How I Got Here

Like many other people, my journey of weight loss struggle unfortunately started when I was a very young girl.  My weight fluctuated a lot. Before I hit eighth grade, I would eat tons of food and not really gain any weight. Oh my did that change, I started to gain and gain without really understanding why. People would always comment on my size and compare me to other skinnier girls my age. Even my own family would call me chunky and husky. This was so damn hurtful! I wanted so desperately to feel “normal” and to be able to lose weight. I had no idea how. I tried weight watchers and felt starving all of the time. Sure, I lost weight, but then I would end up binge eating right after my weigh-ins because I was so hungry and deprived from the week before! When I could no longer keep up with that, I just tried periods of simple deprivation. If I cut out all bread and sweets, surely I’d be able to lose weight and finally be happy right? Wrong ! I was able to lose some weight before going to college. But I was so sad and miserable. I missed food. It became something evil that I had to avoid.

Even though I was able to lose some weight beforehand, I still was sad about starting college at Binghamton University as an overweight freshman, feeling insecure, uncomfortable and anxious about my appearance. Not surprisingly, some of my suite mates shared my insecurities, leading us to immediately begin dieting together. We tried every gimmick, diet program and pill on the market, whether it was drinking liquids for two days or solely consuming vegetables. Although we would lose a pound or two, the weight would come back and the process was torturous. After months of struggling with failed diets, I left my freshman year the same insecure overweight girl, but learned I was not the only one who suffered from a poor diet and self- image. In my sophomore year, determined to improve my relationship with food, I enrolled in a nutrition class. This decision forever altered my life.

I will never forget the excitement I felt during my first nutrition class. The topic of food and its profound effect on the body ignited a passion I was unaware existed. My professor explained that I needed a lifestyle change involving healthy choices rather than a temporary fad diet plan.  We worked together to compile a meal plan that would result in meeting my dietary needs, while helping me reach a healthy weight for my body. With the assistance of my professor the seemingly impossible happened: I started to lose weight, with minimal effort or suffering. In addition, I possessed plenty of energy, enabling me to improve my focus in class and maintain a positive mindset. It was at this time when I realized that nutrition, although seemingly simplistic, has the capability of revolutionizing a person’s life. I became hooked. I knew I never would and never wanted to go back to my miserable days of restrictive dieting. I could be happy, healthy and eat cake too! Greatest. News. Ever.

Years and years later, I still have not gone back. I have an all inclusive diet and no food is off limits. Like I always say, food is meant to be enjoyed! Never feared.  I’ve learned to eat until I’m satisfied rather than over eating and feeling uncomfortably full. When you don’t constantly restrict yourself from eating certain things, you can live a more free life. You’re not always dreaming about the one day you’ll be skinny and able to have a beer or a slice of Oreo cake. You simply fit it into your lifestyle without any guilt. No one should ever feel bad about enjoying a comfort food or drink that makes them happy! Food=happiness and that’s OK. Let’s enjoy it together!

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