I’m still learning what being healthy truly means. I’ve always been thin and fairly active. In high school, I pretty much ate what I wanted because I was working out three hours a day, seven days a week. Sometimes I would worry about my weight and order a salad doused in blue cheese dressing. I had no clue what eating healthy meant, and I wouldn’t learn for a very long time.
In college, I tried to eat “healthy,” but pizza sounds better than salad. After my sophomore year, I decided to go on a low fat diet and work out 4 times a week. I counted every calorie and fat gram. I didn’t eat over 25 grams of fat a day, most of the time even less. I ate so much processed foods. The weight wasn’t coming off so I stepped it up and cut out all red meat and pork. Finally 13 pounds came off in a two week period. I was tinier than I had been in high school. I thought I looked good, but now I realize I was too thin and hit an unmanageable weight. I went back to college and slowly put the weight back on. I didn’t give real thought to my weight or eating healthy for four more years.
In 2012, I hit my heaviest weight. I looked in the mirror and had no clue how I let my body go. I realized I’d been making excuses. I ate quesadillas and ice cream almost every night because tortillas, cheese and ice cream were always on sale. I didn’t exercise because I was too tired after work. My clothes stopped fitting, I bought new $15 stretchy jeans. My health ranked last on my list of priorities.
It all came to a head when I saw a couple pictures of me and could barely recognize myself. A month later, I tried Paleo but didn’t really give it my best effort. I almost gave up after a week of eating only eggs. I still ate black beans and peanut butter for the first month but didn’t notice a change. Finally I made the decision to truly commit myself to eating Paleo and working out. I went to my first Moksha hot yoga class and thought I was going to pass out, but I went back the next night and the next. Instead of stress eating, I took my stresses out on my mat. Slowly but surely the pounds came off.
A year into paleo, I started eating red meat again and now I even eat bacon. I still can’t believe I went 5 years without a steak! I completed my first Whole30 in January 2014. I’m kind of glad I waited because I don’t think it would have had the same impact. I can honestly say I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life. Which shocks me a little since I definitely don’t work out three hours a day anymore!