Part V: My Road to Health

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on December 14, 2008

Miss these….?

My Road To Health: Part 1

My Road To Health: Part II

My Road To Health: Part III

My Road To Health: Part IV 


My Road To Health: Part V 

4. Be Realistic

Lose 20 pounds by Christmas! Fit into your skinny jeans by Friday!  Never Eat Again!

We’ve all seen them. The ridiculous headlines that cover magazines each week. Or the infomercials on TV. Or the advertisements. They are selling a multi-billion dollar industry to desperate individuals needing a quick fix.

I will admit, I used to be one of those desperate people who needed a quick fix. I wanted to believe that loosing 20 pounds by Christmas was a possibility or fitting into my skinny jeans could be done by Friday. Never eat again? Sure, sign me up. I really have to laugh when I look back on those days. Unrealistic expectations aren’t even the right words to describe what the weight loss industry provides our society.

And you’d think when we tried the carbon copy magazine diet and failed miserably we would realize that the 800 calorie diet was unrealistic. But we don’t, because the industry wants us to believe that there is something fundamentally wrong with us.

We are fat, gluttonous, and have no self control. If we did, we wouldn’t be fat and we certainly wouldn’t have any problem following this diet. Right?


So. Very. Wrong.

Who wants to eat grilled chicken and steamed vegetables every night? I sure don’t.

A sugar free popsicle for dessert, you say? SIGN ME THE HELL UP. I’ll buy 18 boxes of those sugar free popsicles. Aspertame, Smashpertame.

Is it any wonder that these crazy diets make men and women beeline for the nearest Pizza Hut?

So. Very. Wrong.

The whole weight-loss industry has created  morons out of innocent, other wise smart individuals.

I used to be one of those morons. Eric may argue that I still am. :D However, I am not a weight-loss, health, and fitness moron anymore.

As I said, I used to have very, very unrealistic expectations for myself and for my body. The best thing I ever did for myself was to let go of these unrealistic expectations.

When I did, I had to swallow a few things:

  1. My arms may never be as skinny as I would like them to be. I am muscular and not a twig.
  2. Repeat above, except for legs.
  3. I gain weight quite easily. And no, it doesn’t come off as fast as it goes on. Ever. Not even close.
  4. I have an appetite. I will never be one of those women who snack on a grape. I enjoy food, and I will eat lots of it.
  5. I do not have a supermodel’s body and nor will I ever have legs as long as a giraffe. Just ain’t happening.

Admitting to yourself the lies you have told yourself for years is the first step in throwing out your unrealistic expectations.

Now you’ve got some homework to do.

Write down all of your unrealistic expectations that you’ve been holding onto for years. Make a list. Leave it in the comments if you dare.

This post will be continued tomorrow. I just got caught up in a late night infomercial for the ab-a-tron.

Just kidding. :D


“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” ~Unknown

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

bobbi December 14, 2008 at 11:44 pm

What a great post!

Well I have had to let go of the following:

I will never be tall! lol…that was big one both bffs are like 5 inches taller then me.

It’s not healthy for me to be a size 3!

I will always have the same butt, even if I want a ghetto bootie!


s December 15, 2008 at 1:28 am

1. it is possible that the number i arbitrarily picked as my goal weight may be too low.

2. my thighs are probably built to touch each other when i stand.

3. my short legs will never be longer.

4. my back might always have a little bit of backfat.

5. i will never be tall and thin. i am short and kinda curvy.


jenngirl December 15, 2008 at 1:35 am

Amen to all of the above! Great post.

I have to accept the fact that my mind will and DOES play tricks on me. I usually can’t and shouldn’t trust what I see in the mirror, and I should NEVER base my mood for the day on that image.


Andrea December 15, 2008 at 5:31 am

true that ;) have u read in defense of food? this reminded me of that book. americans are tricked by the stupid multimillion dollar weight loss industry ickkk


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 15, 2008 at 7:38 am

Great responses everyone!!! Keep em coming!


girlrunningaround December 15, 2008 at 8:21 am

Great post. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one with unrealistic expectations for my body.


Katie December 15, 2008 at 8:28 am

What a GREAT post!! I’ve been trying to find the inspiration to lose the weight I’ve gained in the past year. 10 lbs I’ve never had on me. This is great. I need to be realistic about my own body and only then can I acheive what I want. And ps – my husband is still a fool with the quick-fix diets. Moron exactly. haha.


VeggieGirl December 15, 2008 at 9:02 am

FABULOUS!!!!!! You continue to inspire me, Angela.


Denise December 15, 2008 at 9:45 am

I don’t think there’s enough room for me to write all my unrealistic expectations!! Bottom line, I need to accept myself and be happy with how strong and healthy I am…even if that means I’m not a size 0 or the weight I decided would make me happy. (Really, even if I reached my dream weight, I know I’d just want to lose more…vicous cycle). I need to accept that I may never lose anymore weight and that’s ok.


Sarah December 15, 2008 at 9:59 am

Angela that is crazy that you mention that your arms and legs will never be as skinny as you’d like. Aside from noticing how happy you look in all your pics, I always notice that you have very thin and toned arms and legs! (Hope that doesn’t sound creepy)

There are so many things I struggle to accept about my body. I am VERY curvy. I have to wear 2 sports bras to go running. Hate that. I also have a very round/full face. I could go on….but those are the top 2.


Krista December 15, 2008 at 10:22 am

I love this post because it sounds like me 100%!! It’s hard to come to terms with our “flaws”. I finally am OK with the fact that my belly will never be flat again. I’ve had 3 kids after all and skin elasticity (sp) only goes so far! I too am muscular….nothing to be ashamed of. I work hard, eat right and take care of myself, so if I wanna eat chocolate, I will! I deserve it! :)

Thanks for the great post, Angela!~


Seema December 26, 2008 at 4:25 am

I will never be able to give up wonderful food…I love food. I love cooking and baking, it’s a part of my life. I will always crave it and I can’t deny myself. However I could probably make room for better food in my life.

I will probably never have skinny thighs and that’s okay, like you said, I’m not a twig.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever have a flat stomach and that’s okay, I will love myself anyways.

I will try to make healthy choices everyday, if I decide not to; I’m not a failure. Every meal/snack is a choice, if I decide to pick something that may not be the *healthiest* choice, I will pick something healthier for the next meal or snack.

Great entry!! Thank you for the inspiration and sharing you story. I love your blog :)


Joanne February 27, 2009 at 1:50 pm

1) I will never get rid of my broad shoulders from swimming. No matter what workouts I do, I will always have them.

2) My legs will never be as skinny as celebrities’ legs.

3) I will never have a “tight and firm” ass like Jessica Alba.

4) I simply love sweets too much in order to give it up forever.

5) I love food. I rather exercise longer so I can eat more.


WholeBodyLove October 18, 2009 at 8:39 pm

Okay, here goes:

No matter how defined my abs are, I will always have a little extra skin below my naval. That’s what happens when you carry a child for 9 months.

I will not have perfect back, thighs and butt. I have a little extra skin there too from weight loss. No one is completely perfect!

My body is not Jillian Michaels’ body (darn it!) Therefore, it is not going to magically morph into her body.

I will not become overweight from the occasional slice(s) of pizza or “Sunday Breakfast”


Joey February 24, 2010 at 1:11 pm

I know this is an old post but I’m a fairly new reader & was reading through your “road to health” series. I need to accept that I will never be perfectly proportional. My torso is always going to be long & my legs are always going to be short. And my boobs are always going to be small! lol!


tara June 11, 2010 at 8:23 pm

I will never have long legs.

I will always have cellulite.

I will never be a tall skinny supermodel and will always have an athletic, muscular frame-not such a bad thing.

It is not rational to step on the scale immediately after eating a big meal or even drinking something and not expect for the number to go up. I shouldn’t step on the scale 5 times a day, or even once a day!

This blog is amazing and I look forward to a healthier lifestyle where I stop focusing on bingeing or depriving myself and start focusing on living!


Nicole June 18, 2010 at 12:49 pm

1) I may have long legs, but I also have “bikers” (or skiers) thighs. They will never be as small as I would like.
2) I am not a runner. I hate running, and it hurts. I like sports that give me big muscles (see above)
3) I have really big hips. Nothing short of shearing away my bones is going to change that.
4) I am never going to look “petite” or delicate. I am 5’10”, and have muscles!


Desi July 14, 2010 at 10:34 am

I just stumbled across your website, and I’ve just been reading post after post for the last hour. I am so moved by your story, by everything you are inspiring women to become. This world needs more people like you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Just reading what you have to say has already helped me immensely.
You just got yourself new loyal reader in me! :)
Much love,


Roxy July 29, 2010 at 11:24 am

Hi, Angela! You have no idea how much your story has touched me. I’ve been struggling to overcome my disordered eating since March 2010 (my starving and binging cycle began in October 2009) and all this time I though I would one day magically stop binging forever but when I read that it took you a whole year to finally stop binging I felt as though this immediate pressure was lifted off my shoulders. For the past 5 months I’ve been trying to fight this disorder, and every time I would slip up and binge I would feel disappointed and annoyed that I wasn’t strong enough. But your words have given me the confidence and reassurance that one day I will be binge free as long as I keep fighting this war. Thank you so much for being so courageous and generous as to share your story with us <3

here is my list:
I will never have a bra cup size bigger than an A cup.

I will never be taller than 5’5”

I will always have large, latina hips.

It is not healthy for me to be 110lbs (more or less)

It’s unhealthy for me to ever be a size 0, 1, or 3

My present and future fit body will not fit into a size ‘small’

There is no such thing as a ‘dream weight’ or ‘ultimate goal weight’

I will probably never have skinny thighs

I gain weight easily, especially on my waistline/naval and it is extremely difficult for me to loose

I will never be perfectly proportional

I will always have cellulite

I will never be a skinny and tall supermodel

But no matter what, I will always love myself nonetheless <3


Lydia August 5, 2010 at 11:20 am

1. it doesn’t matter how much weight I lose I will always want to lose more
2. my body will never be the exact same as it was before I had kids
3. my thighs will tough when I stand up
4. I will have cellulite on my legs
5. I can love my body for all the things it can do and has done in my life


Emily August 16, 2010 at 4:08 am

1. I will always have a quirkily shaped face and a poorly defined chin – its just the way it is :)

2. Binging on cheese and chips and crisps for days on end and then just eating minimal amounts of raw food does not consitute a healthy, balanced diet and does you no good physically or mentally.

3.You’ve got an hourglass figure and hiding it in baggy clothes because you’re worried about looking fat will never make you feel happy,sexy or confident.

4. Just restricting your food intake will never tone up the bits you want to tone – quit whining and start doing!

5. You can be whoever you want to – expectations and stereotypes that you think other people expect you to fit into are utterly irrelevant. Be who you want to be – you can do anything you put your mind to :)

6. Speaking of which, you are strong enough to overcome all this anxiety rubbish and your issues with food.


Lou August 17, 2010 at 11:58 pm

1. I don’t need to worry about the days when I binge eat..I’ll just be “perfect” tomorrow.
2. My weight shouldn’t fluctuate on days when I am “good”.
3. I need my weight to stay within 1-2 lbs…or else I’ve blown it.
4. It’s alright to indulge too much on the weekends..I’ll just run farther to prevent any
weight gain.
5. My life will be perfect if I don’t gain weight.
6. It’s impossible to go out to eat without knowing the nutritional value.
7. I must never overeat.
8. If I exercise in the morning..I eat right all day.
9. If I always stay away from the dessert table..I will stop craving them.
10. I lost over 100 lbs by eating right and exercising, therefore, I shouldn’t have a problem
losing 5 lbs more.


Amanda September 10, 2010 at 3:54 pm

I came across your website thru a girlfriends suggestion and have been glued to it literally all day. Reading this series of posts and what you have gone through describes exactly how I have felt, for as long as I can possibly remember. I am who you were. Constantly seeking to loose weight, looking for the fastest way out, starving then bingeing. Its a vicious cycle that I cannot break free from. I have tried, and just when I think I am finally “normal”, I fall right back into the vicious binge cycle again. The only thing different with me is the fitness portion. I am typically a very active person, and always had been, but more recently the desire to be active has drained away also. I know that I eat emotionally, and a lot of the time I feel it is to fill a void of loneliness that I have. I am 23 years old, and have been single for the last years. Part of the reason I have come to realize is that I do not love myself, and therefore inturn, I think I do not allow others to love me back. I am a people pleaser and I think I consume myself in doing things for others, and spending time on others, rather than myself, because it is easier to help someone else, then to help myself. I think I am also partly scared of failing, yet again.
I wanted to post on here b/c I felt that it would be a good way to say things that I have never admitted to anyone else. I always deny to my mom or friends when I know I have been eating poorly, and that makes me feel even worse. Anyways, there are some facts about my body that I simply must come to terms with and they are as follows:
1.) I will NEVER have long thin legs! (5’4, and ex figure skater – muscular thighs)
2.) My arms will never been as skinny as I would like them to be.
3.) My face is round, therefore, my cheeks will always look a little chubby.
4.) My bum is big, always has been, always will be and those dimples will never go away.
5.) Your boobs will never be bigger unless you get a boob job – Kate Hudson ROCKS a flat chest – let her be your idol!
6.) An athletic build is a GREAT thing – stop thinking it is a fat thing.
7.) Desire to be truly healthy for life, not just for the week, or month or year. Do it for you, and nobody else, b/c you are the only thing that matters.



Ashley September 26, 2010 at 3:48 pm

1) I will never be short and curvy. Unlike so many women I want to be shorter and have more curves! (I’m 5’8″ and barely fit a size 2) I know this is marketed as an “ideal” size but really..who wants to be tall and thin?? I gained a lot of confidence when I began dating my current boyfriend who loves me as I am. I need to be confident with myself now though (even though we are still happily together).
2) As stated above, my boobs will always be the same size (except maybe if I’m breast-feeding!) and I should accept them in all their lovely smallness.
3) I will always wear a size 9 shoe! My feet are so very long and thin and are extra accentuated since I never wear heels (too tall)


Liz September 27, 2010 at 4:47 pm

I am going to echo Ashley above:
1) I will never be petite (I’m 5’10”). And being too thin is not the same thing as being petite.
2) I will never have bigger boobs (because I will not pay for that!)
3) I will always have big feet (I’m loving my new Vibrams even though they bring a lot of attention to my feet).
4) I will always be pale and need to use lots of sunscreen (in fact it’s probably healthier)
5) I will never be able to give up desserts but can control the quality of those desserts.

I love love love this blog and this post.


Mistene October 22, 2010 at 8:11 pm

I L-O-V-E your blog! I read about it in a magazine and have been reading all the back episodes for a week when my daughter naps.

I used to really work hard to try to run, but after a complicated pregnancy and a year of no working out:

1) My body will never look the same post-baby as it did pre-baby.

Deep breath….. :)

BUT…. from reading your blog, I am motivated to make it as good as I can.


Elle June 5, 2012 at 7:33 am

thank you so much for sharing your inspiring story.

1. I have a long torso and short legs. I need to accept this and realise that losing a few more pounds wont change this. Oh and because of my proportions my legs and bum will naturally carry more weight then my torso.
2. I dont need ‘fixing’ – I need to learn to be happy with where I am and to stop thinking “I’ll be happy when I lose weight/buy this/get that etc” – this kind of thinking results in a state of permanent dissatisfaction and anxiety.
3. I need to eat good food and to eat enough! When I make all of my meals as low calorie as possible I sacrifice on taste and my satisfaction and end up binge eating later (and consuming much more than I would of if I’d allowed myself that bit of olive oil or vegan cheese in my cooking)
4. Being gentle to oneself is key to confidence and future success. beating yourself up about eating badly is completely unproductive and makes you feel awful (and will not stop you doing it again!).
5. exercise makes me feel great. It’s when I start connecting it to burning calories that it becomes a stressful and unpleasant chore.
6. Calorie counting is toxic. Your body is smarter than an Iphone app. LISTEN TO IT.

wow. It feels so good to really begin to accept such empowering truths. Now is the time to overcome bad habits and build a healthy relationship with food and oneself.


Francesca March 21, 2013 at 10:02 am

I love reading your blog! It’s certainly inspiring me to grab my life and health by the balls! lol. I want to have a well balanced healthy relationship with food. We haven’t been the best of friends, but anyways, here is my list!

1) I may never be a size 2. I have muscles, am tall and I am not a twig.
2) I can gain weight quite easily and purging will not help to lose any weight gained.
3) I’ll never be able to eat a carrot and be full. I have an appetite and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.
4) I am tall. And no matter how much I want it, wish for it and try to be it I will not be shorter or ever considered petite and delicate.
5) I will always be an A cup and breast implants will not help because they are not real.


Clancy December 1, 2013 at 10:11 am

Thanks Angela, what a gorgeous post! I know it’s about 5 years late heheh but here’s my list:
1. I will never have skinny arms… And that’s okay!
2. My tummy will never look like it did 10 years ago (pre-babies)… And that’s okay!
3. I have an appetite and I’m completely obsessed with Angela’s blog… And that’s okay! ;-)
4. I have big feet. Time to suck it up, size 9 is the most common size!?.. and thats not just okay, it’s normal!
5. No matter if I’m 70kg or 100kg I’m still EXACTLY the same person in my heart… And that’s more than okay :-)


S July 21, 2014 at 1:21 pm

So I know I’m many, many years late but I’ve been reading all your recovery/blog posts lately and words cannot express how much your honestly has inspired and uplifted me. Just reading these has helped me believe that I can achieve a brighter future and be accepting of myself. So here goes …

1) The teeny-tiny, lithe female body that has been projected by the media these past years is, for me, not attainable. The times I have been there, I was consumed with calorie-counting, obsessive exercising and measuring/weighing myself. Like you have discussed in your posts, my eating disorder was my pastime – a very sad one at that.
2) I am not perfect, nor am I meant to be.
3) Despite not being perfect, there is nothing inherently wrong with me. I am (eek) just fine as I am.
4) I like food. I like making it. I like eating it. I like making it for others and the mandatory taste-testing that comes with. Food is great. It is not my enemy.
5) Whilst I know I must accept myself and my body as it is, there is a bigger fact I must accept: My appearance is irrelevant to how others see me. I do not love my friends and family for the way they look and nor do they of me. I do not put others’ appearances before who their personalities (nor do I consider it at all), so why should I not do they same for myself?

Sorry that was a little long, but my god was it cathartic! Thank you Angela for all you have done and continue to do X


SarahCamille November 18, 2015 at 8:50 pm

Hi Angela, I’m reading this post almost seven years later. A regular reader, I decided to go back to the beginning, to see where OSG started. It’s amazing to see how far you’ve come since these early days. I don’t know if you will see this comment on such a long ago post, but just in case:
The unrealistic expectations I am trying to get over:
1) That I can become, and stay, a smaller size. I’ve been trying to lose weight for twenty years. Every clothing purchase I’ve ever made has been based around the unshakable certainty that I will soon be a smaller size. I’d sooner spend money on something too small than something that fits. But despite all this anguish, I’m the same size today, a 14, as I was a year ago, two years ago, ten years ago, or even longer. Any brief forays into a smaller size, and it was never that much smaller, proved unsustainable. But after all this pain and anguish, all the time wasted over TWO DECADES, I’m the same size, more or less, that I have been since my teens. If all this worry and self-hatred have lead to nothing at all, what could I have done if I wasn’t obsessed with hating my body and desperate for change? What will the next twenty years be like if I stop worrying about it, and accept myself as I am? Can I do that?
2)That being skinny is the most important indicator of health. I’ve often actually sacrificed health in the pursuit of thinness, because if I was totally honest with myself, I would far rather be thin than healthy. Letting go of this is a constant exercise in re-training my brain. I’m not there yet, but I’m learning!
3) That there is no point in exercising or eating well if it won’t make me thin. I’m working hard on unlearning this, and on making and committing to additive health goals.

The size of my body is not holding me back from anything I want in life, except the desire to look better. The only thing holding me back is my brain, not my body- my own dissatisfaction with myself.
Thank you for the graciousness, openness, and compassion both for yourself and for others with which you have shared, and continue to share, your own evolving journey of body, mind, and spirit.


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