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My 50+ lbs. ‘Lighter’, Self-Loved, ‘New’ Life Journey!

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

Learning to self-love is actually something really hard, especially when you’re someone who has a low self-esteem. I would know because I’m a first-hand culprit of this. When I was younger, up until basically this year, my self-esteem was so low it probably didn’t even exist. A big part of it was because of the way I looked.

I was kind of overweight, but it wasn’t to the point where my doctors told me that I needed to lose the weight. They always said with my height I had a good BMI. Sadly, what made me have such a negative outlook on myself is what my peers had to say about me during elementary, middle, and high school. When college came around I started to do things for myself like working out, learning how to actually do makeup (not that makeup is always the answer but it made me feel good), just doing things I liked and felt good about.

In the beginning, I was working out because I couldn’t take what my peer’s had to say with their negative comments, looks and attitudes towards me anymore. Looking back, that definitely shouldn’t have been the reason why, but sometimes words do get to you. I started working out my freshman year when one day I looked at the scale, which had 197.5 staring back at me, and I told myself that I will no longer see my weight get any higher.

I will be honest with you, it was hard in the beginning. I didn’t know where to start, what to do and definitely didn’t want to go to the gym because who wants to spend their free time at the gym?! But I had to do something if I ever wanted to see the numbers on the scale go down. So, I did some research. I definitely didn’t want to go on a ‘diet’ per-say, because I love food too much, but I did cut some foods out. I looked at workouts and techniques that seemed to help my body ‘type’ as well.

Here’s some of the things I did and still do that help me keep the numbers down.

1. Cut out all pop items & switch to lemon water

This actually is a big factor to all of my excess weight or ‘chub’ that I had. Pop, or caffeinated, drinks are high in sugar, sodium and caffeine. All which dehydrates your body overtime and sodas don’t have any nutritional aspects in them at all. Switching over to lemon water is great because lemons are good for your body, they’re nutritional and also works as a body cleanser by reducing your appetite and calorie intake. If you like soda, because of its ‘bubbly’ texture, then switch over to soda water with lemon. Soda water has the ‘bubbly’ texture with zero calories.

2. Pre-workout

I was very skeptical about using pre-workout because you hear a lot people having bad reactions like their heart rate speeding up. I still tried it and it was probably the main factor as to why I lost the weight I did in the beginning. It does make your heat beat faster, so I do suggest starting with half of the dosage it tells you to so you can see how it affects your body. It also made my body feel ‘tingly’ but I read that that was a side-affect, I just made sure to watch that while I used it. Pre-workout did make me sweat a lot, which I liked. It also made me want to workout because it gave me the energy to do so.

3. Pinterest

I’m definitely not someone who has time to make a workout plan. If you are, that’s great, but I just don’t have the free time to do so. I relied on Pinterest as to what kind of workout I wanted to do. I was trying to just lose weight, not gain abs and I didn’t have money to buy a program nor did I have the knowledge in working out. This is a free and easy way to have workouts at the tip of your fingers!

4. Running!

I know, I said it, running… I hated it at first too. I was the type where bikes were my work out because you’re sitting and just moving your legs. Running certainty does more work than, in my opinion, any other cardio workout. I read that you should at least have 30 minutes of cardio in your everyday workout. So, I started switching off from running and walking. I also have the incline at .5 because it works your leg muscles more. As I worked on running, in the beginning I was able to make three miles in under the 30 minutes. I was amazed at that result especially because I was that person who always was definitely the last one during the mile in school. I always make sure that I do a minimum of 30 minutes of running before my workouts.

I definitely am not someone who will ever become ‘buff’ or full of noticeable muscles because I just don’t want to have that type of body structure. I don’t think it would look good on me – others, yes. From the four years of working out, with having my ups and downs throughout the process, I can say that I have gained my self-love that I was searching for.

It’s not because I lost all the weight I did with the negative comments people had to say, it’s because I wanted to do it for myself. I just wasn’t happy with what I looked like, how I felt and the negative image I had in my head towards myself. I lost about 50+ Lbs. throughout those four years and yeah, I talk about my weight to people a lot and I post before and after photos on social media a lot, who wouldn’t?! Losing weight is hard in general and when you have lost a lot and others can see the changes it does make me happy so sorry, I’m going to talk about it! FINALLY, being happy with myself in every way, shape or form because now I don’t care how others see me!


It took a long time to get here, definitely didn’t happen over-night, but my result of self-love and being 50+ lbs. ‘lighter’ is something I will take in return for my hard work!

You can find Meghan at the nearest mall dealing with her major shopaholic problem either coming out of a nearby Forever 21 or Pink. Meghan is from the the Northwest Chicago suburbs and is a senior with a Psychology major. She transferred to Illinois State University last year from Roosevelt University in Chicago and has loved every minute here at ISU! Meghan has always had a strong passion for writing and was super excieted when she got accepted in to the Her Campus Womens Magazine at ISU. She can't wait to see what's instore for her for the rest of the year while being a writer, and currently the Events Director, for the HC team!
Mackie Kelleher

Illinois State '21

Mackie Kelleher is a sophomore at Illinois State and is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Writing. In her free time, she loves to watch Netflix, read, and work out. She is a huge Starbucks lover and you can always find her there studying!