The Path to Now, Part 1

I’ve been trying to post about this for a few weeks now, but I just haven’t been able to get the words out of my head and onto the screen.

Did you know that this week is End Fat Talk Week? I thought this would be the perfect time, so I’ve been working and writing the past few days to get this out.

Some things have changed for me in the past few months, especially the past few weeks, and I’m excited to share.

I just had no clue how to write these posts. I didn’t know where to start.

But when Lynne posed a question related to this on my Burning Questions post, I knew I had to just start writing.

How about a little background?

Once upon a time, there was a girl who went to college. She came from a family that is mixed in their body shapes and sizes (as most families are), but she had always been pretty thin and active.

Her first year and most of her second year of school went by great – no “freshman 15” to speak of. She wasn’t as active as in high school, and eventually, that along with the bad student center/caf food began causing her some issues.

Um…and she, ahem…I, apparently didn’t get the memo that eating lots of candy and fast food and drinking Cherry Coke like it was my job wasn’t a healthy way to eat.

About halfway through my sophomore year, I gained a good amount of weight. I never got the freshman 15, but I’m pretty sure I had the sophomore 30. I honestly don’t know exactly how much it was because I didn’t own a scale and wouldn’t get on one even if I had. I knew that I had gained, but I didn’t realize how much or how fast I had put it on.

I really was completely shocked with myself.

I had never been overweight.

Never once had a problem with it before in my entire life, never had to think about it.

And here I was…sitting on the floor in my dorm room staring at stretch marks on my thighs, seriously wondering what they were. I had no clue – but they were there because I had gained so much, so fast.


This is the only picture I have from this semester. I don’t know how much I weighed at this point, but I do know that I gained more between this picture (taken on Thanksgiving break while my parents were renewing their vows) and Christmas break (just a few weeks later) when I was back home.

I finally broke down during that Christmas break. I still feel bad for my mom after this trip. We were out shopping, as we normally do, and I couldn’t take it anymore.

I was so frustrated that I wasn’t taking care of myself, so mad that I couldn’t find any clothes that fit me…I probably acted like a big baby, but I started crying in the dressing room that day.

I wasn’t myself anymore. Not just in my size or the way I looked. I didn’t treat myself the way I should have been. I wasn’t proud of myself.

At this point, it was all superficial, but all of my thoughts toward myself were negative. And when you have that much “fat talk” going on, it’s hard to get out of it and start thinking positively again.

Christmas break ended, and I headed back to school with a new haircut and some goals.

Only those goals somehow became unhealthy obsessions for me.

I tried so hard during the week to eat “good” and “low calories” that I ended up getting into this crazy cycle of eating great during the week and eating crap on the weekends.

Really – could someone have told me that this wouldn’t work? I know I wasn’t eating enough during the week to fuel myself, and that junk I was eating on the weekends wasn’t helping either. Why is it so easy for bad habits to show up in our lives?

I started working out with a roommate, which probably helped keep that extra “weekend junk” weight from layering on, but my mind still wasn’t in the right place. Every weekend that this happened, I just beat myself up about it. I pretty much convinced myself that I couldn’t do anything right – that maybe this was just how it was going to be for me from now on.

Enter Atkins phase.

Are you still with me? :)

My dad had done Atkins for a few months and lost a good amount of weight, so a friend and I decided to try it for a few weeks. I don’t think I really lost anything, and I got tired of the food pretty quickly.

Another fail.

But that summer started to change everything.


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  1. Great post! I think a lot of us have a story to share on this topic – the path to now. I’m looking forward to the next installment :) I love stories with a happy ending!

  2. I don’t think I got that memo either that all that dorm food, late night eating, and junk food would make me gain that freshman 15 plus!

  3. I’m not happy you had these ups and downs but it makes me feel normal that others have the same issues. Its a great window into where you are now.

  4. I have a feeling this story is going to have a very happy ending!! I think everyone goes through some struggle with happy balances in their courageous of you to share! :-)

  5. Thanks for sharing this, Brandi. I know that others out there are going to learn and relate to your experiences – it takes a lot to get these things out, and I’m glad you’re doing this. I look forward to reading the next part and learning more about your life journey.

  6. Thank you for sharing your story. I can relate to so much of it… Can’t wait to read the next part!

  7. Thanks for sharing, Bran! Can’t wait to read the rest!!

  8. oh brandi…i cannot wait to read more! i can definitely relate to the cycle of eating healthy, eating junk then beating yourself up over it. i went through this all the time, and am so glad to have finally shaken that habit.

    love you girl!!!

  9. I really enjoyed reading this part of your story!

  10. Hi Brandi,

    I can totally relate.
    You were still beautiful in that picture!
    And your oatmeal banana split for breakfast on Saturday

  11. When I was 15 my mother made me do Atkins because she was convinced I would never lead a successful life with those extra 20 pounds (it was only 5 pounds over a healthy BMI, but tell that to a woman from Singapore who weighs 115). It literally made me ill–I’ve never touched bacon since–and started the same unhealthy self-bashing spiral you’re talking about.

    It took me five years to find my happy place again; I look forward to reading about yours!

  12. Great post:) Glad you were able to get the words out to make it!

  13. Aww, thanks for sharing your story. I’m rooting for a happy ending ;)

  14. I look forward to reading the next part! Thanks for sharing this with us Brandi!

  15. Thank you for sharing this much of your story do far. i don’t think I ever would have guessed any of this from where you are now and I’m intrigued what else helped you find your healthy point

  16. Hey lady, I loved reading this and I’m looking forward to more. I went through a very similar phase my third year at university when I moved to Texas so I can really relate to this. thanks for putting your story out there!

  17. That was a great post–sometimes it’s hard to find the right words but you definitely did it!

    I went through a similar phase and had my own little breakdown when I finally realized how much my body had changed.

    Thanks for sharing!

  18. This is great. I feel like it’s so freeing to share your story. Can’t wait to hear the rest :)

  19. hey girl! just catching up from your posts over the weekend~all SIX! busy blogging bee! hope you had fun watching the football games, i actually had to watch a few but i spent most of the time playing bejeweled on the boyf’s phone instead of looking at the TV :P i LOVE LOVEEE the almond split. drooling. and this post is awesome. it is so fun to hear where you have come from. i had no idea it was end fat talk week! i wish i knew because a woman who waits on us every monday was going ON to me about how fat she feels right now.. and she is 110 lbs! it would have been a good thing to say to her! i have had my fair share of dressing room breakdowns. and you left us on a cliffhanger! i cant wait to hear part 2. hope your monday is going well, XO!!!!

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  21. Brandi:
    Thanks for sharing so much of yourself with us :)

    It is good to see where you’ve been, and compared to where you are now with your healthy eating, well it’s simply amazing!

    You are a healthy inspiration. Keep up the good work.

  22. Very interesting post. It’s nice to know a little bit more about you and how you got here. :)
    Thank you for sharing, dear.

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  24. Thank you for sharing! It takes guts to reveal yourself and to be so open. I really enjoyed reading your post and can’t wait to read more. We are ALL human and we will never be ‘perfect’ (if there is such a thing). What’s important is that we learn as live our lives and learn to love ourselves no matter what we look like. Thank you again for sharing, Brandi!

  25. I loved reading the first part of your story! I think we all have unique stories to share, but most of us can relate in some way and can even learn things from one another. You seem so grounded and happy with your eating now – I can’t wait to hear the rest of your story. :-)

  26. I really liked reading this. I feel like most of us bloggers have similar experiences :)

  27. I think you still look beautiful in that picture, but I completely understand what you were feeling. I’ve had that weight that just seemed to show up out of nowhere. And, like you it took me forever to understand how to truly go about losing it.

    Can’t wait to read the rest :)

  28. Love the post!!! But man, why didn’t anyone tell me how ridiculous my hair looked then…geez…and that’s a point in my weight that I would love to get back to!!! Slowly but surely….

  29. Thank you so much for sharing this. I look forward to reading the future installments.

  30. Pingback: The Path to Now, Part 2 «

  31. Pingback: The Path to Now, Part 3 «

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