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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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