Becoming Myself Again

My weight loss journey and tango with the “ideal” body image


Grace Logan

Throughout 2018 and 2019 my grandma, Dorethea Lee Kiene, suffered from congestive heart failure. Overall it was a very stressful two years. There was an overcast of sadness in my life and I lacked motivation. To cope with these new feelings of despair, I turned to the one constant thing that I could always rely on: food. Sodium enriched instant ramen became my favorite late night companion and anything coated in chocolate was its partner in crime. I had always been an emotional eater, but never at this level. 

Obviously the pounds started packing on rather quickly, but I was too bewitched by the “freshly” manufactured taste of the McDonald’s Big Mac to care. I reached my highest weight around the time of my grandma’s passing, April 15 2019.

 After she was gone, I became more and more aware of the tightness in my once loose fitting jeans. I also began obsessing over the quite literal perfect bodies of some of my favorite actresses. In fact, all the celebrity women I saw in the media looked like the definition of a “picture perfect” woman.  

Seeing so many women that fit the cookie-cutter body image the majority of us are acquainted with worsened my already terrible moods and my self-esteem plummeted. I was now hooked, pulled into the cult of beauty standards and I was determined to do anything to become like these women. The label “fat” was something that I dreaded immensely. This put me in a relatively toxic mindset rather quickly. 

We all deserve to be confident and comfortable in our own skin.

— Grace Logan

Dieting and exercise became my passion for a period of time. Then I would relapse, binging and binging. Later I would become motivated again to participate in fad diets, fasting or something that would get me results quickly. Then binging. Then dieting. Then binging. Then dieting. The cycle continued for a few months. It wasn’t until I began going to the gym with my aunt that I realized if I truly wanted to reach my goals it would take time and I had to do it in a healthy way. 

With my aunt’s support and the validation of my friends and family I was able to lose the weight. It took a long time and it wasn’t easy. Something that also really helped me was watching YouTube videos that produced encouraging messages for those on weight loss journeys. Educating myself on the effects of fast food, sugar and the health risks of having a high body mass index (BMI) were also big motivators. Movies such as “Dumplin’, Brittany Runs a Marathon and Bridget Jones’s Diary” showed me that not all women fit the “ideal” body image; Not all women need to fit the mold of an hourglass figure. 

It’s been over a year now, and I am the healthiest I’ve ever been. I lost all of the extra weight and have a BMI that aligns with my height. Periodically, I will relapse and/or fall back down the deep rabbit hole of the “perfect body,” but I always crawl back out. My health journey,  as cliche as that term is, helped me realize that my health should be the priority over being as thin as paper. It gave me confidence in myself and helped me realize how strong I actually am.   

My advice would be to surround yourself with people who care and will support you on your journey if weight loss is something you are seeking. If you are struggling don’t hesitate to reach out to a trusted friend or adult. Also stay on the positive side of social media and become involved in communities that will also support and encourage you! We all deserve to be confident and comfortable in our own skin.