This is my history with weight.. pictures to come.
Growing up I was a normal size kid… I mean other than always being the shortest person in my class (I am 4 foot 11 now). Encouraged by my fitness fanatic mother, I played a TON of sports, including softball, volleyball, soccer, basketball, and swim team. I never really enjoyed working out per say, but I loved playing sports and looking back was definitely keeping weight off by running around at practices… even though I didn’t really love that part of it. Looking back, on the off-season of sports I would always gain weight and my weight would fluctuate almost every season. There are a few instances from my youth where I remembering knowing I was not as thin as my friends. However, when I lost weight playing sports each season, I always felt better and the thoughts went away.
In high school, I continued to fluctuate with sports seasons. During the winter season (I played soccer one season and basketball for the next 3 do to an injury), I would be extremely fit running around for at least 2 hours after school but in the spring (when softball season came around and there were less running drills) I always gained it back. In high school at an all girls school in Los Angeles, CA where most people were very thin, I started to realize I was… not. I went on a few fad diets like low carb. I lost weight but only been motivated to stick with it for a month or 2 and would gain it back. Sometimes I would walk on the treadmill or slowly ride the stationary bike at our apartment gym but never high intensity and I never stuck with it.
Going to college is when my weight and health really started to become an issue. I had almost 24-hour access to chicken nuggets, cheesesteaks (Villanova is outside Philadelphia), pizza and, of course, lots of alcohol. I no longer had sports to keep me active and stopped fluctuating but started a continual gain. I tried low carb…again, lost weight but again could not stick with it. I was extremely unhealthy my freshman year and got sick often. In fact, the year ended with me being hospitalized for an extremely painful abscessed tonsil and a couple of bouts of terrible strep throat. I continued eating badly and not exercising for most of my sophomore year. However, when a friend started teaching a kickboxing class on campus a group of us decided to start attending. This got me started exercising at least once a week.
The turning point was after my sophomore year. I was unhappy with my weight and I am not sure why but I became extremely determined to lose it. I had a realization that I could not eat whatever I want all the time and that my body needed exercise if I wanted to be healthy. That summer I lived with my parents in Florida where I had no friends, job, and basically nothing to do. I spent my days reading books and logging hours on my mom’s stationary bike. I read fitness magazines to get eating advice and limited my portions. I forced myself to spend an hour riding that bike no matter how much I didn’t want to… but finally it became a habit and I had lost almost 20 pounds!
When I started my study abroad program in London, England, I joined a gym and continued the habit. In London, I made a friend that was into running, who subtly pointed out that my workouts weren’t very intense. Thus, I started doing shorter more intense workouts. I ate as healthy as I could while there and my weight loss continued. By the time I got back to school, I was down 10 more lbs and felt great.
Over time my workouts have become more intense, I’ve added weight lifting, and I think it’s safe to say I am in the best shape I have ever been in—even better than when I was playing sports back in the day! I no longer see working out as a burden or a habit—I really like doing it! I also have discovered how much better I feel when I eat fruits and vegetables and don’t stuff myself to the brim. An additional bonus is now I rarely get sick.
In all of this, I have come to love reading about healthy living, trying healthy recipes, fitness activities and gadgets, stalking nutritional information, etc. My stalking of all things health related is what led me to blogs. I have been very inspired by bloggers… and am nervous, yet excited to try it out for myself and join the community!