Danielle is one of the Flab to Fab members who is also a blogger, Secrets of a Sweet Southern Girl. She also just happens to be a blog friend turned IRL friend of mine. Danielle is so sweet and warm and I love hanging out with her and her bf when our schedules match up. You know she is good people because Nate sings her his Barney song and that is only reserved for people he really likes. Oh, and she is the owner of Wired Essentials, beautiful unique jewelry! Don’t forget to stop by The Random Blogette for why she hates the word diet! Enough gabbing, here is Danielle!
My name is Danielle. I’m 27 years old and, the truth is, I’m so vain. I’m just being honest with you. I’m finally at a place in my life where I have confidence in myself as a person, but I want to look as good on the outside as I feel on the inside.
*I am 3rd from the left*
I haven’t always had that inner confidence though. Let me start at the beginning. When I was in the third grade my grandmother retired, and suddenly instead of latchkey programs, I was spending my afternoons in front of the cable eating all of the wonderful snacks she made for me. She cooked huge delicious dinners every night, and within six months, I was the fat kid in class that everyone made fun of. I had a really hard time in grammar school, and even high school with bullies. I was beat up in the third grade, constantly picked on in junior high, and as a freshman in high school I was publicly humiliated by the group of girls that I thought were my friends. Through it all food became my comfort. I basically self-medicated with comfort foods.
In the 11th grade, in a desperate attempt to fit in and make friends, I began to try and lose weight. It worked, I lost a lot of weight. I went from a size 20 to a size 12 in about four months and I felt great. I had a better group of friends and I got a great boyfriend. I was on top of the world! Then, my freshman year of college, I had my heart broken by said boyfriend and I turned back to the comfort food. I was back in a size 20 before Christmas of sophomore year.
By the time I came back to school the next fall I’d managed to get back to a size 12/14. Again, I wanted to look good so that I could get a new boyfriend and fit in with my college friends who were all much skinnier than me. I stayed there for almost two years. It wasn’t until after graduation and months of unemployment that I began to put the weight back on. Throughout high school and college I’d struggled with depression, but I didn’t want to take medicine. I felt like that meant something was wrong with me.
Finally, a few years back, my family couldn’t take it anymore. I was miserable, and I was making them miserable. My relationships were strained and it didn’t help matters that I’d been recently laid off and was struggling financially. I began seeing a therapist and eventually I built up my self-esteem to the point that I began to recognize my self-worth. I started taking medication to deal with my anxiety issues and found a job that I felt good about.
Over the past five years I’ve had a lot of financial difficulties and it’s been really hard to make myself stick to a healthy lifestyle. I’ve fluctuated significantly, losing and gaining the same 35 pounds 3 times. I have met a wonderful guy who loves me just the way I am, but also wants me to be happy and healthy.
I’m currently at a size 18, and my goal is a size 12. The truth is, it’s my vanity that makes me want to lose weight this time. I don’t feel unloved, and I don’t feel like I have something to prove, but I want to look good. I want to feel good too. I want to go for a hike and not get winded. I want to go to dance class and be able to get myself into a full split. I want to take beautiful pictures on my wedding day (whenever that may be) without looking at them later and thinking, ‘my arms look like sausages!’. Basically, I want the confidence and happiness that I finally have on the inside to show on the outside. I want to be healthy, and I want to feel good about my looks again. I’m excited to have hooked up with this group and for the Flab to Fab Challenge!
I’ve been at a bit of a stand still with my weight loss, but I’ve changed my eating habits and joined a dance class. I try to get together with my best friend once a week for zumba, and J and I cook at home a lot, making healthy versions of our favorite meals. It may take some time but I’m not doing it alone and that really helps. I will get back to my ideal weight, and this time I will be confident in myself, and happy with my life. Because really, it’s a good life!