This is my story on how I broke the viscous diet cycle and finally made peace with food.
To understand who I am, you need to know where I came from.
My sister and I were raised in a relatively healthy and fit household, where snacks and deserts consisted of fruit and low fat cookies and any form of “junk food” would be found in the back of the pantry, left over from a visitor, green and molded. My parents used to joke that when they would send me to a relative’s house, I would wear a shirt that read; “If you love me, you won’t feed me candy.” To say my sister and I never had the occasional cupcake or ice cream sundae would be a lie. We did, just not often. My sister and I had healthy eating imbedded into our heads. It was definitely what many call a lifestyle. We were the kids that would go to the local diner after a school play with friends and while everyone was ordering ice cream sundaes, we ordered salads (by choice). Now, I’m sure many of you are thinking we sound like the Brady Bunch, but once I was older, in school and around other kids whose parents didn’t feed them the way mine did, things quickly changed. As I got into high school, eating late night pizza and Chinese food with friends became the social thing to do. Everything seemed to be centered on where and what everyone would eat. On top of being raised in a health conscience household, we were a very physically active household as well.
At the age of 2, I started gymnastics and continued until I was 9. Once my gymnastics career ended, I switched to swimming and basketball. My schedule was jammed packed! If I wasn’t at swimming, I was at basketball and vice versa. Often, I would go from one practice to the next before going home for dinner and to do homework. Sports were a big priority and came before many things (never school or homework of course!) Once high school came, I had a major decision to make. Would I choose swimming or basketball? Because they both take place during the winter season, it is impossible to focus on both at a competitive high school level. Basketball was my choice and I wouldn’t change that decision for the world. Basketball has taken me many places; As a player, winning County Titles and now as a coach winning State Sectional Titles and many other accolades. My first two years of high school, even though I was involved in basketball and exercised daily, my weight started to creep up on me.
Looking back, I can’t believe some of the things I ate and at what time of day I ate them. Quarts of Chinese chicken and broccoli at 10:00 pm when I had already had dinner earlier in the evening. Deluxe cheeseburgers with the works, accompanied with a large soda and followed by an extra large ice cream sundae. Eating out with friends was the fun thing to do. I don’t know anyone in high school who can say they went out and ate healthy, clean meals with their friends on a regular basis. If there were people like that in high school, I certainly didn’t know them.Even though I was working out daily, my lack of healthy eating didn’t help the way I physically felt and looked. The summer going into my Junior year, I decided I needed to make a change. I was always tired and sluggish and could never find clothes that fit. That summer started my journey of unhealthy eating and obsessive exercising habits. Like every 16/17 year old girl, when you wanted something, you wanted it right then and there and it didn’t matter how it was going to happen, it was happening. This is how I thought and felt about losing weight. It didn’t matter if I was going to lose weight the unhealthy way, I was determined to return to school that September what I considered “skinny.” Some days my meals consisted of an apple, extra large coffee and half of a salad. My daily workouts on top of my basketball workouts included 1-2 hrs on the treadmill and an hour a day of kick boxing. Needless to say, I returned to school “skinny,” but very unhealthy. That year, was one of the toughest years for me. I was excited for basketball season because not only was I thinner, I was faster. Little did I know that my summer of unhealthy habits would do more harm than good. The season started and I was faster, but lacked energy, started to feel weak and was always sick. Rather than being the season of my life, I spent most of my time on the bench recovering from different illnesses.
I spent the next 6 yrs dealing with major stomach problems, always feeling sick, lacking energy and not myself. I tried many different medications and it wasn’t until my cousin was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, that I realized what had been making me feel so sick for so long. I was finally tested, diagnosed and have been gluten free since. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease where your body is unable to break down and digest gluten and if ingested can make you very ill, along with many other things. It took a lot of adjusting, research, trial and error to get where I am today. Fast forward to today: I am the healthiest, happiest and fittest I’ve been since a young child. Who knows what my life would have been like had I stuck with the healthy habits my parents instilled in me. One thing I know for sure, I wouldn’t be here telling my story, trying to help others overcome the same struggles. Having my daughter is the greatest thing to ever happen to me and it’s because of her my life choices are based on what’s best and healthiest for my family. I hope to instill in her the foundation for a long life of happiness and health. I am here to help, guide and support all those who are looking to change their lives forever. All of my posts are based on my everyday life, past and present experiences, research and opinion. Come along with me as I show you how to make clean, gluten free, vegan and kid friendly meals, try new fitness workouts and show you how to make peace with food, have fun and feel your best.