My Road To Health: Part 1

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There is clearly a huge interest in my road to a healthy lifestyle, so I thought it was only natural to give my readers what they are asking for! Tonight’s post will be a fairly broad introduction to myself and how I cam about striving for a healthy lifestyle. Parts 2 and subsequent parts will be much more specific. I intended this post to be about my tips and tricks, but I soon realized that the development of the background takes time! I hope Part I isn’t too boring. :D

My Road To Health: Part 1

I have always had a huge interest in health and nutrition. When I started in university I wanted to become a R.D., but the program wasn’t accepting new applications that year, so instead of waiting and wasting a year, I decided to take some courses and see what I liked…

I ended up loving psychology. So I Majored in Psychology and I minored in Family and Child Studies. I have taken many Nutrition, Developmental, Social, Statistics, and research methodology courses. I have a huge, huge passion for research. Specifically, I love nutrition and health related research. I have read tons of books on various health topics (Here is a doozey- ‘The Owner’s Manual for the Brain’ all 1040 pages of glorious neuro-psychological reading).

While I loved health and fitness, I found it very hard to stay healthy while living in residence! There was basically an all-you-can-eat buffet everywhere. There were vending machines right down the hall from my dorm room, where all you had to do is swipe your meal card and a glorious Chunky (no pun intended) Kit Kat bar would come flying out.

2003   My Road To Health: Part 1

2003

As I mentioned in a previous post, Eric and I met in our last year of highschool, and we also went to the same university. I will admit, it was very tough on our relationship at times being in university and trying to stay together. There was stress, new people, and uncertainty, as well as growing up and discovering who we wanted to be in this world. I definitely think this stress contributed to the over-eating, late night binges, and expanding waistline. During especially stressful times in my life I have struggled with disordered eating. I would restrict my intake in order to obatin this false illusion of control, and then when my body couldn’t take it any longer, I would overeat and binge. It was a horrible cycle and I unfortunately went round and roung on it for many years…I knew something had to change.

2004   My Road To Health: Part 1

2004

I did stay active throughout university however. I have always been active my whole life. I have been in sports since I was young (I was a fastpitch Softball pitcher for years), swimming, rollerblading, volleyball, biking, you name it. I started going to the gym when I was 12, an early bloomer some might say. So even though I worked out fairly consistently all throughout my undergraduate degree, the weight still crept on. Working out can only do so much when you are eating junk food and burying your feelings in late night snacks. I hate to think of how much weight I would have gained had I not worked out consistently!

Kaneil asked, Was there a moment that you just decided to lose the weight?

There was a clear turning point that drove me to finally get healthy, stop binges, and give my body the proper nutrients it needed. It was when I was at the university health clinic. I was going to see the doctor about switching birth control pills. He asked me why I wanted to switch BCP’s and I said, among other reasons, that I thought this pill had made me gain weight. I was at my all time high of 147 pounds. He paused, as if thinking about how to say this delicately, and said, “Well, this pill is actually one of the least likely to cause weight gain….you know, being in university is a really easy environment to gain weight without even realizing it…there are late night study sessions, drinking….” He trailed off. I’m sure he could see the utter embarassment on my face, the face that said, Fuck, he’s right. I felt like I had let him down. I thought, he probably sighed to himself thinking, Yet another undergrad who gained the freshman 15….sigh….

That was the main turning point in my decision to get healthy.

By my 4th and 5th year of my undergrad, I began to get healthy. I was sick of feeling unfit and I knew that I owed it to myself and my body to take better care of myself. As I learned more and more about the benfits of a healthy lifestyle, I knew I had to equip my body with the best defense I could. Now living on my own off-campus, I could cook my own meals and buy my own groceries. I got a gym membership and started working out with roommates about 6 days a week. I did gym classes, like BodyPump or Kickboxing, and this kept my enthusiasm up. While my diet wasn’t the healthiest it could have been- it was not unheard of for me to exist solely on apples and cans of tuna until I was able to get groceries- I did the best I could to eat healthy with the resources I had. With time, my knowledge for healthy eating grew and I slowly started making changes to my diet as I learned more.

20056   My Road To Health: Part 1

2005

At the end of my undergraduate career, I decided that I wanted to apply to graduate school. Lo and behold I was one of 4 lucky other students who were accepted from over 300 applicants. I was elated.  I took more social psychology, statistics, and research courses. I did research study after research study and I did my Master’s thesis on the topic of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace.

2006   My Road To Health: Part 1

2006- About to embark on graduate school

As I challenged my mind, my body followed. The more I learned, the more I wanted to push my body as well as my mind.

Knowledge is power.

I truly believe that my eduacation has been a motivating force behind my quest for a healthy life. Each day I learn something I didn’t know the day before. It is fascinating to me all of the advancements that are going on in the health and medical fields right now. We are truly living and breathing it- we have so many resources at our fingertips! Ten years ago I never thought I would be blogging and in a blogging community sharing ideas with others and findings ways to lead a healthier life. It is amazing.

 

My Road To Health: Part II

My Road To Health: Part III

My Road To Health: Part IV

My Road To Health: Part V(a)

My Road To Health: Part V(b)

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Wow that took a while! Nighty night! Sleep tight!

Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

 

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

emily November 12, 2008

it was really interesting to get to read your story, thanks for posting it! I started dating my husband my senior year of high school and then we went to college together so I can definitely relate.

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jess November 13, 2008

Your story is really amazing. I have dealt with (and sometimes still have the urge) feeling the false sense of control associated with restricting food intake. However, you are Absolutely right: Learning more about nutrition and health (received my Nutrition and Wellness consultant certification this summer!) has really helped to remind me the importance of treating myself right.

It’s great that your boyfriend has served as a support system and pillar. Who says young love can’t last?? (in fact, I’m banking on the fact that it does! haha)

Have a fantastic night, I can’t wait to watch your story continue

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Lindsay November 13, 2008

Hi Angela,
Thanks for sharing your story! Cant wait to hear more.
I was wondering – when you posted all those dresses the other morning, the first one from banana republic (bright blue) where did you find that? i can’t seem to find it on their website.
Thanks!

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VeggieGirl November 13, 2008

SUCH an inspiring story!

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Meghann November 13, 2008

Thank you for sharing your story- it is very inspiring! I can definitely relate to the moment where things “clicked” and you decided it was time to get healthy. It took me a long time to connect some of my unhappiness to my body and the way I looked.

Looking forward to hearing more! You’re doing a wonderful job with your blog.

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Erin November 13, 2008

Sounds a lot like my struggle through college. I needed to gain control so I pushed myself to hard at times and not hard enough other times. The key word is “balance” and I always am striving for it without sacrificing something else:-) Thank you for the story.

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girlrunningaround November 13, 2008

Wow. Thank you for sharing your story. I think I enjoyed reading it so much because it is so similar to my own. Living in dorms and partying in college wrecked havoc on me. Once I finally got out on my own and decided I could take control of my body I was 40 pounds overweight. I started running again and eating healthy and lost 30 pounds in just over two months. It’s amazing what you can do when you are truly motiviated to do it. Congratulations.

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halie November 13, 2008

Great story! Thanks for sharing! I’m looking forward to reading part deux!

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Angela November 13, 2008

Thank you for all of your comments!! I was a bit nervous posting that last night, but I feel so much better knowing that you support me and even felt inspired by my story. It helps knowing that others have gone through similar issues and have come out on top.

girlrunningaround Congrats on your weight loss, that is amazing!! Keep up the great work!

Lindsay I am sorry, I put the wrong store- now I can’t remember where it is from! Is this it: http://www.edressme.com/5042.html# ?

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Rachel November 13, 2008

I love hearing people’s health stories. It’s so funny how we try to blame the weight gain on everything but ourselves. I, too went to the doctor to change birth controls and was sure I had a thyroid problem. Turns out I have a small thyroid problem but not enough to make me gain ten pounds…the pizza and pasta 4 nights a week did!!!

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Liz Turtle November 13, 2008

I think it’s very cool the way your pursuit of knowledge and further education paralleled your fitness efforts. Way to go!

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Sally November 13, 2008

Thank you for posting this about yourself – it is especially nice to see other people in the health blog circle who are researchers. If you don’t mind telling, what is your second masters in and what type of research do you do now? I am currently working in a neuroimaging lab studying the effects of prenatal substance exposure and am planning on applying to PhD programs next year but still trying to figure out exactly which types of programs…

Keep up the great work! I just discovered your blog and I am enjoying it a lot.

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Anne November 13, 2008

Thank you so much for sharing your story!

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Milly November 14, 2008

Thank you for your inspirational story!! I started dating my boyfriend when I was in my sophomore year of high-school and we’re still together 6.5 years later!! It is always fun to hear stories about high-school sweet-hearts.
I truly appreciate you sharing your story about your road to health. For me, as a college student, it is not always easy to find time to work-out. I eat pretty healthily but your story has inspired me to find time for fitness!! :)

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Claudia November 14, 2008

Hi,
very inspirational story, thanks for sharing it!
Just a quick question concerning your healthy lifestyle: Do you smoke (occasionally)? Or are you a strict non-smoker?
Keep it on!!

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Andrea Ewanishan August 8, 2014

Hey Angela!
I’ve been following your blog for awhile now and I FINALLY decided to launch my very own! I’d be very grateful if you took the time to quickly browse it :)
Let me know if you have any questions, comments or suggestions!

Thanks so much,
Drea Marie

spark-le.com

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