In all fairness, no one should ever be photographed wearing a poncho.

In all fairness, no one should ever be photographed wearing a poncho.

Over the past year, I’ve lost over 35 pounds. Yes, hooray for me.

That number should actually be 40 pounds, but I recently found out that I put five back on—and it’s mostly muscle. Sadly, I can’t bench-press a car or anything like that just yet. I’m convinced those muscles must be in my neck or something.

Sadly, I have no magical answers for you on how I did it. I can tell you that the first step had a lot to do with the photograph above. It was taken last summer, when my family took a magical trip. Unfortunately, you wouldn’t even know I was there, since I tried to be photographed as little as possible. Frankly, I was just horrified at the few photographs I appeared in.

I get that a poncho isn’t exactly the most flattering of outfits, but I look like I’m trying to smuggle pillows over the Canadian border. That would have been some great family hijinks. Instead, this is just me. Ugh.

Instead of banning ponchos from all future family photos, I decided to do something about it. First, I shunned a lot of carbs (not all), lifted weights, and started running.

A year ago, that would have been the answer to: “What are the top three things Rachel hates?”

It’s working though. The weirdest thing isn’t how your clothes start to hang or even how the clothes you could never fit into start fitting again. Those would be the two most awesome things.

Instead, I am finding things on my body that I haven’t seen or felt in like 10+ years. And considering how I am older now, instead of being overjoyed, I keep thinking that everything is cancer.

What is this strange lump?? Oh, that’s my hip!

Oh, and if you’re wondering where the after pictures are, I don’t have those yet. However, I do have these.