I’ve struggled with my weight and relationship with food since I was twelve years old. I remember thinking my mom was the worst person in the world because she thought I needed to lose weight and eat less. She wasn’t wrong, I was at that age where my parents couldn’t play off my chubbiness as baby-fat anymore and my eating habits needed to change. As a girl who had just started puberty and was very uncomfortable about the whole thing, I felt like my mom had just turned against me and was out to destroy my life.
I have always had a problem with overeating. Growing up, I almost always went back for seconds and I always went overboard with dessert. I used to spend a lot of time at our neighbor’s house and they would usually feed me dinner (they were Argentinian and I loved the food they cooked), and then I would go home and eat whatever my mom had made as well. And after eating two meals, I would devour a huge bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream with lots of chocolate syrup. Looking back on this now, I’m disgusted with how I was able to eat this way. At the time, I saw nothing wrong with it. I just loved food and loved to eat a lot of it.
By the time I was in high school, I was very overweight and unhappy. I hated my body, but I didn’t know how to lose weight. I remember my mom asking our doctor what to do about my weight. All I remember her suggesting was being more active and cutting back on junk food. I wasn’t happy about that at all because I hated gym class and loved junk food. I eventually got into running with one of my friends, but I never really saw any weight loss because my eating habits hadn’t changed.
I didn’t start to seriously dive into losing weight until I was around 20 years old. My mom had seen an article in a magazine about an “ultra low-carb” diet plan. It seemed easy enough, so I tried it out. After 10 days, I ended up losing around 10 pounds. I immediately came to the conclusion that carbs were the enemy. So, for the next couple of years I was either avoiding carbs or hating myself for eating them.
About a year ago, I began dieting and exercising consistently. I followed a high protein, low carb diet and would go for hour long walks 4-5 days a week. I lost about 20 pounds in 4 months and became the smallest I had been in my adult life. I was so thrilled with my results, but then things changed. I became bored of my meals and started eating foods that I hadn’t allowed myself to have in a long time (pizza, pasta, rice, cake, etc) and slacked off with my exercise. I completely fell off the wagon around July and by the time November hit, I was the heaviest I had ever been in my entire life. It took me a couple months of depression, self-loathing, and self-sabatoge to finally come to the realization that I needed to make some serious changes.
Right now, I’m just focusing on making healthier choices. That means instead of eating a pint of ice cream, I’ll have some frozen chocolate covered berries. Instead of ordering a cheesy pepperoni pizza, I’ll make my own healthier version. Since I started eating more nutrient-dense foods, I am feeling so much better. I have more energy and am just in a better mood. I also track my calories through the MyFitnessPal app to help me know that I’m eating enough, and when to stop eating. And I’m working my butt off on my Peloton to get in shape.
Yes, I’m motivated to lose weight, but it has become much more than just that. One of my goals is to be the best version of myself. To me, this means becoming the healthiest version of myself by treating my body with love and respect. Every day that I crave something really unhealthy (like a 24 layer chocolate cake) I ask myself, “is it worth it?” Is it worth the calories, the sugar, the weight gain, the health risks? I think you know the answer.