I haven’t always been a health nut/clean eater. When I was a gymnast (started at 3), I was able to eat anything I wanted, whenever I wanted. I was in the gym four to five hours a day for practice four times a week. My typical meals went like this: poptarts or cookies and milk for breakfast, school lunch, mcdonalds or other fast food before practice, ravioli after practice, and 4 BIG scoops of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream for desert. It’s safe to say I did didn’t have the best nutrition, but I didn’t need to worry about it because of all the energy I expended at practice.
However, when I quit in sixth grade, puberty hit, I eventually gained weight because my body didn’t utilize all the energy it used to.
It was the Spring Break of 8th grade when it really hit home with me, when we went to Mexico for my brother’s Senior Trip. All the girls there were thin and really pretty. It then made me think about how I was going to be in high school where they were and I wouldn’t fit in. At that time, I was out of shape and would call myself “thick,” I don’t really think I was fat, but I was a lot bigger than I used to be.
When I got back home, I knew I needed to change some of my habits. So, I told my mom I wanted to get a gym membership! I started going everyday, I did the typical girl thing and would go on the elliptical or treadmill for an hour and occasionally throw some ab work in and that was it. It was probably less than a year where I lost all the weight…almost 30 pounds when I was at my highest and lowest. I never wanted to be skin in bones, I just wanted to be skinny and wear cute clothes without having to worry about my curves. If people noticed, I would just say I run a lot and that’s what made me lose all of the weight. However, it wasn’t just running; I would look at the nutrition labels and only eat it if it were low in calories, I ate a lot less processed foods, and ate smaller amounts. NOTE: I never resorted to binging or starving myself, it was all through a better diet and cardio! After losing the weight, the only physical health effect I noticed, was that I was extremely cold all of the time. I think it was because I had a big change in my body fat percentage and I wasn’t eating enough of the right minerals and nutrients that made my blood level lower.
Even though I had changed physically and was healthier, I really struggled mentally. When I think back about it, I was obsessed with being skinnier; my mind was not in the right place, I wasn’t really “happy”—to be honest, the only times I was “happy” was when the scale was at a certain number. I hid my anxiety about food and my weight enough that it didn’t become an issue others could see…I never told people sometimes it was ALL I could think about. I was also completely uneducated about nutrition—often times, I wouldn’t eat the meat in my salads because I thought it was going to make me gain weight, I didn’t drink much water because of the same reason, I would weigh myself everyday and I would get in fights with my parents about what we would have for dinner if it weren’t healthy, and so much more. (mom and dad: if you guys read this, I’m so sorry about the nagging I’ve put you through, I love you guys for putting up with me and supporting me!!xoxo)
1 Year Later
I finally realized my anxiety was starting to take over my life and happiness during my sophomore year of high school when a close friend finally spoke up and indirectly hinted concern about my weight and knew I needed to change my mentality to become happier. It was then, when I started to educate myself and change my perspective.
If you read this, thank you for taking the time to do so…I will be sharing My Story: Part 2 next week–focusing on how I changed my perspective on health/body image, working out, nutrition and how positivity has impacted my life!