Monday, August 9, 2010

Losing Weight

The time has come to address the elephant in the room... which is the fact that my roomly presence is now significantly less elephant-like. I've avoided the topic for the last couple of months with the same superstitions in mind that keep me from discussing videos before they've been made-- I didn't want to jinx anything while the project was still a work-in-progress. But as I stood on a scale this morning, it became even more apparent that the progression is over. In the last three months (almost to the day), I've lost twenty-five freakin' pounds.

The thing is, I've never been fat. At my least healthy, I was still within what the internet considers an average range. However, for three years or so, I was hauling around extra pounds. There's a difference between having a "bigger body type" and just carrying more weight than you should. I didn't look big or abundantly chubby or anything, but I was supposed to be a small girl, and my extra twenty pounds was quite obviously extra. Whether it was technically grave or not, I had a problem, and I needed to change it.

My unparalleled love of food has been part of my personality since birth, and it certainly doesn't seem to be going anywhere, so I really don't think eating is entirely to blame. The obvious enemy in this case was an emotional thing. I don't talk about it much, but I had some pretty big personal issues with depression for a couple of years. I consider the start of that to be eighth grade, I think, and the end to be around spring of my senior year. As much as I'm still... almost embarrassed to address it at all, I really spent a long time being miserable. This didn't manifest itself in my physical appearance at first, because I didn't finish developing fully until I was about fifteen, at which point I was running cross-country and struggling to eat enough to supplement the calories lost with my daily four+ miles. I quit the team in my sophomore year, though, after the physical demands got too much for me. This sudden deficit of exercise-- combined with my poor self-esteem and my intrinsic desire to self-medicate with bread-- eventually caught up with me. From sixteen to eighteen, I slowly and steadily put on about a pound a month.

The funny thing about depression is that it squanders your ability to care about your appearance, it slows you down, and it causes you to lose your will to move. In my case, it created one terrible cycle. I felt out of place and sad at school, so I moved sluggishly through the day, then dreaded the next day all night. I was wretchedly unhappy, so I ate and I sat. Then I was depressed about life because all I did was eat and sit, so I continued to eat and sit because it was the only way I knew how to feel empowered. Then, when eating and sitting resulted in a puffy face and a lethargic physical condition, I ate and sat even more, because moving became harder, and what was the point? People say it jokingly, but in reality, I truly looked unattractive because I ate, and I ate because I looked unattractive.

Well, the emotional struggles are another story for another time, but they eventually shrunk to the point of near invisibility. My waistline, however, continued to bulge, even when my fire for life started to flicker again. Old habits die hard, and for most of my freshman year at college, I was a happy person who still ate like a depressed one. I probably could have continued like that forever, too, had I not decided to do something about it. My new friends at school had never seen me at my ideal weight, so they didn't really realize I was out of shape, and my friends and family at home probably didn't want to rub in my face something I obviously wasn't oblivious to. Plus, I've always had a hard time accomplishing tasks that are expected of me. The only way I get something done is if I decide for myself. And one random afternoon in May, I decided that it was time to stop playing the part of a sad person, and it was time I let my newly-regained happiness show in the physical sense.

To shoot down inevitable speculation, no, this decision had very little to do with my romantic relationship. I had found happiness on my own before I found him, and he never indicated that he wanted me to improve my appearance in the slightest; this was all me. In confidence, I did tell The Situation that I was thinking about losing twenty pounds, and he said something along the lines of, "I think you're beautiful already, and you don't need to change a single thing. But I think getting healthier would boost your self-confidence, and you'd also look really hot, so I think it's a good idea if it's what you want." So, with this reassurance that I only had positive things to gain from the experience of losing, I made the commitment to myself.

With great success, and because I wanted to be Lance Armstrong (no, not really), I used the incredibly helpful (and free!) to chart calories. It has all kinds of easy tools available: once you record your height, weight, activity level, and the amount of weight you'd like to lose, it tells you how many calories you should aim to consume every day, and then helps you record all the food you eat and all the exercise you do. It also shows a pie chart of fat/protein/carbs so you can aim for healthy daily percentages, and monitors things like your sodium and cholesterol intake, to help prevent you from doing stupid stuff like eating nothing but a pint of ice cream in a day and being satisfied with the 1,200 calories. You can also track how much water you drink, and it shows a bar graph of your net calories each week, so if you make a mistake one night, you can account for it the next. The website really helped with my fear of numbers, because it takes care of all that for you. It just became part of my daily internet activity, and it felt more like a game than a diet.

Most importantly, I never allowed myself to go hungry, and I never did any of that crazy drink-chili-powder-and-eat-only-celery crap. If I wanted a brownie with dinner, I ran an extra mile at night to stay below the boundary line on my graph, and I ate the frigging brownie. I started making smarter choices, like eating veggie burgers on a bed of lettuce instead of on white buns, because it fit within my little game. And eventually, it became natural. Now I know not to deny myself the unhealthy foods I love (sour cream, chocolate chip cookies, whatever the hell kind of plastic is in pizza rolls), but to say no to the trash I don't even enjoy (most kinds of french fries, potato chips, candy). I no longer have to work at it-- health has become my habit, and maintaining my size four body is now just as easy as it used to be maintaining my size ten.

So. There you have it. I'm not writing this to brag, or for attention or whatever. I'm incredibly blessed to have never had to worry about obesity or diabetes or even just a genetic apple-shape, and I don't mean to undermine those who have had real problems by talking about my silly quick fix. I just know that a lot of people my age (particularly in America) happen to have struggles with weight at one time or another, whether they're big ordeals or lesser issues, and I thought I'd share my success story, in the event that it helps somebody out there. If you're looking for a solution to the kind of problem that doesn't require a doctor's attention, like mine, I really recommend It was like completing a guided independent study in health, rather than following a strict plan or being fed advice. The whole experience was free and relatively painless, and it worked for me, so it might work for you.

ANYWAY. That took much longer to type than I'd expected, and it somehow appears to be eleven o'clock. On with the sensing!

Today, I saw: that we had everything bagels, causing me to exclaim excited vulgarities, because I may be skinny now, but I am still a fatass.
Today, I heard: "Hayles? I'm having a computer problem. Can you help me?" To which I responded, "Sure, Mom. What's wrong?" My mom then tilted her head quizzically and said, "I wrote a Word document. How do you change a font?"
Today, I smelled: tall, summery grass at the park.
Today, I touched: frozen blueberries that felt like cold, textured marbles.
Today, I tasted: delicious flaxseed crackers topped with slices of gruyere cheese.

I really appreciated yesterday's comments-- especially the ones from you lovely (psycho) readers who tried valiantly to convince me that I'm set to someday be on par with my hero's writing abilities. You're all crazy, but it does mean a lot to me. I would love to hear your personal experiences with weight struggles, or anything else you have to contribute to today's discussion, if it's not too personal for you to disclose. Also, as always this month, I'm interested to hear what noteworthy things you sensed over the course of your day, if you want. If you choose to leave a comment, I look forward to reading it, and if you don't, that's cool, too! I hope you all have a pleasant Tuesday, and I'll see you tomorrow night.

Chipotle burritos this year: 23
Subscribers: 32,532
Nail color: "Rogue Vogue," Maybelline (discontinued)


Demi said...

Hayley, I really appreciated this post. I'm 15, self-concious, and could stand to lose a bit off the sides and middle. I really likes how you talked about how you made it your choice and kept to your plan. However, I have a question... how would you suggest I start to run as excersize? It's sad to admit it, but I can't run a few blocks without stopping to pant. Any tips on building endurance? Thank you!
P.S. sorry about the spelling mistakes-- it's late here too XD

A. said...

I. Love. You. I've been watching 5AG from almost the beginning and I don't tend to comment or post, but I did notice you have been looking fabulous! Not that you weren't already a babe, but you look extra babe-a-licious lately. And I mean that in the straightest way possible.

On to my weight story. I'm just like you, extremely petite, and over the course of the last nine or so months I have gained ten pounds. I used to dance all the time and didn't bother with looking at what I ate, but I broke my foot and had to quit.

I'm not an emotional eater, but I have a terrible oral fixation, and if I can eat it, I will. And on my small frame, ten extra pounds looks like ten extra pounds. Even my dad has noticed and that's not the best because he's always telling me to go do sit ups (Thanks for the self esteem boost dad.)

I am SO glad you linked to livestrong, because I think I am going to use it. I don't need to lose a lot of weight, and I don't need to lose it quick, I just want to get back in shape.

What I'm doing now, that I'm going into my first year of college is making sure that there is nothing unhealthy to snack on in my dorm, since if it's there I will eat it. (Aside from frozen junior mints, my one treat.)

I'm not a pop drinker, and I'm not big on sugar which almost makes me feel kinda worse that I've gained ten pounds because it's not unhealthy eating, it's just continuous eating. I am getting back into dance this year though! And my roommate wants to get active so hopefully I'll be able to get back to my ideal and comfortable weight.

I think this comment had a point, but I'm a terrible writer, so hopefully it's legible.

Also, you can totally be like John Green, I love your writing style.

Love and looking up to you always,

Anonymous said...

Unattractive? Dear God, girl, did you look at yourself in a mirror when you thought that? You're gorgeous!

I'm still super happy for you for losing weight, but really, I don't see how you could ever call yourself unattractive.

Just some random thoughts from someone who really *IS* unattractive.

Amanda said...

Good for you Hayley! As long as you're comfortable with yourself, you're beautiful at any size. Trust me, I've been there, done that. I did the whole depressed and eating thing and it sucks. So I decided to do the time to get healthy thing and, with the help of Weight Watchers, I'm down 40 pounds. I have a few more to go but it feels great and it always helps to have support! Congrats on all your accomplishments!

The Vagabond said...

Thank you for posting this. I too struggle with weight and unfortunately it's apparent to others. Especially since I have a perfect best friend. No really. I'm pretty convinced that she's actually perfect so despite the fact that she's really awesome and nice and stuff I always look at her and get discouraged cause I'll never look like that. I think I will try that site though. I think your testimonial helped too. Thank you so much for this again. I think I'll have another veggie Chipotle burrito tomorrow in your honour. : )

Kaylin W. said...

I really liked this blog! I have always been a chubby kid, but never really overweight or dangerously big. I honestly do have a big frame and broad shoulders, so I am always self concious about myself. Also, I stutter so that really adds to it. I am rambling, I am sorry.
Basically, when reading this, I felt so happy for you! That is great! I have been wanting to try to get healthier and lose weight this summer, but, as always, I failed. But his blog really made me actually get off my ass and do something! I will check out that link, so than you ery much and you have a lovely Tuesday as well! :D

Brooke said...

This is a truly incredible post. Thank you so much for posting it. You have inspired me to do the same as you and make my body look and feel the way I really, truly want it to.

Rebecca said...

Hayley, I am so grateful that this post came at this time. I dance competitively, really quite seriously, and I have the chance to qualify for North American Championships in November. I know I need to shift a few pounds and get in shape because, frankly, I'm not. I'm so glad that this worked for you, and I'm really hoping that it'll work for me. Thank you so much.

I said...

I've never had any real issues with weight. I am lucky to be tall so that the weight I sometimes put on doesn't show too much. But at this moment I have to say I'm not happy with myself, not because I AM fat, but because I FEEL fat. I know what I have to do, I just have to get started. I'll have to check out that website.

One obvious thing I can change is my sleeping pattern. God damnit, it's 5.30 am here...

Sarena said...

AGBHJKSHJKSL!!! In April I joined Livestrong and have lost 20lbs. I reched my goal weight in June, and have been maintaining//toning since then. Weird. Twinsies?

fannylemon said...

I think this was a really great post and I'm glad that you wrote it. My own weight & body issues are very different from what yours were, and yet very similar. I have a similar sort of self consciousness around discussing this subject, so I won't go into extensive details, but I've been officially treated for an eating disorder for the past five years. I let my obsession with my body take over my entire life and make every day a battle against my own misery and hatred, the results of which have mostly been my rapidly losing and gaining the same 20-30 pounds again and again through violent, destructive, and disgusting means, and making myself very, very ill. I'm finally seeing that I made things so much harder by myself by taking the one problem I could see and making it my whole world. Things are hitting a more even keel now, although I can not profess the same brilliant results that you have (congratulations, truly) but I am working to focus on being healthy and I am getting better, but it's hard, and I don't know that after everything I'll ever be able to be fully comfortable with my body and diet, but it is changing bit by bit, finally. Anyway, I don't know what the point of this comment was really, and now I have gone on way too long, but I just wanted to say thank you for sharing and I'm glad that you've done something so good for yourself.

Ravenclaw2313 said...

I have a lot that I want to say about this but it will have to wait till tomorrow when I have my laptop instead of my iPod touch. Composing long comments just doesn't go as well with a touch pad. So for now I'll say I loved this post, give sensing info, and continue with a narrative tomorrow.

Today I saw: a hawk perched on an exit sign on the highway.
Today I heard: my cat crying because I ate dinner without feeding him first.
Today I smelled: sweat as I tried to desperately pack boxes to move back to college.
Today I touched: my grandma's wrinkled hand as I helped her into the car.
Today I tasted: a cupcake made delicious by the fact that I won it in a cake walk.

Leah said...

Yeah, but you also, like, ENJOY RUNNING. I suspect Jessica Darling and Feeling Sorry for Celia are to blame, but for whatever reason, you find running therapeutic.

My lack of exercise has nothing to do with depression and everything to do with liking to sit. Any tips for MY brand of fatass? xD

Also: your mom is SO ADORABLE.

Luna said...

Unlike you, I have a drastically different story with my weight.

After a certain traumatic event in my life I needed a sense of control over my life again. Food was one way for me to do that. (I struggled with depression and self harm as well.) In your depression you sat and ate, in mine I couldn't bring myself to eat. I did all sorts of awful things, excercised too much, and ate too little. I was horrible to myself. I still look back upon those years and wonder what the hell I was thinking. At my lowest point I weighed under 90 pounds.

Thanks to the help and support of some amazing friends I was able to get into therapy and start recovery. It's taken me two years, but now I too am at an ideal weight. It takes time and effort. I still struggle with maintaining good eating habits all the time.

I'm going to start using the livestrong website you recommended to keep track of my calories and exercise. Hopefully through that I'll be able to keep up with the diet plan that's been set for me, and make it my own.

Thank you so much for sharing your story, and I hope you can understand mine.


Ida Ruda said...

Ida Ruda just became "I" in my comment. And I apparently felt it necessary you know who posted it.

Lauren said...

Congratulations, Hayley! You're a really good role model for us internet kids that sit on our butts all day, because while it's all good fun to watch YouTube videos and eat a Chipotle burrito on a regular basis, we all need a reminder to stay healthy ;)

Anonymous said...

Hayley thank you for this post so much! I've been haveing weight issues for about three years now and in January I felt so disgusting I stopped eating. I lost about ten pounds, but still felt gross so I ate and ate and ate. I've put on about 25 pounds since that. Thanks so much for this post! It really helped motivate me. -Afton

to_thine_own_self said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
to_thine_own_self said...

Oh gosh, Hayley, this post made me cry! Actually, I'm still crying...
I've been going through something similar for such a long time now. I think my problem started when I was around 10ish. I've been depressed since then, I think. And I know people (for some reason) are skeptical about kids can't possibly get depressed or something, but I most definitely was. Still.
Anyway, I think my overall problem isn't really depression so much as it is anxiety, but that's slightly off point.
Since I was around 10 I, too, have been putting on weight. I was, though, kinda chubby back before ( and a little into) middle school. But then the year before seventh grade (I remember this because Order of the Phoenix, the book, had just came out) I up and decided I needed to lose weight and so...I starved myself. Really, all I did was drink a couple of glasses of tea and eat very, very little at dinner. I lost about 30 or so pounds and I gained a little bit more self-confidence, but it was fleeting, and it never was all that substantial.
Then came along high school and that brought along my feeling of invisibility. I was lonely and even more anxiety-ridden because, I think, of all of the pressures that were suddenly sprung up on me. I was really shy and this did not help whatsoever when I developed an intense crush on this one guy in about 11th grade. I liked him so much that I decided to tell him. He was really nice about it, but I knew that he didn't like me back, even though he said he cared about me and that he would date me, except for a little problem. He said he wouldn't date me because he was headed off to college in the next few months and he didn't want a long-distance relationship. This seemed like a decent enough excuse, so I believed him, though I was positively heartbroken. Then, a couple of weeks later, I found out that he asked out a mutual (well, ex-mutual) friend of ours, who was going to be just as far away as I would have been had he and I started dating. So it was like, you won't date me because of long distance, my ass.
Well, all of that lead me to believing that I just must not be good enough for him or something. Then this spiraled into me thinking I must not be good enough for any guy, so my senior year saw me falling back into my depression and my overeating.
Since all of that I've gained, probably, all of the weight I had lost years before back.
Since then I've continued to get deeper and deeper into my anxiety and I see myself eating more and more to try and...I don't know...stifle the anxious feeling I seem to always have about everything.
So, right now, I am overweight. I don't think I've really admitted it until just right now...I've been in a sort of denial. But I am.
It's hard to accept, but reading your blog has helped me say it. I need to fix this and get to living, because right now I'm not. I'm just eating...that's all.
I'll probably regret typing this all out onto the internet come morning, because I don't like to be vulnerable, but I guess if you could have the courage to share it all, Hayley...why can't I?

Alice said...

Just last week I was talking to one of my friends, and she was like "I met Hayleyghoover, and she always talks about how much she loves to eat, but oh my gosh, she's really in shape!" I'm blessed with a 15 year old's metabolism, so I can pretty much eat what I want and not gain a lot of weight. I think part of it has to do with the fact that my family just never buys much soda or junk food, so I don't even have to opportunity.
Tasted: Eggplant parmeasan and mint lemonade
Touched: lots of beautiful, dusty books
Saw: the Waite High School yearbook, from 1984. This yearbook has signatures and is written in, which is like a window into the guy's life. pretty cool.

Allison said...

You completely inspire me.

My weight has gone up and down periodically since I was in eighth grade, but I am at my heaviest right now. You wouldn't know it to look at me (I'm 5'8") but I only weigh about 20 pounds less than my 6'1" dad (who's not exactly the leanest guy ever), and it horrifies me.

I have had body issues my whole life, but every time I try to stop eating junk and start eating healthily, I just give up. I want that cotton candy, those chips, that chocolate. So I eat it. And immediately, I feel bad about it. I've had a really hard time finding an exercise that I enjoy; I hate running, I suck at pilates, and I have no one to play tennis with (I played in HS).

I feel like my self conciousness has made me unable to have healthy relationships with boys, and even my friends. I'm not confident to go up to a guy I find attractive, so despite the fact that I'll be 20 in less than a month, I've never had a boyfriend. Even when I'm with my friends (all of whom are much prettier and skinnier than I) I am uncomfortable. I'm jealous that they get to wear size small and can pull off skinny jeans, whereas I must where a large or extra large and can only wear flares.

After 19 years and 11 months, I have finally realized that I am actually a pretty girl, but my weight holds me back from being the confident, strong woman that I want to be.

It seems as though I need to be happy to lose weight (sadness, as you say, is not very energizing) but I feel I must lose weight before I can be happy.

I'm going to be a sophomore in college. I feel like I shouldn't have these issues anymore.

Jodi Butler said...

Congratulations, Hayley! That's fantastic!

I'm going through my own weight-loss journey right now. I'm actually on Jenny Craig, because I wanted the extra help, and even though it's crazy expensive, it's really worth it. In the two months I've been on the program, I've lost 20 pounds and I feel amazing. I do yoga every morning (I didn't used to exercise at all) and I eat properly. I'm still working on losing some more (About 10 more pounds) and I can't wait to see how fantastic I look and feel then!

Anonymous said...

Hayley, first of all I just want to say how much I admire the absolute honesty in your blog posts.
I don't want to delve too far into my own weight struggles, so I'll just say that it's taken me until the age of 18 to become comfortable with my body - and I've been a size zero (I know, what is a 0? Moreover, what the hell is a 00?) since ninth grade. I guess it takes a while to see yourself accurately. Anyway, I'm also a vegetarian, who doesn't eat cheese / dairy, and your mention of plastic pizza rolls reminded me of my own dinner, so I thought I'd share.
Vegan Pizza:
-Slice of rye bread
- Cover with a thin layer of hummus
- Slice cherry tomatos in lieu of tomato sauce
- add any toppings
- broil in the oven for five minutes
I'm not sure WHY I had the urge to share it, but if anyone needs a midnight snack...

KimbraSaysRawr said...

The fact that you lost 25 pounds is really inspiring to me. I've been counting calories and eating less for the past month or so, and recently I lost 4.9 pounds (according to Wii fit). Thanks for pointing us (me, even) in the direction of I'm going to try to start using that tomorrow, and hopefully it'll help me out as much as it did you.
Thanks again!!

Callidora said...

It is nice to hear someone talk about losing weight without having starved themselves. Too many people today seem to think that the only way to lose weight is to go without food which will do them no good in the long run.

Today I, saw: My co-worker Ashley. I rarely get to see her as we work different hours but it was nice to be able to complain to each other about work.
Today I, heard: A little kid scream repeatedly at work.
Today I, smelled: Freshly mowed grass.
Today I, touched: Three adorable dogs. Two of them I will be housesitting with this week. The other is my friend Liz's dog whose name is Remus.
Today I, tasted: A delicious cherry cupcake. Yumm!

Jess said...

I used to really hate my body. I had these moments where I felt that the real me wasn't even inside of it - that I was living inside someone else. And that was when I was still fairly thin.

Now that I've gained weight, I'm oddly more comfortable with myself. I don't have self esteem issues, and when I do, I remind myself that I'm happy with who I am. It's strange, but I really don't mind that I'm hanging up at the top in the healthy range, just below overweight. I like it here :)

Alexandria said...

Hayley I never comment and didnt even know you were doing BEDA for August
but I used to check your blog everyday, and honestly from the bottom of my heart I am so proud of you for doing this for you, Like a lot of the other people commenting we noticed your progression on 5AG and you look so good
so congratulations!
now im going to go and read all the blogs ive missed this summer!
(sorry for all the grammatical errors hah :)

Sarah said...

Hayley, I haven't commented yet in August, but just wanted to say that I love your BEDA blogs, and thanks for sharing your thoughts with us as always. I'm glad you are feeling healthier, and most importantly, I'm glad you're feeling happier these days. Also, your story about your mom's computer issue made me literally laugh out loud. But if I had written the same story, it wouldn't have been as funny - you do have a way with words that seems like it is a gift, and I look forward to reading your writing now and in the future!

My own story has some parallels to yours ... I've gained weight in the past few years - partly due to having to stop running because of an injury, and not finding a good alternative for exercise. I've struggled with (a probably milder form of) depression/anxiety for the past 10+ years, and finally got help this past year, and things are getting better. So I have been feeling like my body is not reflecting how I feel anymore. But I also have a real love for food, and am still trying to figure out how to balance that love of food with a pain-free form of exercise, and health. Your story gave me some hope that it's possible ... so wish me luck. :)

Sarah said... sounds incredibly like weight watchers which worked wonders for my mom, dad, and uncle. nice to know there's a free option out there :)

Alessandra said...

1. I have been struggling with being overweight for as long as I remember, and it has served as a leading factor in my depression and self-hatred. I have recently begun to love myself more, but I still keep putting off getting myself healthier. I think you have given me the start I needed.

2. Today I saw: my friend's notebook, which I accidentally took to Journalism Camp with me.

Today I heard: My new school paper staffmates making dead baby jokes.

Today I smelled: Burning Kraft cheese when I accidentally dripped cheese in the toaster while making a sandwich.

Today I tasted: Sourdough bread and New England clam chowder at the Fish Market with my family.

Today I touched: A Mac during Beginning Design class. I am a PC user, so this confused me greatly.

3. I want to be able to write as well as you one day <3

4. I'm still buying you a burrito :)

Krissy said...

I also gained weight in a dark time of my life. I put on 25 to 30 pounds in the year after my mom died. I was so depressed and unable to do much properly, including taking care of my body. In this past year I have taken that weight off, but I'm still about where you started, somewhere in the size 8/10 range. I've never been smaller since I have been grown, and have been self conscious of this size forever. I'm heading off to college in just a few weeks now and I used that as a motivator to get off the weight that I did, I still sort of feel like I failed in not getting off more. Not that the start of college means that that is the day that I get stuck at the weight that I'll be for the rest of my life, but I hope that you get where I'm coming from. So kudos for you to accomplishing what I haven't been able to do.

Caroline said...

I'm so proud of you Hayley! That's so great.
I'm totally an emotional eater and I'm not a huge fan of exercise so you can imagine what that's done to my body the past few years...
I would love to lose 20 pounds and I'm trying to convince myself that when I go to college next month I will start going to the gym because it's the first time I've really had access to one. You're such a huge inspiration to me and hopefully weight loss will be one of our many similarities!

Kara said...

I've always felt like I could relate to you more than the other 5AG girls, and more than many other people that I respect on the internet, and I just have to say.. this tops everything. I have delt with similar struggles with my weight, depression, and self confidence. I'm hitting that "It's time to do something about this" moment, like you did. I want to thank you, because this made me feel like maybe I can do it. You give me hope that I can be successful like you were.
Thank you again for an awesome post. And thank you for making me feel like i'm not alone, and that I can change that one thing that is holding me back. I'm going to definitely check out that website! And congrats for succeeding!!

Melissa said...

Thank you for sharing Hayley! I'm 19, and while I'm not overweight by any means I face a similar situation to you. I was a dancer, but stopped around the same time I started high school. I played volleyball for a while, but eventually between a part time job, school, and the clubs I was on I couldn't spare the time. I've always eaten like crazy, and it never affected me. Once stopping the regular physical activity though, it began to. Between that, and the cafeteria food(freshman fifteen anyone?) I'm about 15 pounds above where I think I should be. I'm going to look into livestrong, and I've already been working on exercising a little more. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I've been reading for many months now, but this is the first post where I really feel compelled to comment. I completely identify with the fact that eating is both a symptom and a cause of depression. I think I'm at the end of a very long period of depression, but when I slip back into my old habits, I eat- which only makes me feel worse. I've been trying to find ways to become healthier, but so far organized sports have only added more drama to my life. Thanks so much for linking the Livestrong site. It looks like it could actually help me. Also, thank you so much for sharing so much of yourself on this blog. I don't always comment, but I just want you to know that I always appreciate a post from you.


KissMeTeena said...

I really want to thank you for posting this. I am still struggling with my weight, but you have inspired me to press on and fight for my body back. I really identified with most of the things that you went through. I'm going to check into that website!

disasterpastor45 said...

This sudden deficit of exercise-

Katherine said...

I'm close to being in tears, Hayley. I'm 19 now, and the summer before I started high school I lost 20 lbs. Since then I've lost 10 more. I admire you so much for posting your weight loss story on your blog, and it inspires me to continue losing weight. Even though I've lost 30 lbs. so far, I'm only 5'5" I need to work on toning my flab (mostly because it still causes me to be pretty self conscious). I've always had pretty low self-esteem because of my weight and figure; but reading this particular blog gave me a serious boost. Thanks.

Elizabeth said...

I've never been overweight, but at the same time I've always felt that it couldn't hurt me to lose a few pounds. Depression affected me in a similar way. I never exercised and I'd just eat and feel sorry for myself. It never got out of hand, but when I started taking antidepressants, my appetite seemed to disappear for a couple weeks as a side effect of the pills.

As a result, I only had about one meal a day for about 3 or 4 weeks. I knew in the back of my mind that this wasn't good because I still needed to eat, but I kept on skipping meals until the side effects of the pills wore off. After about a a month I realized I had lost about 15 pounds. Apparently it was enough to be noticible to some of my friends, and once I started eating normally again I did feel better about my weight. I started exercising to keep my weight steady, and while I'm still not as skinny as I used to want to be, my weight is perfectly fine for my height.

This was a terrible way to go about losing weight, and it honestly wasn't intentional. But in the long run I think it worked out okay. Physically I may not have changed a lot, but I feel better about myself, and whether it's because of my weight, or just because the pills are working (I'm sure it's both), I'm a lot happier now that I feel healthier and better about myself.

Jordiekins said...

Speaking of works-in-progress, remember that time you were going to parody Lady Gaga? I do. =)

I've had weight issues since I was 12, which, unfortunately, lasted from then until I graduated. Luckily, I'm now in control of my body, and have lost 15 pounds in the the last two months. I'm happier, healthier, and I'm glad to finally weigh less.

Today, I saw: and loved the movie G-Force. Also, I am seven years old.
Today I heard: Chris Colfer admit to the fact that he's not, in fact, an extreme-sports athlete. Mind=Blown
Today I smelled: my mom cooking tacos in my kitchen.
Today I touched: corn starch. There is nothing better than touching corn starch.
Today I tasted: my mom's tacos. NOT AN INNUENDO.

justjustine said...

You rock :) Congrats on reaching your goal!

Camillo said...

Hi Hayley, I always read your blog but I've never commented until now. Thank you so much for posting this! I have weight problems too. I'm going to be a junior in high school, and though I have some emotional issues, I don't think my eating habits have to do with that. I just get these cravings to eat, and it doesn't matter what I eat, I just like eating. I've always been tall (right now I'm about 5'6-5'7), but I used to be skinny until a certain point in middle school. After my body started to change with puberty and all that, I started to gain fat that I had never had. I didn't notice it all that much at first because it was really gradual, but these past two years in high school I've gotten more insecure about my body and my fat. Other people don't notice, they always tell me I look fine. But I think the thing is they don't know what I can be, and I know I can be thinner.

I don't think I would mind as much, except I'm a ballet dancer. Every day I see all these skinny girls that I dance with and I know that with my body shape, I should be one of them, but I don't know. I'm not. I dance ten hours a week, so I know my problem isn't a lack of exercise. I just complusively eat, and I don't really know how to manage it. I'm going to try the livestrong thing that you posted, and hopefully that will work.

Thanks for posting this, and thanks for the link!

Tass said...

Today, I saw: saggy boobs and lots of beer-bellies
Today, I heard: more motorcycles than a care to
Today, I smelled: terribly body odor
Today, I touched: hundres and possibly thousands of t-shirts
Today, I tasted: a pb&j sandwich

I'm afraid my senses are a little depressed. They are tired and overworked as am I. Unfortunately I'm working 10 hours days at our local Harley Davidson dealership during the Sturgis motorcycle rally. Bleh.

Anyway. I also thought you looked fine at the weight you were but I'm impressed at your perseverance and dedication. I'm also glad that you're happy where you are. I had a physical at the beginning of the summer and I was terrified of being weighed (hello freshman 15) but was shocked to find out I weighed the exact same I did the previous year. However I feel like I gained weight (I imagine I lost muscle weight and gained fat) so hopefully I can follow in your footsteps.

I'm afraid this might make very little sense and it's written poorly. I apologize but I'm just super exhausted.

partyweetow said...

Oh, Hayley G. Hoover, you're amazing.

I've always been big. I didn't own a pair of jeans until sixth grade because my sister's hand-me-downs were too long but the waist was too small, and we didn't have enough money to buy me new ones. My wardrobe consisted of sweat suits, stretch pants with bunched up socks over the pants with an oversized t-shirt, and strange jumpsuits that don't really fit into any type of style. I always thought I was fat, but when I look at pictures of myself when I was younger, I was just big.

In high school, it got worse since I started working at McDonald's and I had a 50% discount. Freshmen year of college, I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, which basically means that almost every kind of food, when it's going along the digestive process, my stomach sees it as something bad, something to get out ASAP. This results in a lot of bathroom-going and a huuuuge list of Don't Eats.

For whatever reason, though, I haven't really lost weight. I'm down twenty pounds from when I was diagnosed three years ago, but I've been hovering around the 160 mark for awhile now.

I'm one of those girls who eats when they're bored, but since I have no life, I'm pretty much always bored and always eating. That's basically the first eighteen years of my life, in a nutshell.

I've cut down on a lot of extraneous eating, because I just can't digest them and I pay for it the next day. The hardest thing to give up has been soda. We never had it growing up because we couldn't afford it, and so when I started working at 15 and could buy my own pop, I drank it all the time. Junior year, I'm pretty sure my blood was replaced by Mountain Dew. Even now, I drink it once a day, though I know I shouldn't; I just don't know how to stop. It's like eating is one thing I have control over, while my Crohn's dictates every other aspect of my life.

I've thought about seeing a therapist or a nutritionist, but I have to pay all of my own medical bills, and I already can't afford the disease I have, let alone adding another problem on to the list.

I've jogged on and off since I was 15, but have never stuck with it. The longest I can run without stopping is a mile and a half in 16 minutes. I should really get back into it, though I think I'll wait until it's not so humid.

Bah sorry this was so long.

Pip said...

Hayley, as ever I am impressed by the way you can honestly and respectfully handle big, scary issues in your blog posts. As with most of your blogs, I can relate...but in a slightly different way. I am not comfortable sharing too much as I, unfortunately, have not made it to the other side marked "happy, healthy" yet. Weight is something I still obsess over constantly as a result of my eating disorder. It's hard, as I'm sure you know, to separate my emotional problems from my physical health. I really respect you for overcoming your personal obstacles and becoming healthy and happy. It gives me hope.

And of course you are beautiful at any size. The important thing is to be happy...which as it turns out takes some work sometimes, too.

partyweetow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kyle said...

Ah, weight issues. Always fun. It's nice and all that you recognized you could be healthier and decided to go for it, but it's infinitely better that you followed through with it and succeeded. Particularly in a healthy and sustainable fashion.

I'm in the opposite boat as you, as an underweight guy. I've gotten comments from girls that they wish their body was like mine: eat as much as you want, never gain weight. Although really it's been about low appetite: not missing any meals and never going hungry but still staying under a thousand calories a day. It's kind of nice and all at times, but really, being incredibly thin and weak sucks, especially as a guy. I've been wanting to gain weight for like five years now, but just recently renewed my effort. Just registered for livestrong, actually, so we'll see if that helps.

Touched: Rain, as I ran through torrential rainfall to get to the gym.
Saw: a job offer, as I finally succeeded in getting a job.
Heard: The main theme for "Fighter in the Wind." So good.
Tasted: Some terrible protein bar. I'm getting the feeling those things just aren't worth it.
Smelled: Chipotle sauce, one of the ingredients of the best Subway sub known to man.

Alex Cee said...

I also read, but I never take the time to comment. I just need you to know that this post gave me the inspiration I needed and an awesome website. Thank you!

Back in high school I started gaining a lot of weight. That was extremely upsetting. But after going to a few doctors I found out that I had Hashimotos -- an autoimmune disease that affect the thyroid. After a lot of problems, I eventually had it removed because of the possibility of cancer.
After my surgery I ballooned. It was awful. My junior year memories are awful because of it. I've since lost some of that weight, but a lot of it is still around.
I always try to lose weight, but I never find the right motivation. But I think this was it. Thanks.

Casey Rose said...

Wow, Hayley. Everything you wrote about tonight is so relevant to a lot of what I've been going through, especially as of late.

I'm 18. I've had so many struggles with my weight. I'm your classic yo-yo dieter and have binged, exercised, dieted, and given up more times than I can count. Long story short, I am in a less-than-encouraging family, as well as an extremely judgmental, verbally abusive father, and I've grown up in a not-so-ideal environment.

I also suffered from clinical depression from the beginning of my freshman year of high school to about the first month of this summer.

I am so happy to say that in the past two months I have (with the help of many people, including you, with your writing and videos) made a lot of progress in the way of my all-around physical, mental, and emotional health. I am taking hold of my life and I have the inspiration to do so.

I made the ultimate decision to cut ties with my father and, as I am going to college, make this step what I hope to be a clean slate. I have spent the majority of my summer exercising regularly, getting into good eating habits, and making an effort to go out and enjoy my life with the people I love, doing things I love to do, even if it's very tempting to simply sit in my dark room, watching seasons upon seasons of The Office.

I love reading through the comments on all of your posts, and I am looking forward to reading the comments that I'm sure are going to flow in as a response to this post, knowing very well the kind of intelligent, witty, beautiful readers you have. I am very interested in hearing some of their stories and responses to your post.

I'm sharing this story with you as a sort of thank you, considering all you've shared with us, your readers, over the past couple of years. As a loyal reader and watcher, please know that your story, and your words in general, are powerful and truly inspiring. Your talent, awareness, thoughtfulness, beauty (inside and out), and honesty help more people and in more ways than you may ever know. Genuinely, thank you.

tranquilily said...

It's always great to hear success stories! I might try this livestrong thing, not because I'm overweight, but I am the most unhealthy eater ever, and I need to learn how to make good choices for myself.

Today I saw: asphalt being poured
heard: the fan blowing air around my room
smelled: pizza rolls
tasted: sugar cookies
touched: my purple nail polish bottle

Krista said...

Back in December, my friend and I decided that we wanted to make a lifestyle change to lose weight and become healthier. I've been overweight pretty much my whole life, and I had tried a few things in the past that worked but I just never really committed to the routine. One thing that worked for me was Weight Watchers - My mom and I used to go to the meetings every week, and I lost 15 pounds in just over a month. But the meetings we went to got cancelled, so we lost our motivation.
This time, I decided to try it again with my friend - I probably had a lot more motivation doing it this way rather than with the meetings because we were doing it together, and we could keep each other on our toes. And when we went out with other friends to eat, it helped that I wasn't the only one trying to be careful of what I ordered, because that can sometimes be embarrassing. We were working together, and quite successfully at that.
Not only did we change out eating habits, but we started exercising together: doing yoga, going on jogs and walks, and doing easy little 10-minute workouts we found online. With Weight Watchers, you gain points back by exercising, so if we wanted that extra brownie, all we had to do was go for a quick jog later. And it has really worked: Between the two of us, we've lost about 75 pounds.
It also helped that we sort of had a deadline: we wanted to be fit by the time our high school graduation rolled around. So as the date approached, we worked harder. Though since we graduated, we've both sort of lost our incentive. I'm getting back on the horse, though: maybe I'll try the livestrong thing that worked so well for you, and see if I like it better or not. :D
Thanks for sharing your story! I hope I didn't bore you with mine. ;)

Tara said...

Today I saw my friend's new house that she bought.
Today I tasted a delicious peach.
Today I heard country music!
Today I touched my cat's soft fur.
Today I smelled a really nice smelling hand soap.

I admire your openness to talk about this subject. I never thought you needed to lose weight or that you should. I've struggled with weight my whole life and sometimes I feel like it is never ending. I love food and hate exercising. I try and exercise but it seems to be never enough. I really want to lose weight but it is never for the right reasons. I wish I had someone like you in my life to encourage me.

Melody said...

It's really weird how depression can make you gain weight! I'm fairly certain I gained the "freshman fifteen" in my junior year of high school--Dealing with academic stress, friend drama, divorce, and no spare time to do the things I enjoyed, caused me to self-medicate, as you say, with chips and dip and all manner of baked goods. For the last month of the year, I pulled a Regina George and only wore sweatpants because none of my normal pants would fit anymore.

But then about a month into this summer, after not making any huge effort to diet or exercise, I realized that my pants all fit again! Not being miserable made me lose the weight, I suppose. :)

Sammie said...

Wow Hayley...i really appreciated reading this post. Before even finishing, im not going to lie, i checked out the livestrong site. Thank you so much. I have steadily gained a pound or two over the last few months, from a combination of things. Stress, frustratoins, etc. I do realize what is that point in just getting bigger and bigger, how will that help anything? Anyway, you are actually my hero, and reading this only helped me out more. Thanks for everything you do! <3

Sammie said...

Wow Hayley...i really appreciated reading this post. Before even finishing, im not going to lie, i checked out the livestrong site. Thank you so much. I have steadily gained a pound or two over the last few months, from a combination of things. Stress, frustratoins, etc. I do realize what is that point in just getting bigger and bigger, how will that help anything? Anyway, you are actually my hero, and reading this only helped me out more. Thanks for everything you do! <3

Madeleine said...

Wow. You go, Hayley.

I've been extremely fortunate in my life to never have had to struggle through depression, but I've always had a sense of self consciousness that came with being over what they call "model" weight for my height, and for having a body type that includes actually hips and thighs (unlike some of my family members...). I've been dragging around an extra 25 pounds myself, due to my lack of work ethic once I moved to a place with no dance studio and a very heightened sense of loving food a little too much, even if the food was healthy. I just ate too much of it.

College did not bring the Freshman 15 (thank God), but the extra weight is still there, and I've been thinking for months that I need to just DO something about it, but my general lack of exercise and lazy mentality has always gotten in the way of it. But no more. This fall I'll be dancing every day as part of my theatre major, and I'm going to take the initiative to change my mindset on exercise and food. Thank you so much for linking that livestrong site, because I honestly think that it might cure my fear of the weight numbers much as it cured yours, and I'm going to finally take control of the situation.

Wow, I made that sound a lot worse than it probably is, but thank you anyway, Hayley. We're all proud of you!!

Chrystie said...

I appreciated this post Hayley! I've been noticing you look slimmer in your videos :) Good for you.

I too have suffered from depression. The last two years or so I have put on an extra 20 lbs. I have now come out of that depression and started eating healthier and started a work out routine. It's nice to hear a success story. Perhaps I will be as fit as you in three months :)

As always, thanks for sharing. I realize it takes a lot to be totally open and honest online. However, I can almost always relate when you are. Love you!

Katie said...

You are my hero and should totally make a blog solely to give us Hooversons (Does your fanbase have a name? You should name us. Something clever.) tips about weight loss and staying healthy because I'm sure there are a good number of us in the same position as you were and trying to get back on track. I know every time I'm home from school, like for Christmas or Summer vacations, I tell myself that I'm going to exercise every day and lose weight. I start off strong and then after I few weeks I give up and just go back to my old ways, thus never making any changes to my body or my life. I'm an emotional eater and this summer was hard for me. My grandma died and that was my excuse to eat pizza and ice cream for dinner for days, I got my wisdom teeth out and didn't attempt to eat anything but mashed potatoes and pasta dishes, and I'm all around stressed with things going on concerning school, my new apartment, my life after things in general. I know it's no excuse but I've had (what I claimed to be) more important things to deal with than my ongoing quest to lose weight.

I think one of my bigger problems is that although I've always wanted to lose weight (I've been overweight since around middle school) I haven't had enough motivation to do so because I have days where I look at myself in the mirror and I love my body. I have a good amount of extra fat on me, but my boobs are huge and my hips are wide so even with the extra weight I at least look proportional. Despite having those days where I look at myself and am content, there are more days where I get tired easily, overeat, and just feel gross and jiggly all over and want to make the change for good. I don't know why I can't use all that as motivation to get in shape rather than let the quitter in me give up before I've even made any progress. I think I'm very group oriented when it comes to losing weight because I've only ever been successful when my whole family is doing the same thing, or when I used to play volleyball/work out with team members.

Anyways, I just made a Livestrong account thing and hopefully it helps me too. My most recent goal was to get down from 165pounds to 140 pounds during the time I was home from college (May to the end of August) butttttt yeah sadly I failed. Here's to trying again, with you as a good example for me to follow. :)

Today, I saw: the first episode of Glee again, when my friend and her little sister came over to hang out and we decided to take a "Glee-wind" (rhymes with "rewind"). Forgot how different some things were back in the first few episodes.
Today, I heard: my cat meow like a freak because she's weird and doesn't know how to meow like the cute kitty she should be.
Today, I smelled: cupcakes my sister and I made.
Today, I touched: cream cheese frosting for aforementioned cupcakes.
Today, I tasted: aforementioned cupcakes. :P There goes my weight loss plan already.

P.S. You were already a sexy mama even before losing weight, and also your mom's problem with font changing was adorably hilarious. :D

TL;DR- Hayley G. Hoover fandom needs a name if it doesn't already have one (Hooversons? Hayleyatards? Hooverites? Gangstas? duh.), consider giving more weight loss tips somewhere, ur hawt, your mom is funny, annnnnnnd thanks for being awesome!

Catherine said...

I just signed up on livestrong. Hearing you talk so positively about your weight loss makes me want to try it again.

I'm 5 feet and weigh 170 pounds. That's about 50 extra pounds I gained over my junior and senior years in high school. Freshman year I was a bit overweight then, but sophomore year I was incredibly happy with my body. I was fit, skinny, was actually one of the fast ones on the high school soccer team.

Then life happened, and I got depressed, and gained weight steadily throughout that summer. I didn't make the soccer team because I was so out of shape. That was the end of my world. I lost my activity, my friends. I had all this time opening up and I filled it by eating. I gained a ridiculous amount of weight in a short time.

My doctor was concerned at first, but I haven't had any real issues with my health, yet. But if I don't change it will have negative affects on my health.

I know my family loves me, but they're not as kind as your family was with your extra weight. I can't eat anything without getting a look from my mother. She'll also throw "fat and lazy" at me daily. My brothers are also quick with "fat-lard, fatty, tub of lard, etc."

I've been wanting to lose the weight for a very long time. I want to feel happy with who I am again. I just haven't found anything that I can stick with yet. Maybe with livestrong helping me keep track I'll finally be able to get healthy again.

Kelly said...


I really appreciate you writing this. I'm a female college student who has struggled with weight for most of her life. A lot of the people I know in my life with weight issues maybe put on a few pounds in college and then decided that they had to get back to where they were before. But I've always been chubby. And then, about two monthsago, I just decided that I didn't really want to be the fat friend anymore. And it's a lot like what you described about fixing things emotionally for myself, and then realizing that to complete the happy-girl picture, I need to fix the outside too. And since then, I've been switching little things in my diet (I gave up pop and started eating fruits and veggies more than say, cookies) and my activity level (I go walking with my ipod in the evening instead of just watching tv) and I've started to see the weight come off. I still have a ways to go before I reach my goal weight, but it's a great feeling. And I'm grateful to have someone who I feel like I know reaching her goal weight. Seriously, major kudos to you on that.

Today I saw: (in keeping with the theme)my own reflection in a mirror in a store, and realized I was noticably skinnier.
Today I touched: The fine hairs that cling to an unshucked ear of corn.
Today I smelled: The carpet in my room after it's just been vacuumed (I love that smell. That might be weird.)
Today I touched: Sheets, warm from the dryer.
Today I ate: Bryers half-the-fat vanilla ice cream and discovered that it's as good as the original.
Today I heard: A construction crew outside my neighbor's house at 8:00 in the morning.

Niki said...

Oh. My. God. THANK YOU.

I'm going into my junior year of HS and all this summer I've been working my ass off to lose weight. I've *always* been the fat girl, ever since a kid (Not to play the blame game... but obesity is in my genes. And it sucks HARD when your whole family is fat and you are the only one trying to change it), and going on the BC pills just made me gain an extra 15+ pounds, which is just FANTASTIC.

Irregular periods VS weight gain. I chose weight gain.

Anyway, I've realized that exercise alone is working, but not well enough. This site is a blessing, since I suck at counting calories and doing all that stuff you're supposed to do.

So far, I've lost a total 8 pounds since June. It might not be a lot... but it's enough to motivate me to lose more. :D

Krazy_4_Kelly said...

My problem with weight has always irritated me. Like you, I don't totally feel like I'm fat and technically I don't believe I am. However, diabetes runs in my family and my mom has the same issue I face. I have severely bad asthma and was really sick as a kid and one of the main treatments was steroids. Apart from the fun side affect of pushing my sister down the stairs, throwing her puppy up and down (neither were hurt, by the way), and running into walls was the fact that they make you very hungry and you gain more weight when eating while taking them. Because of this, I suddenly developed a tummy and haven't been able to let it go.

I'm Jewish and obviously adore food and food that isn't always good for me (bagels, bread, etc.) but I also love fruit and vegetables and dislike meat so I was able to keep my weight about the same for most of my life, give or take 10-15 pounds. However, it has bugged me and I'm very glad you decided to write this blog.

I'm very self-concious about my weight and really feel trapped because I only really leave my house for school since I take care of my mom and really feel very awkward going to the gym at our apartment complex because of the former issue of being self-concious. Though you made this decision sound pretty easy and I feel like I could follow in your footsteps and change small things and end up feeling much better, just from losing 20-30 pounds.

Hopefully you keep us up-to-date with small hints of this process to help keep me (and hopefully others) motivated to keep trying to lose weight. I feel like something as small as "I ran _ miles today" or "I lost _ pounds" will help keep me motivated and realizing it isn't an impossible challenge to lose weight.

I hope you realize how much you inspire so many people, I truly look up to you and I hope to one day be half as awesome as you, Hayley.


Britty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wombat said...

Congratulations on your weight loss. ESPECIALLY on doing it in a HEALTHY way instead of doing something insane like all of my friends do.

I think I'm what people call "skinny fat." I've always been skinny because I have extremely good genes, but I know I'm not HEALTHY right now. Until the end of my sophomore year, I was in competitive gymnastics, which definitely kept me in shape. After quitting, I've gotten progressively LESS in shape. Now I'm about to go into my sophomore year of college, and I really do think that I need to change my exercise/eating habits. I think I'll try out The thing you said about doing it as a game makes sense to me. I like games, and I like competing with myself. So maybe this will work for me. Thanks! :)

Britty said...

Oh Hayley, I love this post. I have struggled with weight my entire life. The weight destroys my self esteem and really my heath but I'm a stress/sad eater (like most overweight people). Like you, even though, I'm no longer sad, I still eat like I am.

I'm really bad at following through with things and like to find excuses for why I shouldn't do this or should eat that why i can't walk away from my computer and go for a walk.

I find one of the many reasons I struggle is I live with two roommates who literally can eat anything they want and they gain no weight. They don't need to exercise and the are stunningly beautiful. it's hard to feel beautiful next to a 100 pound Asian beauty and a redheaded feisty indie rocker with curves in all the right places when you are a short fat mousy haired nerd who would rather wear jeans and a nintendo t-shirt than a cute girly top. About half the time I look at them and I die a little inside.

Anyway, I'm still happy and I do realize not only for my outside do I need to lose weight, but more importantly for my insides. But hearing that others struggle with the same problems I do makes looking in the mirror a little more easy.

Courtney Angele said...

Oh my gosh, Hayley, thank you so much for this post. I went up 3/4 sizes in college because I'm just not a very active person and once I got to college it made a difference. I'm not even that upset about the weight, I'm just upset that I'm content living this sort of sedentary lifestyle!

I know that I'm almost motivated enough to shape up my habits all on my own, and I'm so thankful you pointed me towards livestrong because I think it will be such a huge help getting me to that place.

Look at all these comments! You are so inspirational in so many ways. Thanks for putting yourself out there for this little community. I think it's safe to say that *we* adore you for it.
Sincerely sincerely, Courtney

Rachelle said...

Thanks for sharing Hayley. I also struggle with weight, and my story is pretty much identical except that I'm 5'9 and I was always a really skinny kid-I'm talking concentration camp skinny- but it was just the way I was. Then I turned 19 and suddenly my waistline exploded. I'm finding it really difficult to stick with eating healthy because I'm a poor student, and the only foods I can afford to eat are really bad for me. After reading how you've managed, I think I'll give this one more try. I like that you thought of it as a game, which never occurred to me, so I think I'll give it a try. I would love to tell you how I'm doing 2 months from now. Hopefully I'll have success.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Hayley!! I'm really impressed that you have the will-power to do this. You're such an amazing writer, and I enjoyed reading this a lot a lot.

Emma said...

This is a familiar issue for me, to the point where sometimes I think you're living my life a year ahead of me (if I'm very lucky a year from now). For family reasons and because I never found my place in high school, I've been pretty unhappy from about the middle of eighth grade to the part of senior year when started seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm getting happier and I think college will be very good for me, but the stress-induced eating habits haven't changed. Unfortunately, my family is the kind to point out what I'm already aware of and doesn't understand that it has to be my decision or it won't happen, but this has inspired me to ignore them and focus on taking care of myself. Thanks for blogging, Hayley.

Oh, and by the way: you may have been overweight, but you've never been unattractive.

KT said...

Today, I saw the Zefron movie just so I could say I saw the Zefron movie.

Today, I touched my brand new 13" MacBook, Xander.

Today, I heard the Epilogue of Deathly Hallows as read by Jim Dale.

Today, I tasted a frozen dark chocolate covered banana. It was good.

Today, I smelled my horse, which is my favorite scent in all the world.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this, Hayley.

izzo rizzo said...

Thank you for recommending the livestrong site! I'm lucky that I've never really struggled with my weight, probably due to a weird metabolism and stomach issues, but seeing my mom struggle with her weight so much is hard. She's about my height, but about twice my weight because she just doesn't pay attention to what she eats. So, first thing tomorrow, I'm going to sign her up for the site so she can see how much she really eats!

And you really do look great! :) Also, The Situation is a wise man, haha.

Emily said...

Reading this post was really encouraging. I've been overweight as long as I can remember, and it's been a constant source of self-esteem issues. I also battled mild depression, which I can only assume stemmed from my weight issues. I'm tall and large framed, but carry a LOT more extra weight than you did. I finished my first year of college as you did, and I lost about 30 pounds, and have since gained back 5-7 of those. 20 pounds off you makes a WAY bigger difference than off of me. Anyway, I'm really glad you wrote about this. I look up to you more than you could know, and although I rarely comment on your blogs or videos, I definitely read/watch them regularly, and seeing that you overcame this obstacle makes me want to do it as well. Thank you for the motivation and inspiration!

Niki. said...

I love this post, and you. You're amazing, Hayley. And I completely agree with those who said you could be on John Green's level. I can tell you're a wonderful writer, as well as a wonderful person, and it's clear you have a lot of potential. I respect and admire you as it is. =].

I've sort of had similar issues with weight. I used to always be really skinny and not have to worry about it really, but within the past several years I've been gaining and losing weight on and off... partially due to emotional problems, probably, but also due to the fact that I do virtually no exercise and don't have the greatest eating habits. I've really been wanting to lose some weight lately, so I think I'll look into that website and try it out. Thank you for sharing this with us!

BenCracknell said...

I've been to pro-ana sites before. I tried looking at a porn star's daily routine to try and lose weight. I've had countless pathetic attempts to diet, but I honestly feel like your inspiration could make me do this. I feel like I'm doing it with a friend, and there are fewer people's opinions I trust more than yours. Thank you!

I've always been big. Not necessarily fat, but big. I'm over 6ft 2inches, and my hands cover a width of 25cm. I'm a freaking giant.
I danced for about four years. I quit about three years ago, and ever since I've gained an ungodly amount of weigh. However, I also grew in height, as well. I went from being 5ft 8 to 6ft 3 in less than a year. I'm now on the verge of being fat, and I'm also tall, which roughly makes me look like a giant. As in, Jack-and-the-beanstalk, giant.
I've always been heavily bullied. In primary school I would get so worked up about going to school the next day that I would have panic attacks every day and vomit. So, I turned to eating. Now I don't eat because I get bullied, because I don't care any more, but it's because I'm bored! If there's nothing to do, I'll just eat. I don't necessarily have a food problem, because I can stop at any time, it's just the lack of motivation. Which, as I can tell today, you have provided.

I'll tell you when I manage to get down to a significant size. Thank you again, Hayley!

Anonymous said...

You are such a good writer. How often did you exercise/for how long? Have you finished losing weight, do you think? Did you get any stretch marks? I gained a lot of weight in my sophomore year of high school as well, and I have a LOT of stretch marks. I've lost some weight (but am putting it back on since I'm now at college) and they look disgusting still. I don't want to lose all the weight (about 25-30lbs I'd say) and have saggy skin/disgusting stretch marks! Any advice? ..Anyone?

absolutemediocrity said...

Yeah, I, like many others, have had weight problems over the years. I've got a bigger build myself, so it wasn't that apparent how much weight I had gained. That is until I went to an amusement park where they had one of those "Guess Your Weight" booths. The guy guessed 360 lbs, my friends & I laughed, as he had to be within 5 lbs to avoid my getting a (worthless) prize. I was mentally debating which of the little chotchkies I was gonna nab as I stepped on the scale. 363 lbs! Needless to say, the rest of the day at the park, I was less than amused.

It's been a long battle, but I've gone from a 46 waist to a 36/38 waist, so I guess I can officially state that I've gotten my weight under control.

I guess I can join the chorus of folks telling you that you look radiant in your recent videos. It's always refreshing to hear women talk about their weight in a healthy way & I'm glad you've addressed what you considered an issue without it running your life. Kudos, Hoover!

Denisse said...

Hello hayley, this is my first time commenting on your blog. I can certainly relate to your weight issues because I suffer from it right now. I used to eat healthier and work out regularly and I've never been skinny just healthy. Contrary to your situation though I started gaining weight when I started college. I suffer from depression and I also "eat and sit" and I totally relate when you say "Then, when eating and sitting resulted in a puffy face and a lethargic physical condition, I ate and sat even more, because moving became harder, and what was the point?" I have tried numerous times to get back on track and I realize that one of my downfalls is that I can't help but compare myself to other people (ex. my perfect best friend) So I sincerely thank you for providing some insight on your weight loss because I can completely relate to it. I can only hope to someday achieve that happines and self confidence in myself. I truly believe that you can't love someone until you love yourself first.

Elisabeth said...

I had actually noticed in a recent video (can't remember which one) that you looked skinnier than I remembered. But I just put it down to the fact that videos that only show your face aren't the greatest indicator of body weight.

Now that I know there was a conscious effort behind it, I'm definitely glad to hear that you've become more healthy.

Myself, I'm a healthy weight and shape for an amateur athlete. I've long been grateful that training four times a week means that I can pretty much eat whatever I want and get away with it. But I tend to take advantage of that and don't eat healthily - I have a real sweet tooth so I eat a lot of chocolate, muffins, cookies etc. Like, a lot.

I might just follow your example and try to improve that, though. So thanks!

Sarah said...

Ok, the fact that your post for today was about weight loss, CANNOT be a coincidence. I'm currently in my first year of University in Australia, and like you, I had been depressed on-and-off for a few years. Beginning of July last year was when my mental health became worse and so did my eating habits. Everything you said about the cycle of being unhappy makes me want to cry because someone else actually understands what I've been going through! Slowly but surely I was putting on weight, though at first I thought my mom was crazy when she pointed it out. I was dancing everyday for school but by the time October came around I'd stopped because our dance prac finals had been done in order to get us focused on our other written exams that were to be done in November. Eating what I was eating and not exercising turned out to be a big mistake, but I'd convinced myself that as well as the personal reasons I had for my depression, school was making it worse. I was sure that once I'd graduated high school I'd be absolutely fine, which turned out to be completely false. I was happier, but I was still depressed and by Christmas, I could no longer fit into the jeans I'd been able to fit into since Grade Eight.

While my mental health has improved vastly since December, I've still been steadily stacking on the weight, which has caused me to feel more self-concious than I've felt in years (there are a number of other reasons feeding this too, but I'll spare them now)

Over the last two weeks I've been seriously thinking about alterring my diet and actually eating something thst I'm not going to regret later and thus start the whole cycle off again. But. Last night, I had this entire conversation with my mom, and actually started changing my eating habits TODAY. And you wrote about it TODAY. You can't make that shit up!
Like you, I am not big or obese, but I've put on about as much weight as you had and am not in my prime, physically. Having not done any physical activity since October, I've spent the last week getting at least half an hour every day on our exercise bike and stretching myself out afterwards, and its a huge self-esteem boost to know that after doing basic stretches every day for a week, I am just as flexible as ever! (which has nothing to do with weight loss, I know, but well, I HAVEN'T LOST IT!)

Anyway, I think this is the first time I've ever commented on your blog, though I've been reading it for nearly two years. But this post made me fall even deeper in love with you (in the straightest sense), which was no easy feat! You are amazing. Thank your parents for creating you, for me will you?

kalimagination said...

Talking about weight always makes me uncomfortable. I've always been naturally thin and muscular, so I can't ever relate to people who have weight-issues. I feel weird saying this, but I wish I actually had to work for my appearance. I don't feel like I deserve it anyway, since I eat poorly and rarely exercise. And since it doesn't show, I have no motivation for treating my body better. I'm kind of jealous of people who have tangible evidence of their lifestyle improvements.
Still, I'm happy for your success :)

Today I saw: two grown men get in a screaming match. It was both amusing and frightening.
Today I heard: the Hairspray soundtrack. I forgot how catchy the songs are.
Today I smelled: cigars. My friend's 18th birthday was today, and we had to celebrate appropriately by putting ourselves at a higher risk of lung cancer.
Today I touched: a lot of rocks as we were climbing down to the river.
Today I tasted: the most delicious cheeseburger ever, as I hadn't eaten anything else all day.

Arden said...

I know that pretty much all the other comments are saying this, but I feel like I just have to add in my own "Ohemgeez I feel like you get me so much!!"

I'm in the same-ish situation with my weight right now, in that I'm carrying around an extra twenty or so pounds, and have been since pretty much forever. Last year in college, I literally gained the Freshman fifteen, thanks to the dorm food and the gym being aaaaaaalllll the way on the other side of campus, and not having many IRL friends to go there with me. This summer I've managed to lose about five of those pounds by just attempting to be slightly more active and not eat like such a fatass, but so far I've been unable to commit to any sort of "plan." I'm really glad you linked to that livestrong thing, because it looks like it could definitely help me.

And as for the senses:
Today I saw: a huge stack of papers for me to database.
Today I heard: A homeless man ask me for change while I was on my lunch break.
Today I smelled: the remnants of a day at horse camp that my sister brought home with her.
Today I touched: my face. Way too much.
Today I tasted: the delicious raspberry smoothie I had for lunch, which probably would have tasted better if I had made it myself, but I wasn't at home for lunch.

Anonymous said...

You're an inspiration <3

Weight Chart said...

I too had this problem..but not now. Once i started learning Yoga..every thing went smoothly..thanks a lot

Anonymous said...

Aaah food and depression... I know this only too well. I have such a bad relationship with food, I always tend to feel really ridiculously low in winter and therefore stuff my face. Then in summer I'll cheer up with the sun and loveliness and pretty much stop eating. I've lost so much weight recently but it's definitely not in a healthy way. This livestrong website looks really interesting though, I might give it a try. Thanks Hayley :)

Today, I saw: Chicago. Ahh I'd forgotten my love for musicals. Next stop, Rent.
Today, I heard: Lots of 3oh!3 and Lady Gaga. Odd, considering how I'm meant to be a punk who listens to Rancid and The Clash.
Today, I smelled: the delicious smell of cooking bacon.
Today, I touched: mostly my laptop keyboard. It's all I need in life.
Today, I tasted: muffins!

Jenni said...

I admire that you had the willpower to lose weight. I am not fat, but I could probably lose a few pounds and become healthier. However, everytime I try to focus on my goal I just don't seem to be able to stick to it... I'm going to university in september and hoping to join a gym and just not buy unhealthy food. If I don't have it, I can't eat it.

Today, I saw: my friend Connor :)
Today, I heard: my phone go off at 8:30 AM D: (I'm used to getting up at 11 (lazy I know)) asking me if I was free. Of course I said yes, because friends mean more than sleep!
Today, I smelled: nothing particularly interesting xD
Today, I touched: Paper Towns!! I'm halfway through it :)
Today, I tasted: incredibly salty pistachio nuts. They were so good (I feel bad admitting this after saying I wanted to get healthier...)

Caitlin said...

Great post, Hayley!
For most of my life I've had some extra weight on me and have been very unhappy about it. A few years ago, after the end to an awful relationship where I ate instead of talked about how I felt, because it always ended up in an argument, I started to run. It was before my last semester in college, and I ended up losing 30lbs in 2 months. Since I've moved home, my eating habits have been harder to control (it's much easier not to eat cookies, when they aren't in the house). I'm moving out in a few weeks and very much looking forward to shopping for myself and being healthy again.
I think some of the things you have said here are great. if you just keep an eye on what you are consuming, it's really not that difficult to stay healthy.
And just as long as someone is healthy, that's all that matters.

Erin said...

Hayley! I can't believe you use Livestrong! I used Livestrong for about two years, and I loved it! But I had to stop because I sort of became obsessed with losing weight, and got too low... :( Subsequently, I gained all the weight I had lost back, and now I am unhappy and self-concious again. I'm going to try to use the site again in a healthier way to lose weight now. If you want to add me as a friend on there (you don't have to; I understand xD) my username is amanemisa :D

Maddy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maddy said...

I've gained about 20 pounds since January of this year due to my own struggles with depression. I used food as a coping mechanism and found that the sadder I felt, the more my waistline would expand. I've been doing a lot better; however, I've still been putting on weight.

I have very poor eating habits. I tend to horde chocolate and carbs, and I never exercise. I've had a lack of motivation, because for a while I just didn't care. This post has really inspired me to take initiative and start focusing on being healthier. That livestrong site looks really helpful, and I think I'm going to give it a try.

Ben said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah Badger said...

Teehee, the agency I write for provides a lot of the articles and content for livestrong. Though I generally prefer for tracking stuff. I'm glad you've maintained your fatassery even in your size 4 body. It seems like you have a really healthy perspective on this whole thing, which is refreshing.

KateyMatey said...

Anddd this confirms my post yesterday about you inspiring people. You're like Oprah.

Well done on losing the weight! You make it sound easy. I'm petite, but recently I've noticed I'm getting podgy in places. I've been excersing but haven't been monitoring my food intake, So that website is perfect, thank you :)

DiscoAutomatic said...

You know, I've been following you for about a year now and I've never commented... so hooray for firsts!

Thank you so much for sharing your journey to better health with us! It really hit home for me and now I'm going to use you as my inspiration. I think you're an awesome writer and Youtuber and overall person and I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

Leslie said...

Hey there...

I don't often comment, but I just had to on this post. You might remember a fourteen year old girl named Leslie emailing you on youtube last year to thank you for your understanding of the fourteen year old's soul, because I was having the worst summer of my life. Without going into that too much, my parents got divorced and I couldn't see a light at the end of the tunnel.

I've always been the supremely lazy type--not necessarily by choice, but no one in my family takes part in sports or regular physical activity, so from birth it never seemed very important. It isn't surprising that I am about thirty pounds over where I'd like to be, and I've spent half of my life obsessing over it, something that was only heightened by the stress of last summer. To this day, its one of the only things I think about. It impacts almost every decision I make, and I've been searching desperately for some magic diet that make me happy. In my worst moments, I spend hours on pro-anorexia websites, looking for tips on quick weight loss and admiring this sick girls for the determination I can't seem to find. I am not proud of these experiences.

In the past month or so, I seem to be more determined than ever. I don't know or understand why now I can suddenly keep myself from sitting and eating, but I'm changing. I haven't had a soda in three weeks and two days, a definite record for me. I've started running every day, and somehow the burn from a run can just make me feel so damn good about myself. I have hope--it sounds shallow to see those thirty pounds as my ticket to happiness, but I just feel like its been following my around for eight years, so yeah, I should be happy to lose it!

Thank you for posting this. I think it will give me the final push to a completely healthy lifestyle. I'm a size ten now, and hopefully by the end of the year I can read this entry and be proud of how far we've both come.

Thank you, Hayley.

Emily said...

I'm a devoted reader who don't usually comment, but this post really resonated with me. I'm in exactly the same place. I'm going into my sophomore year of college and I also decided I was done with being an average weight, but not happy. I've done ballet most of my life, and it's given me bad mentalities concerning food and body image. This is the first time I've tried to lose weight healthily, and the first time it's worked. I feel newly confident and empowered, and darn it, I'll wear that mini-skirt if I want to.

Thanks for the post. :)

Anonymous said...

I was so suprised when you said you struggled with depression, because for the year I knew you, you always seemed very up-beat, positve, and happy. I am so sorry you had to go through that, and I am so happy you are in a good place now.

I was kind of chubby in 6th grade, but then I joined cross country and track and became very trim, I am actually on the verge of underweight because of constant running. Yet my sister is 3 inches shorter than I am, 3 years younger, and 20 pounds heavier. She is very overweight and cant seem to lose it. I convinced her with much pleading to join cross country, but running is very difficult for her. I want to help her but I am not sure how without hurting her feelings. Any advice?
-Emiko Waight

sincerely, ems. said...

We have way too much in common. During the beginning of my 8th grade year, I also became slightly depressed, and it's just been spiraling down since. It's really comforting to know you went through the exact same thing. Even though I'm going to be a high school senior and am still in that depressed state, it's fantastic to know things will come together in the end.

I've struggled with weight problems since 5th grade, losing most of the flab 7th grade from athletics. Since then they've slowly been returning, and I'm now motivated to try the site you used (or are using).

Thank you for all your inspiration and motivation. (:

Whimsy said...

So, here's my story.

I have never been overweight, and I have never gone on a diet. I know the majority who read this want to punch me in the face, but hear me out.

People have actually told me that I need to eat a hamburger, that I was too thin, and that I looked unhealthy.

It is so incredibly uncomfortable to be repeatedly told how skinny you are, particularly when you aren't even TRYING to keep your weight down.

I was vegetarian by choice since I was about 8 or 9, and have always eaten healthily for a vegetarian.

That being said, it is very hard to get the protien you need as a vegetarian.

Because of that, and the fact that when one is eating vegetarian, one eats a LOT of pasta and rice, and beans, well, plant based things, I was eating a LOT of carbs.

Now, eating carbs is not a bad thing, eating pretty much JUST carbs is a bad thing.

Because of this, even though I was so skinny it was mad (I have photos of two years ago, I look like a skeleton), I was not healthy. I had NO energy, and my hormones were all out of whack.

I am now eating meat, and am on a low carb diet. I feel much better, and I don't look like I'm half dead anymore.

It took a lot for me to stop eating toast of breakfast, pasta for lunch, and an equally carb-filled supper.

It really, truly bothers me that when I say that I can't eat whatever carbed-up meal is being served that people tell me that there is no reason for me to be on a low-carb regiem.

I just want to say, "look, buddy, just because I'm thin does NOT mean that I am healthy, and if I'm on a low-carb diet, that gives you no right to tell me that there's no reason for me to be."

So that's my story.


Chelsea said...

I've always thought you were beautiful, and I'm proud of you for doing this for yourself.

I was depressed in middle school, and I would say it's nothing serious, but I kind of feel like if someone is genuinely unhappy regardless of why they're unhappy, it's still matters. It just requires a different kind of attention, if that makes sense.

Anyway, I hated middle school because I've always had a hard time with growing up, and junior high was basically a prison full of wanna-be sluts and thugs (and also some truly, genuinely nice people) with no idea what they were doing.

It scared me how mature everyone was acting, and I rebelled so strongly against growing up just because I didn't want to be like 'them,' to the point where it was inhibiting my happiness. I hated school, I hated my classmates, I hated the fact that I was a teenager- I didn't want to be associated with all the typical teenage stereotypes. And I was teased about the way I looked endlessly, by people I didn't even know, and not one of my friends ever stuck up for me.

So when I got to high school, it was a huge relief to reach another level of anonymity, but I was still behaving like a depressed middle schooler, even though life was a lot better.

I had to rebuild a trust in school and a trust in myself. It took a long time, but for me the thing that set me free was cutting my hair. When I first started watching YouTube at the end of 2007, my hair was probably past my shoulder blades, no style, just hanging there, worn in a perpetual ponytail throughout middle school. By the following spring, as a sophomore, I had over a series of haircuts, made it as short as my shoulders. And I felt like a completely different person.

I was comfortable in my own skin for the first time probably since I was ten. I went into junior year with a happier, more secure outlook on who I was as a person and the environment I was in. I enjoyed my classes. That summer I made friends, real friends who shared my interests and were into the nerdier things in life, and somehow this combination made my senior year amazing. Naturally with its downfalls, but that is certainly another story.

Now I'm about to go to college and I'm terrified but kind of relieved to get away and find a new sort of happiness, one that can maybe last a lifetime as opposed to just a school year.

So yes. My hair has grown out (I'll have to rewatch that first video I made and compare). While I don't have any weight to lose I've never been in shape, and as I've gotten older that's become more of an issue. I'm not unhealthy, but I don't exercise, and I need to change that. But my future is bright (possibly with the addition of an elliptical machine), and for that I'm grateful.

Sorry for the insanely long comment. Your blog lets me be myself as much as it lets you be yours, so I thank you : )

Anonymous said...

Hayley, I absolutely love you. In the straightest way possible. :) Your writing is amazing and you can for sure be like John Green. Also, livestrong is what I now plan to use as well. My weight is genetic, but that doesn't stop the mean kids. My mom has been amazing and trying to get me to lose some weight for a while. I, like you, need to decide to do things for myself. I have. It has been coming on for a while now, but your post was really...awesome. :)

You inspire me a bunch. Because of you (and John Green:) I am starting a YouTube channel, a blog, and my novel. Thanks. :)

Alysha said...

I'm so glad you wrote this post.

I'm about to turn eighteen and enter my first year of college, so for the past couple months of summer I've been trying to get in shape. I've always been a size six and it hasn't gone down (mainly because I have hips, which thankfully have not deflated), but between running, biking and sit-ups, I'm a lot more proud of my body. I also realized that I don't particularly like chips either, but for some reason it just seemed natural to eat them during a movie. Same goes with really sugared candies and sodas. Instead I eat trail mix, fancy flavoured waters and apples dipped in caramel.

Thank you for letting your readers know that losing weight isn't always about what other people, like a boyfriend, think of you, but about how you feel about yourself.

Tenley Nadine said...

First, everytime I read your blog I can't wait for the day that one of your books gets published.

But more than that, I never knew anyone besides me shared the eating out of depression thing. I mean, I knew a lot of people struggle with their weight for various reasons, and I assumed someone might share my reason, but its different to actually know someone who does.

Anyways, this post really inspired me. I won't tell you what I'm going to do, because I might not live up to the hype. But I'm going to try to do something. In fact, now I think I'll go for bike ride. *sets aside cookies*


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing Hayley. I went through my own depression for the last year of High School and kind of just drifted through that year. Later, just this past year or so, I suffered it worse and I'm still kind of recovering. It's definitely hard to avoid being miserable... and bread is oh so tasty. Luckily, I've been training myself to recognize when I'm no longer actually hungry and I drink water if I am (because sometimes when you're hungry, you're actually thirsty... which is weird but true).

I find your blog entries to be well-written and fun to read. I'm glad I stumbled over here!

cassiumpotassium said...

Hayley, I just graduated from high school & I've been slow on getting things for college going, even though I am super excited about it. I just can't seem to lite a fire under my butt to get something done. I have a ton of financial aid stuff that I just don't want to deal with because it's a ton of work & my dad expects me to do it on my own... Plus, I have that problem of just sitting around & doing nothing but eat & when I think about doing something else, something that might benefit my life, my future, I just sit around & eat some more because it seems like that's all I can do.

However! Now, since you can do it & I always read your blog for inspiration, I'm going to start my financial aid junk & get it done so I can go to college & finally start acting again. (I'll be double majoring in English & Theatre) Plus, I'm going to start exercising & using that website, because I also have a few noticeable pounds that need to be shed. Wish me luck & thanks so much for posting this. It helped, a lot. :)

Wow... That was a lot. :p & if you read it all, you're even more awesome than before. :D


Amy said...

Hayley! I don't usually comment, but this post has motivated me to get off my arse and get in shape. Thankyou. and thankyou for making me realise it's okay to say I enjoy food! Because I do, I really do. And to me it always seems like girls are supposed to use food purely for nutrition and not for enjoyment, but it can be for both.
I've been trying half-heartedly to get fit/shift some pounds for the last couple of months and have made no real progress, but after reading this, I am going for it.I am registering on the livestrong site right now. This is definitely a positive turning point in my life.

Anonymous said...

Hola Hayeley!
It's my second time leaving you a comment for the 2nd day in a row. I apologize in advance if this becomes an everyday thing, but you don't seem to mind. :)
In terms of your discussion of weight, I won't lie. I'm very pear-shaped, a little heavy, and probably need to lose a few pounds. However, I haven't always been like this. I was really skinny and athletic as a kid, but when puberty hit, it was like *BAM!* Hips, boobs, butt, thighs, everything came at once, and I became very curvy by the end of 8th grade. I had a lot of self-confidence issues, social anxiety, and clinical depression. With gaining so much weight within the space of 6 months, my self-image took a hit for the worse. I felt even more alone than I already did, and it was hard. When I got to high school, these problems contined until sophomore. However, after losing a group of friends because of how low my confidence was, I finally realized that I had to change and become comfortable with myself. From there until now, almost 2 years, I have done drastic things to improve my body image. I accept the fact that I am curvy, but it isn't all bad. I love certain parts of my body, and I dress in very feminine styles to avoid looking sloppy. I have fun with my appearance now, which is a great personal change to make. I am now aware of the fact that my genes have been working against me in terms of weight, and there's nothing I can do to change that. I try to eat healthy and go running with friends on a regular basis. Beyond that, it's all in your head.

Thanks for this post, and for being so open with a topic that is often considered taboo. I <3 5AG, all of you are admirable women. I give you guys some serious props.

Kristina said...

I struggled most of my adolescent life against people teasing me for being anorexic. And I'm not, and never have been anorexic. I was just a willowy, skinny, beanpole of a thing until I turned about 18 and finally started getting curves.

There was even a girl in middle school who would call me "Annie"; it would make me upset because I felt like there was something wrong with me, something I couldn't control, and when she'd see me taking it negatively she'd counter that was "WHAT, it's a COMPLIMENT."

I've never thought that knowing people think you might be endangering yourself to look a certain way is a compliment.

So I started to try to put on weight. And I actually GAINED those 20 pounds that you lost, before I realized I don't need to change who I am for anyone. I spent the last year changing my eating habits (cutting out those same junky foods I don't even really like, such as french fries, pop, candy), generally feeling healthier, and I started going back to my normal weight.

But then (and I don't know if you remember this) there was a "Kristina looks really skinny" thing happening on twitter earlier this year and it made me feel just like I did in middle school, so it's a never-ending cycle. I just try to stay confident in knowing I am healthy, and ignore what people say, now. Or I try, at least.

Jen said...

Letting inner happiness show physically.

Your simple statement has triggered something in me. I'm a big woman, always have been. I've also struggled with depression as so many have...and yet those simple makes SO much sense that it's almost silly I never thought it before. I've been looking at it all wrong all these years.

Thank you.

Freakish Lemon said...

Good for you Hayley. I've been trying to lose weight for the past four years with fluctuating degrees of motivation and stories like yours are the ones that re-motivate me. Hopefully, I can continue to stay motivated this time and then I'll have a story of my own to tell.

Rachel said...

I've been reading your blog for ages, but I hardly ever comment. I should start.

Weight is something I've had issues with with since puberty, but I've never been very fat. A little chubby, I guess. Still, though, I'm not as comfortable as I'd like to be. Especially since I quit sports senior year, I've struggled with it. I eat reasonably healthily, but it can be hard as a student. Besides, I love food! I don't like to feel as though I'm depriving myself for vanity's sake.

But enough is enough! I want to be better, more confident. I want to feel and look my very best. Congratulations, Hayley, and thank you for inspiring me. You always looked great, but you did what you needed to do in order to feel better, and I'm going to do the same, starting now.


Charlotte said...

I've never commented before but I was reading your story and it reminded me a little bit of my own, with some completely different details. Before 8th grade, my problem was actually the opposite of chubbiness; I was tall and gangly and just genetically predisposed to be a little too skinny. In eighth grade, just like you, I had a really rough time and I had to be put on this medication that screwed up my metabolism and everything. I gained a little bit of weight, barely enough to be noticeable. It may have actually been a healthier weight than the one I was at before, but I hated that a prescription from a doctor could be so powerful over my body. After I stopped taking the medicine, I wanted to cleanse myself of everything that happened in eighth grade. I lost 20 pounds by training for a 10K, and now I'm just a little bit healthier than I was before the whole ordeal. I liked hearing your story because sometimes it seems like you live on Chipotle burritos. :)

Samantha Jay said...

My entire life I've been overwieght. I went through, like you, a depression of sorts in junior high. I got out of that in high school but still ate like a depressed person because that was what my mind had taught my body to do. THEN I got busy .... and busy college life really can take a toll on yourself.

I know work in the TV busy and no one is fat. My first year there I lost 30 pounds, but I'm no where near what would be considered "normal." I weight 235.

Thanks to youtube I found a group of girls who have taught me to love myself and not feel ashamed. Because when fat people are ashamed they don't try to get "unfat." I'm continuing my healhty lifestyle and if I lost weight GREAT, but I just want to continue to love myself.

This is the collab channel of my supporters.

Anonymous said...

Hey Hayley :)
I don't comment much, but I will now just to let you know that YOU REALLY ARE INCREDIBLE.
My only real struggle with my weight was much more of the way I saw myself, than any real weight issue.
I've been very slim for my entire life, and really done absolutely nothing to deserve it - I've never really taken part in any sports or done any regular exersise of any kind.
About two and a half years ago, my self image was at an all time low. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I would wear baggy fleeces and long jeans in the summer because I was terrified anyone would see my "fat" legs and arms. It wasn't until my boyfriend (yes, this is one of those my-boyfriend-made-me-love-myself cliches) basically worked endlessly over several months to get me to appreciate how beautiful I really was. It doesn't sound it, but it was a scary journey for me.
I would also like to mention that, with or without those 20 pounds, you're a SMOKIN' HOTTIE!! Since I started watching your videos about 2 years ago, I've looked up to you endlessly. You really are the role model that young girls today SHOULD have. Not the Disney Channel stars.
Keep doing what you do.
Christina. X

mercia j said...

This is awesome, Hayley. I'm so happy for you, and honestly, I'm really inspired by what you've been able to do for yourself. As I'm going into high school, I'm super self-conscious about myself, especially my weight. I've been kind of a "big girl" all my life, and your blog post is further pushing me to want to do my best in getting healthy this year. I have always admired you and everything you do, and this is just one more that proves to me what an amazing person you are. Congratulations on losing weight and feeling good :)

N said...

I have never had real problems with weight, have always been in the normal range and as I'm tall I still look pretty thin. However, I had the same experience - I dealt with some psychological issues, depression etc. A few years back I was really skinny, I was in a ballet school (it's so sad that THIS is still one of the most important things required from girls in a ballet school). I left it when my mom died, had no father to show interest in anything but himself, I had to go to work, living by my own and dealing with high school. I fell prey of depression, high school was a nightmare, I didn't do ballet anymore (before, I thought about doing it professionally) and I started eating away all my problems. In two years I've gained 44 pounds (I mean I was taller too, besides I really looked like an anorexic during the ballet school times, but still...). It took like three years to get over this crazy merry-go-around cycle.
It's not like I'm thinking of losing weight, I actually look perfectly normal. It's just the fact how things like depression can affect your physical state.
By the way Hayley, I really do see you at John Green's level in 13 years, don't you dare make jokes about it! xD

Bel said...

Wow. That was really meaningful.
I was impressed at your determination, and although you look pretty either way, it's good to hear you're happier with yourself now.
You look remarkably thinner indeed, and it shows on your face that you feel more comfortable with your body.
When I went on my exchange problem I put on about 22 pounds, due to deep emotional breakdowns. It took me nearly three years to go back to my "normal" shape, mostly because I had no urge to look good.
My mom encouraged me to exercise more, which I did because I enjoyed it, but no one can make you want to lose weight but you. It comes from you and only you can do it.
There's something about emotional health that is directly connected to bodily health. It just shows.
Thank you for sharing your story with us -- it was also very sensible of you explaining the process of how you did it, because you may have subscribers with eating disorders who could easily feel encouraged to throw up or fast in order to lose 20 pouns in 3 months like you.
Best wishes always,


Panda said...
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Jazmelody said...

I've struggled with not only my weight, but my self esteem since I can remember.

When I was in elementary school, I hit puberty, which doesn't exactly give you the body type that every other nine or ten year-old possesses. I also had glasses and braces around the same time.

It really wasn't until about two years ago that I could say that I knew I wasn't ugly.

I've always been chubbier than my peers, and that's what really bothered me the most. I've done quite a few diets for someone my age (sixteen), and yes, they worked with the weight loss, but I always felt like it was never enough weight loss.

For the past two years I have been a happy, confident, chubby girl, and now I finally want to change my eating habits for the right reasons, not so everyone will accept me, but because I want to be healthy and full of the energy that all of my junk food eating consumes.

This was really inspiring, and I think I'm going to try the livestrong thing. Thank you so much, Hayley.

Bridget said...

That's awesome that you changed your habits so easily! I wish I could do that. I'm (soon to be) 15 and although I've fortunately never had problems with my weight, I have TERRIBLE eating habits. I've always been tall and skinny and able to eat whatever I want, when I want, but that should probably should change soon.

I am definitely not fat but I would consider myself fat on the inside, seeing as I eat so much junk and basically nothing healthy. I'm on right now, not trying to lose weight but just trying to eat healthier. Thanks for such an awesome blog!

Anonymous said...

hayleyghoover=hero at large.(or should i say small now?:))

i've been finding myself in an extremely similar situation these days...i wouldn't say i've been depressed so much these past three years but i certainly eat my feelings.and i have a lot of feelings.three years ago when my mom passed away,my best friend started dating,and i had to move in with my dad i really didnt know how to you i'm meant to be a small person and i'm just carrying around so much the time my mom passed away i was a size 2 and now three years later i'm a size 12.i certainly have thought to lose weight before but i have terrible motivation and i do love french fries and candy and sour cream and i seriously adore food in general.i cant bring myself to start exercising,i've become inherently lazy.and its becoming a problem...thanks for the hope,hayley. :)
long time reader,first time commenter,

Emily. said...

I am trying to be healthier, and it's been hard for me, mostly because I feel like I have no self control. But I like what you said, about how you do things better when you decide you want to do them instead of if people expect you to do them. This post was really helpful to me!

rachel claire said...

Thanks for sharing this Hayley, I'm hoping your success will be the boost I need to start doing something about my weight.

Your story is kind of familiar to me. I've never been diagnosed but I am aware that I have issues with depression. I'm going into my last year of secondary school (high school) and I am completely ready to move on. I'm not happy, and have not been for a long time, and I often use food to comfort me when I get home from school. I have put on about a stone or more in the last year, which is something else to be miserable about since I know I look far from the best I could be.

Sorry for the rant, but just to let you know that I love your blog, and this post really helped me. I'm looking forward to hopefully being as successful as you. I had noticed in your 5ag videos lately that you were looking even more gorgeous than usual! Feeling comfortable in yourself definitely shows. And thanks for posting the link to livestrong, it helps me to stick to something if I can record it as I go.

Thank you :)

Ravenclaw2313 said...

Alright I'm back. I thought it would be earlier, but life got in the way.

What I wanted to say while on my iPod last night is that weight is an issue I have struggled with for over 10 years now. I've always been tall and I have a larger frame, but the weight I carry is definitely more than I should.

I've tried to work on it a few different times over the years but I would give up. I'd tell myself that I didn't care about my body. I liked myself the way I am. That was a total lie though. I didn't like the way I looked. People made fun of me and said things about me and it hurt. I lived with it all through high school. I tried to ignore it by doing activities I liked and by (naturally) eating. Junk food made me happy and I just keep eating.

Now that I'm in college people don't make as much fun of me, but I still eat. I love food, especially if it's bad for me. I also enjoy activities that aren't very active; reading, writing, and playing video games. Then there is the added bonus that I hate running.

I want to change, and I've been working hard to change my eating habits. I've lost some weight but not nearly what I need to. Do you have any other suggestions for an inactive fatass who hates running?

Even if you don't have any other advice you've inspired me to try and figure something out. I'm going to make it a goal.

seurat2 said...

looks like it has all been said already in the huge number of comments, so I'll jus agree with the Situation- you've always been beautiful- and also say yay for Hayley!

Rosanna said...

Hayley, thank you so much for writing this post. I am 17 and having some trouble keeping my head up at the minute. I could never say that I have depression but I do feel like something isn't right and I should be happier than I am right now. I've always known that my solution to problems was to eat so I will definitely be checking out that website. I don't think I am fat but I just really want to feel healthier, so thanks xx

DalekGirl said...

I too am not unhealthily overweight, but could still stand to lose a bit of weight. I don't have depression, but I do have social anxiety, so I eat to fill the void that a social life would fill. I am into musical theatre, and work as a camp counsellor, so my activity level is getting a little higher. Thank you so much for the website tip, and your story. It helped, since I think I'm a bit like you, if not as cool and courageous. So thank you.

Maria S said...

I love it when you blog about personal things like this. It really, really helps me.
Without sounding like a creeper, we have a lot of similarities, so it's nice to hear I'm not alone.
My own weight issues go waaaay back. I was an obese 11 year old, and then went to skipping meals until I was 14. Then when depression hit, like you, I ate my feelings.
Only now am I at a tipping point where I feel good about life again, and trying to get my health back on track.
Thanks for the website, I'm sure it'll help. I'm excited to finally lose weight in a healthy manner for the first time.
Thank you Hayley, your more personal blogs make me really wish I knew you IRL. You're that awesome <3

Anonymous said...

I weight ...a lot.

An extreme amount. Morbidly obese. I can walk and such just fine, but I've gained and gained my entire life.

I've never been thin and high school just threw my fattening process into overdrive. A combination of depression and birth control pills made me gain about a 100 pounds in a year and I haven't take it off. I've tried joining a gym, changing my diet, etc etc..but I find it so hard to stick to.

I'm happy, but I wish I was smaller. I just want the experience that most girls my age (25) get to have.. I never got to be the thin girl that all the guys like, or even some of the guys. I know that that's shallow, but it's something I'd like to experience. I have the man I love, so it's not like I'm dying for attention, I just want to be able to do normal activities without having to be the fat-whatever. Fat swimmer, fat runner, fat girl gamer, fat this, fat that. I want a new defining characteristic. Even at work, there are other girls my age which will be called the "cute" this or that, and I feel I present myself about the same, but I never get called anything similar..because I'm the "Fat" something, not the "cute" something.

I'd also like my family to be able to get through a daily conversation with me without my weight coming up. Every time I go see my mother within the first twenty minutes the topic is my fatness. Even if I was just mentioning how great a day I was having.

"Hey, what are you doing this weekend?"
"I'm going to go see Inception, then (fiance) and I are going to go play some games with friends.
"You need to lose weight."

Really. This is how my conversations go.

I guess I just want to feel about my body the way I feel about my personality. I enjoy my personality, I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I want to feel that for all of me.

Joy said...

I'm going to join the throngs of commenters on this post to say THANK YOU! :D

I'm by no means fat (i'm teetering on the edge of the Normal/Overweight line on the BMI calclulator) but like you, I'm definitely built to be smaller than I am. I used to be skinny without trying, but in the last few years I've started to slowly put on a bit of extra weight. I've been feeling negatively about my body the past month or two as I've realised how much bigger I've become. I've tried to eat healthier recently and do more exercise, but not had much of a drive for it.

Thanks for the pointer towards Livestrong! I've joined it - only been going for a day and I love it! We'll see if I can stick to it :) It's really useful, and I think it will motivate me because it's a bit like a game as you said.

Hopefully I can lose these extra 15-25 pounds and look and feel healthier :)

I'm feeling the collective spirit of you and all of these other wonderful people behind me!

Stephanie said...

I've been a regular follower since your very first videos. Our birthdays are only a few days apart so I feel like we've grown up together in some sort of weird, virtual world where I watch and read about your life but you have no knowledge of my existence. I hope you know that you were just as gorgeous then as you are now, and you make tons of people smile every day.
Anyways, when I hit puberty I became a bit chubby. I didn't realize it was extra weight until the summer between 8th grade and freshman year when it all just magically came off. I didn't eat differently, I was playing just as many sports as I had in the past, and I didn't even notice the change in my body. I just remember weighing myself for the first time in months and seeing that I had somehow lost 25 pounds. Of course I was convinced I had some sort of disease at first, but then I realized that this was how my body naturally looked.
For the past five years I've had lots of problems with people thinking I have some sort of eating disorder because no one can accept that people are naturally thin and still eat. You may end up facing something similar, so just focus on the fact that this is how you were made to look, and that you did it the right way, for the right reasons.
You look amazing, and I'm so glad that you're happy and healthy. Thanks for always making my days a bit brighter.

Suburban Sweetheart said...

I appreciate this post, too. I've been... uh, known to be lazy. And fat, too. For, like, ever. And I've tried a few times to stop, but I just don't seem to have hit that stride yet. Time to try harder? Thanks for the reminder.

Sarah said...

Firstly Congrats! You deserve a huge, massive, well done for losing 25 lbs!

I myself have always struggled with my weight, and still am - being 5'1" and at my heaviest 175 lbs (WAY to big for my size. I was always fat at high school, always felt terrible about myself, and never got any attention from boys (though that was weight + depression + lack of confidence). It took me to being in my early 20s before I really got down to doing something about it.

I'm now around 133 lbs and much happier with myself, but still not quite where I should be for my height, but not really stressed about it as much as I used to be. I am way happier, more confident about life, and just generally feel great that I accomplished so much!

It is the exercise thing that gets me now, rather than food. I am just not motivated and never have been. How do you get motivated to run? I am SO unfit, it seems like a mountain just to start as I would maybe run 5 min before I'd have to stop!

Allie said...

I'm a long-time reader and first time commenter... Thought I would pop my comment cherry by thanking your for the link to MyPlate! It's awesome and I can't wait to use it to lose the Freshman 15 I've been trying and failing to lose all summer. Time for a sophomore negative 15, I guess. Congrats!

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I don't feel like I can ever be happy until I'm thin. I constantly think about my weight. It's one of the first things I think about in the morning and I even "think" about it in my dreams. Despite this I eat tons and never go for my runs anymore. I'm not morbidly obese or anything I'm thirteen, five one, and about one forty. I don't ever feel comfertable in my own skin especially around older people/teenagers. (reason I feel so stupid for pm'ing your boyfriend one time.) The thing is I don't think I'll ever be the person I want to see in the mirror. I may constanty think about her but I don't think I can change. Whatever, I'm still going to congratulate you because you did do it. So, congrats.

Anonymous said...

Hi Hayley! I will most likely be like the twentieth person to point out that, there is nothing wrong with being a size 10.

That being said, If you are happy and healthy at a size 4 than by all means stay that way!


I am glad that you aren't depressed anymore though. It really does take a toll on you. I was very depressed for a long time and am only just now getting around to actually caring about what I look like.

I have come to accept that my body shape is never going to be what some people would call "sexy" or whatever because of a medical condition and genetics.
Though I should get around to eating better and exercising at some point. I would rather not get heart attacks or diabetes.

Anonymous said...

In reply to myself where i talk about how i don't think i can be happy until I'm thin: i signed up for livestrong. just cause i don't think I can change doesn't mean I don't want to. it all sounds too appealing.

Anonymous said...

These posts remind me why I admire you so much.
In the last three months, I have lost about 15 pounds, and unlike you, it was most likely a result of unhealthy decisions. (When I'm depressed, I tend to eat less.)
But every time I read your blog, I'm hopeful I'll be awesome as you one day.
Also, if I ever get to meet you, I'll be sure to thank you for blogging. <3

Nicoley said...

I have been struggling with weight myself for about the past year,mainly due to lots and lots of stress just piling itself onto me every day. Mind you this was after I was in remission and as I gained my appetite my stomach gained a few more pounds than the doctor or I wanted and before my 21st birthday I blogged about trying to get my weight back to normal but more trauma hit my family and it never happened. Shortly after being fed up with everything around me I moved from my aunts, to an old neighbors and now I'm finally settled into my best friends house and with that great idea the stability is starting to slowly come into my life. I am starting to change my old ways and eat healthier and exercise more and just take better care of myself. I have also found more happiness along this crazy road and will continue to make my own for days to come and I will eventually lose my stress weight and be back to my normal self! I really appreciated this post, I saw your tweet about it earlier and couldn't wait to read it when I got home! Congrats on the success!

Best Wishes!


smorasnki77 said...

Hayley, I am really glad you decided to share something even as personal as that. It meant a lot to me, and I'm sure a ton of other readers. The truth is, is that all my life I've lived somewhat having food just there, like it's the one thing that I could depend on. And I'm sure that must sound incredibly stupid and confusing, but coming from my dad's side of the family who all have diabetes and are overweight, food just felt, I don't know, right. Now, the scare from my dad's side of the family really didn't set in until really recently. I've had those multiple, multiple moments where I realize that I should eat healthier because if I don't I might end up like my grandparents. But, time and time again I forget my "promise to change." Truthfully, sometimes I'm scared of what happens
when I don't change. I am usually someone who has a different opinion than others, and even when I'm thinking about what I can do differently I find myself at a loss of ideas. I guess your perspective of how you technically didn't have to change, but you decided to really stirred
something inside me. I know I am a beautiful person inside
and out, but I believe that I owe it to myself to get a little bit healthier. I sincerely want to thank you for blogging all these years, because what you've said/typed over the years has truly made an impact in my life and many others. I truly am glad that God created you, because I'm almost positive that he wanted you to use your gift of writing to speak to others. Continue to write, and again, Thank you.

Allison said...

Hayley, I don't read your blog often enough. Every time I do I feel like you're writing EXACTLY WHAT I NEED TO HEAR.

My depression started later in life, around my sophomore year of college, but I didn't really acknowledge it for what it was until my junior year, and now as a senior I've been seeing a counselor and trying to deal with it. It's not easy, and there are days when I want to sit around and watch TV and eat bread and cheese. And like you said, it became something of a habit. I still am depressed, but I've been doing better lately and I want to help myself get better.

As for the weight thing, I AM one of those naturally bigger people. But even with that, I am most certainly overweight and I've been wanting to change that. Like you said, though, it's hard to be motivated to do ANYTHING when you're dealing with depression, and it's particularly hard to want to do anything active. As I said, though, I've been feeling better and I think it's time to start a little project of my own.

I tend to be the kind of person that makes big proclamations and then never follows through, so this time I'm going to do it your way. This is the only time I'm going to tell anyone about it, and then it's lips sealed until Christmas. I think that LiveStrong site sounds awesome, so I'll give that a go, but mostly I am going to get rid of the junk I don't care about and only keep my essential dessert food (ice cream). I think I'll limit my white bread intake, too, because I can just eat that stuff without even noticing. And, of course, the fun part: exercise. I live on a gorgeous campus in the mountains, so I think a decent-length walk every day will make for a good start.

Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for sharing your personal life with us. It's always inspiring. I think you're an awesome girl (wow, I didn't even do that on purpose) and I love reading your blogs and watching your videos. Thanks for everything you do!

Allison said...

Hayley, I don't read your blog often enough. Every time I do I feel like you're writing EXACTLY WHAT I NEED TO HEAR.

My depression started later in life, around my sophomore year of college, but I didn't really acknowledge it for what it was until my junior year, and now as a senior I've been seeing a counselor and trying to deal with it. It's not easy, and there are days when I want to sit around and watch TV and eat bread and cheese. The good news is, I've been feeling better lately.

As for the weight, I AM one of those naturally bigger people, but even with that, I am overweight and I want to change. It's hard to be motivated to do ANYTHING when you're depressed, but I think I want this enough to make it happen.

I usually make big proclamations and then never follow through, so this time I'm going to do it your way. Lips sealed about the whole thing (excepting this comment) until Christmas. I think that LiveStrong site sounds awesome, so I'll give that a go, but mostly I am going to get rid of the junk I don't care about and only keep my essential dessert food (ice cream). And, of course, the fun part: exercise. I live on a gorgeous campus in the mountains, so I think a decent-length walk every day will make for a good start.

Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for sharing your personal life with us. It's always inspiring. I think you're an awesome girl (wow, I didn't even do that on purpose) and I love reading your blogs and watching your videos. Thanks for everything you do!

Anonymous said...

Hayley, I want to thank you for this post. You are truly and inspiration! Also, you look great!

I have struggled with weight my whole life. I was the "fat" kid on the playground. My mother put me on my first diet at the age of 8. I battled obesity while trying to wrestle with the idea that my mother couldn't love me for who I was. Eventually, I was 17, almost a size 20, and knew I needed to make a change in my life. Not for my parents, but for me. I started exercising and eating healthy. I lost 20lbs in 2 months. After taking a shower, I realized that for the first time in my life a towel fit all the way around me. I cried for an hour. I was so happy! I made a bet with my brother that I could lose more weight than him. My best friend overheard the bet and said "A girl can't lose more weight than a boy. It's impossible." I was determined to prove her wrong. So far I have dropped almost 60lbs and 8 sizes. She hasn't noticed a difference. But, it's okay! I feel great!

Thank you for being so honest in your blogs, Hayley. I have never shared my weight loss story. I am glad to be apart of your community. Keep it up!

kmyhatisgone said...

Unfortunately, I can't really relate to ever having needed to lose weight... in fact, it's quite the opposite for me. It's actually putting ON weight that's difficult for me.

Haha, you're probably thinking something along the lines of 'you lucky bitch', but ever since I was little I have been as thin as anything. It's partly to do with my genetics and partly to do with my crippling anxiety that I've had for about 10 years - which I'm slowly getting better thanks to many supportive friends and therapy.

I'm not even going to pretend to understand what it's like to be overweight or carry a little bit 'extra', but I can understand being unhappy with what you see in the mirror. Because even though people have always exclaimed how lucky I was to be so thin, I was still very self-conscious about it because I felt so unusual, so different from everyone else. BUT, I think as I get older I'm becoming a lot more comfortable with my body.

Anyway, that's just my little contribution to this discussion.

I'm really happy Hayley that you've achieved your goal, you should be proud of yourself. :)

Ellen B said...

I'm so proud of you, Hayley. You're beautiful and such an amazing person and I am so blessed to know you. You're so inspiring it's ridiculous. As someone who has been blessed with ridiculously high metabolism and never really had to worry about my weight, I've been lucky...but body image has been my nemesis for about the last sixish years. I've never made myself sick or do anything to hurt myself, but I've definitely come close. My relationship with the ballet mirror has don't nothing to help this. But I'm slowly learning. And people like you help. Your feelings about your body are so healthy and wonderful and awesome. I need to take a lesson from you and learn to love what God blessed me with. (While eating healthy that is.) Thanks for sharing your story. You are incredible.


Elena said...

Thankyou for being so honest with us. I found this post really helpful, and you've inspired me to become healthier. I'm not nearly as healthy as I could be, and I'm unhappy because of it.

Thinking about ways in which I could change my diet has made me realise that I don't want to wait any longer to become a vegetarian. I'm 16, and I thought I could put it off for another two years until I move away to University. The reason for this is that my dad and step-mum only cook meals in which the main component is meat, and when I tried to discuss my want to be a vegetarian they immediately dismissed the idea as "stupid". They made me feel that being a vegetarian would not only be reckless and damaging to my own health, but inconsiderate and ungrateful of me. I've been struggling with this dilemma for a while - mainly because my relationship with my parents is fragile, and I don't want to upset or anger them.

When I refused to eat meat we would argue constantly; they simply wouldn't listen to any of my reasoning. I tried to eat meat with just my parents, and not around other people - but I couldn't refuse meat and ask for an alternative from people who knew that I ate meat at home.

I think about becoming a vegetarian constantly and I simply haven't been happy recently - whether or not I eat meat is such a huge part of who I am.

So I've finally decided that I shouldn't have to pretend anymore. I'm old enough to know what I want, and I'll do anything to make my parents see that I can be perfectly healthy as a vegetarian. And that meals without meat do exist - I'll cook a meat-free meal every night for just myself if I have to.

So, that was just a long-winded way of me saying thankyou. You're very real proof that being a vegetarian does not hinder intellectual development. And your account of how you lost weight has made me certain that I can do the same thing. Congratulations on your good health; I think that your blog is brilliant, and you are too. :)

Dani said...

That website is possibly the most intimidating thing ever: Yesterday I apparently consumed 463% of my daily sugar allowance, and today I had 300% before lunch.


Cathrine said...

I am tempted to write 5000 words on my life as a depressed, over weight teenager but I think I will cut it down to just this: You inspire me more than even I will ever understand. It always feels so weird to me how much I look up to you even though we're the same age. But when you write things like this, I understand why. You really are an inspiration and I cherish the parts of my day that you are a part of, on here and on the youtubez.

toastburntbread said...

a line really hit me in your post that hit so close to home that it nearly made me cry.
it was this: I've always had a hard time accomplishing tasks that are expected of me.

Manuel said...

Awesome blog, Hayley! You looked great in the past & you look great now but the only important thing is how you feel about yourself! :)

I will try the website. Not because i think i have to lose weight. I just think that i eat very very unhealthy sometimes.

Mimi Meila said...

You're amazing and a complete inspiration. You should be extremely proud of yourself!

Jess said...

Hayley, thank you so much for writing this. I'm fourteen and though I don't consider myself really fat, there's an extra twenty or so pounds that really could go. I went to the doctor a few weeks ago and now my habits are effecting my heath. I'm going on the livestrong website you linked. You really are an inspiration. DFTBA :)

Kaedtiann said...


I've just reread your post, and I have to say: I love you. You are an incredible inspiration to me and I feel so lucky to be able to read all your stories like this. It really motivates me to be less lazy, which I suppose is something for which I've been waiting around a long time.

I'm a lot like fifteen-year-old Hayley, I suppose. Mostly depressed, I eat a lot, sit a lot... It's not that I don't want to change, I just tend to not do anything about it. I protest whenever my parents try to make me get up or get out, because I guess I feel I need to be able to really do it all myself.

Spurred on by this post, I went for a run this morning. I'm definitely out of shape, but the first eight minutes or so did feel really great. I guess the only thing I can really do to build my endurance is to keep up with the exercise, so I'll try. To be honest, I think this is the first time I've ever initiated some form of exercise and then gone out and done it all by myself. This school year is my first without mandatory gym class (hooray!), so I've really got to step it up, or I will fall deep into a pit of slothness and despair.

Anyway, I just want to say thank you. Thanks for being awesome and funny and honest. Thanks for making me try, which is something at which I've pretty much failed all summer.

Also, I don't know if you're up for this, but I think fitness updates every now and then would be really great motivation. It's just nice to know that there are other people out there who are all kinda in the same boat. Or in different boats, but traveling the same direction. Like a flotilla.

Um yeah, I should go. So, DFTBA, hearts, you're awesome, keep it up, comment-at-ya soon. :)


Margaret said...

I've been anxiously waiting for you to blog about your weight loss because I'd noticed that you'd lost weight and I wanted to know how you did it. I'm in the same boat: I need to lose about twenty pounds, but I'm not medically overweight. I'm just sick of looking at pictures of myself and seeing all the extra fat on my face and stomach. Thank you so much for sharing! You've given me the confidence to keep trying.

seanababy16 said...

Hayley. This post brought tears to my eyes. I've always been overweight, and it was never that big of a problem until I started university two years ago and the pounds started to add up. Now I'm way overweight and I've been told by my doctor that I need to do something about it or I could be at risk for diabetes. This summer I've been trying to lose some weight, and I think it's starting to work, quite a few of my clothes, especially shorts, are too big for my now. But reading this definitely gave my extra motivation. You are an amazing person, and I'm very proud of you. Also, I absolutely love reading your blog, keep it up! :)

gabdc said...

I missed this blog! I used to read it religiously (I went on vacation for three weeks last year and when I came home, I made sure I caught up on the posts I missed). I'm really glad I decided to come read your blog again today. I have a body type similar to what you had in the past and for ages I've wanted to lose some weight. I registered on today. Thanks for the tip. =]

TheGingerHermione said...

I've been suffering with depression for almost 4 years now, and I found it interesting that mine is very different from yours. I'm a very small person, and although I don't have an eating disorder, I find when my depression gets the better of me I DON'T eat enough. I'd go on, but it's late and I'm tired.

Thanks for the inspirational story! xox

Tiffinnie said...

I'm not going to lie, I just stepped on the scale at the doctors office a few days ago and wanted to hide the number from my own father... I'm only 100lbs less than my dad... and my dad is a BIG guy. I'm sure I could go on blaming genetics or the possibility that I have Cushing's syndrome (which I'm being tested for) or a thyroid problem... but the reality is I'm lazy and more depressed now than I have ever been. Alot of this has to do with my relationship (almost 5 years I've been with this guy) and how I was raised. He never encouraged me (lucky you for having such a caring boyfriend!!) and always shot down the idea of me losing weight... I was my ideal weight when I got with him and then he moved out of state a month later, we continued everything long distance until about 3 years ago when we moved in together. I started taking a birth control (when he moved) that messed with my hormones more than any birth control should have, making my weight gain more than 30lbs in 3 months. It continued like that for about a year or two... so I went from a perfect size 12 (well for my bones thats about perfect) to where I am now, a size 18... and thats pushing it... Lately I've found something that keeps me happy and keeps my mind off the weight and I wanted to go out with friends... then thought about it and started to wonder, where did all my friends go? It took me about 3 years to realize that all of my friends most likely left because they couldn't stand who I was becoming... Time for a change! Thanks for the website!

nova said...

I completely understand the whole depressed thing.
Now, I'm only a freshman in high school this year, so it's not like I know everything about being sad, or what something to be really sad about feels like. But in seventh grade I moved to a new state, and it took me about 3 or 4 good solid months to find friends. That doesn't include the three summer months before school.

In 8th grade I was happy, all until about the middle of the year. I still don't exactly know why, but I was unhappy. I didn't hate the world, I just wasn't happy. It was really hard for me, because while I was happily reading a book and watching funny youtube videos and playing in band or the piano, I saw everyone else deteriorate around me. They slowly gave up in class, started caring about having sex, were doing drugs. It's just that all the people around me were changing, and I didn't want to let my moral self go. So therefore, I was alone and ignored a lot, and it just made me sad. So I cried in the showers in the gym locker room a lot.
Finally at the end of the year, I said screw it, and now I'm happy. Especially since I moved school districts.

Your story is very inspiring though. You wanted to change and you did. Not many people can do that.

Mairead B said...

Where to begin? Since about 1st grade, I've been overweight. Every year I gain between 15 and 20 pounds, and I don't know why. I've tried a lot of activities but have still not found one I love. I've done jazz,tap,irish step dancing, ballet, soccer, swimming, gymnastics, and yoga, not to mention everything in PE. Nothing has clicked. I feel crappy whenever my weight comes up because now I weigh the same as my mom who's been losing weight over the last couple of years(and I'm shorter than her). Maybe I'll find my activity soon enough.

Kayla Melissa said...
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Kayla Melissa said...
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Kayla Melissa said...

Since I was a little girl, I've been dancing every day for hours on end. I ate whatever I wanted and would burn it off as I danced. It never occurred to me at all that I loved junk food so much. I never had body issues growing up. I was always slim, slender, comfortable. Until freshman year of college when I decided to major in music theatre and stop dancing every single day of my life. I kept eating as I always have, my favorite of course being Ben and Jerry's ice cream almost every night. I also love the pizza rolls however mysterious the inside filling may be. Slowly and gradually, I started gaining weight. But it didn't hit me until the summer before sophomore year. In ONE school year, I gained 30 pounds. I didn't know what happened or what I did to have let it get this far. But it wasn't until this past year junior year that I decided enough was enough. I started following Hungry Girl books as well as the site, cooking healthier foods and making substitutions for foods I love with something that maybe wasn't so fattening. From December to January, I lost 15 pounds alone, without exercise. Today, at 21-years-old, I'm still struggling with this extra weight that won't go away though I've still been eating in a healthy way. But I've decided that maybe the only way for me to stay in shape and lose the weight I don't need is to use a form of exercise I've been doing all my life for fun: dancing. I've started dancing again recently and although my weight loss hasn't been truly significant or obvious yet, I feel it. I know one day, I'll meet my goal and be happy with my body again. But it's good to know that I'm not alone and that we have such a fabulous community online that is always here for support.

You're amazing Hayley, and I can't wait for the day that I'll be doing my usual trips to the local bookstore and see your name on the shelf. Without any second thoughts, I'll buy it that very same day. :)

Kayla Melissa said...
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Hayley M said...

The fourth paragraph of this post--I really identified with it. Yes...that is exactly how emotion/depression makes you eat (or me anyway). Don't apologize for posting this...uhh, I don't know where I was going with that sentence. Anyway I think it's valuable to have stuff like this on the Internet. Positive role models and all that.
What I'm trying to say here is Thank You.

QuoteGirl said...

I think it was reading this that really made my goal of losing weight a reality.

I've always been a bit bigger than I needed to be, and when I hit seventh grade, I had some really bad family issues and I felt depressed and inadequate all the time. That year alone I gained close to 20 lbs and I've never been able to work them off.

But I'm going to. I wrote down my goals, started keeping track of what I eat each day (Today was bad. Tomorrow's going to be better.) and started planning new activities to do to get fit.

Thank you, Hayley. Seriously. I'm fifteen, a size ten, and have wanted to change that for years. So I'm going to.

Sally said...

I've been tentatively doing some lightweight jogging lately, but I have no idea how much I should be doing or what would be a decent range. If it's not too personal, would you mind filling us in on the specifics of your running routine?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post! I've been self-conscious about my weight for a while now, but have been in denial about it and how to change. I just got back from vacation, and I'm not happy with how I look in my pictures. I'm going to start using, thanks for being so inspiring!

Paulyroxyersox said...

Hello Haley. I am a high school sophomore and I think this post is really admirable. I'm glad you are feeling happier and fitter now.

(Disclaimer:Its a long comment, feel free to stop reading now.)

I feel like I've started to put on a few extra pounds since AP exams last year; And what with the fact I don't have PE anymore and have stopped running since school started- I feel like I'm choking in food now.

I've actually always been one to eat while bored but recently food has become a way for me to deal with stress and homework as well.
I'm taking a rigorous curriculum at high school, that's why I'm a bit more stressed than your typical 15 year old. I also have a 3.1 GPA, so I feel like a failure because I could have done better. All that has culminated to meeting a lot more than I did a year or two again.

Before high school, if I was eating out of emotions, all I would have to do is make sure to drink a lot of water and ONLY eat when I'm hungry but now, this habit has become harder to break.

Anyway, I'm very confident but I just want to be more fit and healthy. I was playing with the idea for a while now but didn't tale action because it seemed to complicated but this seems like a great way to do it and you did such a good job without doing anything extreme.

I just want to find that balance again and stop feeling so sluggish. I think this is a sign :D, HAHA.

P.S: Sorry it's so long and all over the place. I don't type as fast as I think.

Madeline said...

It's so weird... I would never place you in a category of "overweight" or "not healthy". When I watch your videos, I see amazing skin, fab hair, striking eyes, and a really creative and amusing young woman. I get the whole not-feeling-healthy thing, though.
I love food. Probably not as much as you or JustMargaret... But I have trouble eating it. I just don't get hungry, so I don't usually eat. I get thirsty a lot, so I drink water and it makes me feel full. And I consume maybe 1,000 healthy calories a day. All very small portions. Like, today, I had a large potato, a small piece of beef, a glass of juice, another of water... and that's usually all I eat in a day. But it isn't out of anorexia or vanity and I do feel really healthy. In fact, for a while I tried to eat three meals a day because I thought I was abnormal for not... But it was really difficult and I felt gross. My body simply doesn't need much to run. Probably has something to do with the fact I lay in bed all day reading and fangirling YouTube friends. Meh.

Ryan said...

Isn’t this good idea replace your extra fat with muscles? Diet and exercise are the best option to gain weight. It’s natural and become very effective when they both are mixed. Reduce stress in your life and always motivate yourself. Improve your sleeping pattern so that your metabolism works properly. One can try some yoga and massage to gain weight fast.

Carrie said...

Oh my gosh. This is the perfect thing for me to read right now. When I first starting watching your videos I was really excited, because you looked like me. We even had the same haircut. It was like watching an entertaining television show without being sidetracked by the fact that I will NEVER look like the rail thin actresses and watching. You and Youtube reminded me that looking real doesn't mean you can't be brilliant and beautiful. I have used this true statement as and excuse. I would declare to my mother that I am REAL and FINE when the truth was/is I am unhealthy. I have signed up on this website and will make a difference. Thank you Hayley for inspiring me. Sorry if this is scatterbrained. I am a little emotional. Thank you again!!

countertops nc said...

I learned so many new things on this. Im so glad i found your blog.

Anonymous said...

I'm naturally the opposite. If people expect something from me, I feel obligated to do it, but if nobody else expects me to do it but me, then I don't feel like I have to put forth the effort......and I need and want to change all of that. It isn't healthy to live for anyone else but you.

You're a big inspiration, even if you don't know it.

A work in progress. ;)

ceshi said...

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Football fans were somewhat shocked a few weeks ago when rumors began swirling about Wayne Rooney’s desire to trade in his Manchester United shirt for a Blaugrana one. Though some fans have begun to think about the possibility of the English star joining the Catalan side, it should be stated that the move simply would not work. Not only would the move be bad for Rooney, but the player would not fit in with Barcelona’s system. Ever since moving to the center of attack, Lionel Messi has been untouchable
Dallas Cowboys jerseys. For Barcelona to get the best out of a player like Rooney, Messi would have to be moved out wide for the Englishman to set up shop as the center forward. Messi has actually stated that he would like to see Rooney make the move to the Catalan club, but this statement was certainly more publicity than actual wishing (via ESPN). Everyone knows that there is no changing Messi’s current position. If Rooney were brought to Barcelona, he would then be forced to convert to a makeshift winger. Though this actually turned out well for David Villa, fans should not think that Rooney would take to the change so easily. Manchester United’s No. 10 has staked his career on being a very centrally focused player.Rooney has all the qualities of a traditional striker and even the ability to create chances for others. But he lacks very important traits that are necessary in wingers, especially wingers used by Barcelona. To begin with, Rooney would need to be able to use speed and dribbling while pushed out wide to create the best chances of scoring
Green Bay Packers jerseys. The Englishman has never looked strong when secluded from the center of the pitch, and defenses could take him completely out of the game if on the wing. Rooney would also be expected to track back in defense and help out Barcelona’s roaming wing-backs. Rooney may be an above-average defender compared to most strikers, but being pushed out wide would certainly make things more difficult for him. But the biggest reason why Rooney would just not work at the Camp Nou is because of his playing style.Would Wayne Rooney Actually Succeed at Barcelona?Would Wayne Rooney Actually Succeed at Barcelona NFL shirts?Yes34.1%No65.9%Total votes: 563The striker is very much an English player. His technical ability is not at the same level of the current Barcelona squad, and there has not been much in his career that would lead fans to think that he could actually hold his own in the tiki-taka style of play. Cesc Fabregas has found transitioning to the Barcelona attack difficult, which shows that it could be nearly impossible for Rooney. So in closing, joining Barcelona may only ever be a dream for Wayne Rooney
San Francisco 49ers jerseys. There is simply no place for the striker in the Blaugrana side, and making room for him would severely limit the talent he would bring. Some moves look wonderful on paper. No doubt Rooney is a top-class attacker, but he has no place at Barcelona and the club was wise to quickly play down any links to the striker (via SkySports). Who should Barcelona target this summer? Could Rooney actually work at Barcelona if he got his dream move? Don’t forget to leave your thoughts and comments below. Tre’ Atkinson
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