Losing and Gaining…and Accepting Myself at Every Weight

by Andie Mitchell on June 9, 2014

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[All of the pictures of me in this post were taken within the past 10 days.]

June 1st marks the 9 year anniversary — do we call it that? — of when I began my weight loss journey. Nine. Five minutes ago I was in college, then out of college and a terrible under-flaired waitress at Outback Steakhouse, then unemployed and wandering around Target, then working in film, then a substitute teacher, then back to movies, and then! I started a blog, wrote a book, and here we are. I’ve moved from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania to Connecticut to Washington, back to Massachusetts, and finally to New York. I’ve traveled to eleven countries and attempted to speak at least three languages that I know the natives would have preferred I didn’t try.

And through all of that, I had this one body. Not the same sized body, just the same physical being. There were times when I was thin, times when I was painfully thin, thick, chubby, and eeeven overweight.

Did I know myself differently in each? Did I stop to recognize the pros, the cons of each? Did I wear the right clothes at the right time and give them all away too soon, not knowing I’d need them again at some point or another? Was I terrified of failing — myself, you? Did I watch what I ate? Did I binge? Was there a time when my mom mailed me a cake from Boston to Seattle because we’re both completely, no-two-ways-about-it off our rockers? Of course.

 

And still. When I checked in with you last fall, I wrote about having gained weight. I wrote about depression. I was ashamed, and no, not really for the number of pounds — because heck I’d been nearly 300 pounds before, I’d lived for twenty formative years as the biggest girl I knew — but for having struggled at all. No, what I felt was like a fraud for not having maintained the same weight as when I lost it nearly a decade ago. I felt like a terrible failure for not having kept the shape that you see in those pictures of me on Pinterest.

 

When I moved to Manhattan in November, though I tried to work against it, I was still gaining. I was “Oh my gosh have you had Baked by Melissa yet?!” I was, “Did you try every piece of every pie in every pizzeria in every borough yet? Oh not yet?” In fact, I was still gaining until the end of February.

 

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“What’s going on with you?” people close to me would ask. “You’ve done this before!” others said. You’ve got a book coming out, I told myself. And still, I maintained, I gained…I struggled with binges. The pressure alone — just to be better, to know better and yet not be able to act upon it — weighed hundreds and hundreds of pounds. The very knowing that I had to lose weight again made me just want to eat for one more day. Start again tomorrow. But I couldn’t. I just — I couldn’t.

 

I woke up in the middle of the night with panic attacks. I stopped writing, as you well know, because you can’t preach what you can’t practice. I stopped wanting to see people, take photos. I wore funeral black every day: black leggings, black flowy silk tops to go out, the darkest wash of denim.

 

The thing is, I would have accepted anyone else who was struggling, would have treated her with much more kindness, more compassion than I did myself, would have told her to not let her own two-steps-back keep her from living a full life. I would have told her that we can’t all stay in this one static weight forever, that we change, that this is all just part of the journey. “You’re going to be OK,” I’d say. I would have told her that we can’t change — lose weight — without first accepting where we are, where we’ve been. I would have told her that this was just a season — a testing one, to be sure — but that she’d get through it. But I couldn’t do that for myself. I wouldn’t.

 

Until I did.

 

In early winter, I was asked to give a TEDx talk. The date of the talk: February 22, 2014 (video was just released). The theme: Storytelling and Unexpected Narrative. If you’re not familiar with TED talks, they’re these 18 minute speeches — usually held at TED conferences (TEDx are smaller, local events) — and they cover any number of topics: from science to happiness to photography to personal narrative and so on. The tagline is “Ideas Worth Spreading.” The talks are powerful, resonant, and they almost always inspire or ignite some spark in the watcher. Some really big deals have given TED and TEDx talks — including a personal hero of mine, Brene Brown, who famously spoke about the power of vulnerability – which is why I was so confused as to why they’d want me there.

 

Now, the moment I was asked to give a talk, my mind first went to my body: crap. I can’t do it like this, I thought before I replied. I can’t go if I’m not the person I’m supposed to be. I can’t very well talk about my weight loss if I’m struggling. How will that matter? How can I possibly inspire? No one wants to hear from someone who stumbles on their own success.

 

Or do they?

 

I’d made a resolution in 2014. And that was: to not let fear hold me back from doing anything. If I was to keep that resolution, then this was something I certainly had to do. I thought about the theme of the talk: storytelling…unexpected narratives…and I realized that the story– whatever it was — it was mine to tell. It didn’t need to be a black-and-white weight loss narrative; it wouldn’t be linear; it wouldn’t even end need to end on one of those incredibly chipper notes. It would just be honest and vulnerable and as circuitous as my whole life has been. And if the organizers still wanted that, then I had a talk in me. Turns out that’s precisely what they wanted.

I wrote it. Twenty-two minutes, cut down to eighteen. I memorized it by hand-writing it over and over and over again, and when I was done doing that, I recorded myself saying it aloud and listened to it while out walking, while doing the dishes, while falling asleep. If that isn’t true torture, I don’t know what is.

 

Still, I feared how people would respond. And why was I doing this to myself, again? A friend asked me, “I mean, if you’re this worried, why not just say no?” In some ways, I regretted my decision. But when I thought about what I believe in, or, when I thought long and hard about what I’d tell anyone else in my shoes to do, I realized: you.are.crazy. Own it.

f2dc8c3a-95ed-48a3-b1cf-9beb33b264ea_zpsc5adc526without a doubt the best shirt I own

Stopping myself from giving a speech — one that would be both an unbelievable honor and a true dream to give — all because I was ashamed of my body? That I couldn’t live with. That is not who I want to be.

 

I had a choice, then: to hold onto that fear, that intense paranoia, and the sense that I’d failed spectacularly before even having begun, or to own who I am, what I look like, and radically accept every part. Either way, I was giving that speech.

 

I think you know, but I did give that speech. And now, it’s out there.

 

What I’ve learned in the past few months, while just re-learning to accept myself, is that I am a work in progress. I am practicing. I am trying. Every day.

 

What happens when you radically accept yourself? You feel a whole lot more free. You release — little by little — some of that baggage that’s packed with shame.

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It’s fitting that nearly a decade after losing 100+ pounds, I’m re-learning one of the most valuable lessons I took from that experience. And that is: I can never wait on some external change/ achievement/ projection of perfection to starting living. There is no body, no job, no significant other, and no amount of money that brings with it the kind of pure and unending happiness that we imagine it will. Happiness, contentment, fullness — they’re created in experiences. A million teeny tiny experiences. And to feel them? We have to be open, accepting. We have to let ourselves feel them — fully without holding back, without worrying about how we look while we’re living, without thinking about how our thighs are chafing when we’re walking along the beach.

 

I spent the better of the past year and a half trying to live in denial of this weight, trying to hide it, trying to wish I hadn’t gained it in the first place, but all any of that did was add more weight and create a painful cycle. The TEDx talk, and thrusting myself out there, made it so that I had to accept my body just as it is — not ten pounds from now, not twenty. Now.

And what did that acceptance do? It made me feel better. It made me happier. Much, much happier. I’d feared that accepting the weight — acknowledging every one of the almost forty pounds I’d gained in the past year or so — would be the ultimate admission of failure, of fraud. But instead, it was a slow exhale. It allowed me to assess myself, with less judgment, to be honest with myself, without the shrill voice of criticism. It gave me a little kindness, a helping of compassion, a bit of grace.

f7142a88-a2b6-456a-b130-1edaa5663c73_zps95afbf32A week and a half ago, headed to the BEA cocktail party — an event for my book (you can preorder it here)! Coming out 1.6.15

The story I’ve been sharing here for over four years is long. It’s meandering and bittersweet and just plain imperfect. And that’s OK. I’ve lost and gained, and now, I’ve lost a little. It’s a bumpy ride. But I’m not so sure that you or I need more examples of people living pristinely. Maybe we need to see that we’re all just human, that we’re all more alike than we think, that so many of us are struggling, that each one of us is working it all out, day by day. Maybe we just need people who get it. Friends who are real, who accept, who buckle down with us, who laugh at all the insanity, who get on our level and make us know that we’re going to be just fine.

Because we are.

{ 223 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica V. Lindgren | Gal Friday 612 June 10, 2014 at 12:11 am

Your speech is great! You look so poised, and it’s clear that you practiced your bum off. :)

Thanks so much for all of the great, thoughtful, REAL content, and I can’t wait to read your book!

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Stacy Dalton June 10, 2014 at 2:11 am

She did look great, right?

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Kelly-Anne June 10, 2014 at 10:34 am

You are an inspiration!

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Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life June 10, 2014 at 12:19 am

As always, thank you Andie.
I have loved your blog from the very beginning and I appreciate you being honest and sharing every step of the way with all of your readers. You are right, whatever goal we are working towards, weight loss, career success, creative endeavours, there will be periods when we back slide and we need to realise that whatever we achieve we aren’t going to feel any happier when we finally get there. We need to just stop. Breathe. Realise that where we are right now is where we are meant to be and to just feel the emotions of this moment. Let them move through us and accept them. Find happiness in life right now. Not 20 pounds from now. Not a $5k raise from now. Just here in the moment. Because it’s all we’ve got.
Thank you for sharing Andie and best wishes.

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Katie June 10, 2014 at 12:26 am

Love your blog! I just started my weight loss journey and blog. Hope to have similar successes. Congrats on the hard work!
Fromcaketokale.wordpress.com

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Amanda June 10, 2014 at 12:28 am

Andie, you are such an amazing person and I’m so glad I stumbled upon your humble and inspiring blog a few years ago. I always feel that I relate to your writing despite never experiencing significant weight gain or weight loss, and I can’t wait for your book to come out. Some day you’re going to be on bookshelves everywhere, I just know it. And kudos on your Ted Talk, you are a talented speaker as well! Thank you for sharing your story, as always.

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Jennyfer June 10, 2014 at 12:36 am

Andie!

From the very beginning until now…I’ve always seen you as the girl I want to be. I wanted to be how strong you are, how smart, how clever, how happy you are, and how much you enjoy being alive and loving life. Watching the Ted talk…my heart just broke. You totally laid yourself bare and you did SUCH a wonderful job being relate-able. You were poised and prepared and it showed.

I admire you so, so much. You will always, always be the beautiful and magnetic person I remember you as from when I first uncovered your blog. I’ve struggled this last year too. It’s hard. It’s an everyday thing. And if we’re all struggling one day at a time then we’re all together in that too. You make me want to be a better, happier, more kind, and more self-accepting person every day.

Please continue sharing your story. You really have no idea how much you inspire others…how much you’ve inspired me.

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Stacy Dalton June 10, 2014 at 2:11 am

This is really touching. Thank you for opening up.

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Katie @Glutes and Ladders June 10, 2014 at 1:06 am

I really needed to read this today. As someone who has lost 70 pounds (and was at one point down 85 pounds), it’s hard to not believe that I should always be at that low weight. You’re completely right, we have to love ourselves at every weight and not let something so trivial hold us back from living our lives. You’re such an inspiration.

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Stacy Dalton June 10, 2014 at 2:12 am

I want to send you a hug…it sounds like you need it.

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Lisa June 10, 2014 at 1:34 am

This is the reason I love your blog: you’re real. And because you’re real, I think a lot of people can relate to you. You look really pretty in all the photos.

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Jessi June 10, 2014 at 2:05 am

It’s as if you were speaking for me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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Sarah Swain June 10, 2014 at 2:09 am

Andie,

I first read your story two years ago as I stumbled through pinterest looking for fresh guidance. Yours was beautiful and inspiring, impeccably written, and what seemed to be a light at the end of a very long tunnel ahead of me. Or so I thought.
Nothing has ever been reason enough for me to barrel through my obstacles of fear and food, and I’ve struggled for years and years trying to understand why — why do I do this to myself, when I know that I crave losing weight so insanely much more than I crave Five Guys burgers? This entry of yours just finally helped me to understand the answer this ever so crucial ‘why’: because I’ve been doing exactly what you have. “The pressure alone — just to be better, to know better and yet not be able to act upon it — weighed hundreds and hundreds of pounds. The very knowing that I had to lose weight made me just want to eat for one more day. Start again tomorrow.” I’ve never even toyed with the idea that the many pressures I feel in my life to be fit were ironically the reason why I spiraled so forcefully in the opposite direction. But something just clicked when I read that snippet, and I sat here dumbfounded; in a puddle of fresh, unexpected tears. I need to let go of everything that isn’t my very own desire to change. I need to stop letting fear dictate what I can and cannot do.
Though I wondered each day as I refreshed your blog, ‘Why am I still staring at her Easter tartlets? Where is my favorite blogger?’ This breakthrough was well worth the wait.

T H A N K Y O U

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Ana Maria June 25, 2014 at 7:39 pm

What a beautiful comment. Best of luck to you on your journey.

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Stacy Dalton June 10, 2014 at 2:24 am

I love checking in on Andie…she is such an inspiration. Just when I think I’ve reached a plateau, or feel like I can’t do this, or feel like I can’t encourage others when I feel like I’m not strong enough…I come here for real motivation. She is so true to herself – and beautiful – that I can’t help but be inspired. So instead of leaving my computer, walking behind me and eating a spoon full of peanut butter before bed… Or worse yet, mixing it with Nutella and strawberry jam – I’m going to read some of these comments and emails and remember that it’s just food. That it’s not even really food – it’s just crap that I put in my mouth that tastes good. It’s like perfume…If perfume smelled good but was slowly killing me – would I wear it? I make a choice to not do drugs, to not drive without a seatbelt, to not smoke cigarettes, to not run at night in the dark in traffic, to not stick my hand in fire…why do I choose to eat stuff that has no nutritional value? No benefit? It just makes my brain frustrated because it’s hungry….and I’m not giving it real food. So it wants more and more. ugh.

Oh well – I’m down 20 pounds…only 10 more to go. It’s hard – no matter who you are or how much you have to lose. Everyone needs encouragement.

So… I will read these emails, read these comments, meditate on why I want to be healthy. I don’t care if I don’t lose another pound. You all are my inspiration. Keep it up. We’ve got this!

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Donna June 10, 2014 at 5:54 am

Andie, Such a thoughtful and genuine speech. So proud for you! Yes, you are correct – your blog is a place for us all to share our stories. And I live every day a little afraid of re-gaining the weight and sometimes beating myself up for not having more control or willpower or discipline. But ultimately living for this one day is enough – and choosing to live this way brings the fullness you speak of – the fullness of love and joy and belonging and acceptance and trying. Well done! You are beautiful.

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Sheri June 10, 2014 at 7:06 am

What a lovely person you are. Thank you for sharing.

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Alli June 10, 2014 at 7:21 am

Wow, wow, wow. You are an inspiration. THANK YOU for being so honest and open.

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francine June 10, 2014 at 7:35 am

andie, you are so fabulous! your genuine, sweet nature always comes across I’m your writings, but it was such a fun treat to hear you speak! thank you for sharing your life updates with all of us in the blogosphere. and for the record, you’re cute as a button! (especially in that pugs and kisses shirt! so adorbs!) blessings from ohio!

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Janice June 10, 2014 at 7:55 am

Thank you, Andie! Thank you!

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Kate June 10, 2014 at 8:14 am

Wow – Losing and Gaining……You spoke directly to me and really touched me with your words. I have always admired your journey and subscribed to your blog to help me on my own – but this is the first time I have read it and been able to so fully relate. Thank you for sharing your voice and for impacting the world around you with it……..and you look fantastic in all the pics!

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Kelly Irwin June 10, 2014 at 8:38 am

OMG YOU ARE AMAZING!!!! That was the best talk I’ve ever heard. Thank you for sharing your story!

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Janet June 10, 2014 at 8:44 am

Andie, I’m a fellow foodie! I totally get how all the excellent restaurants and bakeries in your new environment tempted you! It was all new and delicious! Now you are a little more used to that landscape where you can return to your normal priorities of moderation and good health. Love your blog! I’m rooting for ya!

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Candace June 10, 2014 at 9:10 am

I have been following your blog for the past couple of years and this post is exactly why. This is EXACTLY the same thing I am going through right now and reading this post was a God send. I don’t even know you, but your honestly in your posts makes you so relate-able and familiar. :) so happy to see you are still out there. Your story is so powerful because it isn’t a linear weight loss story. That’s boring, and not real life. You are real and genuine. And that’s why I am going to continue to follow your blog and exactly why I am going to go buy your book on 1.6.2015.

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Lori June 10, 2014 at 9:13 am

Andie, you have been and always will be my inspiration. At any weight. Seriously. Keep up with the honesty and the heartfelt posts about reality. *HUG*

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Aubrey June 10, 2014 at 9:13 am

I’ve finished several of your posts crying my makeup off, but this one was absolutely stunning. As soon as I saw the title I had to take a deep breath, because I knew it was going to be very personal for me. Theoretically I know it’s not about how big or small I am. Nobody loves me less because I’m bigger than I was. But I haven’t been able to fully make peace with my body because I haven’t given myself permission to not be perfect. I’ve never been perfect a day in my life, yet somehow I’ve accepted the idea that I need to constantly strive for it. It’s exhausting and never-ending and not worth it.

Re-gaining weight isn’t something people talk about, which makes the shame and self-loathing that much more intense; you think you’re the only one. Hearing that someone as talented, successful, and brave as you has struggled and knows these feelings as intimately as I do is not only reassuring, but empowering. I’m not where I need to be mentally, I know that. But I’ll try to keep your words in mind. Lose, maintain, or gain; I’m going to be alright.

Thank you, once again, for telling me what I needed to hear when I needed to hear it. I don’t know how you do it, but thank you.

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Megan June 10, 2014 at 9:28 am

You lady are amazing, seriously. I have read your blog for years and I feel as if I can always relate one way or another, and your posts always seem to come at perfect times for me. You are a motivator, a realist. I don’t know what else to say except you are amazing.

Megan

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Victoria June 10, 2014 at 9:36 am

You are so beautiful and inspiring! This was fantastic, it’s exactly what I needed to hear at the moment. Thank you!!

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Farah June 10, 2014 at 9:43 am

It was such a strong message. You rock!!

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Erin June 10, 2014 at 9:47 am

Andie, your speech was incredible. I have been a long time fan of your blog and your amazing writing, it was so special to see it come to life. Thank you for always being honest. I hope one day I can get off this weightloss/weight gain rollercoaster but in the meantime, I am learning to be content along the way. Thank you.

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Megan June 10, 2014 at 9:55 am

You are seriously one of my greatest living inspirations. I hope you don’t feel MORE pressure when you hear that from people. But reading about how you struggle with “imperfection” was, as always, SO relatable. And it must be difficult to resist temptation on every block living in NYC! My weight seems to change like the weather within 10 pounds. Some days I feel like shit, some days I feel flawless… It’s weird. Thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom. I’ve missed your posts!!! Can’t wait to watch the TEDx talk later too.

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Sumera June 10, 2014 at 10:01 am

You are beautiful. Hear me? Beautiful. Inside and outside. That TED talk was poised, funny, understandable and inspiring. Thank you! x

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Kelly June 10, 2014 at 10:02 am

Just Beautiful… :)

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Amy June 10, 2014 at 10:09 am

I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog, you are an inspiration and shows what determination and a little hard work can accomplish. Two years ago I made the decision to get healthy and although I lost 20lbs, it wasn’t enough and I’ve recently decided to go for another 20lbs. I’m sure I’ll be referring to your site/recipes a fair amount. Thank you for sharing your story.

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Ashlee June 10, 2014 at 10:15 am

You aren’t a fraud, Andie. You are genuine and real. This was so beautifully written. Maybe your body knows what it needs and maybe it needs to have tried every cake in New York City! I know you’ve had a rough couple of years but you’re doing so well. You are lovely. I hope you feel lovely. Ps have you read “intuitive eating”?

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Morgan June 10, 2014 at 10:25 am

How scared were you of falling? I think I could do it, but the entire time I’d be focused on the ground.

You are so magnificent. And such an inspiration. Keep doing what you’re doing!

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Alisa June 10, 2014 at 10:33 am

Wow! I’m sitting here crying. Thank you for the
raw honesty. Every word resonated with me. I skipped
my 30 year high school reunion because I was
“too fat” to go. Forget that I had a happy marriage, a successful
career that I left to stay home with two wonderful
but challenging sons with special needs. No, I only
focused on the weight. When I saw the pics that all my old
schoolmates posted on line, I saw people having a
wonderful time reconnecting. And…the guys were balding,
lots of them, both male and female, had lost
their youthful figures. Why did I let my own self
loathing hold me back from this happy event, and so
many other opportunities to connect?
I vow to try and start loving myself more today!

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Gracie June 10, 2014 at 10:41 am

Your speech…unreal. You are such an inspiration.

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Lauren at Keep It Sweet June 10, 2014 at 10:46 am

You are so inspiring and honest… and so relatable! You look gorgeous at any weight and are such a wonderful person that the number and size doesn’t matter to those around you. I’ve had so many of the same thoughts even with less extreme gains and losses, as if anyone really cares what weight I am. Even now that I am pregnant I’m so worried about how I look and fitting into that perfect “cute pregnant girl” body. Thank you for the reminder that we should really take a step back and live our lives without constantly worrying about what size we are today.

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ciely June 10, 2014 at 10:49 am

So much wisdom for someone so young.
Your conclusion to give everyday all you have
instead of lugging your “baggage” as an excuse not to…
that’s the takeaway I got…and that’s what I’ve been doing wrong.
I should send you a check…You can bet I’ll buy your book!

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Tamara June 10, 2014 at 10:56 am

<3

That is all! <3

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Corinne June 10, 2014 at 11:11 am

When you announced you would be giving a Tedx talk I couldn’t wait to watch it. THANK YOU for pushing through and giving your talk. I loved the entire 18 minutes – your talk was beautifully written, you were wonderful on stage and your message was absolutely inspiring!

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Noel June 10, 2014 at 11:14 am

Thanks Andie AGAIN! You have a way of making people not feel like failures. I’ve had health issues so I quit smoking, packed on more pds. Drank waaay too much wine, packed on more. Became borderline diabetic so I quit wine, that has been a daily struggle for me and then the food. Gee Whiz is everything gonna be a struggle and beat myself up each morning for what I ate
or drank yesterday? This made me realize that its ok and things will work out in time. Each step is better than no steps at all. I didn’t get here overnight and it’s not going to come off overnight either. Tell your Mom Hi she’s such a Trouper and Great Lady!!

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Mary @ Fervent Foodie June 10, 2014 at 11:19 am

WOW! I am so proud of you, and so very happy to have met you in Chicago all those years ago. Your poignancy and honesty give me hope and leave me inspired and optomistic! Thank you, Andie!

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Jamie June 10, 2014 at 11:25 am

Your TedTalks was amazing!!! :) I’m so glad you decided to do it!

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liz June 10, 2014 at 11:30 am

oh my word this resonates with me completely! i feel so the same thoughts as you have–waiting to live and hiding in a way b/c i’m not exactly where i want to be body-wise, though it’s about a mere 10 pounds i’ve gained…feeling like i’ve let people down.
but i’m the biggest, and i mean BIGGEST cheerleader for OTHER people, so why wouldn’t i cheer on my own dear self? this is just epic, this piece you’ve written. can’t wait for time to sit and digest your talk.
so beautiful you are. funny thing is–i don’t notice weight at all when i look at you. so i need to realize that people feel the same about me–not noticing the weight, but the smile and countenance. you are gorgeous inside and out.
keep writing and talking and just being vulnerable. it helps everyone!!

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Sharon D. June 10, 2014 at 11:37 am

Thank you for sharing your journey. I have followed you for 3 or 4 years now, and think you are an amazing person! I have gained so much from your posts. You are an inspiration!! Can’t wait to read your book.
PS….what a great smile you have. :)

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Phoebe June 10, 2014 at 11:46 am

Andie…
Just reading the very beginning and I was simply going to post to look up “Brene Brown”. Ha! You’ve got me beat. You are an inspiration and your honesty beautiful.

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Rochelle June 10, 2014 at 11:55 am

Andie,

This is wonderful! Thank you for sharing your ups and downs, I have also lost a large amount and weight and gained a little back here in the last year and this spoke to me and my experience. Thank you for sharing!!

Rochelle

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Jen Crumbaugh June 10, 2014 at 11:56 am

Andie,

Excellent TED talk… THANK YOU for keeping it real. I’d lost 88 lbs at one point (up about 10 now)…. Health, weight, life, family, relationships, friendships…all of this comes into play somehow. Keep writing, keep blogging, trust me, there are people who are listening and need your words.

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Katelyn June 10, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Andie,

I love your blog, and must say- I was completely blown away by your Tedx talk. You are such a poised and talented speaker (and writer), and you delivered your message effortlessly. I found myself laughing, crying, nodding in agreement, and relating on so many levels. I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember and work daily to maintain a 90+ lb. weight loss. I appreciate what you said weight loss having its own associated baggage. Thank you for your honesty. It takes so much courage to express yourself so truthfully and vulnerably.

Your message of getting through each day is my new mantra :)

Thank you!

Katelyn

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Carole June 10, 2014 at 12:33 pm

This is exactly what I needed to read. Andie, you are an inspiration! Thank you for continuing to share your journey with us.

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Ti June 10, 2014 at 12:38 pm

I love that you are not perfect. None of us are. I know that doesn’t make you feel any better but it makes me feel better! Joking aside. This must have been tough for you. Both the speech and sharing your struggles with us but it’s a humbling experience. Even reading it, as I find myself in he same boat, is a humbling experience for myself.

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Kristal June 10, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Oh, Andie. Your post has brought me to tears… I have been struggling with my weight this past year or so and have been facing the same fears. I have been embarrassed, ashamed, afraid to admit to myself that I was out of control. I’ve been waiting to “live my life” once I lose the weight. These fears have greatly escalated in the past few weeks since I have found out I am now expecting a baby. What should be a happy time has turned into in a time of panic. “Why now?” “I should have lost this weight before I became pregnant!” “It’s all over now… I’ll never look the same.” Thank you, thank you, thank you for this. You have no idea how many people need to hear honesty at times like these. Acceptance is liberating.

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Vida June 10, 2014 at 12:49 pm

I get it, Andie. I. Get. It. This entry was like reading my own thoughts and I finally trust that having more acceptance & compassion for my own unique and ever-struggling journey is exactly what will get me “where I need to be”…wherever that is. Thanks for your honesty, it is super refreshing. And inspiring. And unforgettable. Congrats on your book and your Ted talk! So you’re like kind of an even bigger deal than you already were because THAT was a BIG deal, and it was beautifully delivered! Thanks for the blessing, and sending many back your way…

Your sister struggler,
Vida

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Jean June 10, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Thank you… For your writing and for sharing your journey.

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Diana June 10, 2014 at 1:06 pm

You’re real.
And you’re really smart, funny, a great writer and an inspiration.
Thank you.
Keep moving down your road.
Diana

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Sara June 10, 2014 at 1:18 pm

Andie,

Bravo, girl! Bravo! That was an absolutely fantastic presentation. You were so well spoken, poised, honest, and with a little witt thrown in. You did and I’m do glad you did because everything you said really hit home for me. I’m sharing this on my blog FB page and also in a blog post later this week…I want others to definitely hear what you said! I’ve followed your blog for quite some time and it was refreshing to see another side of you presenting content on this wide topic of weight loss and living a healthy lifestyle. Thank you so much!

P.S. You looked AWESOME! :)

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jamie June 10, 2014 at 1:39 pm

andie? your ted talk was simply amazing. equally as amazing and inspiring as brene and glennon. and girl that says it all right there. i cannot wait for your book. i am so proud of you! i would love to know how much your mom loved this??!!?

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Emily June 10, 2014 at 2:02 pm

What a fantastic public speaker you are! I’m so so impressed and happy that I finally got to see you pour some of your amazing, eloquent words out on camera. Way to go!

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Karen June 10, 2014 at 2:11 pm

Thank you so very much for doing the speech. What a great message. Well done!

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vanessa June 10, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Thanks so much for sharing your honesty and vulnerability with us. The speech was incredible (just the right amount of humor!) and I know I will re-watch many times. Looking forward to your book. xo

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Jessica June 10, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Andy,

Again, thank you so much for being so genuine about your journey. I recently got married and have gained almost 25 pounds in a little over a month, Part of that was my body recovering from a 1000/day diet of no carbs except vegetables, plus I couldn’t do my usual high-intensity spin class due to tendinities in my left ankle. I even smoked cigarettes for 3 weeks to keep my appetite down, and to lose the 5 pounds I gained feeling sorry for myself about my inability to work out.

After the wedding, it was like the floodgates just opened and I ate anything any everything that was “forbidden” prior to the wedding. We honeymooned in Paris a mere 2.5 weeks after the wedding, and I had to bring my fat pants! 3 days before we left, my company was sold, and a new CEO was instated. I was scared I was going to lose my job, and I did the morning I got back from my honeymoon. Now, all I want to do is eat eat eat, but I realize that gaining more weight will only create an additional problem. My suits from the last time I interviewed are too tight. I feel like I’m burnt out on dieting, but I know that I’m heavier then I should be. It’s so hard when people don’t realize how much effort I have to put in and how little Ihave to eat just to look like I’m at a decent weight. I was hoping to resolve my food issues before age 30, and here I am, almost 34 and still fighting. My problem is I have a hard time with moderation: I either eat everything or next to nothing. Thanks for being there to let me know I’m not alone.

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Stef June 10, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Hi Andie, I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years now and have always found you to be incredibly inspiring and wonderful. And I hear ya, girl. I’m in a somewhat similar boat; I lost about 65 pounds over the course of a few years, though the bulk of 40+ came off within the last year of my weight loss. And I’ve really not been feeling ok with myself as I’ve proceeded to gain 20 pounds back, about 1/3 of what I had worked so hard to lose, in this last year. I knew it was happening, I didn’t want it to happen, but I haven’t felt entirely in control of it for some time now. Where I used to have motivation to exercise, I now feel motivated to watch marathons of Chopped and House Hunters, and where I used to have iron will power when my co-workers brought donuts to work I now cave nearly every time. I’ve been needing this reminder for a year now, that I only need to focus on today, and I’m so glad you shared your story. It helps so much to hear you put so many of my same feelings into such eloquent words. Thank you!

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Stef June 10, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Ps… Yes, 2012 WAS the worst year ever!

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sarah June 10, 2014 at 2:39 pm

You are wonderful! You are beautiful! You are so honest and speak with such grace. Hearing that we all struggle and fall and succeed and enjoy and accept is such a hope and light.
keep doing what you are doing. You are my inspiration, not so much for weight loss, but for life. A shining example of acceptance and love and honesty.
hugs from LA

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Betsy June 10, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Hi Andie!
I was so excited to see your TED talk today! What an incredible journey you have. I am so thankful there are people like you who inspire me to love myself and to have a healthy relationship with food. You are just a great person and I wish you the best of luck with your book!

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Lori June 10, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Loved the video Andie and it is all true. So true- I could not agree more. It always feels so good to know I am not alone. To know that others struggle with the same things as I. That we are so human, that we are all so similar in so many ways. Not mirrors but the same rivers running through us, connecting us. Thank you for sharing then and now.

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Diane June 10, 2014 at 3:17 pm

How odd, I only opened your e mail alert as I decided to unsubscribe!! You have been a silent but important voice as part of my weight loss journey, it was nice to have someone popping up every so often to share thoughts but lately I have disappointed myself, suddenly it all seems a struggle to maintain my weight loss….self loathing (and self pity) crept in, but here you are again, that lovely honest voice, reassuring me that we all face the same battles with this body/weight management.
You look gorgeous in all your pictures, seriously, you, me and it seems many others who have commented deserve a pat on the back, so what if we stumble, it really must not take away from what we have previously achieved, I must try harder to let go of this feeling of failure, so glad you wrote this post….I look forward to your next!! Best wishes to you :-)

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Becky Woller June 10, 2014 at 3:27 pm

I think this is my new favorite post by Andi! I was wondering where you had been Andi and this explained it perfectly. Once again, I adore your honesty! I have been on my own journey and amazingly lost 60 pounds over the last year and a half since my divorce. Now, since January I have found 20 of those pounds again & I’ve been beating myself up for it. Thank you so much for putting it all into perspective again for me! I can’t wait to devote your book next year!!
Thank you!

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claire June 10, 2014 at 3:36 pm

So beautiful, inspiring, well spoken, honest. Very well done!

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Kate June 10, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Andie. I hope you truly know how beautiful you are – and I’m saying that having skimmed right past the pictures to be able to read your thoughts! I have commented in the past about how much I love and appreciate your full disclosure and honesty – and I’ve been missing it! I can’t wait to get home from work so I can view your TedTalk. What an incredible (and incredibly deserved) honor.

Please remember that whether it is every week or once a year, you speak to me and my heart hears your heart in every word. Blessings to you!!!

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Kellie June 10, 2014 at 4:07 pm

This couldn’t be more perfect. I’m so glad you did the Ted Talk, it was fantastic and I think you would have regretted letting a weight gain get in the way of that. Our bodies are always changing, but as someone who has lost weight as well, it is so hard to see those numbers on the scale move up.

I love the “can you do it today?” mantra. It helps so much to take things one day at a time and also allow ourselves grace for a bad day or meal.

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Courtney June 10, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Oh my, I can relate to your journey.

Your speech was beautiful. You are beautiful – no matter what size. Your words are beautiful and so is your journey. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing all the highs and lows with us.

One of my favorite TED talks – and delivered so eloquently.

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Kristen June 10, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Andie – that was just amazing! Thank you for sharing. “Can you do it today?”

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Karen June 10, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Andie, Your talk was beautiful and inspiring and real.

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Janine T. June 10, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Your talk brought tears to my eyes. I have been following your blog through my entire weight loss journey, from my original pinning of one of your recipes on Pinterest. I clicked through, and I’m sure glad I did. I feel like you talk to me, personally. I thank God for the impact you have had on my life, and for talking about struggles like what they really are: struggles. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for saying it like I feel it.

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Annie B June 10, 2014 at 6:01 pm

That was an amazing piece of writing. Thank you.

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Emily June 10, 2014 at 6:05 pm

this was just what I needed to hear, right when I needed to hear it. as always, thank you so much for sharing your journey with us via this blog.

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Carey June 10, 2014 at 6:24 pm

I was just thinking about you as I drove past the big house on Queen Anne and wondered where life had taken you. It seem like despite the difficulties, life is treating you well and believe me, you could give Oprah a run for her inspirational money. :) Keep it up lady, there are so many women you touch every day. If you’re ever back in Seattle, I’m buying you a drink! Love from the gal in the basement apartment.

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Sandra June 10, 2014 at 6:38 pm

Thank You…this was just what I needed to hear today!

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Paula June 10, 2014 at 6:51 pm

Such a wonderful speech! You should be proud of everything you have accomplished and the positive messages you are sending out about loving yourself. I have been following your blog for a little over a year now and every so often I still go read your weight loss story and find myself inspired to do better and be better. I like your mantra of taking things a day at a time and not focusing so much on getting through the long haul.

Once again wonderful speech and I look forward to your future blogs as they make me smile and let me know that I am not alone in my struggle with my weight.

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Lindsay June 10, 2014 at 7:17 pm

SO good. Thank you so much, I needed this today more than ever and it’s nice to hear “it” a different way than “just keep going”.

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Jess June 10, 2014 at 8:02 pm

I heart you so much. Amazingness.

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Mary June 10, 2014 at 8:16 pm

You are a brilliant storyteller. It was like you stole the words right out of my mouth about what it’s like to lose weight– there’s so much more I could say but the most important thing is thank you. For sharing and for continuing to show up authentically– cannot wait to see what is on the horizon for you! And may have to watch that ted talk a few hundred more times. Brilliant.

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Maria Raynal June 10, 2014 at 8:23 pm

The fact that you’ve struggled, that you’re imperfect, that the journey has been full of twists and turns, well, it just makes me love you even more. The fact that you’re willing to share it, with such genuine grace, eloquence and composure, makes me respect you. You have a glorious, radiant gift and I cannot wait to read your book.

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MH June 10, 2014 at 8:27 pm

This is amazing. Congrats and kudos for one of the best speeches Ive seen in a long long time.

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Christina June 10, 2014 at 9:03 pm

I just wanted to thank you for posting this entry and for sharing your TED talk which I found incredibly moving. I especially love and appreciate your emphasis on just focusing on this moment. I can’t wait to read your book.

Thank you for being so open and honest.

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Debbie June 10, 2014 at 9:06 pm

More. I want more. Of this. Honesty. Struggle. To know I am not alone in my fears of not being able to maintain. Of moving in what feels like the wrong direction on the scale. To feel like a failure. To be kind. Compassionate. To forgive myself. To love myself. I read this and I feel better. Your writing is a gift. Thank you for showing up here in all your beautiful imperfection. It feels like sitting by a fire with a great cup of coffee with the most understanding, non-judgmental and kind friend.

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Raquel June 10, 2014 at 9:46 pm

Andie,

Great job on the presentation – it was so inspiring to me. I have been following your blog for a long time and always can relate to what you write. Keep up the great work, you are inspiring people across the nation. I agree with you, take it one day at a time.

This is by far my favorite Ted talks.

Thank you!
Raquel

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Tracy | Pale Yellow June 10, 2014 at 9:55 pm

Andie, you are wonderful and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story so elegantly.

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Lynn @ Order in the Kitchen June 10, 2014 at 10:31 pm

Andie this was amazing. Beautifully written and so powerful. I know I felt a sense of guilt and shame that I had done a blog post on how I lost 20 pounds (complete with pictures) and then to have gained back 5-10 was so embarrassing. I keep fluctuating and I’m still 20 under my highest weight but it’s still frustrating and I still felt like I should delete the post because I wasn’t that in shape anymore. I’m going to keep it up now. You are such an inspiring woman (at any weight). I’m so amazed at how far you’ve come and you continue to be such an inspiration to me and all women <3

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greta June 10, 2014 at 10:58 pm

Andie, Thank you. I needed this. Right now. I have been struggling similarly and felt lost. Not sure how to get out of this. I can do this, just for today. It was an amazing talk. You are such an engaging speaker and I was riveted. I look forward to more frequent postings (I hope!) as you muddle through. I’ll keep trying too.

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Maggie June 10, 2014 at 11:03 pm

Andie! I have been reading your blog since I was in college several years ago. What an honest and beautiful woman you are. Something was laid on my heart as I read and watched your words tonight..you are right-there is nothing in this world (no job, spouse, cupcake etc) that will ever satisfy because we are wonderfully made by a loving and gracious God who created us for relationship with Him. I know this to be true especially in my own life there is nothing apart from knowing Jesus Christ and surrendering to Him that brings fullness of joy. God bless you!! Thanks always for sharing your heart

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Elaine June 10, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Andie,
You always manage to say exactly what I am feeling. I have been feeling the exact same way about my weight lately and reading your blog post today made me feel not so alone, encouraged, and with a renewed commitment to accept myself and only worry about today. Thank you for continuing to be real.
XO

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Barbara June 10, 2014 at 11:32 pm

High five! You nailed it at Tedx! Thank you for sharing your voice and story and being yourself. Your “cringeworthy moments” connect us all in this great big swath of humanity. I can’t wait to read your book and buy copies for every gal I know.

Thank you also for sharing about your father, it takes great courage to open up such a vulnerable topic. We’ve never really met, but I’m proud of you and your journey and couldn’t be more impressed with how well you’ve tackled what life has given you.

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Andrea June 10, 2014 at 11:59 pm

Andie, you are such an inspiration. I have been following your blog for a couple years and have been amazed countless times with your ability to put into words what so any people are feeling. You are so real. Keep doing what you are doing!

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Liz June 11, 2014 at 1:17 am

Oh Andie…you are lovely, charming, clever, and kind. I hope you see that in yourself more and more. Your talk is delightful and you sound just like I thought you would!

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Anne June 11, 2014 at 1:20 am

Hey Andie! WOW WOW WOW!!!!! You are an amazing speaker…VERY poised, sincere, BEAUTIFUL, fabulous content, amazing delivery, HUGH nerve…did I say BEAUTIFUL?Girl! you ARE the whole package!!!!! Thank you so much for allowing us into your personal life and inner demons. We alllllllll have them. I am so very sorry that you did not feel you could reveal to your virtual friends, the struggles you were/are having. I feel certain that none of us feel you should be perfect! Keep in mind, dear one, that NO ONE is!!!! You are ALWAYS helping us. Let us all share in helping you when the time arises or when some struggle rears its Ugly head!!!! We are all in this together…..I, too, have an inner demon that nags at me. No one can help me. I have to somehow forgive myself. REALLY hard to do. BUT I am working on it along with learning to love myself for all of my other attributes. Food is soothing. Food can be as addictive as any drug. BUT the difference is, we cannot go without eating. So you cannot close the door all the way because we NEED to eat to live, but NOT live to eat. I have lost 15 pounds since January. All of a sudden, things are not as easy as they once were….just one more bite of this….just a tiny bite of that….tomorrow is another day…..little REAL mayo here and blue cheese dressing there, etc….It is allllll a mind set that must be handled delicately EVERY day…..Soooooo impressed with your speech. I could no more have done that then the man in the moon. MEMORIZING alone was a hugh job after writing it. THEN to stand up there and be ever so sincere. My voice would have gone up three octaves and my neck would have been red and splotchy. Not pretty. Could not have been able to remember a word to say, let alone to stand up there for 15-20 minutes and never wavering!!!!!! Honey! You can do anything you want to do. I know you had tons of people asking about your books coming out and wanting to know how to find your blog. And as always, you just have a beautiful way of writing (and now speaking) as well as a great sense of humor when it is most needed. I know this note has been long, rambling and not fluid as your writings always are. LOVE hearing from you again and hope to hear more from you…..I have really missed you. Hugs!!! af

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Stacy Dalton June 11, 2014 at 1:39 am

I had to revisit this blog…I posted late last night, but I KNEW there would be tons of responses supporting Andie and each other. You (we) are such a tremendous system of love and hope and acceptance. Please know that everyone of you (us) is a soul with a body (c.s. lewis), and that soul, that being, is far more important that the shell that carries it. I have always struggled with my weight, my thunder thighs (as my brother used to call them), my feet and toes (why???? why did I waste my time worrying about my darn toes), my hair, my teeth, my freckles…

we. need. to. love. ourselves. first. To truly be loved and accepted, we must love and accept ourselves. Each of us is what we are…we can change to outward appearance, but we really need to get right on the inside, too.

All of you (us) need a big hug and blessings sent.
You are amazing people. We can do this!

You can do this.

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Ivon June 11, 2014 at 2:42 am

I was there that day in Claremont. That speech is the reason I’m following your blog today. You were inspirational with your story telling and poise.

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Catherine @ Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth June 11, 2014 at 5:57 am

This was so beautifully written (as always), Andie. Thank you for being candid, vulnerable, and brave. You are so inspiring. Your Ted Talk was wonderful, I’m so proud of you and happy that you did it!

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Lori June 11, 2014 at 7:19 am

Thank you, Andie. Just simply thank you =)

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Michelle Decker June 11, 2014 at 7:21 am

I love you Andie Mitchell. You are always inspiring, candid, raw and real. Thank you for that. Can’t wait for your book to come out!!

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Heather @ Sugar Dish Me June 11, 2014 at 8:00 am

Geeeeeez Andi. I’ve been reading here for years and you’ve made me cry before, but this… THIS. It’s like you took all the words and feelings out of my head and my heart. Thank you.

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Courtney June 11, 2014 at 8:14 am

No, I guess we’re not alone, are we?

Love and light to you, Andie.

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Rachel June 11, 2014 at 9:05 am

Andie,
Thank you for your honest and inspiring post. Your blog has been a great support to lots of us out here in cyberworld (check out all of these comments!) and though I can only speak for myself, I am sure many others would love to be able to be as supportive for you as you have been for your community of readers. Please do not hesitate to lean on us!

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S B. June 11, 2014 at 9:21 am

Andie, you were amazing. I have been reading your blog for about 2 years. You look amazing, you do! Side note: Your hair looks sensational and I am loving those shoes too!
That TED talk was the BEST I have ever seen. Hands down. Congrats to you and your mum on all of your successes and everything exciting coming up. Much Love S. Avid reader and occasional commenter ;)

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S B. June 11, 2014 at 9:23 am

Wrong website address, sorry fellow readers! :)

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Laxmi Patel June 11, 2014 at 10:02 am

Andie,
This is such a brave and honest post. It takes a great deal of courage to reveal all the things you did. We have become too used to media stories that begin with ‘I was 100 lbs overweight, I did this-that-and-that and look at me now!’. These kinds of articles tell only half the story. You do everyone trying to lose weight a great service by telling the other half of the story – keeping weight off is HARD when you throw in the rest of ‘life’ – work, moves, illness, harsh winters etc.
You are an inspiration to me and I am sure to all your readers..
-Laxmi

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Kelly @ Broccoliandboxjumps June 11, 2014 at 10:14 am

Andie, I have read your blog since the beginning, you have inspired me to go on my own weight lost journey. Thank you for being you in everything you write, as a reader of your blog, I only imagined what your voice was like but hearing you speak during the TED talk was amazing. Keep being you as you inspire so many people.

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kat June 11, 2014 at 10:59 am

thank you – as a person who has lost and gained and gained again…today was my new starting day…i needed to hear this…i needed to here “im going to be ok”, “dont stop living or doing the things you want to”, “I am a work in progress”…you’re strength to thrust yourself out there despite how you felt about yourself gives me to the courage to thrust myself out there and just be ok and happy with myself :).

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Laura June 11, 2014 at 11:13 am

Brava! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful post!

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Maddie June 11, 2014 at 11:15 am

That was such a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing your story :)

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Stephanie June 11, 2014 at 11:49 am

Andie! While I’ve read much the same story as you presented in your speech throughout the life of your blog, hearing you speak the words yourself seemed to give them so much more meaning and impact. We are all human, and your determination to continue through everything is inspiring. When I’ve felt like quitting my own weight loss journey (when I have quit) it seems you post just the right message to get me back on track. Thank you for being that voice for all of us struggling in this world of deep fried goodies and giant proportions. (You look fabulous in the LBD btw)

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Susie June 11, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Thank you for being so open and honest about a struggle that many of us are going through. I am in the middle of a weight gain after keeping it off for 10 years. I have to stop beating myself up and just get back on the wagon! BTW, I just spent my whole morning reading your mother’s story. Can we have an update? I just printed out all the recipes and am so inspired by hers/your weight loss!

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angela June 11, 2014 at 12:44 pm

I don’t even know how to respond. I wish I could hug you. This video, this post is all the things, all the heaviness, the pain, and the hope. Your story is incredible because you are incredible. How much you weigh couldn’t matter less. You are so much, so many amazing things, so much light.

On a personal note, this encouraged me so much today and I needed it badly. Thank you. Thank you for sharing, for your vulnerability, and for shouldering your pain, along with the rest of ours.

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Nicole June 11, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Your TED talk was beautifully vulnerable

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Katie@LifesNextBigStep June 11, 2014 at 1:37 pm

This. This is beautifully written and wonderfully executed. I love your thought process (as I have had the same thoughts many, many times). Thank you for sharing, so much.

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Kemar Jones June 11, 2014 at 1:49 pm

It takes rock hard motivation to fit yourself into an exercise regime when your not used to doing anything at all but i’ve found that you have to love yourself and want to be the best you in order to find that place where motivation flows freely.

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Jennifer June 11, 2014 at 1:55 pm

Such a great post and an amazing TED talk. Thank you for sharing your story Andie. You have brightened my day and I can’t wait to send this to others to help brighten their day. We all go through struggles with body image, no matter how small or not so small we are.

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Katie June 11, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Thank you for being human and thank you for being so honest! I needed this today.

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Anne June 11, 2014 at 2:06 pm

You were inspiring before TEDx. You’re even more inspiring after!

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Stephanie Hanson June 11, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Andie – you are a true inspiration. I love that you are so real and honest – makes those of us who are going through similar struggles after weight loss know we aren’t alone. Keep doing what you are doing!!

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Brie June 11, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Your post and TEDx talk are both brutally honest, and inspirational. I love this blog, and that you don’t try to be anyone other than who you are, even if it is a little bit heavier than when you started. You’re beautiful regardless, and your speech will stay with me. Thank you for sharing!

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Katie June 11, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Okay I have to ask this–and you don’t have to share it with us, but I figured it can’t hurt to ask. Knowing your history of exercise and your feelings on it [then], what are you doing this time to lose weight again and how does it compare to the previous experience? I’m just really curious.

By the way, you are amazing and are the reason I’m vowing to get my own head back in the game.

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Amanda June 11, 2014 at 4:54 pm

When I first read this post it definitely hit home, I think I was a bit shell shocked that someone else was able to articulate my current feelings so accurately. So I just re-read it and I’m just as affected by it. Documenting and discussing this kind of struggle is SO necessary. You are giving a voice to those of us who have faced disheartening setbacks while on the weight loss journey and giving us someone to relate to and learn from because, as sad as it is, there is going to be plenty of failure along the way. About a year and a half ago I lost 40lbs, not doing anything crazy or drastic, but just eating differently, in terms of both types of food and portion sizes, and exercise; since then, I’ve graduated with a Masters degree and moved to a new city and in the process, put back on all the weight I lost. I’m absolutely devastated, disappointed and ashamed of myself, which is why your post helps so so much! Plus, the fact that you mentioned Brene Brown, who is also a personal hero of mine, made me even more convinced that I was meant to read this and take what you’ve shared to heart. Thank you!

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Lucy June 11, 2014 at 5:51 pm

Andie, that was wonderful. I am so happy to find that you sound the same in person as you do on the page. That was heartfelt and touching and a joy to watch.

Thank you.

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Hanan June 11, 2014 at 6:16 pm

Not only were we blessed to read your amazing words, but we also got to hear your empowering voice. Thank you so much for sharing. You’re beautiful, inside and out.

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Hootie June 11, 2014 at 7:31 pm

Just like Brene is an “aha verifier” for Oprah and gives the language to express those things that we all know to be the truth…

We get you because you get it! And you “use your words” better than most :)

I love you, I see you, I am so glad you are here!

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Christine June 11, 2014 at 8:45 pm

Andie, you are human like all of us. We all struggle. So you gained some weight back? Look at what you’ve accomplished in the long run. We all need to focus on what makes us happy and healthy, and not just a number on the scale. I’m happy that you are doing this.

You are an inspiration to a lot of people, those who have gone through what you are experiencing now. We are there with you. Stay strong and be happy.

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Katie June 11, 2014 at 9:05 pm

Your words, written and spoken, have been so meaningful to me. Today. I can do today. Thank you.

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Kristi June 11, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Andie,
Your words are beautiful. You are beautiful.
Thank you so much for sharing. So many of us are on this journey and find it hard to give ourselves the grace we so readily give others. Thank you for the powerful reminders!
In gratitude, and continuously impressed and inspired by you-

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Hope M. June 11, 2014 at 10:54 pm

Beautiful! Everything – your words, photos, Tedx Talk, the works. Way to rock it :)

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Bob June 11, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Hi, I think you are smart and fun and interesting and beautiful at all your weights. :-)

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April June 12, 2014 at 2:16 am

You are beautiful, inside and out. Thanks for the honesty, the thoughtfulness, and for, as always, listening to all of our stories too. I’ve gained back some weight this year that I had lost and said I would never gain back. It’s frustrating, but I know it can (and will) go back down. But most of all I know that I’m not the sum of the numbers on the scale. Your blog (and your TED talk) help me remember that, so thank you for that.

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Laur June 12, 2014 at 7:14 am

Your talk deeply resonated and brought tears to my eyes. I am still there in the shame and loathing and bewilderment of this struggle. You articulated it perfectly and with good humor. Who knew you could speak as well as your wrote? High five, girlfriend.

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SarahSmile June 12, 2014 at 9:15 am

You are a rockstar speaker!! You go girl!! AND you are incredibly beautiful! Keep up your hard work and know that you ARE making a difference in people’s lives, if even just by showing that we are all fighting a tough fight and struggling at one point or another!

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Jennette June 12, 2014 at 9:47 am

Andie,
I have been reading your blog for about 2 years. I have to say that while you have posted so many beautiful stories, inspirations and struggles, this one has resonated the most. I want to forward this post to everyone! “This! Everyone read it!!!”

Your grace, vunerability and generosity in sharing your story with all of us is incredible. Thank you. Thank you for showing us that one day is really what it is all about. Thank you for showing us that struggles and problems do not go away with the weight. Thank you for being brave for us.

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Andrea June 12, 2014 at 10:43 am

Beautifully written post.. I can 100% relate!! It’s always easier to give advice to others. Being honest with ourselves is the toughest work.

PS-you’re beauitful at ANY size :)

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Geena|Dance Your Fats Away June 12, 2014 at 11:07 am

Andie, this is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts because it is a reminder for all of us that we should look at the bigger picture. Losing weight is not the ultimate goal. it is self acceptance and love. Sometimes we are blinded by the ideas and opinions of others that we end up hurting ourselves. Successful weight loss is not only measured by decrease in pounds but also change in character.

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Jo Shontz June 12, 2014 at 11:33 am

This is absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for putting yourself out there!

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Alexis June 12, 2014 at 12:45 pm

This is tremendous and beautiful and inspiring and heart-wrenching and raw and just….amazing. Like many of the previous 148 commenters, I’ve followed your blog for a number of years now, and was even one of those people who wrote and shared my story and received a few nuggets of wisdom back from you – and every time I check in here to see how you’re doing, I’m never anything short of awed. No matter our size, shape, gender, color, age or sexuality, we are all just trying to navigate this crazy journey we call life. Your honesty and realness, your vulnerability and emotion, are helping so many people looking for somebody or something to relate to. You are beautiful and brave, at any weight, and I hope that you continue to advise yourself like you would advise others – you deserve the peace of mind and joy that you wish upon everybody else just as much as they do. Thanks for sharing with us. :)

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Alyssa June 12, 2014 at 12:51 pm

WOW, THANK YOU so much for your courage to take the stage and share your incredible story in a vulnerable, poised, funny, and genuine way!! Your blog has provided a tremendous amount of inspiration for me over the years, and I can’t thank you enough for following up and articulating perfectly the bittersweet feelings that result from ‘successful’ weight loss and existing as a thin person. I am struggling to work these things out, and I can’t wait to read your book and buy them for the meaningful people in my life!

You are a true inspiration, a gift to the world, and a lovely soul. Please continue to wrest your demons and shine your light on so many lives :)

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Candice June 12, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Thank you for sharing this. I have struggled this past year after gaining 35lbs while pregnant and immediately losing 30 the first week post-partum thinking I had this thing in the bag. Now 19 months later I am still struggling to lose those last 5lbs which turned into 10lbs and deal with a miscarriage and look after myself the way I need to, so I can continue looking after my family, all the while being happy with the me I am today. I appreciate your ‘do it today’ mantra. It encourages me to keep trying and make the most of today.

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Ryan June 12, 2014 at 4:09 pm

So glad you’re back! You’ve definitely been missed. Thank you for continuing to share your journey and just know that you are gorgeous at any size!

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Morgan June 12, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Andie,

You are truly an ongoing inspiration. Whenever I am about to binge, I read your posts. I enjoyed my trip to Vegas for all its bread and sweets. Despite the weight gain, after reading this post I was all, “Hey…wait! I look good.” I recently gained back the 15 pounds I lost during this time of the year last year. I was super bummed and your video picked me right back up. You really reminded me that I have to love life and no amount of weight loss can make me debt-free or rid my troubles. Thank you for making me love my body.

You have an amazing voice. Thank you for sharing it with the world!

Much Love,

Morgan

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Sarah June 12, 2014 at 5:40 pm

You’re an inspiration. Thank you for being authentic.

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Laura @ My Friend's Bakery June 12, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Thank you Andie for keeping it all real. You are inspirational and I will watch your Tedx talk again and again when I’m feeling the need to put myself back into perspective. And today I’m going to start telling myself – “Just today.”

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Kaley June 12, 2014 at 7:48 pm

Man, you are so freaking good! I could watch you all day. You should be on telly. Your verbal style is super captivating, just like your writing. Well done, love. Long time fan from Australia. Cheers!

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Suzi H June 12, 2014 at 8:42 pm

This was beautiful, powerful, brave. Thank you for sharing your stories.

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Sarah F. June 12, 2014 at 10:10 pm

Andie,
You are such an inspiration! I have so connected with you! I just the other day had said I felt like a fraud because of my weight regain. I went from ~450 pounds down to 201 pounds, but have ballooned back to 303 pounds. I am trying to forgive myself. As you have said I would show much more kindness and compassion if I was speaking to someone else. Today, I will show myself that same kindness and know that I deserve such kindness.

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Rebecca June 12, 2014 at 11:48 pm

Great talk – I can really relate. For me, one of the most anxious times is when I’ve actually attained my goal – it’s like I know how tenuous that moment of perfectly balanced eating with an arduous workout regime is. Any misstep can send me careening back into the realm of ‘thick’. I think I’m still struggling with trying to relax and enjoy when my lifestyle is healthy. Twenty years later and in my head if I relax I’ll be that chubby teenager again.

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Anne June 13, 2014 at 1:00 am

I have listened to your speech several times. Each time I take away one more thing. I am trying very hard to just do it for today. Period. I am not perfect but I am paying attention just for today…
I love the name and cover of your book…..”It Was Me All Along.” GREAT title and precious picture of you as a child on the beach….the beach….where we wear the least clothes in public and are the most vulnerable!!! You have soooo much to share and so very insightful. Pat yourself on the back. As they say, “You’ve come a long way baby!” Be proud. I am so proud of you and so are thousands of others. Hugs, af

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Erin M. June 13, 2014 at 7:29 am

Thank you. Your honesty is so refreshing. You are an amazing person.

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Sarah June 13, 2014 at 9:24 am

This post truly brought tears to my eyes. I have been overweight my whole life, still have over 100 lbs to lose to be at a “healthy weight” but I am really trying to accept and love myself NOW, to live life without being held back by my weight NOW, and to enjoy life NOW. You are right – life is made by experiences, by living it, not by having the perfect house, marriage, job, etc. Love, love, love. And you are so beautiful – please know that!

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Katie June 13, 2014 at 10:45 am

Thank you! Thank you for being honest and open with your own weight loss struggles. I am getting married in 4 months and have been beating myself up because I’m not losing the weight I “should.” This is such a great reminder that no one is perfect and you have to accept yourself where you are in the moment and move from there. Just… thank you!

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momtaxijulie June 13, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Pretty much awesome.

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Katriel June 13, 2014 at 4:41 pm

Thank you for sharing your story. I loved the things you had to say.
I myself went through a weight loss experience where I managed to bring my weight down from 220-155. And yeah, that 155 looked like 165 a lot of the time.
Now, 23 weeks into my first pregnancy, I saw that the scale was up over 200 again. And I panicked. I’m a wellness coach, a crossfit coach, my husband owns a gym, and I somehow managed to gain 40 pounds in 20 weeks. And I felt like the biggest hypocrite in the world.
The words you wrote and spoke went straight to my heart. Thank you for having the courage to share your journey.

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Bri June 13, 2014 at 6:21 pm

I had lost 35 lbs quickly from tons of gym time and healthy eating. I lost it quick and vowed to never gain it back. Well I gained 25 back and it is so hard because I feel like a failure. I feel like I cannot ever succeed because I was so foolish to gain it back. I have a holiday in Jan and I just want to feel great. I feel so stuck because I know confidence as self love is key but how do I get it…
Anyways seeing your honest writing helps a little. It helps to know we all struggle ,even those we look up to.

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Jenn June 13, 2014 at 7:47 pm

Man oh man did I need this TED video today. Thank you!!!

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LN June 14, 2014 at 9:49 am

Wow. Thank you. I know your Mom is so proud.

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Ann June 14, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Andie, you are my girl crush. I love you and your message. You a beautiful, inside and out.

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Janine June 14, 2014 at 8:04 pm

Amazing, as always. I needed this, I’m struggling with myself right now. You are wonderful.

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Stacy Dalton June 17, 2014 at 4:24 pm

I posted something like this below – but thought you could use some words of encouragement. You are amazing and beautiful. You can love yourself…it’s okay to do that. Don’t let anyone take away your joy and happiness…No one should be able to do that – especially yourself. You were created to be strong and resilient. So accept yourself for who you want to be and give yourself a positive inner voice that simply says “I. am. enough”
Don’t be the one to bully yourself. Declare it so. Declare your love for yourself. Really – that’s a great place to start.

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Hannah June 15, 2014 at 1:27 am

That was amazing, Andie. I cannot wait for your book! I’ve been looking forward to it since you announced the creation of it. :D
Just what I needed to hear today, too.

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Bee June 15, 2014 at 3:35 pm

Andie, thank you so, so much for this. You are truly inspiring and your TED talk was deeply moving. You shared your story with honesty and bravery and I admire you for everything. Thank you for being such a wonderful person and sharing your journey with us. I hope that this year – and the next, and the one after that – you find joy and comfort and “fullness” in life.

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Kacie June 15, 2014 at 4:19 pm

So I’m going to have to start watching your TED talk every single morning. You did a beautiful job, Andie, and your writing is as wonderful as ever. Please write more; you are missed!

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Amie June 15, 2014 at 5:05 pm

I hope that you know, really feel, how much you inspire and educate and speak to us (me). So many times you write something and I just sit there a little taken aback by how right on it is and how close it is to how I’m feeling but can’t convey myself. Everyone’s struggle is different but there are similarities in each of them and when you speak of your journey you give me hope for mine. thank you for being so open. You’re amazing.

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Florence June 15, 2014 at 8:25 pm

you are such the shit. thank you thank you for being so beautiful.

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Stacy Dalton June 17, 2014 at 4:25 pm

Florence – I couldn’t agree with you more!

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Mandi June 15, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Thank you, Andie. I needed to read this.

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Marie June 15, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Words have power to change literally the world. I find your words to be achingly beautiful. It’s that simple. The story you paint during your Ted Talks literally took my breath away. It ‘weight gain’ after a loss is the dirty secret that happens.to.everyone. Facing it, hiding from it, having the shame envelop are all natural coping behaviors.
You have been away for a long time, listening to you and reading your words, we now understand your journey. I wish you peace and support on your continued journey.
BTW, if I saw your book in the bookstore and didn’t know you already, I’d buy it just for the title and precious photo of that little girl so long ago. Your book is on my order list.
Please don’t stay away so long until your next entry….

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Carrie June 15, 2014 at 9:06 pm

I have followed your blog for several years and when I saw you gave a Ted Talk I was thrilled. I have sent it on to a friend and cannot say enough good things about it. I don’t even know you and I am proud of you for doing that :).

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cait June 15, 2014 at 10:36 pm

thank you for writing this & sharing in that wonderful way you have with words. i am going through a similar re-adjustment of trying to accept myself after having lost a large amount of weight, gaining near 50 lbs during pregnancy, losing that weight but then getting hit with loads of health issues and a terrible sprained ankle that left me feeling helpless and weak. it is tough to try to be who you were just a few months ago, let alone years, and sometimes your body won’t let you be the same person. i used to run, now it just causes pain. it makes me sad and i’m trying to find a new avenue of health and the comforting strength of self that comes from an exercise you can enjoy so much… here’s to accepting the little graces and joys in the days and hoping that they lead back to strength and health :)

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Celesta June 16, 2014 at 8:57 am

You have such a beautiful heart and spirit. This post really spoke to me as someone that is dealing with the same issues and on a similar journey. We can do this!

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Stacy Dalton June 17, 2014 at 4:26 pm

You can! Just declare it so :)

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Nichole @ Casa de Crews June 16, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. This is life. You can’t and won’t be on point everyday because well, who is?! I struggle with this so much. If it were anyone else, I’d tell them, “Just take it a day at a time”. but of course we are all our own worst critics, right? Thanks for always being so real and honest. I can’t wait to read your book! And also while I don’t have a pug, I died at that shirt :)

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Arika June 16, 2014 at 1:31 pm

I wish that we were friends so that when you’re struggling I could tell you what an inspiration you are, especially when you have the strength to share with the world when you are going through a tough time, and that I could tell you that you look great, without sounding like a creep-o. :) And that when I am grappling with myself and the choices in front of me, you could tell me it’ll be okay and that I can do this, and I would believe you, because you’ve been there.

Simply incredible. Thank you for one of the best things I have heard regarding weight loss and learning to love oneself.

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Kate June 16, 2014 at 1:56 pm

Andie, I happened upon your blog and Ted talk this morning. It seems almost providential given that this morning, after 30 years of being 10-15 lbs. above my ideal weight, I realized that I am 50 lbs. above a healthy weight. I used food to numb myself during a tremendously difficult time. Now that I’m on the other side of the stress and six months of therapy, I am ready to make healthy choices for my body. But 50 lbs. feels overwhelming. To hear you speak about taking weight loss one day at a time helped me to understand how to get started. We live in a world that touts instant weight loss everywhere, but finding peace with food and with my body is a lifelong journey. Thank you for saying this is in a way that I could understand. Thanks, too, for your courage and grace.

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Stacy Dalton June 17, 2014 at 4:28 pm

AWWWW – grace! I love that association with Andie! Beautifully said.

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Bearsmama June 16, 2014 at 5:49 pm

So happy to have found your blog a few months ago. Loved the Ted Talk. And loved your honesty in your latest blog post. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself here.

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Lisa June 16, 2014 at 6:28 pm

Incredible TED talk! You should be very proud of yourself, thank you for sharing your story!

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Stacy Dalton June 17, 2014 at 4:20 pm

Something else about your photos…and who you are: you look amazing. You look amazing because you are amazing. You are amazing because you think you are amazing. I hope that make sense…

I know that I “feel” beautiful because I have a husband that tells me that I am beautiful every day…every. single. day. He tells me that I’m more beautiful than the day we met. He tells me that he loves me more than he did 17 years ago. He tells me how great a mom I am…and all of this leads me to be that person. If each of us could have that inner voice that validates who we are and who we want to be – we would become that person. I do feel more beautiful and more in love – but that’s because of my husband. If only I could replicate that voice to myself…think of all the things I could become.

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Erin Gates June 17, 2014 at 4:38 pm

You are my favorite blog writer and will always be for the honesty and truth you share! We can all relate girl!

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Katie Marini June 17, 2014 at 5:30 pm

ANDIE,

WOW–you are a terrific public speaker!! It was such a pleasure to see you speak your words. So empowering. I love what you have to say about living each day, one at a time. And I love your description of the phobias you had in college (having people watch you/wearing a cardigan all the time, etc). I can definitely relate. I, too, gained back about 40 pounds from the original 90 that I lost and I’m trying to lose them again, with the mantra take each day, one day at a time. Somehow, this time I don’t feel as desperate or scared to lose the weight–just determined.

I’m going to show this video to my husband. I think it’s awesome.

Take care of yourself and I can’t wait to read your book!
Katie

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Morgan June 18, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Thank you for sharing this story.

I have to admit that before you did I was mad at you. Which is silly really because we don’t know each other. But I was mad b/c I had been following your blog for years now and I loved reading your daily-ish entries, but I felt like your presence had diminished greatly over the last year (which obviously it had) but I assumed it was b/c you were busy with your book and other things and you just didn’t care about writing for “us” anymore.

I’m sorry for felling that way now b/c I completely understand what you were going through. I apologize for accusing you of something that was untrue, even if it was only in my mind.

I enjoyed listening to your Tedx speech. Bravo! It was very well done. Glad to have you back.

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Amy June 18, 2014 at 1:41 pm

You’re a beautiful soul with a beautiful story and a real passion for life. Not just a perfect life but a full life of triumphs and disappointments and of love and grace. Thank you for sharing every journey within your journey and not being afraid to feel and love yourself where you are. Accepting ourselves, faults and all, is one of the most important lessons of this life.

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Robin June 18, 2014 at 5:12 pm

You are just so inspiring. Love you love your blog.

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Brooke: Not On a Diet June 18, 2014 at 5:16 pm

I cannot tell you how much I needed to read this and to watch your TEDx talk! As someone who blogs and has lost a lot of weight (172lbs) I can relate so much to this. I have gained some weight back as well and struggling with a lot of the same things you are.

And the part in your TEDx talk about the world now noticing you was like you took words right out of my mouth.

You are amazing, inspiring, and so beautiful.

Thank you for being you! <3

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ElGuappa June 18, 2014 at 11:53 pm

Dearest Andie: I have not been keeping up with the blog, so this post is the first I’ve read in a couple of months. And it’s probably the best thing you’ve ever written, I mean besides the book (which I can’t wait to read), and many of your other blog posts : ) : )

I absolutely love how you ended this post. Those words: “…But I’m not so sure that you or I need more examples of people living pristinely. Maybe we need to see that we’re all just human…” are so sweet to read, because I agree with you more than I can express. Thank you!

I don’t even know you, but I’m so proud of you! That’s a bit weird, I know, but it’s true. What a tremendous amount of courage it takes to face yourself and extend a kind hand instead of bitchslap yourself the way you may have in the past. That’s what I have been trying to do in my own life, having regained 40 lbs by exercising religiously and micromanaging my diet, and it’s like treading water without legs on some days.

You are more of an inspiration than ever by showing self-love and acceptance. And, you are every bit as beautiful as you always have been, now and before the weight loss.

What a journey you have taken. I hope you stop for a moment and give yourself some love today. You earned it.

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Stephany June 19, 2014 at 5:48 am

This post has given me a lot of hope. I just recently gained back a lot of the weight I had worked so hard to lose and I was getting so frustrated with myself, but the weight kept stacking on. This had given me so much hope, just knowing that I’m not the only one who gains weight after losing it or that the road is hard. I’m going to start taking things one day at a time too! Thank you so much Andie!

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Jen @Fefferbooks June 19, 2014 at 10:44 am

Oh, Andie, I adore you–you made me cry! I can’t wait to review your book. Thanks for putting yourself out there and being so honest. <3

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Leslie June 19, 2014 at 12:51 pm

I just love this post!!! I still struggle with my body image I guess like anybody else does. But I will say that I love my body more than I ever have. I started this journey at 511 pounds last July, and now I weigh 425.6 pounds. I have officially lost 85 pounds. In all the times before it was always about getting the idea body, but now I can honestly say that I just want to be healthy. I look in the mirror and 90% of the time I don’t feel disgust. I see my beauty. One of the things that I do every morning is I wake up and I thank God for the gift of today. I thank God for my body today. Our bodies have been through a lot for us. I am grateful for my body. That has helped me tremendously. Thanks so much for sharing this. It is so important :)

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Lisa Kelley June 19, 2014 at 1:53 pm

The video was amazing. You summed up everything I have felt my entire life! I found your blog about 6 months ago, I am so glad you are back and we have very similar journeys. I appreciate you sharing yours as it is very inspirational and helpful!

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Christie June 19, 2014 at 3:45 pm

This is what I needed today. I am 37 years old and I have been maintaining a 40 pound weight loss of almost three years and I am miserable about it. There are so many days that I wish I could just have a treat without a side of guilt, or go out for a burger, but the truth is I am trapped. Being slim is like walking a tightrope and I am so afraid to fall. After hearing all the “wow, you lost a lost of weight” comments or looks of surprise when people see me, I am terrified of gaining weight. I miss being chubby, happier and more balanced overall.

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Chante Chanel June 19, 2014 at 7:29 pm

Andie,
Thank you for this! Just recently someone told me I could stand to lose a little bit of weight. I know it’s not much but I lost 20lbs 11/2yrs ago, and I’ve kept it off until recently that I gained 7 of the 20lbs back. I think that’s darn good that it has only been 7, and I’m loving myself at this weight just as much as I was loving myself at the full 20!

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Katie June 20, 2014 at 7:31 am

I’ve been reading your blog for a while but I’ve never commented – in fact I’ve never commented on anything on the internet. But your words have just given me the strength to get through today, and for that I think I have to say thank you. You are very inspiring and truly beautiful.

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Allison June 20, 2014 at 9:20 am

Andie- I love your blog and recipes, and your TEDx talk was amazing- witty, genuine and inspirational. The 200+ glowing comments above already sum up most of my thoughts but count me as one more person who feels happier and more encouraged for having followed your journey and listened to your perspective.

I think this was my favorite line in your most recent post: “But I’m not so sure that you or I need more examples of people living pristinely. Maybe we need to see that we’re all just human…” Perfectly stated! Perfection is overrated.

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Andrea June 20, 2014 at 10:04 am

Andie
I didn’t know I’d been holding my breath hoping to see a new entry in your blog until I got to the video and was finally ready to exhale!
Thank you so much for sharing this incredibly personal journey. It really resonates.

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Lauren June 20, 2014 at 11:32 am

I just watched your video…awesome, inspiring, and sooo helpful to me.
I also preordered your book!! can’t wait to read it. my goal is to be near goal weight by the time it is released and to read your book to help me begin the process of maintenance!!!
Thank you for sharing your story, your feelings, your struggles and your successes.

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Leigh June 20, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Don’t worry, you’re “just right.” I think you always were❤️

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Erica June 21, 2014 at 11:29 pm

Oh girl, I’m there with you. I feel like I’m just a couple chapters behind in a similar story. Thank you for your honesty and for sharing your tender heart with us. Love always.

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Paige June 22, 2014 at 1:02 am

thank you for sharing. that was just what i needed to hear right now!

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Cathryn June 23, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Excellent post. Beautiful speech. I’ve read your blog for years and appreciate your gentle and accepting nature. Your honesty is eloquent and your enthusiasm infectious. Thank you! Thank you.

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Stefanie June 23, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Oh wow. I was sent your way at a perfect time. I needed to read this today. I love this article and everything you said. Thank you. Thank you so much

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melissa June 23, 2014 at 10:38 pm

no words. just thank you.

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Suzanne June 24, 2014 at 11:45 pm

Congratulations to you on your achievement! I have just pre-ordered your book and am looking forward to reading it t when it’s released. I enjoy your blog and look forward to future posts.
Regards,
Suzanne

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Erica June 25, 2014 at 3:45 pm

I came across your blog when I typed in google “should I lose weight or accept myself”. I have lost and gained over 200lbs the last 5 years and I feel ashamed and so tired of the loss/gain cycle. I know that for my own sanity I need to get to a place of acceptance at any weight. I blame others for “looking down on me” when I gain the weight back, but I know the real problem lies with me and the inability to fully accept myself. What resonated with me was when you talked about thinking that being “skinny” would be the answer to all of your problems and it wasn’t…cause at the end of the day, wherever you go, there you are. Thank you for being brave enough to be honest.

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Lisa June 26, 2014 at 10:50 am

Thank you!! I just wanted to say a huge thank you to you for being so honest. I lost 65lbs. about 7 years ago and kept it off for 6…and now I’ve gained it all back. I have felt like such a failure and wondered how in the world I would ever be able to lost it again, but reading this post and listening to your video have really helped. You always hear about the successess…the number of pounds lost, how someone did it, how great they feel…but you don’t usually hear someone being honest about how hard it is too keep off, and heaven forbid, gaining some of it back. It’s so comforting to know that you struggle too, and that it’s not just miraculously easy for those that have lost a lot of weight. I am still struggling, but I have hope again!

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Annie June 26, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Beautiful and inspirational. Thank you.

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mosprott June 27, 2014 at 5:03 pm

That was lovely, Andie. Congrats.

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Xanthe June 28, 2014 at 7:48 am

Thankyou. I don’t have weight to lose or issues to deal with but this talk was perfect for me too. We all need to here about just making it through today. To be here now and to be full of life. Thanks xxx

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Xanthe June 28, 2014 at 7:49 am

*hear. Auto correct my ass

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Abby June 28, 2014 at 1:21 pm

That ted talk was amazing! I see good things in your future!

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Gillian June 29, 2014 at 9:39 am

Hi Andi–

I’ve spent years now reading your blog but never commented. After watching your TEDx talk, I need to tell you that you are a beautiful person from the inside out and you deserve the happiness you’re seeking. I look forward to reading your memoir. I hope the talk brought you all the confidence and appreciation you deserve because you did an absolutely wonderful job expressing yourself and your story in 18 minutes. Also, your hair looks INCREDIBLE.

Wishing you complete happiness.

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Maddy July 2, 2014 at 1:19 am

Your TEDx talk was exactly what I needed to hear today, right this minute. Thank you so much.

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Mary Anne July 2, 2014 at 4:05 pm

I love you!!

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Jennifer July 3, 2014 at 7:01 pm

That. Was. Wonderful. Thank you.

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Andrea July 8, 2014 at 4:17 pm

first time on your blog and I got to say that I love you already.. your talk on being overweight was like a breath of fresh air for me.. Thank you.

Recently Ive started my weightloss journey (again) and for once in my life I’m doing it for the right reasons.

Best of Luck to you :)

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Natalia July 23, 2014 at 4:22 pm

OMG..brilliant.

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Rose July 24, 2014 at 7:33 am

Andie if this crazy ride you’re on stops that will be OK because you will still have you, and you is pretty extraordinary.

Brilliant talk!

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Christine F. July 28, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your story.

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