Welcome! I am so happy you are here. I am 22 years old and have been extremely 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 in sophomore year of 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 so 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 very 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, but actually 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 counted gum in 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). I had such a negative relationship towards food. 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 that meant the fat was leaving. Ridiculous.
I really want to emphasize the danger I was putting myself in during this time. I had tunnel vision-all I wanted was to be thin. However, what I didn’t realize, is that genetically speaking, I was not meant to be a skinny girl. I am genetically predisposed to having more fat stored in my hip and stomach area. This is just where my body holds weight. Back then, I hated that fact about myself and would do anything and everything to change it. 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.
Left: 15 years old, lowest weight of 114 pounds
Right: 22 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 blogpost 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 literally 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.