Meredith Holt is a features/business reporter for The Forum who covers topics in health, mental health, social issues, women's issues, arts and entertainment, food and more. She also writes a column on health and wellness, body image and media representation. She was a copy editor/page designer for six years prior to joining the features team in March 2012.
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FARGO - Fast-food restaurants spring up from every street corner like brightly lit beacons of fat and grease. They're quick, they're easy, they're cheap, and you know exactly what you're getting. But the combo meals they advertise come with a dietary punch to the gut.
I've never run a marathon, a half-marathon, a 10k, or even a 5k. During my weight-loss journey, I've hit several plateaus. Some lasted months. I've even gained weight back. I've had setbacks, such as colds, a kidney stone and a recurring knee injury. I've struggled with self-doubt. But I've worked through those things and kept going. There are many days when I don't want to go to the gym for one reason or another - I'm tired, I'm stressed, I'm busy, I have a headache - but I go anyway. I work nights, so I usually go sometime between 1 and 4 a.m.
Once you've been stared at for being fat, you will never again judge someone solely based on their size. I've experienced that kind of ridicule firsthand. While I'm sweating away on the elliptical, I sometimes find myself thinking about how I've been treated differently at different sizes. For instance, after spending a few hours at a fair in 2009, I told my friends to go ahead of me and get the car and I'd wait by the side of the road for them to come back for me.
"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." – Thomas Edison In the past seven years, I've been every size from 2 to 28. I've been underweight, normal weight, overweight, obese and morbidly obese. I've put my body through hell and back. In May 2010, I finally decided to take control of my extreme ups and downs once and for all. Since then, I've lost 104 pounds, but I still have a way to go. My method? Diet and exercise. And no, I don't mean "a" diet. No special meal plans, no pills, no gimmicks.