Picture this, its is Sicily not wait that is someone else’s back story but any way here is mine, the watered down version anyway. This is not a sob story, just helps to give an idea about why I am on the internet when I should be asleep. I have struggled with weight and body image since it was pointed out to me that I was “bigger than all the other girls” at 9. Looking back I was a thick child, but not actually heavy- I swam competitively, played tennis, and actually played outside. From that point on I was super conscious of everything I ate although I knew nothing about nutrition. Hello 9 year old. I would skip meals or “borrow” my mom’s Slim Fast or swing wildly the other way and eat everything in site.
Fast forward to junior high. In a nutshell I was 5’7″ in the 7th grade, I wore a size 6 jean but compared to the 5’2″ size 2 crowd I felt like an ogre. There was only one girl taller than I was in the school so I towered over most of my classmates, many of whom loved to point that out (Of course they did, children can be horrible to each other at that age). By high school most of the other girls had also reached their adult height so 5’7″- 5’8″ wasn’t ogre-esque anymore. I was still thicker than some and it came up a few times especially when I auditioned for school plays or when the swim team took our group photo. Now I see that I wasn’t fat, it was all in my head.
I didn’t become physically overweight until I was in my early 20s. Freshmen 15, drop out of college 20, and work in a restaurant 25 add up quick. I spent the next 10 years gaining and losing that same 60 pounds. Get to goal weight, maintain for a few months and then slack off just to wake up one morning and have nothing that will button. I still had no clue how to really eat or what the machines in a gym did. I know that the Army said run, so I ran and ate foods that said low fat and reduced calorie. In hindsight just because 1 serving is reduced calorie that does not mean it is ok to eat the whole package. I gained 90 pounds total with my first pregnancy (twins), but managed to loose all of that plus my variable 60 (I was on my higher end when I got prego) in 8 months. I was tired of the yo-yo so I joined a gym, realized I have no idea what any of the machines do other than the treadmill so got a trainer, and enrolled in college to become a nutritionist or dietitian or at least learn about the relationship between food, exercise, and my body.My goal was to get the tools I needed to feel pretty and girly, then be able to pass good habits on to my children so they don’t have to suffer the body image problems that kept me awake at night. I also have an end goal of going to physician assistant school and thought a dabbling in some other heath approaches might give my patients a more well rounded provider.
By the time I graduated I not only learned that the South has horrible food prep traditions – think fry it and drown it in gravy then wash that down with a coke for every meal- but I learned about alternative medical practices, body kinetics,what those gym machines actually do, yoga, vitamins, and how to sort through some of the hype about all of the above. (Yes I believe that some of the things I learned are nonsense, yes I believe that some are great additions to a good ole MD, a fitness plan, and a little food knowledge and often felt like an outsider in my class due to my very lower than class average level of hippie-ism.) I was also about 20 lbs up from where I feel the best- but I had maintained no more than that 20 pounds for almost 2 years.
My trainer (who was awesome) graduated college, trainer number 2 (equally awesome, but we had a similar sense of humor so we got along better) got a better job, trainer 3 moved, and trainer 4 well…. BUT I knew what the machines did and how to make changes to my body all by myself. I started going it solo, then I started taking friends with me to the gym, then other people starting asking my advice.
At 35 I know that I do not have the bone structure of a supermodel, I know that a size 8 is the absolute smallest size I should ever be (under 160 lbs I look and feel horrible), but a 10 is more reasonable (and still gets plenty of snarky looks from ladies). I also know that while eating organic is optimal, it isn’t always practical with 3 kids and that my husband will never let go of the hamburger helper mentality. I also know that a healthy lifestyle will, for me, always involve tons of workouts and my sparkpeople app. I am OK with all of the above.
Throw in some employment changes and my recent (sort of), degree and its time to look into my own future with helping others.