On the night of September 4, 2017, I had a long talk with myself and said: “Enough is enough, Sahara!” I laid in bed, tear-soaked cheeks, staring at pictures of myself from graduation appearing to be so much larger than my friends, peers and any other version of myself before. I couldn’t help but feel ashamed of how overweight I had become.
Living my best (and biggest) life at Disneyland in May 2017.
Senior year of college was one of the best years ever. I had a great group of friends, my family was all well, my grades were good, I was a fresh 21 year old, I was graduating and I had just gotten accepted into an unbelievable graduate program. Such a fantastic year came with fantastic celebrations, which consequently led to sugar-full, calorie-filled, and carb-loaded outings with friends 24/7. With each outing and celebration came another pound, then another, and another. A donut here, a burrito there, a pizza here, and a few (okay, MANY) midnight runs to Jack In The Box or McDonald’s later, and next thing I knew, it was the end of the year and I had gained well over 30 pounds.
I’ve always been a bigger girl, ever since I was a kid, but I had never been THIS unhealthy in my life! During this time, I was eating out constantly - my diet consisted heavily of carbs and sweets- and I worked out maybe once a week. My biggest cardio was walking from my second-story apartment to campus for class. My body ached constantly and I got winded walking up a single flight of stairs. My clothes were starting to not fit me anymore and when I went to buy new ones, I found myself trying on tops and dresses in size 1x or 2x and pants in size 18. My heart broke a little every time I had to go up a size, but I pushed those feelings away, brushing it off as “just a little weight gain. It’ll be easy to take that off.”
It wasn’t until I felt physically unhealthy and I went to my doctors for a bi-annual check-up in the summer that I realized I was at a clinically unhealthy weight and I needed to get healthy so that I wouldn’t cause myself to have any long-term health problems.
And so my fitness journey began…
Fast Forward to me, on my bed, crying on September 4, 2017. Like any proper millennial, I took to my phone, and typed out a very long, detailed message to myself in the Notes app, detailing the Why, What, and Hows for getting in shape and getting healthy. This night became my turning point in my weightloss journey. Maybe I’ll share that note with you all one day when I’m feeling extra vulnerable, or maybe I’ll just keep that to myself because ultimately, that’s who I’m doing all this for. Myself. And that’s what I want the main point of this introduction to Sahara Sweats to be about.
Okay, now fast forward to today. You’re all reading this blog for one of two reasons. First, you’re a great friend and genuinely support whatever I do (thanks, homie). Or, second, because you too want to make a change in your life and want to either lose weight, be healthier, or a combo of them both. If you’re apart of the latter, then congrats on even considering and recognizing you want to make a change in your life. Acknowledgment can be one of the most difficult parts of making a positive change in your life.
Like I said before, I decided to lose weight for myself. I’ve tried time and time again throughout my life to lose weight and get healthy, but each time I failed. Why did I fail, you ask? I failed because I was never doing it for the right reasons.
When I was in middle school, I wanted to lose weight because I wanted to be able to fit in those cute Abercrombie and Hollister clothes, like all of my tiny, little size 0 and 2 friends flaunted in around the school.
In high school, I wanted to lose weight so I could look pretty enough to fit in a sequin, strapless prom dress and get asked to prom by cute boys.
Then, in college, I wanted to lose weight so I could be more easily accepted by my peers and be able to wear cute bikinis on trips to Huntington Beach with my friends, rather than a one-piece with shorts and a tee to cover up my belly.
Have you caught on to the pattern yet? Each time I tried and failed to lose weight before, I was only doing so for extrinsic reasons that were superficial and honestly, irrelevant. I wasn’t trying to lose weight to be healthy or for myself, I was attempting to lose weight for acceptance, for society’s approval, because I wanted to fit in, and because I wanted validation from my peers, friends, and even strangers, that I was beautiful.
50 pounds down & a year later…
Now, don’t get me wrong, I knew I had beauty and some beautiful features, but I never felt that the rest of the world (outside of my own group of unconditionally supportive friends and family), could look at me and see someone who was undoubtedly, physically beautiful. I could probably go on and on about validation and self-worth, but I’ll save that for another time.
For now, let me just say that the main reason, well above the dieting and exercising, why I have finally found success in losing weight this time around is because I finally decided to this for myself. I did this so I can be the healthiest version of myself. So that I can feel strong and powerful because there is nothing sexier than a strong and powerful woman. I did this because with each workout I feel more capable and confident in myself and I knew that if I could be so disciplined to lose over 50 pounds, there’s absolutely nothing else that I can’t do.
I did and do continue to be healthier every day because I love myself and my body. I do this for me.
So there you have it. It’s only the first post of Sahara Sweats and I’ve already spilled my biggest secret to success!
I guess y’all can go now...BUT I highly suggest you stay and join me on my continuous journey to being the greatest version of myself.
Throughout this leg of my fitness journey, I’ve created Sahara Sweats to help and empower you all to be the healthiest and greatest versions of yourselves. I’ll be adding health and fitness content with workouts, recipes, motivation and more as the journey continues. So, come for the perks, but stay for your personal growth!
Welcome to Sahara Sweats, I look forward to continuing this journey with you all by my side. Until next time, I challenge you to think about what motivates you to want to make a change in your life. I’ve even created this handy infographic to help you along the way! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to be notified firsthand of the latest Sahara Sweats content! Bye!