Growing up I was one of those. A plump cherub. I am proud to say that I’ve come a long way since then.
I started getting chunky in third grade. Not to go too much into the sappy wallows, but it was hard growing up . It has huge impacts on your self-esteem, your confidence, your social skills. The standard childhood memories of playing with friends and having dance parties get replaced with memories of reading in your room alone and logging calories in your food journal, judging your self-worth from that horrible little number.
It wasn’t until high school that I started thinning down. I was growing out of the bloated blueberry phase and into the better-looking me. I began realizing that eating half a pan of cheesecake in one sitting was NOT the answer to my unhappiness with my body.
I made some awesome friends in high school. It’s true what they say about having skinny friends leads to a skinnier you. I was still unhappy with my body, but looking around in Fat City, Texas, I was doing much better than most of those around me. I wish I could say that I understood healthy eating and wholesome exercise, but truth is I ate pizza rolls and Ramen on the daily. I was in marching band, but that was the extent of my exercise. When sugar was offered, I devoured.
Fast forward to my first semester of college where I learned something all powerful: quinoa.
I swear that healthy “mother grain” was the doorway to happiness. Not because it’s a complete protein plant-based foods that consists of all pernine essential amino acids AND iron AND B-vitamins AND magnesium AND phosphorus AND potassium AND calcium AND vitamin E AND fiber (plus it’s filling and delicious), but because it introduced me to the idea that there were foods out there that were healthy and that I had the choice of making my body feel great. I started buying foods like spinach, and lentils, and bananas instead of Ramen and the four pound jars of Jif (it was an addiction unlike any other). I also started something else important. I began running.
Now, if you knew me back then, you would have known that I hated running. I’d been trying to convince myself for years that running was damaging to your body, and that I was right to spurn it. If you also knew me you’d have known that I had never been able to run a mile my entire life.
September 2013 was the first time I completed one whole mile. And it was huge. It unlocked something inside of me.
It is now 2016. I’m 21 years old and married to the man I love, living in Provo and graduating with a BS in Communications Disorders this coming April. My husband, Billy, and I run in the mornings three times a week (even when it’s 18 degrees outside), eat clean, and cut out added sugar from our lives.
Life is amazing. Within the next couple months we will find out whether we’ll be living in Texas or in New York City. Hopefully we’ll both be having fun in grad school so I can become an audiologist and he can become the greatest horn player this world has ever created. (He already is. It’s just that not everyone knows that yet).
So I guess here’s to the start of our newest adventures.