Welcome! I am so happy you are here. I am 25 years old and have been passionate about healthy living for many years. I’m going to share my background story, and why I decided to start this blog…
My story starts back a long time ago, when I was a sophomore in high school. I felt extremely self-conscious about my body, like many young girls at this stage. I remember someone making a comment about how I looked chubby, and I felt ashamed. I immediately put myself on a very strict diet and I would count every calorie I put in my body, even gum and coffee. I was only eating around 800-1,000 calories a day, but I was also rowing crew, so I was burning that equivalent amount. I became exceedingly skinny quickly, down to only 110 pounds, which is far too low for an active 5’7 growing girl.
My mom became quite concerned about my health; you could see my bones starting to poke out. I would avoid having dinner with my family, and constantly make excuses to avoid eating around people. She would buy me breakfast bagels with lots of cream cheese, butter and eggs, and I would pretend to eat them so she wouldn’t worry, but secretely flush it all down the toilet. I had developed orthorexia, and this led me to be anal about everything I consumed, down to every last crumb. I even factored gum into my daily calorie allowance. There were certain foods that were acceptable because I knew exactly how many calories they had (pre-portioned almonds, cereal bars, 100 calorie yogurts, a pack of baby carrots, etc). My relationship with food was negative. Eating stressed me out- having to explain my food rituals to friends/family, make excuses for why I couldn’t eat, lie about my meal times etc. All of this was so exhausting. I survived on zero calorie life waters and black coffee to keep the hunger away. My stomach constantly growled and ached, but I told myself that this meant the fat was leaving my body. Ridiculous.
I was jeaporadizing my physical and mental health, all over some stupid comment someone made about how I looked. I had tunnel vision-all I wanted was to be thin. What I didn’t realize at the time is how dangerous this was. Genetically speaking, I am naturally dispositioned to have more fat stored in my hip/stomach area. This is simply where my body holds weight, and I can say now that I think this is beautiful and perfectly natural. But back then, I hated this fact about myself and would do anything to change it. Horrible things started happening and it just kept snowballing…I lost my period. My hair became frail and weak. My skin became pale and I developed rosacea. In other words, my health started to fall apart.
My transformation from then to now
Left: 15 years old, 114 pounds
Right: 25 years old, 140 pounds
Everything changed when I quit crew.
After I quit crew and began weight-training and yoga, I actually started to enjoy exercise for the first time in my life. I no longer viewed it as a chore. In addition, this led to me wanting to fuel my body rather than punish it. I started researching proper nutrition and found heaps of helpful information online about what foods are most beneficial. I started to care more about nutrition, rather than calories (read my blog post on this topic here). Slowly, I began incorporating huge green smoothies, lean proteins and healthy fats. Within just a week of eating this way, my skin was glowing and I felt fantastic. I realized that I was depriving my body of the nutrients it needed to thrive, and I didn’t know how amazing life could be until I started eating correctly.
My period came back. I was bursting with energy, began to make more friends and my attitude was much better around the house because I was not constantly lethargic or sick. Now, I know that loving your body comes down to finding a form of exercise you enjoy doing, in addition to fueling yourself with whole, real food.
Over the last few years, it has not always been smooth sailing. There are times where the disordered thoughts creep in surrounding food and what I am eating. There are days where I look in the mirror and I’m unhappy with what I see. There are still moments where my brain tells me to skip a meal, or push myself too hard during my workout in order to burn extra calories. I do my best to ignore these disordered thoughts, but sometimes it is difficult. The point is that my journey of finding health is not a destination, but a journey. I’ve come a long way from where I was during high school, and I’m proud of everything I’ve accomplished. I no longer care about having the perfect body, or flat abs, because honestly it doesn’t matter. If you feel good about yourself, and feel healthy from the inside out, that is most important. And that is why I created this blog; to hopefully help people who are in a similar situation. I am passionate about empowering people through the mindset that we need to love our bodies, and never feel like we need to starve or do copious amounts of exercise. I hope you enjoy my content and find some inspiration here.