What I miss from 135lbs ago… Part 1

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I miss some aspects of life when I was big. 135lbs ago.

I miss the reckless abandon.

spring concert thru bowl wknd may '05 048

I miss the volume of food, the horizon of eats that lay before me on a table, knowing full well that the only thing stopping me was my fist-sized stomach. And even then there was always stretch.

I miss the way the fourth slice of pizza tastes. The fifth even more.

I miss bricks of brownie + ice cream + caramel + whipped cream + the crumblies of a Reese’s twosome. For a snack after lunch.

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I miss when menus at restaurants were just lists of delicious dinners. And nothing more nutritionally threatening.

I miss not thinking for more than four seconds before deciding that, why yes, I’d absolutely adore donuts for breakfast.

I miss plunging my forearm into a bucket of thrice buttered pop corn at the movie theater. Shoveling mouthfuls of salted and soggy kernels into my gullet. Then Snow Caps. Then Sprite.

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I miss brunching with sausage, egg, and cheese on greased and griddled everything bagels in the dining hall at college. With hash browns and a mind on lunch.

I miss all ten inches of that buffalo chicken pizza I called for when the party music stopped playing. And Kelis’ Milkshake.

I miss not caring when or how my next meal came, only that it came. And stayed. And never left.

I miss the way Cap’n Crunch-ed so loudly I couldn’t hear my dad hollering.

I miss that feeling I had when every fiber of my anatomy believed food to be the kindest, most loving spirit a girl could know.

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91 thoughts on “What I miss from 135lbs ago… Part 1

  1. Jen

    You’re so inspiring. Really, truly inspiring. In fact, I have big plans to attack the last leg of my weight loss journey with renewed vigor. Those plans have been largely inspired by your story.

    On a side note, I also went to UMass Amherst for my undergraduate education. I giggled when I saw the photo of you with the Poland Spring, because I remember the door that is in the background of the picture. Is that in Orchard Hill? :)

  2. Lisa in OKC

    Always beautiful and without a doubt the bravest woman!
    Thanks for sharing. I was beginning to think there was no way you were ever 135lbs heavier. In fact, do you have a twin??

  3. Elena @ GagaForGrapefruit

    i wish i could put into words how much you inspire me. i really can’t even begin to describe it. my weight loss goals seem unachievable, and seeing you and your journey give me more motivation than i’ve ever had before. thank you so much girl.

  4. AndreaSomething

    Clearly you have always been a beautiful girl – inside and out. The thing is, I don’t think it matters what size or weight you are. Women of all shapes and sizes deal with these same feelings… at least I know I do! (by the by, so not minimizing your post–it’s brave and it’s amazing). The thing is, food CAN be kind and gentle. It can be energizing and restorative and most of all nourishing. There is a reason the smell of chocolate chip cookies makes me smile and think of my mother. Or that a simple dinner can bring my family together for hours at a time. It’s that damn “balance” everyone speaks about that throws a wrench into everything. Sigh… Can we blame Eve and her penchant for APPLES for making food one of our biggest enemies/lovers?

    But I digress…Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting these pictures and continuing to tell your story. I’m sure you know you’re not alone, but just in case – you are not alone.

    1. Evan

      I completely agree with you. Beautifully articulated.

      You were gorgeous then, too! I think every woman experiences what you described in your post, Andrea, whether or not 135 pounds is added or subracted to the equation. Unfortunately, as women, our bodies and eating habits are more often projections of our emotions, fears, sadness, happiness, expectations, and sexuality. Rather than focus on “balance,” which just confuses and heightens these feelings, addressing and honoring them is the way to reconcile food and weight with the less tangible things.

      I’ve said it and I’ll say it again. Balance only comes after acceptance–no–embracement of life and it’s ups and downs.

      Thank you for this post!

      1. iscribbler

        I’m with both of you. I think you look great in all of the pics, Andrea. :) But I also know how wonderful it feels to be healthy.

        I have trouble viewing food in kind terms as well, but I’m slowly learning how to embrace food and my relationship with it.

        Excited to see where this series goes. Especially since I’m taking a week off from exercising to help heal a muscle strain. I need inspiration this week. No pressure. ;)

  5. suki

    your story inspires many, andie. thank you for posting these photos and sharing your journey with everyone. you have the same beautiful smile. :)

  6. Halley

    I’m glad to hear the other side of the story. Nobody else seems to be telling it fully. I always wondered if people ever miss aspects of their previous weight.

    So great. Thanks.

  7. Johnny

    You make me look inside WAY to much!! :) I’m not sure why this particular blog but it’s haunting. Except for my youngest brother (sware he was adopted!) we’re all heavy. We seemed to live for food and there was always laughter, smiling in pictures, eating, playing, eating, food, food, food!!! We shared recipes, diabetes, cancer and all those unfun things but we still laughed and smiled in pictures. And we ate A LOT! And now here I am wanting..needing to loose at least 50 lbs and I can’t seem to get passed 20. I came to this blog because I was inspired to loose by your story.

    You have given me a new chapter in my life. Do I miss those good old days of endless picnics, meals, snacks and new fatening recipes? YES!! I had fun and it looks like you did too. I stood arm in arm with my brothers and sister and Mom and Dad and was truely happy! And we were all fat!

    Are you as happy now as you were then? Please tell me it was all worth it!

  8. gabby

    you are so gorgeous. inside and out.
    your posts = the best, BEST food for thought.
    thank you for always sharing your heart.

  9. Nicole

    Oh my goodness, girl, they need to give you a book deal already! I know I’ve said this before, but your story needs to be told! Someday, it will…. even if I need to go into the publishing business for it to happen!!! :) But then again, I don’t want to undermine the difference you already make on this blog. You are SO inspiring to all of us!!!

  10. Di

    This is why I love you. Your honesty.

    Thank you for posting this so those of us who sometimes long to be able to eat the way we used to, despite knowing how bad it is for us, know we’re not alone. ♥

  11. Katie

    While I did not lose as much weight as you did (50 pounds), I can understand what you say.
    What I miss most is being ignorant. I miss not having numbers always swirling around inside of my head (calories, serving size, points, how much I’ve lost today, how much I weight, how many crackers I’ve had). I miss just eating without thought (mindless eating, if you will). I miss having a clear mind, I sometimes feel so boggled down by the numbers surrounding my weight loss and food behaviors.

    1. iscribbler

      I know what you mean, Katie. I don’t calorie count but I am calorie conscious. So, when I tucked into 4 store bought cookies at work the other day and then looked at the total calories, I balked and felt terrible all day and the next. I sometimes yearn for those days when I wasn’t over-analyzing my food.

      1. Katie P

        This is such a struggle for me too! I miss being able to just eat something and enjoy it Calories, fat, fiber, protein, all the things I am supposed to do flood my brain and make me second guess every bite I take.
        Now that I am at a healthy weight I am working to stopping weighing and measuring everything I eat. I have learned so much about nutrition during my weight loss journey. Now I have to learn to trust myself to make good decisions without counting every last bite. It’s hard to trust myself though, I still fell like that girl who wants to eat nothing but cakes and cookies on the couch all day will come tearing out of me again.
        Thank you for this post and your blog you inspire me to be the person I want to be.

  12. Pingback: I miss being ignorant | Keeping Up With Katie

  13. Hayley

    WOW — thank you for your honesty. I can relate to so much of this. For me, I think it is an unhealthy emotional attachment to food that I am still working on fixing. But people don’t usually address this part of weight loss/getting healthy: that there ARE some things that you liked about your life back then. It wasn’t all awful.

    Great read!

  14. Katie G

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this. I am on a weight loss journey–a 135 lb. one like you–and I have really been looking forward to seeing this post because I knew it was coming eventually. Your blog is what keeps me going when my day gets a little tough and I want to give up. Your recipes are what are getting me in the kitchen, learning that there are better things to cook than greasy cheeseburgers. Your words are a constant reminder that I’m not the only person out there to ever have gone through this, and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel just waiting for me to get there. Thank you!!

    Down 58 pounds, plenty more to go, but I’m getting there!

  15. Riss

    I have a confession: I get to work super early every morning (USUALLY by 7:30) to beat the traffic. Early mornings are my “me times,” when I eat my breakfast, drink my coffee, and catch up on my staple blog must-reads. I turn on my computer each morning and pull up your blog first, knowing that I’ll read SOMETHING that will move me…. I’ve never been disappointed.

    And I’ll echo what other readers have already stated: You, Andrea, were gorgeous even prior to losing the 135 lbs.

  16. Meghan

    I just started following your blog about tow weeks ago and I really love it. This post is not exception. I really love this post in particular. As someone who is average weight and has been her whole life I’ve always made decent food choices, but still I am not at my “ideal” weight, and I think it’s because I still love how much those guilty pleasure foods taste. Keep up what you’re doing, you’re awesome!

  17. Kristin

    I have nothing to say because I’m still uh, digesting this post but I could not read it without saying thank you so much for posting this. Thankyou.

  18. Emma @ La Vie en Ginger

    God, this is so true, and THANK YOU for having the guts to say it. I lost about half of what you did (went from 198 to 135) and as much as I know I’m happier and healthier now, I don’t think I could admit even to myself that I DO miss things like eating an entire container of Lofthouse frosted sugar cookies in one sitting or adding a quesadilla to the side of every meal in my freshman year dining hall just because. Reading this was like memory food porn. I think it’s the obliviousness that I miss. I could never go back to living like that now even if I wanted to.

  19. Beth @ Beth's Journey

    Wow Andrea thank you SO MUCH for sharing these photos. i can’t get OVER the difference. You look so beautiful in the old photos too, but just so happy and stunning in the recent ones. Wow!

  20. Kristin

    Thanks so much for sharing this. Your words are so brave, and ring really true for me. I’ve often told people, “I love eating healthy, and I love my new body, but not a day goes by that I wouldn’t rather be eating junk food.” Even knowing that its taste doesn’t compare to real food, even knowing how toxic it was for me for so many years, it was so comforting for so many years, and it’s hard to let that go. You capture that feeling perfectly here.

  21. Laura Jane

    Wow, so insightful! There are things to miss about our previous lifestyles. I miss the freedom from worrying about food, especially in social settings. I miss the time I had available when I wasn’t exercising daily. I definitely miss a lot of the chocolate! However, the twin to this post is What I Don’t Miss. I don’t miss constantly feeling like failure. I don’t miss the near daily tears I shed. I don’t miss the shame and the guilt.

  22. Kelly

    I just love you so much! You are so honest and so real and it is just hard to find that anymore. Everyone is trying to say the things that people should say. Not you. You own it. You changed your life but you admitted that once you lost all the weight you weren’t happy as a slave to the treadmill, you admit that it didn’t make you any happier, you admit that you missed parts of your heavier life. And you teach us. I think what I have learned most from you is that you have to love and value yourself first and foremost. You have to honor your body and treat yourself with the respect it deserves. That means not over exercising and chasing a thin ideal. It means accepting yourself and living life. That means chocolate chip cookies and ice cream cake. But it also means delicious salads and amazing healthy eats. It means having it all in balance because you are worth it.

    I <3 you!

  23. MelissaNibbles

    Fantastic post as usual. You offer so much insight. There’s a lot of mental things that go into losing and maintaining weight. Losing the weight is the easy part, the mental things are the hard part. Sometimes I think I’ll never overcome them. Glad to know there are others who struggle with the same thoughts.

  24. Kelly Jo

    great post.
    I share your thoughts of those ‘carefree days’ of eating mindlessly.
    It’s crazy what a hold food can have on your mental state.

  25. Stacy

    I can’t say how glad I am that you share every part of your journey. I am very glad that you’ve invited us all along. I do wonder how many people you’ve inspired to start their own journeys or inspired to renew their vigor for life.
    You’ve re-inspired my vigor for a healthier life.
    Thank you
    p.s. Yes, I said VIGOR three times and I meant every one.

  26. RhodeyGirl

    Thanks for sharing this post.

    I really appreciate your openness and honesty, and I also feel the need to add that at any weight you are stunningly beautiful.

  27. A Boston Food Diary

    Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve struggled with weight all my life- and I greatly appreciate your honesty in missing those times -just for those reasons. Your photos are beautiful- for many many reasons.

    As a side note- too funny- I had no idea you went to Umass- I did too!

  28. Barefootcookingirl

    I only discovered your site very recently. Now, opening up your site is one of my daily treats. As someone in the middle of a weight loss quest your posts help me know that everything I feel is ok. NOW, to the serious part……you need to write a book…..no, no, no…..you need a TV show! Thanks for todays post and I can’t wait to read 2 & 3…..oh, and I miss the fourth slice of pizza, and the fifth, and the sixth…. :)

  29. Alicia at Poise in Parma

    Holy goodness, I’m trying to hold back the tears right now. I could have written this post, but you already know that about me.

    Scarier, I was just having this sort of thought process going on yesterday in my head: was I happier at that weight but not worrying about all of the above? I don’t know. Some days I wonder if I’ll ever find that balance of being comfy in my body and comfy around food.

    Just had to comment because you amaze me in every post you write.

  30. Emily

    Thank you so, so much for this. I’ve lost only a fraction of the weight that you lost – just about 20lbs or so – but even so, it’s hard for me to realize that I’ll simply never be able to eat like I used to. I’ve been blessed with a fairly fast metabolism and was never overweight by anyone’s standards, and I sometimes wonder whether or not I was happier being able to eat the last four HoHos and finish them off with a bag of Skittles, you know? I used to be able to go to a restaurant without scanning the nutrition facts beforehand and having a minor breakdown while choosing what to order… I used to be able to grab a pack of Reese’s while in the checkout line at Walmart just because… What I’m saying is, I question if the weight loss + healthy eating was worth it – thank you for reminding me that it was, and that I’m not alone with these questions. And by the way, you’re absolutely beautiful. :)

  31. Amiee

    OMG. I too, did not really believe you lost 135 lbs since I’ve never seen a “before” picture of you. I have at least 80-100 lbs I SHOULD lose, but all the reasons you listed in this post are what keeps me from doing it. I hate numbers, I hate counting, I hate thinking and thinking about EVERYTHING I put in my mouth, dieting, etc…UGH! Just the thought of it makes me obsess about food even more. I am reading Intuitive Eating and trying to find that “balance” without dieting or doing Weight Watchers again….and again…I have a food blog as well and when I diet I lose all motivation and excitement for it. I wish I could just be happy with my body but I’m not. NEVER. A few years ago before I got married, I was a size 10-12 and looked AMAZING. But it took a year’s worth of head games, starvation (practically), and 2 hours a day at the gym. NOw I have 2 children and a completely different lifestyle. I love your blog and am still AMAZED you’ve kept the weight off this long! AND you still do a food blog! AMAZING!!!!! You’re my hero.Seriously. And this comment I just left makes no sense! LOL.

  32. Lisa

    I’ve written about this before too…basically what I missed was “being unaware” of everything! It’s really hard to “unknow” how many calories are in a slice of pizza. It’s really hard to overeat, binge, gorge on food I used to love because I know what it will do to my body!

    But you look great. And I look great. That’s a much better feeling than gorging!

  33. Alexis

    I completely agree with your entire post. That’s how I feel everyday. I miss just saying “sure let’s have some of those fries from McDonalds” or not even caring about what a restaurant has on it’s menu. I’m always doing “research” before I go out to restaurants.

  34. Gina

    Thank you so much for this post. It rings true for so many of us out there! I am still trying to let go of many of the above feelings for food. The hardest, perhaps, is looking at a menu and NOT ordering the tastiest sounding thing, but rather the healthier option. This hasn’t been really sustainable for me, so to manage that choice, I try to eat out less and order what I want. The catch is that I only do this once per week! It’s so hard to limit eating out when I can walk to so many of my favorite dining choices!

    P.s. you have some really insightful readers! I think this is one of the few blogs where I actually read all the comments, love that!

    1. Katie P

      Gina I completely agree, I don’t think that is any other blog that I feel compelled to read the comments as I do here.

  35. Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun

    You know what? I think this may be the first time I remember seeing pictures of you then. You really have come a long way. Although – yes…I feel you on missing not caring about trying to make balanced or the best food decisions. It’s fun eating dessert like there’s no tomorrow! But in the end – it’s even more fun FEELING good. I know you know that though. :)

  36. Mojito Maven

    What a timely post for me. And brave.

    Just yesterday I hit goal on Weight Watchers. And like Emily mentioned up above, I didn’t have 135lbs to lose {way to go by the way}, but I did lose 30 lbs and feel fantastic. But sometimes I miss being unaware. And honestly, one night a week {usually Fridays date nights with my husband} I allow myself to be unaware. I go out to a restaurant, order whatever I want, and not worry about counting points. Then the next day I get right back on the WW Fit Train. And this method has worked for me. It allows me to have my indulgences while maintaining my ideal weight.

    But sometimes it IS hard. Losing weight is a flip-your-world-upside-down process. And it can be exhausting.

  37. LC

    This post could be me if you replace “when I was 135 lbs” with “when I was in highschool/college and had the fastest metabolism known to man”.

    I miss – bailey’s irish cream shakes for breakfast, McDonald’s french fries as a hangover cure, pasta every other night, grande mocha frappachinos with doubleshot expresso, popeyes biscuits, etc.

    Looking back – I only wish I ate MORE!

  38. peggy

    I lost 60 lbs almost 11 years ago now. I miss those things too. Oh, do I! But, I realize I can never go back. It’s been long enough now that it’s a bit easier, but there’s a part of me that longs for those long days past! Sweetie, you are a beauty~ heavier or not. Just gorgeous! It’s not just the outside but the inside too~!

  39. Alexa @ Simple Eats

    I think the best part about your writing and your posts is that you can see and feel how honest you are. It’s always things I think people would think but are afraid to say. Even when you were heavier you can tell you were still gorgeous inside and out.

  40. Jenn

    I always look forward to reading your 3-part series! This one in particular hits close to home as I’ve always struggled with my weight and really had a heart-to-heart with myself that this would be the year I stop talking the talk and actually make a lifestyle change. Thank you for the inspiration and for proving what may seem impossible, is indeed possible with some willpower!

  41. Jay

    Your post reminded me of a real fear of mine: I’ll never find comfort again if I stop eating with abandon.

    Is it truly possible to get over one’s love affair with food?

    Is it possible to feel “full” again without eating everything in sight?

    Please say it is.

  42. Jessica @ How Sweet

    Wow. You are amazing and I just love you. You know, I could relate to so many things you wrote in this post. Perhaps it is also age? Now that I’ve gotten older, the days of eating with abandon are few and far between because I’m more cynical, more knowledgeable, more in tune with what I’m doing and when. And I miss that too. That loss of innocence.

    You are stunning now, but you were incredibly gorgeous then too. Inside and our. Beautiful.

    Now move next door please.

  43. Bee

    I want to hug you. It’s obviously been a crazy journey for you and you’ve survived it beautifully. You’ve never posted pictures before, and I assumed you just weren’t ready. It takes a lot of bravery and sharing that part of yourself with the internet just makes your story that much more amazing.

    You were beautiful, you are beautiful, as always keep on doing what you’re doing with this amazing blog. And you know full well (since you’ve said it before) that you can enjoy that chinese takeout every so often and everything will be just fine :)

  44. Stephanie @cookinfanatic

    Absolutely adore your blog (as you know!) and love that you share so much of your life with us. You are so talented, beautiful and such an inspiration to many – keep doing what you’re doing girlfriend, you rock it :)

  45. Kerry

    As always, you’re an inspiration to us all. I really admire you for putting these “before” pictures up… you look great. :)

  46. Mrs. Fish

    I also love how real your posts are. They always make me feel like I’m reading a letter from a dear friend.
    You’re just so gorgeous, inside and out.

  47. Caitlin

    Andie – wow! Do you see what a revolution you’ve started here? You’ve got us all connecting, commenting, talking and complimenting you and ourselves! You have an amazing ability to relate your story – yours struggles, your humor, your triumphs and your truths – to so many walks of life. That is a gift. Truly. It’s also why we love you so much. I know it’s not just me who feels that way.

    You are such a beautiful soul. Thank you once again for giving me something to read that really made me think. <3 lovelove.

  48. Tamar

    God, you were always so pretty! I’m someone who’s been watching what I eat since I was old enough to make my own food choices. Sometimes I get so jealous when I see a woman eat something without thinking about it, when I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve EVER done that. Of course, I can imagine how hard it has been for you, and how much pain you were feeling, but sometimes I just wish I had one day to eat recklessly.

  49. Megly

    I was honestly just thinking about writing a blog post like this a couple hours ago… kind of sad that you did it first – better than I could’ve ;) haha. Props to you on both your weight loss and your bravery.

  50. Sahar

    So poignant. You’re so brave and I love your posts – they really speak to me because they are so honest. I think you were beautiful then and I still think you are now.

  51. Jenny (Fit Girl Foodie)

    You are freaking amazing and it amazes me how someone can turn their life around and take control. My bf peaked the scales at 350 and he’s now 190. It takes a lot of self control but it’s not impossible by any means. My best friends did lap band and now they weigh more than before. It’s all mental.

  52. Pingback: What I miss from 135lbs ago…Part 3 | Can You Stay For Dinner?

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  55. james

    i am just starting out on my weight loss/ getting healthy journey. I have 90 lbs to lose. This blog post has made me see that it can be done. good job!

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  58. Amber

    THIS. ALL OF THIS! Everything about this is so unbelievably true. And unfortunately, I think this is exactly why people have such a hard time maintaining.


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