My name is Jillian, I am 24 and live in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. I grew up in Connecticut and moved to Texas two years ago.
I moved here for a boy and we were supposed to get married. But things went awry and we parted ways in a very bitter breakup. But out of my sadness I found the absolute LOVE of my life. We moved in together and started our life. With his two cats:
We adopted our deaf dog, Blue, in September of 2009.
I have never had a healthy relationship with food… In high school I was super skinny and thought I was fat. I hardly ate anything all day and then I would eat a bag of Doritos. I was moderately active through my teen years, I took riding lessons once a week, and I would eat “light” all week and then eat a good dinner before I rode so I would have plenty of energy. But I never worked out, and I wasn’t healthy by any means.
At my thinnest: Junior Prom (2003)
I started partying a bit the summer before I left for college after a bad breakup from my high school boyfriend. I rebelled. I gained about 10 pounds.
Summer before my Freshman Year of College (2004)
Having always had a poor body image it didn’t help when I went away to college and easily packed on the freshman 15 to my already thicker frame. Drinking heavily my freshman year and eating poor microwavable food did nothing for me.
I moved out of the dorms and got an apartment with my friends for my sophomore year, I stopped drinking as much and worked long hours to pay for my apartment and I dropped some of the weight… But I didn’t see it. And my unhealthy relationship with food resurfaced. I would eat as little as possible and eat one decent sized meal a day. I wasn’t anorexic or bulimic… but I was jealous of the girls who could control their eating. I hated that I couldn’t keep myself from eating. I hated food. It made me fat. I worked out a little bit here or there but nothing consistent. And I could never get that extra 10lbs off. I concentrated on every 1/2 lb that I gained or lost. I would get depressed that the weight wasn’t coming off and binge. Domino’s was my favorite, HELLO medium pizza and breadsticks that I would eat in one sitting! Then be depressed about it and lock myself in my room for days. It wasn’t healthy!
I “fell in love” with a boy I met over the internet, we talked for three years before I went to visit him. We visited each other a few times and got engaged. I graduated college and high tailed it out of New England to set out on my “new life”. This was a fresh start, no one knew me. I was engaged. I was an adult.
RIIIGHT. The relationship went bad, I got even more depressed than I was to start with and on top of that I was now homesick. And alone. I met the love of my life while I was still with my ex in our very rocky relationship. He quickly became my best friend and my rock he gave me hope and made me realize that I had worth and I deserved to be happy. My relationship with my ex quickly ended in shambles and The Boy was there to help me pick up the pieces, with no pressure to start anything, he was there as my friend. That didn’t last, what we had was too real to deny. We quickly started a relationship and moved in together.
But with my new found happiness, so did a lot of dinners out… lots of steak and burgers and late night drinking sprees. And with that I packed on 15 more pounds over the course of 8 months! My clothes no longer fit and I didn’t feel attractive AT ALL. I tried various diets like I have in the past. I tried frozen weight watchers food, the raw food diet, eating as little as possible. None of it worked, I would eat better for a week then have one bad night and give up. I gained another 5 pounds.
I saw pictures of myself over Christmas visiting my family and I was MORTIFIED. I looked terrible. I didn’t even look happy. I looked uncomfortable and sick. I didn’t know how to dress this new body. I had no clothes! I refused to buy new clothes for the longest time because I didn’t want it to feel OK to be the size I was. But I couldn’t get the motivation to DO anything about it. I stopped seeing myself as fat. My subconscious knew I couldn’t handle the way I looked, but I couldn’t deny it when I saw pictures.
March marked my 24th birthday, and I broke down and bought new pants. It was miserable and I hated my new shape. I talked to My Sister and she made me realize that I wasn’t alone and that food shouldn’t be the enemy. Laziness is. And it shouldn’t be about “being skinny” or having the flattest stomach in the world… It shouldn’t matter what the scale says it matters HOW YOU FEEL.
And that’s when I decided to ditch the scale and get healthy. I started walking the dog more regularly and started running little by little. I started eating better and cutting down my meat and dairy intake. I eat more fruit and veggies and order salads instead of fries. I no longer HATE food… I LOVE FOOD, and I feel better. It was a really slow start, it took a long time to get my motivation up to be able to get out and run 4 times a week. I’m still working on getting my body moving more and doing strength workouts and more and more cardio… But I’ll get there, I have the rest of my life to get it right. The point is that I’m being PROACTIVE and making small changes that WILL last a lifetime.
It’s been about two months that I’ve seriously stepped up my game and started running more consistently. It’s still a struggle and I’m far from healthy. But I am setting out to reshape my life, to get healthy, ditch the scale, and be the best me I can be.
This is my journey.