Working It Out: That Moment You Realize How Big You Were… And Still Are

April 4, 2015  |  

Working It Out is a health/fitness column chronicling MadameNoire Manging Editor Brande Victorian’s journey to drop the pounds and get healthy. Follow more of her story on

I’m going to be honest with y’all. It takes me a long time to choose photos to use for these Working It Out posts. Like a there’s-better-things-I-should-be-doing-with-my-time amount of time that’s spent looking at photos of me at my highest weight and comparing those with pictures of myself in the mirror now thinking, is there really any difference? 

Now for the people (y’all have checked on Facebook) who’ve already said they don’t see any difference between my before and after photos, you’re probably thinking, it’s about time this bish recognized! I, on the other hand, know good and well an Old Navy Button down in a size Large was not even close to being in my closet seven months or so ago, but that still doesn’t stop me on my worst days from focusing on how much further I need to go instead of how far I’ve come.

Loving your body while you’re in the midst of completely trying to change it is a hard thing to do. While you may be excited and proud that you lost 20, 40, or even 60 pounds, when you’re working so hard toward a goal you’ve set for yourself, sometimes all you can see is the fact that you still have back fat for days, and bat wings on your arms, and a gut that will take another six-plus months to lose. On your best days you’ll go hard in the gym knowing your work will pay off in the long run. On your worst you’ll eat Popeye’s three days in a row and 10 cookies in one night because you’ve begun to question what it’s all for if you’ll still have to be stuck in this body that disgusts you and those around you for months to come.

In my long history of yo-yo weight loss, this is the first time I finally understood why people say the physical act of dropping pounds is also a mental one. It takes a lot of work to admit that you alone are the reason you can barely run on the treadmill at the gym, and even more introspection to forgive yourself for that. If I dwell on it for too long, I remember the fact that I was the same weight I am now back in 2009 and get frustrated with myself that it only took six months to get back to where I was six years ago and wish that I wouldn’t have wasted all that time being somewhat miserable while steadily packing on the pounds. And yet, that doesn’t stop me sometimes from being an emotional eater/drinker when I realize that a weight loss of 60-plus pounds hasn’t changed my life all that much, save for a few compliments from people who’ve seen me at a higher weight and the fact that I can climb a flight of stairs without being out of breath.

My trainer tells me to focus on becoming stronger and allow weight loss and becoming more physically attractive to be residual effects of my hard work. I say, I’m not here for any of that as I post memes about how the only thing I’m concerned about is how I’m gonna look on my birthday. But still that concern goes out the window some days when I decide being in my feelings now is more important than being a size whatever in a few weeks and all I can think about is the fact that I’m still going to be fat regardless and steadily question the point of it all. Thankfully, I have coworkers who will stage an intervention at any given moment and tell me I can’t go back to where I was before when I casually confess I skipped out on the gym and don’t plan on going anymore. Deep down my soul is saying, “this ain’t what you really want” but in the moment I’m thinking, it absolutely is, as I choose impulse over discipline — the very thing that got me in the position I’m in to begin with.

If it weren’t for a trainer and a group of amazing women I’m blessed to call coworkers holding me accountable I would have most certainly settled for my eternally plus-size reality by now. But they all remind me of the saying, “The fact that you aren’t where you want to be should be motivation enough” and so I bounce around in my apartment a few minutes longer to undo the emotional damage I’ve done and concede to the fact that I’m the only one who can change my reality. And if I want a better one I better get up, get out, and get something — like a kettle bell and start swinging.

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