The night after my 33rd birthday, I gathered with friends at a neighborhood bar. Everything about the evening was typical. I started rummaging through my closet, rejecting the first fifteen outfits (too tight, too unflattering, way too tight, tighter still). I finally settled on an A-line dress, blazer, leggings, and boots. Among slices of pizza, pints of IPA, and a few too many homemade cupcakes, I tugged at my clinging dress. I felt sweaty in my blazer. The room was hot, but I wanted to keep my arms, which to me looked doughy, covered. I enjoyed swapping stories and laughing with the friends who kindly came to help me celebrate.

But I also spent the evening—and most evenings—feeling uncomfortable in my own skin, encumbered by my body.

It was a typical night out in every way except one: I vowed this would be the last celebratory night I’d spend distracted by my body. I didn’t set out to lose a specific amount of weight—or any weight at all, really. I just wanted to feel confident and secure so that I wouldn’t spend a moment thinking about how I looked. I knew I wanted to change my habits and become a healthier person. I was tired of taking naps every day. I was tired of popping antacids and feeling lethargic. Years of vitamin deficiencies and generally poor nutrition were taking their toll. I wanted to take my health back. I wanted my energy, my body, my confidence.

Seven months later, I’m forty pounds lighter and a million times more comfortable, confident, and energetic. What have I learned? I’ve learned that starting a healthy lifestyle isn’t an impossible dream.

But how do you get from Point A to Point B when the distance seems insurmountable?

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