Jelly Belly Kelly

I was a fat kid. I got picked on, even by my own friends sometimes. But mostly from the boys, or the really skinny girls. I'm talking elementary and middle school KIDS. I was called "jelly belly kelly", "butterball", and any fat name a kid could think of. But I never really cared or let it get to me, or at least I thought...

It was around sophmore year of high school (1998) that I discovered diet pills. Junior year I discovered Tae-Bo (on vhs!) and by the beginning of senior year I was living off of carrots and doing Tae-Bo twice a day. Showing up on the first day of school in a size small t-shirt and size 0-2 jeans, I felt like a queen. Having my skinny friends tell me I looked amazing and saying "omg what did you do?!" felt incredible. I was tiny, finally. But it didn't last. It never did. Months later, my face plumped up and my belly came back. Ugh, fat again.

I did this for years, using different methods of weight loss. Pills, overly exercising, lack of food, drugs, and just anything to never be Jelly Belly Kelly again. This turned into years of addiction, which led to other issues such as depression, anxiety and rage. Anytime I found a healthy path and started "eating right" and working out, something would trigger me back into those hell holes. It was like a roller coaster that I felt I was never gonna get off of.


Way too skinny. I was so unhealthy, that I was losing my hair.


Eventually, at a point where I was about 15-20 pounds overweight, I joined Weight Watchers. (No, this is not a sponsored post, do not click away.) I joined WW and I joined a gym and I dropped 18 pounds. I kept it off for awhile but then I moved and fell to pieces and moved again and fell to more pieces and gained it all back. I was large. I'm only just under 5'1", so weight is everything on my small frame. With my small frame and heavy chest, a few pounds means a lot. At this time, I was in TN and had nothing better to do than to focus on my weight loss. So I re-joined Weight Watchers and again, I lost a solid 18 pounds. My lucky number?? Who knows...

^^right before my first stint on Weight Watchers^^


 
^^after the first WW stint and months of gym time^^


It was way worse at the beginning of the second WW stint...
I honestly can't even believe I'm showing these pictures. I forgot all about them and came across them recently and they're what inspired me to make this post. I actually was able to see how far I've come. 



I know deep inside that my body will always be an issue for me. Not only because I was Jelly Belly Kelly and all the struggles that came after that, but probably also because I grew up watching my mom suffer and be hospitalized from anorexia. It's like I was destined to hate what I see in the mirror. But I'm trying really hard lately to change that. The right way. I don't want to be unhealthy and uncomfortable with extra weight on me, but I also don't want to be skinny with my bones sticking out. I just want to be healthy and strong.

I'm happy to say that for the most part, I've kept the weight off since that second time around with Weight Watchers. I go up and down a few pounds and sometimes I have to stop and remember that it's ok. Since maintaining that loss nearly 4 years ago, I've been as low as 105 pounds and as high as 125 pounds. I'm comfortably sitting somewhere between those numbers right now and just working on building strength and toning. I try to never step on the scale anymore and only go by how my clothes fit me. Especially how my gym clothes fit me. I'm trying to focus more on the fact that I'm getting old and I need to just be healthy.









35 comments :

  1. oh kelly, i love this so much- this is such an honest and raw post. we all struggle with weight and it makes me sad that in a crazy, twisted way, we feel that our weight defines us when it shouldn't. i'm not sure if it's my age or what but like you, i've managed to find a happy weight and have changed my perspective on what it means to be healthy. weight loss will never be an easy thing but if we change our mind and perspective on the definition of healthy, all goals can be accomplished and we will be happier :) thank you for sharing your story.

    kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  2. thanks Kat! i think you're right, it comes with age. i think we just start to realize what's really important in life. and one of the things most important with age is being healthy :)

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  3. What an amazing and inspiring story! You look so fantastic and it's great that you've finally found something that works for you - it's so much more than the number on the scale, and all about how you are feeling!!

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  4. Well, I think you look awesome in all of your pictures! You're smiling and look happy and that's very important. I haven't been through as many years of a struggle as you have--I was really sick in high school from crohn's, so I was also really skinny. Once I got healthy, I gained weight, and I would gain weight every time I ended up on steroids. I feel like I'm now at a place I'm happy with, because the worst part is not having any of my clothes fit right (because who has the money to drop on an entire new wardrobe?). I think you're right that the goal should absolutely be feeling and being healthy--not a number on a scale or a clothing size.

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  5. You look amazing Kelly! Keep up the phenominal work!

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  6. Clothing fit for me is a way more telling than a scale, I don't even own a scale. I think you look beautiful at any weight, I'm glad you're focused on healthy now it's so important.

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  7. You know I relate to this in so many ways and what I see in ALL these photos is a beautiful person, with a big heart for animals and people. I see someone who loves life and a good joke. I don't see weight and you shouldn't either. <3

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  8. Thank you so much for sharing your story! A lot of times we don't know just how much our words when we are young will affect people. I try and teach Boomer this, there are things that were said to me in 3rd grade that I carry to this day. So glad you're focusing on health. I think you look fab girl!

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  9. Thanks for sharing your story! Growing up my mom struggled with anorexia as well, even when she was "healthy" she always had an unhealthy attitude about food and unrealistic expectations for her body. For a long time I struggled with viewing my body in a healthy way (as pretty much all girls do). I think it is so admirable that you have shared your struggle out here in blog land, so brave and inspirational!

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  10. I can relate to this in a lot of ways! I suffered from anorexia when I was in HS...and to this day it's a constant struggle worrying about my weight!

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  11. The scale is just an instant issue for me so I don't even deal with them, to me its all about how I feel and how my clothes fit, a number can't know all. As long as your comfortable and happy with your own body thats all that matters!

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  12. First of all, you're beautiful in every single one of these pictures. Not only physically, but on the inside too... because I know what a beautiful person you are in THERE. You're the whole package, and I'm proud of you for sharing everything that's made the package what it is today. :) "I just want to be healthy and strong." That right there says everything that's important!

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  13. i think the best thing you did for yourself was not using your scale! cheers to being healthy, lady :)

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  14. I just wrote today about needing to break up with my scale. This post really hits home! It is important to focus on just being happy and healthy and not worry about the other stuff. Thanks for sharing :)

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  15. you are gorgeous, and strong for getting healthy! It was really brave to put this all out there I know how hard it is to share this kind of thing! keep being awesome :)

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  16. You look amazing!!!!

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  17. good for you for sharing! I too struggle with my weight as stupid as that sounds. I love you even more for this!

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  18. You're beautiful! But I know the weight struggle is tough- I'm with you.

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  19. You look amazing! I honestly hate the scale so much. It sucks! :(

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  20. I also struggle with my weight and the yo yoing. I have serious body image issues, and the hardest part is that no one sees what you see. Thank you for sharing your journey and for always being honest. You're beautiful inside and out. :)

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  21. You are beautiful! Thank you for sharing your story. I know so many myself included have struggled. You rock!

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  22. beautifully written! We all have had different battles that led us here and I think that is why others that have been through this journey are the most understanding and sympathetic to talk about the 'journey.' Not only the weightloss/fitness journey but the mental one that we have to go through to make it stick.

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  23. thanks for sharing! it sucks how much what other people say can affect us. and I have definitely gained/lost weight from being in a stressful situation (such as moving). I've done some weird fad diets too and obsessed over calories and pounds. now I just try to work out to feel healthier and stronger and mainly look at how my clothes fit rather than the number n the scale.

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  24. Wow you are so brave and strong! You look amazing. It's good that you have a healthy outlook on your body and weight. It is so tough, I know. I have never been the skinny one and I had to just accept that I would never be "skinny" but I could be healthy and strong by my lifestyle.

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  25. Awesome! My weight's fluctuated over the years, and I do my best not to care about the scale, but instead work on being comfortable with myself. :)

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  26. I can so relate to this post-- my weight has fluctuated a lot over the years-- from also being the fat kid to being the skinny girl with big boobs in my 20s to once again needing to lose 10 pounds. I have to stay away from the scale because I become too obsessive, and I know that for me, focusing more on how I feel (in my clothes, out of my clothes, energy level, etc.) is most effective. Thanks for sharing this.

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  27. I think we all can relate to this. I've been up and down and up and down and up and down. It is so important to look back and see how far you've come. And dang girl, you've done a fantastic job. You will fluctuate up and down a few pounds. Nothing to stress over. You just gotta keep yourself healthy and the rest will come!! GET IT GIRL!

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  28. You look fantastic! Your strength is clear from your effort to be healthy now despite all your struggles. Keep at it girl. :)

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  29. Thank you so much for being brave enough to open up and share this post. I think so many of us can relate to this in different degrees. I'm so happy to see how much healthier you are now and that you're doing so well. You look great!

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  30. Kids are cruel and I just can't fathom how they can be so mean. Well yes I can, they listen to adults and follow their lead. But I'm sorry you ever had to be hurt by that!

    You have come a long way, just remember that, and focus on being healthy for you!

    Love ya friend!

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  31. You are so brave. Congrats on your efforts and your positive attitude!

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  32. I love how open and honest you on your blog. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  33. School can be torture. I was picked on, too. I'm surprised I graduated. The older you get, the more you realize being healthy is what counts the most. That diet pills and crazy diets are hard on health. I appreciate your sharing. I was sent here by Shane and am waving hello!!!!

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  34. I'm so sorry for the struggles you've gone through, but so proud of you for the attitude you have today! You look so amazing I never would have known you'd struggled in the past!

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  35. I love, love, love this post! I went through a similar (but not as tough) struggle. In the end, I too stopped watching the scale and starting going by how my clothes fit. You are a very strong woman for not giving up.

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