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. Matt 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
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! 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.
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.