At 6’2, I’ve always been the tallest out of all my friends. I was under the assumption that I was just meant to be plus-sized and there was nothing I could do about it.

Photo Credit: Melody Mae

I dropped out of college in 2015 and started working full time and that’s when the major weight gain set in. I would work until 2am then pick up a burger, fries and a shake on my way home. I don’t even remember what the food I was eating tasted like, because I was just eating everything in sight. I used food as an escape from my anxiety, my depression, from anything I didn’t want to deal with. Looking back, I realize I had a binge eating disorder.

In January 2016 I quit my job and decided I needed to make a change. I never weigh myself, you could say I liked living in a state of denial, but during my annual checkup I forced myself to look down. I was devastated by the number glaring back up at me. My mom and dad have diabetes and I knew if I didn’t do something drastic I would end up with diabetes too. That day was my first day back at the gym.

Photo Credit: Melody Mae

I absolutely hated P.E. in school and never really played any sports. But I had heard so many good things about weightlifting that I decided to try it out. I was instantly hooked and I’ve been lifting weights since day one. If you are having trouble figuring out what kind of program to try, I really recommend checking out videos on YouTube, or searching for fitness accounts on Instagram to get motivation. Even Pinterest has a ton of workout plans available! And if you feel like you need someone to give you a plan, finding a good trainer is a great option!

My week starts off with a rest day on Sunday. It’s a day I relax and let my body heal. Monday, Wednesday and Friday are leg days! I like to target specific muscle groups each day, so Monday is for quads, Wednesday is for glutes and Friday is for hips. Then Tuesday’s and Thursday’s are upper body days. Tuesday is shoulders & chest and Thursday is arms & back. I’ll throw in an ab workout on an upper body day. Then Saturday is reserved for cardio. I have a love/hate relationship with cardio, but then again, who doesn’t! I do some form of cardio every day. I really like walking on the treadmill at a high incline and the stair master is a real challenge.

As far as nutrition goes, there was a video I watched a long time ago and something the woman said has stuck with me, “if you can’t read it, don’t eat it.” I legit read the ingredients on everything and if I can’t pronounce the ingredients I won’t buy it. So stick to natural foods like lean meats, fruits, veggies and complex carbs like sweet potatoes and rice. Carbs are shrouded in a cloud of negativity, but they give you energy and help you through your workouts! And don’t forget about healthy fats, like nuts, cheese and oils. I also have a “cheat meal” once a week. Cheat meals really help your mental state during this journey – you never want to feel like you’re restricting yourself. If you do, you’ll feel like giving up and eat a whole bag of cookies (I know from experience…).

Photo Credit: Melody Mae

Right now, I am 122 pounds down and back in school working on getting my degree. I have so many goals and I’m not planning on slowing down one bit! I’ve still got some weight I want to loose and I’m so excited to see what my body will look like once I’ve reached my goal. Just remember, it’s not all about the scale. Make sure you’re doing this for you. If you’re trying to do this for any other reason you won’t succeed. Make an inspiration board: put up inspirational quotes, put up your before pictures, and write down your goals and when you want to achieve them by. Don’t let your weight define you. I know it’s cliché, but if I can do it, anyone can.

-Melody Mae
Instagram: @the_melody_mae_

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