I was not an active child. Antsy, yes; active, no. My family kept us indoors the majority of the time so most of my hobbies were of the sedentary kind: reading, writing, watching TV and listening to the radio while staring at the top of my canopy bed. My mother took me out from time to time to release all my nervous energy, and I danced a lot at family house parties, but there was no bike-riding or tag-playing outside of my school’s P.E. classes.
As a teen I was incredibly thin thanks to my fast metabolism, long walks through those mean, Brooklyn streets and two summers of dance camp, but I was nowhere near fit. At home, my eating was a spectator sport: Watch the super-skinny girl devour three heaping servings of dinner and not gain any weight! My after school snack was half a bag of oatmeal raisin cookies and a tall glass of milk. I wasn’t allowed candy but would sneak some whenever I could. And there wasn’t a bag of potato chips with which I didn’t have a love affair.
These bad eating habits, coupled with my love for inactivity, caught up with me in college. Those Freshman 15 people joke about are realer than you could ever know, and for the first time in my life I didn’t have a fast metabolism or my long walks through Brooklyn to keep the pounds away. Personal family issues and an unplanned pregnancy just made everything worse—now I was using food to cope. Before I knew it, I was topping the scale at over 200 pounds. I looked in the mirror and hardly recognized myself. It made me so depressed that I ate more to feel numb.
Two kids and one divorce later, I still didn’t have a handle on my weight or my depression. I spent so much time on my sofa that I made it my bed. After losing nearly 30 pounds through starvation (I do not recommend that) I gained it all back, along with some physical ailments that impeded my ability to walk around comfortably. This health scare was my rock bottom; I vowed to not let myself get sicker and in January 2011, I made an executive decision to purchase a Groupon for 10 boot camp classes. Then I purchased another for yoga classes and yet another for Pilates sessions.
Then I discovered Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint and made small but crucial changes to the foods I ate. Slowly but surely I began to see some results and realized there was no turning away from this new life I was starting.
Today, I’m roughly 20 pounds lighter and have maintained this size for quite some time. I still have a long way to go, but I can already tell that something has shifted in me. When I’m feeling down I still try and reach for comfort food; depression is a battle I fight every day. However, more often than not, I choose to fight the slug in me with a yoga session or a lively Socacize class. I’ve grown to love the feeling of sore muscles the day after a workout. Sweat is my best friend.
And nothing gives me more pleasure than to walk through Brooklyn with my gym bag, dressed in my gym clothes, eating a piece of fresh fruit, secure in the knowledge that I’m not faking it—I’m actually on my way to work out, and smiling. I can’t wait to see the next chunk of weight melt away!
Between you and me? I honestly don’t even remember the last time I sat on my sofa. It’s refreshing to know we’ve broken up for good.