The Before

A lot of people that I’ve met recently don’t believe me when I tell them that I was a much larger girl when I was younger. In fact, some have even scoffed when I tell them about this blog and my lifelong struggle with my weight, as if that’s something I would just make up. Do people normally brag about living their teenage years morbidly obese? I guess some people think so.

I’m guessing anyone that has started to follow this blog is doing so for one of three reasons: they are currently on their journey to health and fitness, they are looking for motivation to start their journey, or they have reached their goals and are looking to spread a little knowledge to those of us who struggle with the day-to-day of good health and nutrition. Whomever you are, I decided it was time to lay it all out there for you so you know the true author of these posts and why I’m doing this in the first place.

I plan to actually prepare a short video in the coming weeks which will take you for the full journey – the ups and the downs – and will hopefully give you deeper insight into who I am and why I’ve begun writing this blog. In the meantime, I’d like to show you who I was.

This is me during the beginning of senior year. While I didn't weight myself daily, I would guess that I'm around 195-200 lbs in this photo. On a 5'2" frame, I was pushing a size 20/22.

This is me during the beginning of junior year. While I didn’t weigh myself daily, I would guess that I’m around 195-200 lbs in this photo. On a 5’2″ frame, I was pushing a size 20/22.

I had a serious food addiction in high school. Once my parents deemed me old enough to make my own food choices, I began making all of the wrong ones. I replaced water with Mountain Dew, fruits and veggies with bowls of instant mashed potatoes and butter. Don’t ask me why – I have no clue where the sudden bad habits came from. Both my mother and father were thin, relatively healthy, and preferred wholesome food over junk. My eating habits were an anomaly.

It got worse before it got better; I stress ate in my senior year.

At this point, I was solidly in XXL t-shirts and size 22 jeans. I would guess I was close to 214 in this photo. I could barely fit in the booth at a restaurant; even bus seats were a little snug.

At this point, I was solidly in XXL t-shirts and size 22 jeans. I would guess I was close to 214 in this photo. I could barely fit in the booth at a restaurant; even bus seats were a little snug.

As you can tell, these photos were not very flattering. The thing is, I don’t have many posed photos, as I had such body image issues during this phase of my life, I rarely let someone take a picture. Most photos in high school were candids, primarily because it required someone catching me off guard in order to get a solid shot.

I’m not going to go into detail in this post about the choices I made in high school, both the good and the bad, regarding my nutrition and eating habits. Those are different posts for different days. I did, however, want the world to see that I speak truthfully about my obesity history and that the emotions I plan to share will be genuine and come from my own experiences.

Oh – and one thing to note – you’ll never see a blog post dedicated to “The After.” Why? Because good health is a journey, not a destination.

May I always remain on the journey,

Tori

The first step to facing a problem…

My name is Victoria but everyone calls me Tori. Like most thirty-somethings, I’m a blend of narcissism, insecurity, and optimism. My whole life I’ve wanted to be a writer but I’ve never really known where to start. In 2011, I jumped back into school, majoring in Creative Writing, and it opened a gateway of opportunities for me. Despite this, the creative process has never come easily for me. You see, I love to write but I struggle with inspiration.

The majority of my free time is spent reading, in which I am constantly in awe of the ability of all of these people to create such incredible stories. Five to seven hundred pages of characters, plots, and subplots that they somehow all managed to tie together; how do they DO that?

I’m thirty-three years old and clinging to a dream: I want to publish a novel and I want to change the world with my words. Small aspirations, right? Certainly not too much to ask of myself at this point in my life. Now I just have to think of something to write.

After another one of my many (practically daily) quarter life crises phone calls to my mother in my late 20s, she suggested something so simple, so prolific… I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it on my own. I could barely listen to the rest of our conversation because all I wanted to do was hang up, grab my laptop, and start writing.

“Tori, honey, you need to start by writing something you know. Something that’s a part of you. Something that you consider yourself an expert on. Do you have anything like that?”

Why, yes I do, Mom… yes, I do.

You see, ever since I can remember I have been on some sort of diet. From white rice and water diets to beef and cheese diets, I’ve tried every diet under the sun. Want to know about Atkins? I’m your resident expert. Trying to cut calories? Please allow me to suggest one hundred different low-calorie dessert recipes. Why yes, they are tasty — I’ve tried them all. In large quantities, I might add.

Was there an exact day in my life that I can pinpoint the beginning of my yo-yo dieting? Not sure if I can identify a specific moment but I do recall memories that I’m certain have dramatically shaped my life, some as early as elementary school.

So it began, sometime in middle school I would guess… the calorie counting, fat cutting, carb trimming, cardio-blasting routine that I’d turn on and off like a light switch from childhood through teen years and am now dragging with me as I approach thirty. Some days I wake up with an OCD-like fixation on my diet and exercise regime and other days I couldn’t give a damn one way or another. I cannot recall one day in my adult life where I didn’t worry about what I put into my mouth (or didn’t put into my mouth, for that matter) or how much exercise I needed to do to balance out a binge I had already finished or was about to undertake.

My name is Tori and I’m a yo-yo dieter.

This is my life.

Welcome to the journey.