MSS Live Well Corner: Learning to Love Myself Again

MSS Live Well Corner at Mustard Seed Sentinel
Credit: Elena Kloppenburg in

Learning to Love Myself Again

Improving My Mindset While Becoming Physically Fit

by Joanne Troppello

“The only way you will see results is if you stay consistent.” –

Ever since I remember as a young child, I had always been thin. During most of my teen years and into my twenties, I was underweight. Yes, I had a high metabolism, which many people wish for. I could eat anything I wanted to and not gain a lot of weight.

Being skinny had disadvantages. Since I was underweight, my menstrual cycle didn't start until I was 16. I had always been embarrassed about that. My abnormal menstrual cycle continued well into my early thirties because I still had a difficult time gaining weight.

It was an adjustment going from 105 lbs. in my twenties to 125 lbs. in my early 30’s However, that was a good change since that weight gain brought my body to the right weight for my height, and my body mass index (BMI) was at a healthy level. I got married at 30 years old. For several years after that, my menstrual cycle remained irregular. That continued to cause fertility issues.

A few years after I turned 40, my metabolism severely declined. I know it’s normal for your metabolism to decline as you age.

In my quest to be more vulnerable in my writing recently, I’m sharing that my current weight is 165 lbs. According to the BMI calculator from Medical News Today, my BMI is 26.6, which is overweight (about 40 lbs.) for my height. Medical News Today advises that a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is ideal. If your BMI is 25 to 29.9, that is overweight. If your BMI is over 30, that indicates obesity.

According to the Medical News Today BMI calculator, I need to lose 15 lbs. That would bring my BMI to 24.2, which is in the ideal range. Even before I did research for this article, I had planned to lose 15 lbs.

Restarting My Exercise Plan

I decided to start exercising again in February 2021. About five years prior to that, I had exercised more regularly. My husband and I were even members of a local gym, and we took training sessions with a trainer. That experience was invaluable since I learned about Plyometrics (a/k/a Jump Training). However, I had slacked off and that – in addition to a decreased metabolism – contributed to my weight gain.

Four months ago, I started my PiYo (Pilates and Yoga) routine and I lost 2½ lbs. That may not seem like a lot, but I also started to lose inches in my waistline. I have also seen muscle definition now in my arms and legs. My core strength is significantly improving. My balance has gotten so much better. With a 40 lb. weight increase, my balance had been off. I had so much more weight to carry around.

Even though my weight loss efforts have been moving at a snail’s pace, I still feel good about my progress.

Having been underweight and now being overweight, I have a new appreciation for both spectrums of the scale. It was difficult to hear people say, “You're so lucky to be thin.” No matter what I tried back then, I couldn’t gain more weight, even though I needed to so I could be at a healthy BMI. Anytime someone would say they were so jealous because I was skinny, it frustrated me since they had no idea about the issues, I’ve had for years with my menstrual cycle irregularities because of being so underweight.

Weighing 165 lbs. now, has given me a new appreciation for being overweight and feeling self-conscious, trying to hide my stomach with oversized clothing. Seventeen years ago, when I got married, I wore a size 2 wedding dress. Now, if I wore a wedding dress today, it would be size 10.

Renewing My Mindset

When I started exercising four months ago, thinking about my weight gain depressed me. Now, I have a new mindset. I see progress and am trying to move forward one step at a time.

It’s been difficult, but I’ve been trying to find things about myself to love again like more curves in “all the right places,” as my husband says. He has been really supportive through these changes. He has never criticized my appearance when I was underweight or now that I’m overweight. His support has been very meaningful to me. I have a friend whose boyfriend broke up with her when she gained 20 lbs. He was not supportive at all. I think she’s better off without him.

I may never get back to a size 4 or 6 like I was during the first few years of my marriage. However, I’m strangely okay with that. Yes, I want to get back to a healthy weight and BMI. I hope that I can lose 15 lbs. and get down to a size 8. That’s a doable goal. I'm on my way there.

However, I'm working hard to start loving myself again just as I am.

My lesson learned through this journey is to be happy in my own skin and not to care what other people think of my appearance. It's been a tough lesson to learn, but one of the best lessons I've learned in life.


About the Author

Joanne Troppello at Mustard Seed Sentinel

Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel. Connect with Joanne on Twitter. You can find Joanne on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, and Clouthub—with the same username, @JoanneTroppello—and @joannetroppello.mseedsentinel on Instagram. Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel. Check out MSS Live Well Corner.