Being Healthy

Yum

Hello all!

This post is like many others swimming around on the internet, but everyone likes to read about other people’s struggles, so I’m happy to add more to the mix.

From freshman year to junior year in high school, I effortlessly hovered around 105 pounds. Bagels in the morning with cream cheese? Mine. Someone brought an extra cupcake? All the better. Clubs are selling greasy empanadas on the cheap? My wallet is open. I didn’t think at all about watching what I ate, but I was aware of being disproportionally thin in relation to how much I actually consumed.

In senior year, my weight started sliding up the scale. Month by month, my body expanded, until I topped off at around 128 at graduation. I know 128 doesn’t sound like much, but I barely hit 5’2”, and the extra weight was uncomfortable. The specific numbers are not important, just that I feel/felt, as many others do, dissatisfied and unhappy with my body.

At first, I still fit into my old clothes, but it got to the point where I would secretly undo the buttons of my jeans during class to sit more comfortably and then redo them once the period ended. My taste in clothing changed. Tight, unforgiving cotton shirts were relegated to the back of the closet. Jeans were my enemy. Instead, voluminous tunics and stretchy leggings that accommodated the continual weight gain came into play.

My high school was very small and intimate; there were only 105 students in my graduating class, and many of us keep in touch with each other regularly. Because I was in such a loving environment, I didn’t feel a lot of pressure to lose weight. People never commented on my weight gain. If anything, I received new compliments about the larger butt I had acquired.

As I’ve grown older, more and more reasons to lose weight have come into play. Firstly, I do want to live a long, healthy life, and (just a rumor, guys!) exercise seems to be a key part of that. Secondly, it’s an unfair fact that being in less than tip top physical shape can disadvantage you when you’re in new environments or result in your being on the receiving end of discrimination (the glass ceiling, the bamboo ceiling… the ice-cream ceiling, anyone?). It’s not right to judge people by their weight and it’s not exactly right to succumb to such pressure, but why make life harder on yourself when it can be easier? I’d rather avoid such judgment entirely. Thirdly, I love reading/watching apocalyptic movies or action novels and in these settings, I see that it is the women who can run quickly who are more likely to survive. Don’t you want to be able to outrun a horde of zombies? My guess is that you do. And, finally, I do feel a lot more energetic and happier when I’m eating healthily and exercising (whether or not this is a placebo effect has yet to be determined).

For all of these reasons, I have been valiantly – and not so valiantly – struggling to shed ~15 pounds for the past 3 years. It hasn’t really worked. The lowest I dropped to was 119, and that was after I had forgotten to eat for 2 weeks and started feeling depressed. In general, I have been a very steady 125 pounds during my college career and currently weigh in at 128.5, but I hope that I will be able to return to 110 by January 20, 2014 (the day I become 21).

So, for all of those who came here after googling, “weight loss stories” or “ugh, hate running,” I hope you’ll gain some support from my chronicling this 8 week diet journey/lifestyle change/insert politically correct and mentally healthy term here.

To gain a sense of my physical prowess currently, know that I despise running. IIt’s pretty boring on the treadmill and I don’t own an Ipod, so things can get dicey. At the same time, it’s winter in New York right now, and I don’t want to brave the cold. Yes, you’ve now reached the “Complain and Excuses” section of this entry. There are also so many logistics that go into exercise. For example, how can we coordinate hair-washing into all of that sweating? Girls, you should know what I’m talking about.

However, for the next 8 weeks, at least, I will go running every other day. I currently run a 15 minute mile without trying (you probably didn’t need to be told that I’m not trying here) and a 13 minute mile if I do. Hopefully, by the end of January, I will have improved to a 10 minute mile, which is what I need to become a yellow belt!

Beyond running every other day, I’m taking a PE judo class Mondays and Wednesdays during the spring semester and will attend taekwondo Monday and Wednesday nights.

As for my diet, I will try to go cold turkey! If I give myself an inch, I’ll skip running the mile and just eat a pint of Haagen Dazs. Gluten-free, dairy-free, and pescatarian. I hear that eating too much red meat can be bad for you health-wise but I’m mainly doing it because it’ll be better for the environment. Also, I know that gluten is not inherently a bad thing for people without celiac disease, but I never choose gluten products that are healthy. Invariably, it’s pasta, cake, and cupcakes that I veer towards, not the multigrain bread. Same with dairy. And, besides, do you know what goes great with milk and bread? Nutella. Case closed.

Stay tuned for my ensuing strugglebus.

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