It has been a long journey to gaining the confidence to post the photo above, but I made it and I found the confidence to post it this year.
Weight gain; one of the hardest things to face mentally and physically and one of the hardest things to lose. Gaining weight can not only hurt you physically but it can also take a toll on you mentally. And that’s what happened to me. Grab a healthy snack, this blog post is going to be a long, vulnerable, and deep one.
It all started during my senior year of high school. I started my senior year a healthy weight of 125-130ish (shown in the photo below).
My Senior year was the most stressful year of high school for me and it took a major toll on my mental and physical health. But I don’t blame school, I blame my birth control.
As seen in the photo above, in high school I had my fair case of acne, just like most teenagers. I was super insecure about it and wanted to get rid of it as fast as I could. I also struggled with extremely painful period cramps so my doctor recommended birth control to me. She told me all of the side effects and at the time I assumed I wouldn’t have to deal with any of them but the two I ended up facing was weight gain and mood swings/mental struggles.
My senior year was a roller coaster do to the pill. I was sad almost all of the time and had very strong mood swings, everything stressed me out (especially the idea of going to college soon). My grades began to suffer and I started to take super long naps. I wasn’t very active and I started to hate my body and slowly started to not like myself very much either. I decided that I didn’t want to go to college because I didn’t believe in myself. Everything I just mentioned is what led to me stress eating, which led me to gaining 10-15 pounds. For the first time ever I was just below the overweight line at the doctors office. Of course this made me even more stressed out.
The first place you saw the weight was my face and then my jeans got too small. I went from a size 4 to a size 8. I needed to turn my life around and that’s when one of my best friends Sara Nichols saved my life (not to be dramatic or anything).
Sara taught me how to love the gym and for the first time ever in my life I was in amazing shape. I started gaining muscle and I became super toned. She introduced me to the amazing youtuber Whitney Simmons and I fell in love with wanting to achieve a healthy lifestyle. I lost a lot of inches and here are my progress photos from my senior year.
I was so proud of myself. I had worked hard but not hard enough. In the above images I lost the weight and inches by only going to the gym, I never changed the way I was eating. So when Sara and I couldn’t go to the gym together anymore and AP Exams and finals crept up on me, I gained it ALL back.
That summer I hid my body under dresses and I hated just about every picture someone took of me. I fell right back into my old habits all the way into college. My freshman year of college is where I put on another 10 pounds. The girl who used to way a healthy weight of 125 pounds now weighed 155 pounds. I went to the gym at my school and started to gain a lot of muscle. I re-fell in love with gym and most importantly weight lifting, kickboxing, and a class called barre. I tried to go to the gym every day, but being in college that was a hard goal and like before I still wasn’t eating right.
My freshman year of college is the year I decided to quit birth control. I was still struggling with my mental happiness and I couldn’t control my eating habits. It’s when I realized how much my birth control was affecting me. Before I started taking the pill I was happier and I had bad eating habits but not as bad as when I started the pill. The withdrawals from quitting sucked but it was a change I needed to make. I don’t regret ever trying the pill to see if it worked for me. Sure I gained weight but I also learned what living a healthy lifestyle meant and how to achieve one.
When you are on your journey to a healthier body, weight is just a number that changes. When you gain muscle you get heavier and when you lose fat you get lighter, but the two go hand in hand a lot of the time so your weight will fluctuate. I now currently weigh around 150, maybe less it’s been awhile since I stepped on the scale. But I know I am so much thinner than I was at 155. I’m not only thinner but I’m stronger and healthier than before and my diet has also had a dramatic change.
When I came home from college, where I ate nothing but junk food and carbs, I came home to a family that changed all of their eating habits. My whole family was now together eating a low carb, healthy fats, veggie and fruit diet. It took awhile for me to adjust to the new eating habits and I’m still adjusting to them but since I’ve been home I dropped from a size 30 in jeans to a size 28. I hope to be back to a size 4 come the end of summer. On the days I’m not working, I’m going to the gym. I miss working out with my girl Sara but we still FaceTime each other and chat about our workouts and eating habits. I honestly don’t know where I would be right now if it wasn’t for her. I am forever grateful for how much she helped me. She never forced me to do anything but she saw a strength in me I didn’t see and she knew how to push me when I thought I couldn’t do something I could actually do.
It’s all about mind over matter.
That’s where my confidence comes from; mind over matter.
I had to learn how to control my mind and listen to my body, my body is healthy. I had to realize that I don’t want to go back to the Marta before senior year. I want to be a new Marta, a stronger one. I don’t want to be a size 4 and lifting 5 pounds, I want to be a size 4 and lifting 10-15 pounds. I want to eat healthier and not say no to fun adventures (such as hiking) because I physically can’t do it. Because I can do it. Sure I’m not where I want to be yet but at least I’m better now than I was before. Even when I was thin I was not healthy and I’m healthier now.
It’s your mind, not the matter.
The matter is you’re healthier even though you may still be bigger than you were.
But it’s your mind telling you it was better then. But it wasn’t. I was not confident when I was 125 pounds. I called myself fat and never took bikini pictures. This time around, when I get to my goal size, I will be so much more confident and happy.
You have to learn to be confident with your progress or else you’ll always think to yourself that you will never get there and you’ll never reach your goal. But I promise you, you will. I still haven’t met mine but I know I will if I keep moving forward. Loving where I’m at doesn’t mean I’m content and satisfied with where I’m at. It doesn’t mean I will get stuck here. It means I love all the changes that have already started to occur and I love how far I’ve come. And I will try to keep loving my progress and my body for the rest of my life. Because the body you have now is the one you’re stuck with and when you learn how to love yourself, it’ll make you so happy. Trust me, I know it’s not an easy thing, I’ve been on my journey for almost two years now. It gets hard at times and I know for others it’s even harder but we can all do it, I believe in every single one of you.
I hope reading this super long story has helped you all learn to love your body at least a little more than you did before. If you aren’t comfortable with leaving a comment my Instagram is @martabean and you can DM and I will gladly chat with you about this topic.
I love you all to the moon and back and you are all so beautiful inside and out.
Love who you are,
xoxo marta bean.