*note to self: stick with blonde hair*
If you follow me at all, I’m sure you are aware that I’ve lost quite a bit of weight within the past few months. The last time I wrote about my weight loss journey was when I had reached the 20 lb mark. Now, I have officially lost 33 lbs! Crazy right? I honestly can’t believe it.
I get a ton of questions about how I lost my weight, and I shared some of that process in How I Lost 20lbs in 2 Months . Now that I have lost 13 more pounds since then and surpassed my goal, I wanted to give everyone an update. I also wrote How I Lost 33 lbs in 4 Months (An Update) which explains exactly how I lost my weight. I talk about my eating habits, workouts, go to motivation quotes, and more. But before I share that, I wanted to share something very personal and tell you how I gained my weight.
You’re probably thinking why do I care how you gained weight, I want to know how you lost it! But I want to share my personal experience because I know I’m not alone. I know that there are tons of people out there who suffer from the same thing, and I’m here to tell you that you can overcome. This is something that I never talk about. It is a time in my life that I try my best to forget, but I felt that it was time to share. If one person reads this and can relate, is helped, or finds some hope then it was totally worth it.
So last year I was engaged. I was in the process of getting married. (I would say I was planning a wedding but the truth is I didn’t plan a single thing. haha). Not only was I getting ready for a wedding, but I was still in pharmacy school, moving, and dealing with a lot of personal/family issues all at once. It was a lot to take on at one time. Honestly, it was too much, and that’s exactly how I felt.
I wish I could say my engagement was wonderful and nothing but sunshine and rainbows but that would be a lie. To be honest, my engagement was miserable. I was miserable. My anxiety was off the charts. I became depressed. I knew I was anxious and I knew I was kind of sad, but I really didn’t realize how real the depression and anxiety were at that time. I won’t go into all the details of everything going on in my life at that time because some things are still just private, but the point is that I felt like I was drowning. It was debilitating.
I missed work because I couldn’t make myself get out of bed. I never went anywhere with friends. All I wanted to do was lay in bed and sleep. I cried myself to sleep nearly every night. When I say it was my lowest point, I mean it. It was so terrible that there were times Derek himself would end up in tears just wanting to help me so bad. But he couldn’t help me. Nobody could at that point (except God).
Right around the time of our wedding I decided to seek medical help. It helped some, but I still wasn’t myself. The medication made me gain weight, but not only did the medicine make me gain weight, I couldn’t stop eating and drinking and sleeping. That’s all I did. I would be awake all night and sleep all day. I knew I was gaining weight, but at that point I really didn’t care. I got to the point where I had cared so much for so long that I went to the total opposite end of the scale and cared about nothing.
I could really go on and on about how dark those days were because they were. They were dark. I lied to myself constantly. Said I was fine. Honestly believed I was fine. But I was no where near fine. I’m very thankful for my family and Derek during this season in my life. They were all so understanding and helpful. I’m truly blessed.
For New Years, my family and I went on a cruise. I had gained so much weight at this point that nothing fit. My mom had bought me new clothing and bathing suits for Christmas just so I could have something to wear on the trip. Bikinis were no longer an option and one pieces still made me uncomfortable. I couldn’t even fully enjoy myself on this trip because I was so disgusted with myself. I knew something had to change, but I still had no motivation.
While I was on the cruise I did a lot of self searching. I learned a lot about myself on this trip. I learned that I was hurt and that I was hurting myself. This trip was a game changer for me. I’m sure my family doesn’t even know that anything happened on that ship, but it did. I knew I wanted to be happy. That’s all I thought about the whole time I was there. I thought about how to be happy. I made lists. “How to be happy: 1. lose weight 2. dress cute like I used to 3. let go of the hurt 4. let go of the people that bring me down……” the list went on. I came home refreshed and determined.
I learned to pray again. (Yes, I said learned. Because that’s really how it felt). I stopped asking God “why” and just started saying “okay”. I returned to school that semester with a new outlook. I worked hard. I studied, and I made great grades. I got involved. I went out and did things! In March, I had an induction ceremony for my sorority. I was huge! I was happier and things were going great, but I was still unhappy with my body. I wanted to take pictures with all of my friends, but couldn’t because I was too disgusted with myself. That night once I got home, I realized that there was only one thing left to do to become the Hannah I once was. I had to lose weight. I had to lose weight for me, myself, and I!
That very next day I signed up with weight watchers and started my journey. I never looked back. I didn’t quit. I knew I had to do this for myself. Now, I am just amazed by my body. The body I once hated and despised. The one I thought was worthless. That same body is awesome. It can do anything! I learned to love myself again. I learned that I can do anything I set my mind to. I learned that goals are achievable.
Through this journey of finding myself again (as cliché as that sounds), I started my boutique and this blog which have both always been something I wanted to do. I gave up my fears and went for it. In just the short amount of time that I have been working my boutique and this blog, there have been so many opportunities. I’ve met new people and been able to work with a few different companies. I honestly expected it all to be a big flop, but it hasn’t at all!
I don’t have it all figured out, and I’m still learning, but I can tell you that I’m better than I was. So, I don’t want people to think I’m saying the only way to be happy is to lose weight because that’s definitely not the point I’m trying to make. But if you are unhappy with yourself, then lose weight for yourself. I’m telling you that I was unhappy with my weight, I was self conscious, I held myself back due to my weight, BUT then I made the choice to change and its the best choice I’ve ever made.