A little confession…

Dear lovely readers who I am ecstatic I have,

This blog has been one of those saving graces that I didn’t see coming until I was almost fifty posts in. It has focused my attention on things that are actually important like eating healthy and working out as often as possible. It was a welcome distraction from the stress that ensues after college graduation, where everyone is asking what you are going to do and where you are doing to do it and with what money.

Life is a series of small actions that are practiced everyday.

I should have been more honest in the beginning of my blog and told you my history, but I am at the point where I am comfortable enough to share my past. I came a long way from a year ago, when I was out of breath on the hikes I took when I was studying abroad in New Zealand.

 

That was the first warning bell. I was so self-conscious that I was the last one trucking along on a hike that I ended up unnecessarily beating myself up for hours, and not enjoying the beauty that is New Zealand. I had to change my habits because I wanted to be able to complete a three-day twenty-nine mile hike and not feel exhausted for a week. New Zealand was a big wake up call for me. I must have been avoiding mirrors and ignoring my body for two years because my ignorance came crashing down on me. And it wasn’t pleasant. The good I was doing at the gym was being completely undone by the bad I was doing in my diet. A three mile run was rewarded by heavy breads and fried meat. I couldn’t dream of doing that now.

So I changed most of my bad habits. I quit cigarettes after graduation. I cut gluten heavy foods out of my diet and saw a nutritionist who told me that gluten is especially hard for my body to process and I just have to make more of an effort to eat greens and vegetables every day. I made green smoothies for breakfast and I ate spinach everyday. I drink green tea.

I saw an improvement in my mood and my skin, and my overall health was so much better. I cut out grease and fried foods from my diet, not all the way, but much better than where I was before. I stopped stress eating. I made myself a priority and decided to be picky when it comes to what I eat. At college, as much as I tried to make an effort to eat healthy, there was always a convenient special that fit better into my schedule than making my own food, even though I had a kitchen. As much as I wanted to control what I ate, it got to be overwhelming bringing my own dinner to places and taking the time out of a day where I was already negative for time. I put my grades first and me last. And it showed. Having a small frame as it is, any weight I gain or lose looks incredibly dramatic. My confidence took a beating and so did the way I treated myself. Even though I tried to fake my confidence (and to an extent, it worked) I ended up being much crueler to myself than anyone could ever be. I knew it wasn’t a lifestyle that I could maintain and the moment I picked up my degree from that stage on the library I adore so much, I knew that I had to make a change.

It’s four months later, and I am almost fifteen pounds lighter. I lost inches on my waist, my thighs, my arms, and my back. When I look in the mirror, I see the woman I recognize, and a whole new mentality that goes with my new look. I go shopping and find things that fit me instead of me trying to fit them. I know what parts of my body I want to showcase, and what parts I still want to work on. It’s normal to aim for more. I stopped trying to be perfect.

I believed society when it told me that I should be a size two. The thing is I can be a size two if I really wanted to be. It wouldn’t look natural on me and it would be a draining lifestyle change, but it is so much more important to be fit than skinny. I like that I have hips and I have a chest. These are parts of me I want to keep. I don’t count calories and I don’t count points. These are methods that work for some people and while that is great, it is not for me. I wanted to eat foods that repair my body after a grueling workout and replenish me after an exhausting day. I have enough stress in my life that it does not make sense for me to add more because I might run into health problems early. Diabetes runs in my family. I am happy I realized early on that I need to take steps to correct these things, and just because I have a genetic history of these conditions, it does not mean it has to dictate my life.

It hasn’t been easy and I had to be in the right place mentally to make such a change, but I am proud of more on my body than ever before. I make almost all my own food and I have become a better cook. I make it a point to learn something new about food and nutrition everyday.

I try to plan out my meals and where I am going to get the protein I need to feel full for longer amounts of time. I incorporate the rainbow on my plate. I watch my portions and it’s not easy in a fat world. I didn’t know that simple changes like buying in bulk and measuring out portions could be the key to success. I am proud of myself and nutrition knowledge is one of those things that once you know, you never end up forgetting it. It hit me that I may miss my body from high school, and it was one where I did not have to work out to maintain it, but my metabolism is in a completely different phase than it used to be, and everyone goes through these changes. If I want a better body than I had in high school, it is not only possible, but with the lifestyle changes I am making, it is going to happen.

I am not the type that wants to admit that I was ever unhappy with my body, part of me wants to pretend that I never had a problem with it, but I know that these problems are problems people face everyday. Not talking about it is not going to make it any better. Health should be a priority in life. That being said, I am not saying that what worked for me will work for everyone. I had to realize that some people are able to eat five cheeseburgers in one sitting and not gain a pound, but that does not mean that they are healthy even if they are skinny. I know that I can run faster and longer than many girls I know, and I bet no one can see that when they look at me.

I am writing this long post because I know that someone out there will somehow relate to me, and they will feel like they are not alone in these problems. The body is a beautiful machine that looks the way you want it to look, if you put the time in.

Four months of good treatment is not going to undo four years of bad treatment. For what I put my body through, I am so sorry that I ever rewarded a workout with dessert and I had no idea what portion control was. There were a lot of workouts that I used to relieve stress after a packed day of classes that were a waste overall, but now that I have a thorough understanding of what I put into my body, I vow to never let it happen again.

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