After the birth of my beautiful daughter over 17 years ago (while I was just barely turning 19 years old myself), I became severely overweight. A combination of poor eating habits, unhappiness as well as inactivity, combined with serious life changes was disastrous. I became borderline diabetic, and extremely unhappy in my own skin. I was winded walking up a flight of stairs, and couldn't stop reaching for Oreos's when I was sad. I stepped on the scale Christmas 2002 and read that horrifying number of 242 pounds. That was all it took for me...I vowed I would get healthy right then. I was tired of living in denial of the demise of my health. I was in my early 20's, I had my whole life ahead of me, so I made a decision and I worked hard day in and day out for YEARS!
Gastric bypass was not a big thing when I was overweight. So I did things the long, brutal and seemingly endless way....through constant vigilance to my eating and fitness routine, with a day in and day out consistency. There were fad diets here and there, from South Beach to Nutrisystem, they all helped a little, but ultimately what helped was me learning about food, how to cook, healthy foods that would optimize my health. It took me a total of 7 years to finally lose 100 pounds. In fact one amazing fact is that the same week I graduated from Culinary School, I reached my goal weight loss of 100 pounds!
I went to Culinary School as a result of my newfound desire to cook well. I enjoyed the rigorous classroom structure of a Culinary Kitchen and the drill sergeant techniques of my Chef Instructors. I like structure and I thrive best in that environment, so I LOVED culinary school. I took one required course in Culinary Arts and that was Nutrition Science. My professor glazed over the Kreb's Cycle and I HAD to know more. A year later I began my study of Nutrition Science. In 2013 I graduated with my Bachelors of Science in Nutrition Science.
When I began my health journey I had this thought that once I reached a certain number on the scale I would be "happy" with my body and that was it, end of story. I have discovered that I can still in fact be happy with my body, while also still pursuing a greater level of health at each stage.
Sometimes life is tough and we have to learn how to navigate some seriously challenging situations, for me that was a toxic 17 year marriage. Once I moved out with my kids and found peace in my own mind and body I could finally focus on the next level of health. I was surviving before, but now can say with all honesty that because my mental health has been repaired, due to months of therapy, I have been able to make space for the next level of my health. I am now focused beyond a number on a scale, but instead on my performance numbers...how fast can I run or cycle? how heavy can I lift? More importantly how do I feel everyday? Happy, rested, less stressed, more optimistic? All of the above and I am excited for the future for the first time in a very long time!