For my entire life I’ve always had a bit of flab on my stomach, and for a while, I was okay with it. Once I got into middle school, I started noticing that a lot of the other girls had perfect skinny bodies, and it made me feel left out, but I never did much to change it. I had a few friends that were in the same boat as me, we all felt uncomfortable in our bodies and we were constantly saying we wanted to “get in shape” yet we never did.
This year, I applied for a semester abroad in Japan for the first half of my junior year of high school, and I was thrilled when I got in! Learning Japanese is my favorite thing to do besides my other passion, acting. I just recently returned from a 4 week acting camp in LA, and it was magical. The not-so-magical part was that I gained weight from eating so poorly, and I was constantly tired at the camp, so it prevented me from having as good of a time as I had hoped I would.
When I returned home, I decided that it is time to finally stop giving up and change my eating habits to healthier ones and finally get the body I’ve always wanted. Making this fitness Tumblr has been one of the most helpful things ever! I can constantly turn to my followers if I need help, and looking at pictures of healthy, happy people motivates me so much.
I want to change my life and return back to my school in America in February in the best shape I’ve ever been in! I am determined to make a difference for myself and help any of the people I follow/who follow me if they need it!
Hello, my name is Brittany McCall and first of all, I LOVE your blog(brownie points please). Okay so my journey:
Growing up I was always a thin kid, I was active and healthy and happy. I was young so i didn’t care if what I ate was healthy or not, I just ate it and my metabolism burned it off for me. Once I hit puberty everything changed. I gained weight and ate very unhealthily….bags of pizza rolls, buttered noodles, hot dogs, and everything else unhealthy. Then one day I looked in the mirror and realized wow….I’m fat. I asked my little brother and he agreed. That was the moment I decided that I had to loose weight.
I had no idea how to go about it but track season was starting so I was happy I would be getting exercise in. I started eating a lot more healthful foods and paying more attention to my calories. My goal was to be 103lbs, a healthy weight for 5’2”. When I finally saw that number on the scale I was please but thought, “I like the feeling when I see that number go down.” I also realized my running times were getting better. My weight loss then became unhealthy. I was cutting calories where ever I could and exersizing excessively. At one point I was eating as little as 300 calories a day while running 5-9 miles, lifting, and doing ab exersizes almost everyday. Needless to say I got extremely thin. I weighed 90lbs and wanted to loose more. I wanted to see 80 something on the scale so bad but my life got flipped upsidedown. My mom called an eating disorder specialist and made me an appointment, she hid my ab workout disk and told me I had to stop loosing weight or I would have to quit running. I was scared but didn’t actually think she would make me quit. So I went for my appointment with the nutritionist first and she told me I would have to start eating over 2,000 calories a day. This number scared the hell out of me and I didn’t believe her telling me that was healthy. She didn’t make me stop running though, so I didn’t care. I thought that I could get away with still eating barely anything and they would never know. After a week of “eating more” I had my appoinment with the therapist. She told me and my mom that I was extremely unhealthy and could die if I continued down the path I was headed. I didn’t believe her. She then told me that I would have to give up all exersize until I reached a healthier weight. At that point I burst into tears thinking, “What has my life come to,”“I just have no reason to live anymore.” Running had become a huge part of me and it was the middle of track season(a full year had gone by). This was a very dark part of my life but it made me get serious. I started eating more. I would eat thinking,”If I gain the weight, I can just loose it again once they get off my back.” Obviously, I still had disordered thinking. I got back into riding my horse and did that almost everyday to keep busy. Then, I was laying in bed one night and thought,”What am I doing to myself, this is wrong, lord please help me be healthy.” From that point on my life was changed. I started eating more to be healthy rather than to just be able to run. My goal was to be at 100 lbs by summer. I didn’t make it. I never thought I would be so upset about not gaining weight but it crushed me. The next week I went in and finally hit that mark though. They let me start exersizing!! I was thrilled. I could be healthy and get in shape finally and I would have the summer to train for cross country! That was last summer and for the past year I have worked so hard to stay healthy and fit. There have been times when I see weight loss and feel that little glimmer of happiness but then I remember my goal is to stay healthy. It wasn’t easy but I managed to stay healthy all year and had an awesome cross country season and an even better track season. I know now how my body works and love fueling it and working my ass off as well. I am now training to tryout for Ohio State’s xc team and can not wait for the season! I am running faster and farther than ever and loving pushing myself and seeing what I can do.
It hasn’t been an easy journey but I am in a good place now. I am heappy and healthy but there is always more to learn. I want to enhance my health in every way I can and would love your help.
Sorry this was so long…first time I’ve told the whole story and it felt good….thanks for listening.
There are a couple of parts to my struggle, but I’d have to say that it started with me getting diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder in 7th grade. I’ve battled illness and issues for years and although I loved to do sports (cross-country and fencing) I never really got completely healthy. Then in college, it was even harder to be healthy because I was on meal plan (thankfully no longer), I was fighting depression, and I go to an art school that at the time had no sports or fitness programs. I really decided that I couldn’t take it anymore this January when I started getting really sick to the point where my work would suffer. I’d get so dizzy and faint that It’d take all my concentration not to just black out in class. I remember crying in embarrassment one day where the teacher made me leave early (we can’t miss more than one class so it was a big deal). I couldn’t take medication for the issue because I’ve had bad side effects before and they make me almost sicker.
The absolute final straw for me was when I started having problems with food. Things that I used to be able to eat suddenly were making me sick, apparently I was now gluten and dairy intolerant (not sure to what degree yet). I also had to avoid caffeine because it made me dizzy. It was a huge struggle for a while, trying to figure out what to eat and getting my body to not be addicted to those foods anymore. It took a while but its about 6 months later and it’s made such a difference! I have found foods I can eat, I learned to make my own meals and only buy organic foods (I’m also chemical sensitive). My favorite thing about it is I finally have energy again. I’ve been working out and I got my stomach flat and toned for the first time of my life. I think what I struggle with now is the fact its hard to find people around me who will eat healthy or exercise. Most of my friends live off of soda , and pizza and it doesn’t help we spend all our time on the computer (digital artists). But I’m determined to take life in my own hands, I still get sick sometimes, but I’m getting better and I know that if I keep working hard, eventually I wont have to worry so much.
I’ve found that for me, Tumblr and Fitocracy have been the most helpful sources of inspiration when I can find none at home. (Thanks for that new food blog especially!) I feel like that although the hardest step towards fitness is the first one, staying on track can be almost as difficult, so surrounding oneself with positive motivation is key.
Thanks, and sorry for rambling. : )
My biggest struggle with living a healthy lifestyle is definitely learning to listen to my body and what it wants. I’ve really had a hard time in the past with binging, purging and then starving myself as punishment. Basically I just got myself in this vicious cycle that lead me to gain back a lot of what I had lost and was incredibly hard to break. I’ve come a long way, but its still hard a lot of the time to know when to stop eating, or even when to start. I’ve derived a few strategies for myself to make it easier, like if I’m still craving something after waiting 20 minutes then I’ll have it, but chances are I won’t want it anymore. Still, I think this book would really be good for me and from what I’ve read on your blog about it, it really targets my problems exactly. I actually logged on today buy a copy of this book when I saw your competition and I was like OHEMGEE ITS FATE. haha.
I don’t have a dramatic story. Actually my story isn’t too different from yours (Molly). I started my tumblr in the beginning of my freshmen year of college. It was a collection of random photos, posts, reblogs, and random strings of my thoughts. As I got deeper and deeper into the world of tumblr I found MatchStickMolly. I think it was the first weight-loss blog I had ever found and this was in January 2011, I believe. When I saw the page, I followed and did not think much of it. I started to find other weight-loss blogs, however, unlike MatchStickMolly, they were more geared towards eating disorders. Now, I have had one person very close to my family sent in and out of rehab for anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. I’ve seen how it’s ruined her family, my family, and various close friends. I’ve seen her struggle, deteriorate, and begin to recover. I knew that was a lifestyle I didn’t want to fall into. Although after deciding that since I gained weight in college, I thought to myself that I should lose some weight. I did go from dancing 20 hours a week and swimming 10 hours a week to doing nothing more than a swim in-service for work once a month. And I thought the tumblr weight-loss community could help me achieve my goals.
Unfortunately I gained most my knowledge from these ED blogs. I soon after downloaded LoseIt! onto my iphone and took it’s advice, which advised me to eat about 800 calories a day, and seeing the amount of calories the other blogs ate I realized it was more then them, so I must be fine! I went like that for a month, I lost some weight between that and going to the gym, but found it hard to stay full and not feel bad about going over my calorie limit.
A forgotten close friend of mine at the time contacted me, saying she had seen my tumblr and admitted to me that she had struggled with anorexia nervosa and was nervous that I was falling into a habit that she was still struggling to recover from. Not only did I not know that this girl also had anorexia, I saw how genuinely scared she was for me. After that I promised her I would delete every triggering and unhealthy blog I was following and try a healthier method of weight-loss. I listened. I deleted all the ED blogs, I did my own research on weight-loss and began following other healthy blogs other then just MatchStickMolly. By the end of the school year, I had learned a vass majority of information on health, fitness, and weight-loss. I even did my final 14 page research paper for my writing class on Fad dieting vs. Healthy dieting in female adolescents and received and A.
I now can answer all my friends’ questions on weight-loss, dieting, health, fitness, and all other things. In this journey I also became a Water Aerobics Fitness Instructor on top of my other aquatic licenses so that I could help other students in my college learn about a safe, fun way to exercise and also having the chance to teach them the fundamentals of a healthy diet and how to aquatically exercise and use pool equipment to their advantage while working with any sort of issues that they have. I feel now that I am a lot more knowledgeable and have come A LONG way since January. As a disclaimer, I will admit like you (Molly) I have never been heavy. I’m 5’4”. At my highest weight I was 129 lbs. I am now 122 lbs. I have lost 7 lbs so far on my journey, as slow as it is, but I know that I am much happier, and healthier and therefore I feel better and can tell that I will go back to my low weight of 114 lbs and that I will be even more confident, healthy, and fit then I was originally at that weight. I may not have a dramatic story. But it’s mine, and I am proud of where I have so far ended up in it.
My biggest struggle with living a healthy lifestyle is trying to figure out the difference between what diet and exercise information is true and what is false. There is so much misinformation out there! I am even studying Dietetics in college and have learned information that if you go back and look at the study where the information comes from really has no real backing to it. I can’t believe it!
Because of what I am studying, I have a real interest in food and how it affects the body. This summer I started researching information and articles on the internet in hope to find some truth (out of chance I found this lovely blog and which eventually lead me to become a part of the tumblr community but that is a different story). I also came across marksdailyapple.com and the documentary Fat Head which really changed the way I thought about food entirely.
It is only the beginning of my education in health but I know now not to trust everything I hear about what constitutes a healthy diet. I am changing the way I look at the information I learn so that I can live a healthier life and hopefully help others do the same now and in the future.
I hope the title of my story got your attention. But alas Im not a ninja turtle. Im sorry for lying. Now heres the real story. When i was younger my mom deprived me of pop, candy, chips and any kind of sweets out there. Then after school i had to go to this baby sitter ( this was like 7 years ago) and she was great ! A lovely lady and all that jazz, except every day she would put out a HUGE bowl of chips, candy you name it and it would be in that bowl. 5 days a week i would go to her house and eat so much food. But i was only like 8 years old, so obviously calories and carbs and fat grams ment nothing to me. You see, i never thought i was over weight. i thought i was thin . On the other hand i was never fat, because i was playing rep ringette 5 times a week in the winter and rep softball 4 days a week in the summer. But i was bigger, it could of been muscle, it could of been fat, but ever since i had gone to that baby sitters i was larger in places i shouldn’t of been. Years went by, and in grade 7 i started dating this guy, my first boyfriend. It went great, he boosted my confidence and with out even trying i became thinner. Annd then came highschool we had been dating 1 year and 7 months and he broke up with me the first week of grade 9. He was my life and i was devastated so i went into a depressed state and i guess i didnt eat much ( i didnt realize though, i was heart broken). and then one day it hit me that i was depriving my self of the vitamins and nutrients my body needed to survive when i was walking to school and i almost passed out on the side walk. Then i changed my self, or the better ? i thought so. But i guess i tried to eat to many vitamins and i only began eating bad foods. And i gained SOOOOO much weight. The problem i had was i didnt notice! not in any of these times did i notice the weight gain or the weight loss or any of it. All i know is the guy that broke my heart would call me fat in front of people i knew every day i saw him and so would my brother and it really got to me. So on new years eve 2010, my resolution was to become in shape, and healthy over the next year. At new years that night i weighed 184 lbs, and now i weigh 151.2 lbs. ive done great ! im proud of my self. and the best part is, i did it the healthy way. I love food to much to give it up or even try to! I got a membership at the gym and would go there every day after school. I also got tumblr, at first it was for the pictures but then i found all these fitspo blogs that had great recipes and work outs i could use on a daily basis. Honestly you were one of the first i ever followed, and you recipes and tips about yoga and every little piece of information you have laid out of this blog has brought me closer and closer to reaching my happy body. i dont have a goal weight, i haven’t for a while. i jut want to be happy and confident because the weight on the scale doesnt matter as much as how you feel about your self. But still every day i struggle, getting up looking in the mirror and thinking ew why do i look so gross, and then i go for a run. and although i come back all sweaty and probably grosser than before i look better! and i feel better! because i know i didnt go and eat a bowl of fruit loops for breakfast or what ever the kids are eating these days. The point is, i struggle with motivation, because this healthy stuff is harddddd! i figured it would be a walk in the park but no. ESPICALLY because i live with my moms italian boyfriend. LIKE MAMA MIA trying to shove pasta down my throat every night. But i get my motivation from people like you and also by realizing that i have gotten to far to give it all up now. Id rather live in a healthy life style. Well thats my story, i really hope you get to read it all. This isn’t even about the contest any more, because i want you to know that you are a huge inspiration and have truly help me and thousands of other girls like me come steps closer to being comfortable with who they are. you should really be happy with how much help you are giving to so many people and all i can do is thank you. thank you so much for everything you have taught me and for everything i will continue to learn from you. you’re the best molly <3
Dear Matchstick Molly;
When I graduated highschool I was probably in the best shape of my life. I was playing competitive badminton five days a week, going for walks twice a day, and going to the gym twice a day. I was a strict vegetarian, and carefully monitored what I put into my body.
After 4 months attending university alone and 6 hrs from home, I was depressed and overeating out of sheer boredom. When I came home from university that January, I had gained over 20 lbs. My lowest point was when my family and friends would comment on how much weight I had gained. It hurt that it was that obvious what I had done to myself.
It was then that I went vegan, began to attend weekly yoga classes, and started doing Ab Ripper workouts with my younger brother (who is very athletic). Without obsessing over the scale, I lost most of the weight I had gained.
A year later I went back to school for journalism. Between working full time and attending school full time, exercise was not the top of my priorities.
Two months ago I began exercising daily, sometimes even twice a day, and I began to more carefully consider what I’m eating. I read Michael Pollan’s The Food Rules, and I’m following various fitspo blogs on Tumblr. I changed jobs from an icecream scooper to a Booster Juice attendant (although I didn’t eat the icecream, oreos were a huge temptation). I’m making great efforts to build and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
I have just five more pounds to go until I weigh what I did when I graduated. Although I am not basing my success on my weight, but my overall appearance and cardio/strength improvement, I do struggle with one thing: controlling cravings when I am getting my period. I feel like it sets me back, every time. The way that I have begun to overcome this, is by keeping temptations out of my house (sweets, chips), reaching for fruit and veggies to snack on, and working out that little bit harder if I do cave in.
Thanks for reading, keep up the awesome work.
Last summer, I wanted to get in shape. I was never fat, but I wanted muscle definition and to be a better runner. All that happened, but soon afterwards I noticed my dramatic 10 pound weight-loss. It was a big WOW! factor kind of thing, because the weight-loss wasn’t even intentional. However, after seeing this I started to change up my diet a little. I wanted to lose even MORE weight even though it wasn’t necessary, and I managed to lose 3 more pounds. I would only have cucumber for lunch and 30 calorie yoghurt at breakfast. I was doing good, but I would always go to bed with an empty stomach. No fuel for my exercise, and my increase in muscle stalled there. I started to binge on a few things. It wasn’t an incredibly vast amount of food like some people I see on here that talk about there binges! But it was something I wish didn’t happen. I’d have peanut butter or nutella, no more than two tablespoons but the fats inside of it were taking a toll on my body. I felt gross afterwards and wanted to forget about it. So I’d eat even less the next day and end up binging because of my hunger. This process went on for so many months until one day I felt absolutely DISGUSTING. I threw it all up and I felt better. It wasn’t in my system, I could forget about it. I started to throw up frequently over the next few months. Until I finally reached a breaking point two weeks ago. THIS WAS ENOUGH. I wanted my old healthy body back! I was extremely tough on myself, it was hard and passing the cabinet with the peanut butter was really damn hard, but I resisted my urge to have it. I’d have a sip of my water bottle and get the HELL OUT OF THAT KITCHEN. I’m doing good, back on track and going strong with hardcore workouts to get me to the best shape I can be in. I’m also eating 100% clean foods, the unhealthiest thing I eat is probably non-organic fruit, that’s it! It’s going to be a tough process to return to my old self, but it’s something I NEED and WANT to do. You were my motivation to become healthy again matchstickmolly, and I thank you for that.
My biggest struggle isn’t really comparable to all those girls who live every day with anorexia or bulimia. I’ve never starved myself, I’ve never purged - simply because I love food too much, and I find the idea of purging completely disgusting. However, my love of food means I struggle with binging and problems with self-restraint. I have my good days and my bad days, but unfortunately the good days only seem to occur when I keep a strict record of my calorie intake. I really want this to stop, but where I am now I know stopping counting will only lead me to more binges. I want to make a conscious effort to be able to live my life without having to constantly check food labels and log calories - and I definitely think teaching myself to eat intuitively can help me. Whether or not I win this book I’ll definitely be looking into it, because I never intended to be counting calories forever and I now need a healthy way to get out of it, and to learn healthy habits for the future.
I definitely intend to keep up my exercise habits. This time last year I couldn’t have run up the road - now I’m regularly going on 5k and 10k runs, and I try to get to the gym to weight train 3 times a week. However, I need to stop the mentality that my exercise habits excuse the fact that my diet is getting worse, as well as the idea that exercise is a way of ‘earning’ the calories I eat. I want to learn to eat when I’m hungry, stop when I’m full, and enjoy exercise as a part of my lifestyle, rather than sometimes relying on it to make up for binges.
Unfortunately, my mindset seems to change at different times of day. Sometimes, I’m completely set on just eating healthy amounts of nutritious foods, because I know that’s what will keep me healthy. However, I have certain times of day when I’m prone to binging - particularly in the evenings, and sometimes in the middle of the day, probably when I’ve not had a big enough breakfast. I need to learn what I need so I’ll stop going overboard to mentally try to make up for what my brain seems to see as restriction.
Hopefully that made some sense. Basically I need to maintain the mindset that healthy food is what will keep me happy, but occasional treats are ok, and I need to do it while learning to listen to my body to know when I need to eat, instead of relying on an online computer programme. I hope I can teach myself to eat intuitively because I want to stop binging for good.