An email from a reader: Part 1

This is a new series I’m beginning. Everyday, I receive the most incredible emails from readers. It only makes sense to share some of the questions, and my answers, with all of you.

“Dear Andie,

This [“What I miss from 135lbs ago” series] has me in tears. It’s just so easy to relate to, but at the same time I don’t see how you look so positively at the past 20 years of your life. I wish I could. I’m 18 years old- I look at pictures of the past 10 years of my life, pictures that used to make me laugh and brought back some of my best memories, and all I see is how over weight I was. I contemplated throwing them away time and time again, but I convince myself that one day I’ll appreciate those memories. For right now, they simply disgust me.”


Dear Hannah,

I absolutely hear you. Seeing yourself big lets you know that something is or was
wrong, maybe something beyond just loving food too much. You know that.

But here’s the thing- you’re smiling in some of those big photos.

You also had some happy times in those years, too, right?

Big or not,

you formed friendships that now mean the moon to you,

you laughed so damn hard and loud your sides split open, or at least you thought they did,

you had the freedom to be in the precise moment of the picture, and not worry about food or losing or gaining.

Think of all the good things you are now, every little lovable thing about you

and realize

that each is,

in some small

maybe indirect


a part

a result

of all that you’ve ever been.

Wishing you so, so many good things,




29 thoughts on “An email from a reader: Part 1

  1. johnny

    You are so much more than about weight loss, food and recipes. YOU are about life and I am soooo happy to have it as a daily part of my life! Thank You so much Andie, that’s why we all screamed for you to write a book. I can’t wait! :)

  2. kristen @ verbs and vignettes

    thank you for this post. :-) i think it’s a great idea that you’ll start sharing some of your answers.

    that series is what started me coming back to your blog nonstop. i loved the words about your journey. like hannah, i am still not ok sharing photos of myself how i used to look. with my family, it’s ok, but i don’t like to show anyone else. and it sometimes bums me out just looking at them alone.

    i think it will be a pretty ongoing struggle to accept that person, just like sometimes i need to remind myself how much i accept myself right now. but your words are soothing, and encouraging… “every little lovable thing about you is a part of all that you’ve ever been.” that guy might be going up on my wall. :-)

  3. Natalie S.

    Andie, I’m so excited for the rest of these posts. Your story and your joy and your compassion for your readers has to really touched so many lives, mine included. Best wishes to Hannah :)

  4. Sarah

    You are SUCH an inspiration. I’m now at the biggest I’ve ever been and will start working out, then quit, then start, then quit. I need to stop doing that and just START and KEEP GOING. You inspire me to do just that. You are beautiful inside and out! You look AMAZING!

  5. Alex

    I am so excited to read more. I started WW in May and started getting frustrated and losing steam right about the time I found “The Journey to Lose 135lbs” on Pinterest, they labeled it “Motivation”.
    That is exactly what it was, what I needed to reshape my goals and more importantly my attitude. I was refreshed. Since then, in the last 5 weeks, I have lost the lbs I gained and more, but now, it isn’t the work it used to be, the pressure or the chore. I’ve found joy and success in the effort and it’s all paying off.
    So looking forward to more of this. Thanks for sharing pieces of you here, your journey has certainly helped me with mine. :)

  6. The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh

    Wonderful post and response. I remember the first time I didn’t recognize my “old self.” It’s almost breathtaking and not in a good way. The Mr and I were just looking at our “before” pic the other day and I said “for the first time I don’t recognize you in that pic, you look like the men on your mom’s side of the family.” (All of them a really big) He said he was thinking the same thing. I’m so grateful for those pics because the days you feel like you’re going nowhere, it reminds you how far you’ve come. Can’t wait for the series!

  7. Malissa Arnold

    Am consistently amazed at your funny, loving insightful writing, and how all thousands of us feel like your friend. I know what to do, and have done it, then slipped, then got back, then slipped… I hate the cycle, but it truly is about what goes in my mouth. I am one of the excercisers- but not the controlled eaters. That is where the weight comes.. I need to get this relationship with food under control!

  8. Sophie @ LoveLiveAndLearn

    This is a lovely series, you are so inspirational, these emails are proof of that!
    And dear Hannah, don’t throw the photos away, don’t darken out those memories. As Andie says, you are smiling in those photos, you have had happy moments in the last 10 years so it doesn’t matter what size you were. They allow you to see the journey you’ve been on and they are a part of you!
    I look forward to reading more of these posts, you write so beautifully and I know that your responses to the emails will all be full of kind words, help and inspiration.

  9. Lynn Soon

    I just found your website, and can I just say THANK YOU. Thank you for giving genuine advice, and still loving food. Thank you for being honest and open with your journey. I have struggled with food and dieting all my life, and now am 31, and I’m still finding it difficult to co-exist with food some times. This blog is great, thank you!!!!!

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  17. Ericka

    Wow that was moving. I too hate every photo I have ever been in but realized that it is more important that I was in the photos. I lived those memories with my kids, friends, and loved ones. They love me no matter my size and those photos are part of their lives and memories too.

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  19. Jeanie

    I recently found your blog, the day I found it I sat and read with tears pouring down my face at the fact that somebody else in the world knew what I’ve felt about my weight and weight LOSS over the years. I have lost a total of 110 lbs so far with 15 left to go. I never really thought about the things you’ve posted about knowing how to be at this weight but they really hit home and put words to my thoughts.
    I haven’t started playing around with your recipes yet, but they’re definitely on my list of things to try:)
    I just wanted to tell you, as an avid reader (alright, I’ll say it- book addict) YOU are a writer if I’ve ever seen one. I know you’re going to be incredibly successful and I will so buy your books when they’re out!
    Im sure you’ve heard it before but thank you so much for sharing yourself with the world. It truly made a difference to me.

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  21. Jan

    I was overweight from childhood also and 8/09/10 I had weight loss surgery and lost 160#. I kep losing long after I should have stopped and ended up extremely thin. I have since gotten back up to a more normal weight of 150# and have stabilized. But my question for you is, do you still feel fat? I look in the mirror and I still see myself as bigger than I must be. I can look at my clothes and see that they are very small, but when I look at myself I do not see a small person. I lost 100# over 30 years ago and felt the same way after that. I just wondered if other previously overweight people felt that way about themselves as well and does that feeling ever go away?


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