Seven Pounds

By Alexandria Harris

If you thought I was talking about the Will Smith movie, I’m sorry to disappoint but I do think you should see it if you haven’t. This Will probably resonate more with the ladies (pun intended and sorry gents).

In a week full of disappointments, sadness, and confusion for our nation, I found some positive energy.

I lost my first five pounds after doing a structured workout. I know it may not seem like much, but I already feel great. I was an athlete in high school but during college I fell victim to all-nighters, little time to cook (say hello Ramen and take out), exhaustion, and caffeine.  Multiply this by four years and the freshman fifteen starts shrinking into the horizon like remnants of the sun.

When I was younger, I never worried that my grandmother was a cannibal, but she did always want to fatten me up like I was Gretel. Grandma loved feeding people. She never let anyone leave her house hungry and was always talking about how I was too skinny and needed more meat on my bones.

Later, after her death and during college, came the comments.

Mind you, even after four years, I by no means looked overweight. But when you come from an extended family like mine (loving and well meaning as they are) you need some thick skin.

Aunt: “I see you’ve gained some more meat on those thighs.”

Aunt: “Hello Ms. Chunky…”

Dad: “So when are you going to the gym?”

Aunt: “You need some new clothes for that new food baby of yours.”

Dad: “Don’t you live right by a gym?”

Uncle: “Don’t worry. Men like healthy women with meat on their bones.”

Dad: “I guess you haven’t gone to the gym yet.”

They meant well. They really did. But after a while, some comments start slipping through the cracks in the thick skin. I resolved after graduating college that I was going to maintain mind, body, and emotional health to help keep my life more in balance and I knew exactly the person I was going to call on to help me kick my butt into gear.

Jillian.  And boy did she ever!

Accomplishing weight loss to feel better reminded me of the days when I practiced for at least three hours a day in high school. There were also constant reminders of success stories along the way—Jennifer Hudson and Jordin Sparks to name a couple. It felt as good as achieving one of my page goals for writing, or doing a random act of kindness.

The title refers to the goal I’ve set for myself in the next couple of weeks. It is so easy to get inundated with depressing things in the media, but accomplishing little wins in our personal life can center us and help us keep it all in perspective. It can also bring us closer together with our community–the first person I told after achieving my goal, was my dad.

So though it’s late in the week, I wish you well with any personal goals or achievements you are accomplishing or plan to accomplish this week and beyond.

Alexandria Harris is a writer and recent college graduate. When she isn’t writing, watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy on repeat, or working in her father’s company, she tweets regularly on her account @_ALHarris. Alexandria lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin