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The Truth about Being an Overweight Teenager

    Earlier this week I traveled to Minneapolis to kick-off a long term partnership with Evereve, a women’s clothing store. Now with over 65 stores nationwide, I’ve shopped there since the early days back when it was Hot Mama 10 years ago.

    Hewing Hotel Minneapolis

    During my quick visit, I had the opportunity to chat face-to-face with Megan (Founder & CEO), tour the headquarters and even participate in a fantasy-worthy shopping spree and photo shoot. It was one of those work trips that felt nothing like “work” and more like a dream come true.

    Evereve Corporate Office

    In the coming weeks and months I’ll be sharing more about Evereve’s unique story, trendy clothes and truly one-of-a-kind shopping experience but I wanted to first get something off my chest. This post is not sponsored, I simply feel a huge sense of urgency to open up my heart to all of you, my loyal readers, about why this partnership means so much to me, on a very personal level.

    If you follow me on Instagram, you likely saw countless behind-the-scenes photos and videos from my exciting visit to the corporate office and during the professional photo shoot. I was practically about to explode with joy and excitement in every clip, beaming from ear to ear, because I simply can’t believe that this is my life. But probably not for reasons you expect.

    Liz Baseball Cap

    Don’t get me wrong, it was an absolute BLAST and a true honor to play dress up with a professional stylist and pose in front of a camera crew. I’m a girly girl at heart and love any chance to dress up and look pretty, especially considering I wear gym clothes or pajama pants most of the time. But this experience and this partnership with Evereve actually means much more than that..

    As many of you know who have been following my story and reading my blog for a long time, 10 years ago I began a weight loss journey that resulted in me losing over 60 pounds. I’m proud to say that through regular exercise and healthy eating habits I have kept the weight off, including through two pregnancies.

    All that said, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the fact that for the first 27 years of my life I was extremely overweight with a BMI in the obese category. In high school, before plus size clothing stores existed, I had to shop in the men’s department at Gap to find pants that fit to match my XL women’s top.

    Too embarrassed to tell the people I was shopping with, and not wanting to make them feel badly, I would literally sneak over to the men’s department when they weren’t looking to buy my clothes. Even more common? I go to the mall alone and shop. When you’re a teenager hoping to have your first kiss or meet your first boyfriend, nothing kills your spirit quite like having to wear men’s size 42 waisted jeans.

    When I moved to Boston at 17 to attend Boston University, I had a whole new set of amazing friends (who I’m still friends with to this day, btw!) and we would go shopping regularly, just as any college kids living in a major city would. Since there was no way I would fit into anything sold in a boutique store, I was thrilled when I discovered a shopping mall that I could reach via subway that had one plus size clothing store.

    Too cold to shop downtown during the frigid Boston winters, my friends and I would head to this shopping mall regularly. Not wanting my friends to feel bad or pity me, I would pretend to shop with them. Literally, I would thumb through the racks of clothing knowing full well that none of it would fit over my 215 lb body. Basically, I would “fake shop” and pray no one noticed that I never tried anything on or made any purchases.

    Liz Lobby

    Fast forward to today, I’m now 36 and wear a size medium top and 10/12 bottom. I exercise six days a week and eat a high protein, low carb clean diet 80% of the time. While I’m mostly maintaining at this point, it’s actually a lot more difficult than losing weight was in the first place. You don’t have the consistent weight loss milestones to keep you motivated, people don’t comment like they did when you first lost the weight and of course your metabolism slows down with each passing year. Add in a couple of kids, a growing business and everything else that life throws at you at this age, it’s a lot of work to keep this body into a size 10/12 jeans. Note: I said 10/12, not 2, 4, or even 6. Keeping it real, friends.

    Photo Shoot Photo

    To say that my partnership with Evereve holds a special place in my heart would be a significant understatement. Considering 9 years ago I couldn’t even fit into the clothes sold in their stores, it is a huge milestone in my life to have been chosen as an ambassador to represent their brand. What’s even crazier? I’m the only person they chose who isn’t a professional fashion and lifestyle blogger.

    Evereve Style Crew

    My fellow style ambassadors are inspiring, passionate entrepreneurs but they are also all thin and gorgeous. When you spend the first 70% of your life being plus size, it’s hard to pretend that there’s anything normal about joining a crew full of ladies who look like this representing a high-end fashion line in the ranks with Nordstrom, Anthropologie and Lululemon. Don’t get me wrong, free clothes and fancy photo shoots are AMAZING. They truly are. But this means so much more than that to me. And I will forever be grateful.

    Check out my Pinterest board to see more healthy living posts!

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    Liz DellaCroce

    Liz Della Croce is the creator and author of The Lemon Bowl, a healthy food blog. Since 2010, Liz has been sharing delicious recipes that just so happen to be healthy. By using real ingredients with an emphasis on seasonality, Liz has built a growing audience of loyal readers who crave good food for their families. Click Here To Subscribe to my newsletter:

    78 Comments

    1. Love this honest post, Liz. And I think many people can relate. Most people see me – a tall, thin blonde woman from California – and immediately think I fit into a certain mold. But I was overweight for much of the first part of my life too, and my current weight & health status is a result of a drastic lifestyle change. It’s not easy to lose weight, and it can be even harder to maintain weight loss over time, as you describe. (I saw a card recently that said “I wish everything in life was as easy as getting fat.” #truth). Anyway, I commend you for your commitment, and hope that your story inspires people who feel like they are stuck in a body that doesn’t feel it’s best – without any control over changing it. We all have different barriers but with each other’s support we can surmount at least some of them!

    2. Liz, thank you for sharing this post so much. You have had an inspirational journey and I love how honest and candid you are. It’s nice to feel not alone in the process of aging and maintaining which indeed gets harder and harder each year. You are the perfect choice as an Evereve ambassador and I am so excited for you!!! Warmest of congratulations!!

    3. Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain

      I’m so proud of you not only for sharing the truth of your weight loss journey, but for being a beacon of light to so many who are struggling or have struggled with loosing weight. That’s the real magic and I know with this new partnership your light will shine even further. Congrats!!!

    4. I have followed your story from the start and am so proud of you, Liz!! Loved the pictures too!! I too can relate to many of your experiences with losing weight and staying healthy! When my family immigrated from the Netherlands in 1956 I was a slim teenager. But over the years the pounds added up while I tried every fad diet that came around! Finally after I decided to join Weight Watchers did I get the weight off for good and kept it off for 16, almost 17 years now! And following your blog and getting healthy, organic recipes also have helped keep the pounds off!! Congratulations on your journey, Liz!!!

    5. You are an inspiration to so many! You are the real deal girl, loved reading your honest story. Evereve made the perfect choice in partnering with you. Looking forward to following your journey! xoxo

    6. Great post Liz and so deserved. You worked hard to achieve what you have accomplished. Keeping pressing on you are and encouragement to many. Blessings my friend!

    7. lBeautifully written and I relate with many of the same sentiments. Congratulations and I’m glad you were able to appreciate this moment in your life.

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