December 19, 2011: ~160-165 lbs (size 8-10)
January 28, 2012: 150 lbs (size 4-6)
March 7, 2012: 142 lbs (size 2)
21 years old, 5’8
In April 2011, I weighed 138 lbs, lifted heavy weights, ate 2000-2500 calories per day, and was in the best shape of my life. However, a summer of heavy drinking plus hungover eating followed by a semester abroad caused me to gain over 20 pounds.
When I returned from France in December, I weighed over 160 lbs, the largest I had been in years (I don’t know the exact number because I was afraid to weigh myself). I didn’t look like myself or feel like myself. None of my clothes fit so I had almost nothing to wear. I was embarrassed to see my friends or go out in public. My entire sense of identity was shaken, and I didn’t feel like the same person anymore. I couldn’t believe I had done this to myself, and I was terrified that I’d never get my old body back.
But I did. After 5 weeks in the United States, I dropped to 150 lbs—exactly what I weighed when I stepped on the plane to France. And 6 weeks later, I was down to 142 lbs, and all my size 2 clothes fit again. I couldn’t believe it—it felt like a miracle to be given this second chance.
I didn’t lose the weight by crash dieting or crazy amounts of exercise. In fact, I didn’t even track calories or have access to a gym for the first five weeks.
I lost weight because the hard work and investment I put into working out, increasing my calories, and raising my metabolism over a year ago made it incredibly easy to eat at a calorie deficit.
I lost the first 10+ lbs just by eating normally. I lost the next 8 averaging 1500-1800 calories per day. During this process, I did not have to deprive myself at all. I went on vacation. I went out to restaurants. I ate desserts. I drank alcohol. I ate 2500+ calories on some days when I was really hungry. I still lost weight. (You can read my full story here).
I just got done taking about a month of eating at maintenance, when I stopped tracking calories but estimate I averaged around 2500+. I didn’t gain weight. Right now I’m still around 141-143 lbs, but I fit easily into the clothing I wore a year ago at 138, probably due to added muscle mass. I’d still like to lose about 5 pounds, and I’m averaging about 1800-2000 calories to do so.
I never knew how much lifting could pay off. Until it did. And that’s why I’m such an advocate of lifting weights—you’re not just changing your body for the present, you’re investing in your body for the future. So what are you waiting for?