW!!!!!” I had to write down everything I ate and how I felt about it. I cried, pouted, threw tantrums, and thought hateful things about my trainer. But I did not give in. Not even once for the first three months. It was the first time I “dieted” and yet I thought to myself, if I don’t follow her plan, why did I just waste this money to hire her?
But after the first month of hell, it got easier little by little. Turns out there WERE in fact things I could stomach that were healthy like cucumbers, apples with almond butter, salmon, yummy frozen protein shakes, steak salads, Crunch protein bars, low sodium tuna packs, egg white frittatas, and vegetable with cheese on it. I am still discovering new foods and recipes to try that are relatively healthy for me to this day, and hope I will always be.
Finding the compromise and balance between total deprivation and total indulgence was the most difficult part and it took much trial and error. I learned the difference between Emotional and Physical Hunger, how to meal prep a balanced day and what kind of proportions to use, even the difference between the best and worst types of fruits and veggies (see photos below). As you will I am sure read from many sources, weight loss is at least 70% diet. Below I am posting some basic charts on Emotional Hunger and Food choices for weight loss as a reference tool.
For cardio, all I did was walk or hike whenever my schedule would allow. At the gym on week days I would wake up at 4am so I could just walk for an hour, then get home and ready for work. I am NOT a morning person but I had to do this because my work hours were so long I was too exhausted by the end of the day. On weekends, my mom would take me hiking. I remember could barely make it up the first incline on Fryman Cyn. It was really hard, but I went slow, and little but little it became easier. Over time, the fat started melting away and every now and then I would need a new pair of jeans when the old ones started falling off again. What a great feeling!
Here I’m posting my progression photos from last year here to show that once I decided to really focus on my food choices amazing things happened. I still have my binge days and cheated now and then, but I also learned to forgive myself and move on to the next day afterwards. In the progression pictures, the last black dress is a size Small and fits me. Granted, it’s a stretch knit material so it was forgiving, but I used to be at least an XXL!
I now know that if I want the scale to move lower, it’s all about food choices (and a little cardio). If I want to actually get smaller and more toned, this is strength training/weights/resistance, etc.. Which finally brings me back to the red Herve Leger dress I bought a while ago as inspiration to fit into and fill out properly. I cannot tell you how proud I am, what an amazing moment it was to step out of the bathroom and see my best friend’s eyes widen with approval. I did it! Here I am… along with some progression pictures so you can see the difference between what just dieting/cardio did to my body and what added strength training did. In the long black dress I am lean and slender, and in my red HL dress I got my curves back. 🙂
After all the time, meal prepping, self discipline, workouts and dedication to getting healthy the past two years, seeing myself in this red dress is just an unbelievable feeling. I wore it with some open toed blush Sam Edelman sandals that acted as nude against my skin color. That is ME! I DID IT!!!! It’s really me! I cannot even believe it but it’s true. We danced the night away and I couldn’t have felt happier or more confident in a dress that 2 years ago I would have never even dreamed of fitting into. This is proof that if I focus long enough, stay consistent and not allow excuses to derail my progress, I can meet my goals… Even my Herve Leger goals!!!