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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

As a woman, you feel like you have to be skinny or else society makes you feel worthless. I was always a “bigger girl” and at my highest weight, I found myself at 240 pounds. I never felt like I fit in and I was always made fun of for how I looked. This Jan., I decided that I wanted to lose weight — not for the appearance, but to just feel healthier. Yes, society made me feel that I should be skinnier, and my clothes should be smaller, but I didn’t want to lose weight for anyone but myself. I didn’t even call it losing weight, I called it getting healthier. In these past few months, I’ve lost 70 pounds — I never thought I could do that in my wildest dreams. Before you ask, “What’s your secret?” There is no secret. It’s all about motivation and what you’re willing to do! But I didn’t come here to talk about how I lost it, I’m here to talk about things I learned when losing weight. 

1. You will always compare yourself to other people

I know, no one wants to hear it. It sucks. I don’t want to compare myself to other people, but I do! I see others losing weight and I compare myself to them. Either they lost more faster than me or they look better than I do at my weight — no matter what it is, I compare myself to other women and that is not how it should be! Women support women, no matter what. I try to get myself out of this mindset of comparison and just congratulate others on how far they’ve come. All bodies are different, so no one is going to look the same. My favorite quote right now is “Even if we all dieted and exercise the same we would all have different bodies.” No matter your progress, your pace or your routine, you have done so much hard work and you should be proud of yourself!

2. You’ll have days where you feel like you’ve made zero progress

At around -40 pounds I felt like I hadn’t changed at all. Even now I feel like I haven’t changed sometimes. You feel so caught up in a number that it’s hard to look back and praise yourself at how far you’ve come. I’ve learned to celebrate the little victories. When I could climb sets of stairs without an asthma flare-up, that was a win. When I could touch my toes, win!!! When I could do a single push up (which I haven’t ever been able to do) that was a MAJOR win! Even going to the gym for the first time was the biggest win I have ever had. Taking the first step is something that I am so proud of myself for, and you should be too! It’s not about fitting into that skirt or seeing that number go down — it’s about making yourself proud. 

Pink weights and workout gear
Photo by Elena Kloppenburg from Unsplash

3. You’ll have the hardest time clothes shopping

I was an XXL and a size 18 in pants. Now I’m a ??? and a ??? in pants. It’s so hard to go clothes shopping (especially now when all of the dressing rooms are closed.) I’ve had to donate all of my old clothes because they’re so baggy on me and now I have five new outfits that I switch between because it’s expensive to buy whole new outfits! My mom always tells me, “This is a good problem to have!” but is it? This is something I never expected in weight loss — I always thought I would be able to wear the same clothes! Despite this, I’ve started to give less thought into what I wear because I know that whatever I wear will be amazing (because I’m wearing it!)

4. You learn that you are beautiful no matter what

This was the hardest lesson to learn. This is the hardest lesson for any of us to learn! When people compliment my weight loss, I don’t know what to think. They’ll say, “You look so much better!” But I don’t think that’s true — I’ve always been beautiful. I’ll always be beautiful. This was so hard for me to accept but I’ve learned that my weight does not define me. It will never define me because weight does not define beauty! Every single person is beautiful no matter the size. You are beautiful and if you want to lose weight, do it! If you don’t want to, that’s great too! But if you do decide to lose weight, do it for you, not for others. Do what makes you happy!

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Writer for HerCampus FSU. Senior majoring in English Literature and Theatre with a focus in stage management.
Her Campus at Florida State University.