These days, almost everyone has struggled in one way or another with their weight. Given a culture addicted to unhealthy food that also pressures people to look their leanest, its no wonder everyone has a hard time! So it really shouldn’t surprise you that I, who have up until now been an anonymous entity spouting off health and fitness advice as if from on high, am just as conflicted about food and weight as everybody else!

My name is Ilana Jael Rothman (pen-name Ilana Jael). I’m 25 years old, and I began writing and working on social media for 123Diet about a month ago. My biggest passions are writing and theatre, and I eventually hope to become an accomplished author of plays and nonfiction works. I have my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Writing and a Master Of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction, so I’m an expert at research and gathering information from credible sources to share with you.

I’ve also struggled more or less all my life to manage my weight. I’ve lost as much as 60 pounds on my own before, but I did it in unhealthy, unsustainable, and irresponsible ways, which would always result in me eventually gaining at least some back. Right now, I’m not my heaviest, but I’d still ideally like to lose about 25 pounds (11 kg).

I think a big reason I was afraid of going “all-in” with a structured clean-eating weight loss plan was because I thought could lose weight faster with my own insane hodgepodge of overexercise and frequent fasting, and I was afraid that committing to a diet could mean missing out on life. But after a few weeks of stagnant scales and a few particularly nasty binges, I eventually came to the conclusion that by “life,” I mostly meant overdoing it on wine and bingeing on fried food and fancy chocolate afterwards.

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But wine and chocolate will certainly still be there after I lose weight, and once I master the 123Diet, I can hopefully use the skills, confidence, and discipline I’ve gained to indulge in them more moderately. I also realized that if I shared my experiences while dieting with the world, losing weight meant I was leaning into the wide and wonderful world of people rather than away from it.

Meanwhile, if I continue on the path I’ve been going down, I may ultimately lose out on a lot more. I’m tired of seeing the same embarrassing number on the scale over and over. I’m tired of staring longingly at the “thin clothes” in my closet and always putting on the same old flattering black dress. I’m tired of dealing with bloated bellies, sugar crashes, and hangovers, and I’m tired of feeling like a few stupid pounds are standing between me and my healthiest, most confident self.

My mother has spent the last few weeks suggesting that instead of yo-yoing on and off the same 4 or 5 pounds with my usual unhealthy habits, I should try actually taking the advice I was spending all day researching and writing about. Still, it took me engaging with the amazing 123Diet community and hearing, seeing, and writing about so many people’s incredible results to finally say; heck, why not me too! This time, I’ll be armed with not only the drops but with a ton more weight-loss knowledge and all the support in the world!

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Since I’m already in the habit of exercising, I’m also going to hold myself to a gym schedule of at least one hour a day on 5 days a week, with at least 2 days of strength training, 2 days of cardio, and one day of yoga. This may sound like a lot, but it’s actually pretty moderate compared to 3-hour exercise binges I’ve been routinely doing in a futile attempt to balance out my horrible food habits.

I’m planning on doing my loading days this weekend and officially starting Phase 2 this Monday. I’m also going to be writing a post at least once a week to check in about my progress with the program, and how I’ve been dealing with and moving past my struggles. I have a feeling this going to get pretty interesting.

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