Like many others, I have struggled with food throughout my life. I was never the picture of health, normally eating sweets for breakfast on the way to school. In middle and high school, a typical lunch consisted of two bags of chips, ice cream and something fried. Food was not something that I thought about. I ate what I liked and what everyone else was eating.
As a young adult, health and wellness were not priorities for me. I was always a strong and tall girl, but not thin like my friends. Being an athlete and a tomboy, my daily level of activity and participation in competitive athletics kept me in decent shape.
Life and my appearance changed drastically upon my move to Boston and enrollment at the Berklee College of Music. As a result of my unchanged eating habits and a (very) sedentary lifestyle, my overall health and quality of life deteriorated. My friends and I elected to party on the weekends (and weeknights), drinking too much alcohol and ordering take out in the early hours of the morning.
During my sophomore year of college, I lost about 50 lbs. by adopting a fad low-carbohydrate diet. As many others have experienced, it is very difficult to maintain a weight loss by restricting certain food groups completely. To avoid gaining the weight back but still hoping to indulge in all things I had deprived myself of, I turned to binging and purging. Obviously, this was extremely unhealthy and ineffective. I tried to find a permanent solution through a quick-fix diet, as opposed to an overall lifestyle change.
If only I had turned in my poor habits along with my cap and gown in 2007. By 2010, I weighed over 270 pounds. Following some major life events, including a move across the country, beginning a new job and working through a struggling relationship, I had finally had enough. I no longer liked the person I saw when I looked in the mirror.
I became unrecognizable to myself. I was hiding among baggy, layered clothing. I was tired of being held back by other people, other things, and most of all my weight. I wanted to find myself again and get on the right track to go after my dreams and live the life I have always imagined.
Last summer (2011), I began attending boot camp classes with some of my friends. After getting back into a fitness routine, I was ready to tackle my eating. I made changes slowly, adopting a vegetarian diet, and eating a lot of greens. Over the course of the past year I started to cut out processed foods.
I am proud to say that I am now vegan, eating a whole-food plant based diet. Juice is incorporated into my meals at least twice per day. In addition to seeing such great results, I have never felt more amazing!