I like food. Real good food. My family likes food. And we like to eat it together. We like celebrating with a good meal and think cocktail hour is the best time of day. We don’t really eat junk food – we aren’t the Big Mac types – but we just like the process of eating. We also have always talked about nutrition and ways to balance our love for consuming good food.
I maintained my weight around 130 throughout high school and my early years in college, thanks to a love for running and varsity soccer. I used exercise to keep my weight down, but much to my inconvenience, a birth defect in my left foot became symptomatic during my sophomore year of high school and got much worse in college. I had to limit my workouts to the elliptical and bike for my last 2 years of college. While I did exercise almost every day, the less-intense workouts combined with large portion sizes and too many glasses of wine put a good 20 pounds on my small frame. During my senior year of college, I topped the scales at 151 pounds. I remember looking at myself in the mirror just after Christmas and thought: “I am more than just a little overweight.” I also remember sitting in my classes wondering what backside looked like in the chair. And of course, every photo that taken of me was just “a bad picture.”
The following spring, my senior year, I had foot surgery to un-fuse the sub-talar joint in my foot and was on crutches for a month. After the surgery, I decided I wanted to turn my life around.
The College Years – Too Much of a good thing!
A New Outlook
I graduated from Davidson College a few months after my surgery and was finally able to cook for myself, limit dining in restaurants and put an end to late college nights full of snacking. I was excited to be able to take control of my weight with a new lifestyle. I started tracking my daily calories in an online food journal at CalorieKing.com, which I kept up throughout my weight loss and a year into maintenance. Counting calories really helped me get a handle on portions and realize how much good food you can eat if you focus on fresh ingredients. My husband (then boyfriend) and I developed a love for cooking with healthy ingredients in our recipes.
When my foot was ready, I gradually started exercising again, and went to tons of spinning classes, which were easy on my recovering foot. I was finally able to beginning running again in October of 2005. My goal when I started was to lose 20 pounds – to get from 151 down to 130. And I hit that goal 9 months later.
2006 – Weight Coming Off
When my weight reached 130 pounds in the spring of 2006, I realized I felt fabulous but still had weight to lose. I decided to keep my focus on eating healthy and being active and wherever my weight ended up was fine with me. I was shocked when I hit 129. A year before, you couldn’t have paid me a million dollars to convince me I’d ever be in the 120s. But I just kept exercising, cooking healthy meals with my husband, and chugging along.
It’s now been a few years since my foot surgery and I’m down 30 pounds to a healthier weight of around 120. I have never been happier with my body image and lifestyle. I feel radiant every day, and shopping for clothes has a whole new meaning. And photos are almost always flattering! My focus now is on eating whole foods and balancing my day with all of the food groups and intuitive eating. I honestly find eating healthy so fun!
A Happier Life
When I decided to lose weight, I had no idea I would be so successful. I’m smaller now than I was in high school! I have never felt better about myself or been happier about where I am in life, and I believe that all stems from a boost in self confidence. I got married on June 2, 2007 and was glad I could celebrate the day as a happier, healthier version of me.
The bottom line is, you can get to your happy weight if you want to. Make the choice. There’s no secret. Move more, eat healthy. If you put your health first, weight loss comes naturally.