My journey to health has been a long road, full of forks, hills and sometimes mountains. About eight years ago, I weighed almost 300 pounds. I don’t equate the number on the scale with overall health, but I wasn’t healthy. I couldn’t move around freely, my joints throbbed and I spent a lot of effort hiding the amount of pain I was in from my friends. Even walking short distances exhausted me.
I was constantly out of breath. Occasionally, I had blood clots pop up. I didn’t know it then, but they would come and go from my inactivity. When I began moving, they would go away, but I didn’t make the connection until years later. I just knew I was tired and my body was tired.
One day, I was sitting on the couch and couldn’t get up. I’m in my early 20s, mind you, but I could not will myself to get up because I knew how much pain I would be in. For me, getting healthier and losing weight wasn’t about “being pretty” or having the “perfect figure.” There’s no wrong way to be yourself. But for me, things had to change because I was putting myself in danger. It’s been such a long road with many ups and downs.
After the couch incident, I hired a personal trainer and started going to the gym. But I didn’t change my eating habits. So for a long time, I exercised but was still not healthy. Nutrition is the most important part of losing weight, but I found ways to justify trips to fast food restaurants because I would visit the gym.
Eventually, though, I developed a habit of going to the gym. It was the first baby step in my health journey. I found that I don’t love, or really even like, cardio. It was hard to do without being in pain because I had so much mass. So I started lifting weights and found that I’m actually strong. Surprisingly strong. I could lift alongside everyone else at the gym. It was a pivotal moment for me, because I love the feeling of strength. I love that my body can do so much and be so powerful.
Losing weight has been a progression of baby steps — life goal after life goal. I realized that at the end of the day, I just need to be in motion. I need to be active and help my body get blood flowing. It took some time to realize that my body is not a machine. I can’t just take off the weight in a week or a month. It took years to gain the weight, and it’s taken years to get back to a healthy weight for my body.
I’m still a big girl, and that’s ok! My weight loss goals are simple: I want to be able to move and not be in pain. I want to eat in a way that still makes me happy and live an active lifestyle. While fitness is a journey that never ends, I’ve found a healthy balance for me. I play volleyball three days per week, lift weights five days per week, walk and run every single day. And while it seems like a lot (and it is!), I’ve decided that I would rather be active and still enjoy the foods I like to eat. That said, I’m going to keep it 100% and say that I eat very “clean” 70% of the time.
What I wish people knew was that as long as they’re happy, that number on the scale is worthless. At this very moment, I am still a big girl. I’m also a powerlifter, mountain hiker, sprinter, volleyball player, and SO much more. The number on the scale does not define me and it should not define you! There’s not only one ideal body type or way to be healthy. You have to find what’s best for you. I love sharing this part of my life with people because it’s been such a wild ride, with many more miles to go. If you want to see some of my daily workouts, visit Sofi Seck Photos on Instagram and click “Instagram stories.” I would also LOVE to hear your health story so feel free to send me a message and tell me everything!