My family dubbed me “the bottomless pit” for my ability to eat large amounts of food, and never get full. I love food, always have. I am not a real cook or baker, but I do enjoy experimenting with new foods. Being a grad student, sometimes cooking a meal seems too time consuming and laborious – so sometimes I settle for a Lean Cuisine, simple stir fry, or the infamous “eat whatever you can muster up” meal.
When I was younger, I could eat what I wanted and not have to think twice about it. I was always involved in sports from a young age, so that accompanied with a faster metabolism allowed me to get away with it. As I grew older, I realized that that was no longer the case.
Today I try to eat healthy most of the time, but refuse to restrict myself from the occasional sweet or salty treat. After all, whats life without french fries & ice cream?
As I mentioned, I have always loved food. Throughout my childhood up until high school, I was involved in sports so being active wasn’t so much thought about, it was just done.
Then I went off to college. I managed to avoid the freshman 15, and with the help of a vegan diet & trips to the gym I actually lost weight. Then sophomore year came, and so did 30 pounds. The reason behind gaining 30 pounds? Well a lot of things. I had my first real heart break, although I was the one to do the breaking. I was devastated and going through a lot. A personal issue that I pushed to the back of my mind over & over again crept up on me and ate away at me like no other. I was depressed, I was devastated and I felt broken.
As an emotional/stress eater, I turned to food. Cheese fries, soft pretzels with cheese, pizza, ramen, poptarts and the fatty foods at dining halls did not obviously leave me slim & trim. My gym sneakers collected dust in a corner of my dorm room, and the countless nights of going out & drinking only contributed to the problem. I knew I was gaining, I could tell by the way my clothing fit me but I avoided the scale because I knew it was going to tell me something I didn’t want to know: and that was how much weight I had gained.
People were talking about me, saying I got fat and was no longer attractive. I heard it time and time again & it was extremely hurtful. However, when a family member approached me & mentioned that they were extremely worried about my health and noticed that I was no longer taking care of my body: I woke up.
After seeing a picture someone posted of me on Facebook I decided that enough was enough. After I shed a couple of tears, well a lot of tears, I brushed the dust & cobwebs off my sneakers and trekked my butt to the gym. I could not believe I had let myself get that way and I felt as if I had let myself down. I didn’t last long on the treadmill, but I told myself that it was a start & I wouldn’t stop until the weight had came off.
I started eating better, and going to the gym as often as I could. I was fortunate to have my best friend of 15 years going through the exact same thing as me. We both vowed to keep each other motivated & without her support I don’t know if I could have lost all the weight. We signed up for a 5k, and with a goal in mind – I kept chugging along.
As I watched the numbers on the scale go down, my motivation increased. In October of 2011, I completed my first 5k 14 pounds lighter. Now health & fitness are a part of my life again. In April of 2014, I ran my first half marathon. An amazing experience that I will never forget.
But I would be lying if I said it was easy. With being so busy, it is so easy for me to say the heck with working out – due to needing to get homework done or wanting to simply relax. It’s easy for me to swing by a fast food place instead of making dinner. I know that it is about being active and portion control for me – but sometimes it’s easier said than done. It is something I need to be conscious of daily, and it is in fact a struggle. A battle. Daily. I can’t imagine a day in which I feel comfortable in my skin. I can’t imagine a day in which I don’t think about dieting. I want to get to a place where a healthy lifestyle is simply what it sounds like – a lifestyle. Not a phase. I don’t want to continuously fall off the bandwagon and then hop back on. But I have to say, I am proud of myself and the weight I have lost and the strides I have made in life in general. Not long ago, I felt like I had no control over anything in my life. Eventually, slowly but surely, I will regain control over it all. It is my life & I want to make the best of it. Be the best YOU, they say. That’s all you can do.