I have been trying to lose weight for a long time. Since I was a young girl, I always felt like I was a whale compared to the other girls in my classes. I wanted to lose weight, but I didn’t know how.
I always thought that eating healthy meant giving up unhealthy food entirely. I would waste money on bags of kale, but the moment I craved chocolate, I would find myself overly indulging in chocolate bars and ice cream. It never clicked that I could still have what I liked while eating healthy.
Working out was a whole other issue. I would use stress as a reason to avoid the gym, which was the opposite of what I should have been doing. Instead, all I wanted to do was nap after work. How would I lose weight if I wasn’t working out?
I found myself in a cycle. I would be “healthy” for 2-3 weeks, overindulge in junk food, tell myself that I can’t do it and then try again. I was wasting my time, money as well as making myself feel worse with this unhealthy cycle.
This year was the year I found the motivation to actually try. A few months ago, I started to see a therapist for my depression. We talked about ways to help my stress, anxiety, and depression. I began to meditate, do yoga and go to the gym occasionally. After the semester ended, my dad called. His doctor told him that if he didn’t lose the weight, he had a high chance of developing diabetes.
I am 25-years-old. My dad is 50. I don’t want to develop diabetes in 25 years.
I started to research ways I can lose the weight in a manageable way. Instead of banning all my favorite foods altogether, I found healthy alternatives. I found noodles made 100 percent with veggies. I found low-carb recipes for muffins. I tracked my water intake daily. With the help of my therapist, I learned how to read food labels. I went to visit a doctor for a check-up to make sure I was okay to work out, and she gave me suggestions on how to lose the weight. Instead of buying a gym membership, I purchased a strength training program that received positive reviews. After work, I found myself at UT’s gym working on that strength training program and doing 30 minutes in the elliptical.
Shockingly, I also gave up alcohol due to the empty calories and high sugar amounts in cocktails. While I will allow myself a glass of wine or a sip of a margarita on occasion, I mostly find myself ordering water or spoiling myself with lemonade when out with friends.
I know my path to being healthy will be grueling, but I am determined to do this for my future self. Did I mention that in the month I have made these changes I have lost 8 pounds and an inch from my mid-section? I am excited about the changes I am making to a healthier me.