South Beach, Sugar-Free.

267.9 pounds. F*ck.

I had to dust off my scale to take that picture – a clear indication of the denial I’ve been living in. As the numbers flashed on the screen I knew this was a necessary step in my journey. Both literally and figuratively. I’ve been asked a lot over the years (through my many diets) what my goal weight is. I’ve continued to tell people that I really don’t care – I just want to feel healthy. But for me, one just can’t happen without the other. Sure, I don’t know what my ideal weight is because I’m not there yet. But I do know it isn’t 267.9 pounds.

Side note – I want to be very clear that this is not about fat shaming or suggesting that those promoting body positivity should lose weight. I’m inspired by so many women of all sizes. But this is my personal journey and for me to be happy it means shedding these pounds. It’s not purely about the scale but without the scale, it’s only half of the equation of my unhappiness. This weight is literally weighing down every aspect of my life. Physical and emotional. I wish I was happy in this body. It’d be a lot easier if I was.

 >>Insert the sound of a VCR rewinding. If you are too young to know what a VCR is you are probably too young to be reading this blog. >>

I went on my first diet when I was only 11 years old. At 11 years old I knew I was different, I was bigger, I was “fat.” This was long before the days of “fat girl” body creams, waist training belts and all the other crazy options available to today’s youth trying to lose weight. Long before the pressures of Instagram, Facebook and the age of pictures ending up online.

I remember convincing my parents to allow me to follow Weight Watchers. I’m sure I wrote them a letter about why I should be able to do it, I often used writing as a means of persuading them into things. (Some things never change) And even though they told me over and over again that I was beautiful the way I was, they began their own lifelong journey of supporting me to lose weight. My dad understood what I was going through – he too has struggled with his weight. We’ve lost together, gained together and repeated both several times over.

It honestly wasn’t the worst of diets I’ve tried and I went back to their Points program several times well into adulthood. Weight Watchers was never fast enough for me though. It’s designed to help you lose 1-2 lbs/week (a healthy cadence) but for the world’s most impatient of people, I wanted faster. For me, quick loss equaled noticeable results which equaled motivation to keep going.

And so I resorted to other methods of losing weight. Unhealthiest was purging which thankfully I only did a couple of times. I just loved eating too much. After that came low carb, low sugar, low everything it seemed.

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Celebrating my 21st Birthday with my sister and now husband in Las Vegas

And then I did LA Weight Loss. At 21 years old I got down to 133 pounds and felt incredible. Not because I was skinny, not because I could finally wear a bikini or the clothes I’d always dreamed of but because I felt good in my skin. Because I could hop out of bed in the morning with so much energy, ready to seize the day. Because unlike any other point in my life I didn’t have to worry about my weight holding me back from doing the things I loved.

After a short-lived year at my “goal weight” (let’s just say I don’t expect to be 133 pounds again, nor do I feel I need to) I graduated university, got my first real job, moved in with my boyfriend (now husband) and became “too busy” to take care of myself. I wasn’t necessarily eating poorly, that’s a lie, I was eating whatever I damn well felt like. And I certainly was no longer following the strict regimen of my successful diet. LA Weight Loss was my quick fix. I lost 60 pounds in 3 months. Amazing? Yes. Sustainable? No.

>>Fast forward to current day. Be patient, VCRs are slow AF. Insert starting new career. Insert getting married. Insert having two babies. Insert VCR sound still fastforwarding. Ok we’ve arrived.>>

Current day. Day zero. Or actually, if we start from 11 this is day 6935 (approximately, of course, I’ve never been great at math). The reality is I’ve been at this “diet” game for 19 years, more than half of my life. I’m hopeful though that I’ve learned enough to do this right. And so I’m learning. Learning how to fuel my body with healthy foods. Learning how to move my body in its current state (so as to avoid injury as I’m prone to hurting myself) and learning how to make this a lifestyle change more than a diet. This is the last time you’ll ever see that awful word, diet, in this blog. Diets and I have called it quits.

No longer will I let my weight hold me captive. No longer will I settle for feeling tired and uncomfortable all the time. No longer will I follow some ridiculous low anything plan. F*ck you 267.9lbs. You better watch it, I’m coming for you and you are going DOWN.


Title Lyrics – “Pretty Hurts” by Beyoncé

19 thoughts on “South Beach, Sugar-Free.

  1. Hi Danielle. Thanks so much for being so open and sharing your story. Although I have landed in the same place you are currently at, my road to get here is very different. I was a slim and fit young woman my entire life until I got into my 40’s. Couldn’t gain a pound if I tried. Then again, I was very active in dance and sports. In my 40’s I had a great but very demanding job, 2 children who played sports that took us all over Ontario and was very involved in committees and activities at the kids’ school. So basically I made no time for myself, didn’t eat wisely and my physical activity went down to zero.

    I too have done the Jenny Craig and various other “diets” over the last 20 odd years and lost a tremendous amount of weight on a few occasions. Of course, the weight loss was not sustainable using those methods and I put it all back on. Although I consider myself knowledgeable about food and nutrition, the hardest part is putting it into motion. 4 years ago I used this knowledge and didn’t diet but rather made healthy choices while decreasing my carbs and sugar and increasing my protein and fiber. It worked and I easily lost 60 lbs. Guess what though … I stopped taking the time and effort needed to accomplish this and, once again, gained all of my weight back 😦

    Now I am going to follow your blog and use your courageous journey to inspire me to return to healthy living and feel better again. Thanks for listening Danielle and good luck!

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    1. I think it’s something we’re all capable of, but like you said it’s making the time. As women we tend to exert all our energy on everyone else and leave ourselves for last. This is our time Sherrie! I’ll be cheering you on as well xoxo

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  2. I remember your struggles, love. I came into your room many nights to find you crying. It broke my heart to see my beautiful sweet girl be so hard on herself. I never thought of putting you on a diet, though. You were a child for God’s sake! Yes, you loved food. We all did! Growing up Italian, everything revolves around food! Lots of it !! The older generation with their encouraging “Mangia! Mangia!! (Eat!! Eat!!), didn’t help! …But, I honestly thought that if we surrounded you with love and reminded you of how beautiful inside and out you are, that you would soon be comfortable in your own skin. Your contagious, beautiful smile was sometimes a mask, I would later learn…
    But if I’m being honest, as honest as you are, we all had some weight issues in our house. It was a roller coaster ride at times. Maybe we all talked about not being happy with our bodies too often ? But as a mom, your mom, I can’t help feeling the need to be accountable for any influencers while you were growing up. ….”Did I not cook healthy enough, (was there too much pasta)?? Was I a push over?…not strong enough?.,,In denial?…or that dirty word…an “enabler” ? All I know is that I didn’t want to hurt you or want you to have a negative body image. Despite that, here you are, in true form, not blaming anyone, …fighting for yourself, your family and any of us who care enough about ourselves to do something! I’m in, all in, hon. I’ve gained 50 lbs since my GBS trauma, and I’m on my journey with you to lose it!
    ❤️ ❤️❤️ Always, mom😘🤗🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️

    – [ ]

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    1. Spoken like a true, loving mom. We have all done some serious reflecting to try and figure it all out when it comes to our kids. You have a beautiful daughter Lola and I can see where she gets it from 😊

      Sherrie

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    2. Oh mama, you always “get” me. I am the woman I am, the one putting this personal journey out into the world, because of you. Because you loved me unconditionally. Because you wiped away my tears and reminded me that I am beautiful and always have been. The only thing you’ve ever “enabled” me to do is to be myself. And for that, I will be forever grateful. ❤

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      1. I hope you remember that it’s because you are yourself that you are loved.
        Your words touch my heart ❤️ Bella 😍😘

        Like

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