When I was in high school, I was thin and active. And like most high schoolers with insane metabolisms, I could eat whatever I wanted. I ate sausage patties almost every day for breakfast, chips and junk food for pre-fencing snacks. I didn't worry about my body shape, because I was probably the thinnest of my friends and they always told me how they'd love to be thin like me. I thought my body would always be the way it was.
Going into college, I decided to give up meat. I did it for health reasons, and for ethical reasons. I was a varsity athlete, and could still get away with a diet consisting of Snapple, junk food, french fries, Easy Mac, and Ramen. I gained a little weight, but it didn't bother me and I hardly noticed and didn't mind. I thought about my body as a a body that fenced, and was more worried about my abilities than my shape or weight. After all, I was at the height of my "fencing career."
After college, I stopped fencing and stopped working out. I moved back home and ate a lot of junk food. My weight continued to climb. When I started getting too big for my work clothes and needed new ones, I realized I needed to change. I started working out with a friend after work. She got me to sign up for my first half marathon in June 2009, and got me hooked on races. Though we were both getting better and stronger, neither of us were seeing the results we wanted. So my mom and I tried the cabbage soup diet. It was a terrible idea. Even though I'd eaten enough soup that I thought I'd throw up, I was hungry an hour later. So my friend and I went to a nutritionist. It was hard to eat healthy and my body didn't like the adjustment. I couldn't be as strict as my nutritionist wanted me to be, but I did see improvements. Though we've stopped going in, I feel like I have a better understanding of fueling my body and I try to get more fruits and veggies, and enough protein. I also have a better understanding of portions. Of course, I don't always eat how I should, but I realized through personal experience that fad diets don't work. How you eat has to be a lifelong commitment--which means there will be slip ups and cheat days, but that you're in it for the long run. It's about doing what's good for your body.
After my first marathon, I finally appreciated my body. I still wish that my legs didn't rub together, and that my forehead weren't so big, etc... but my pride in my body for being able to run a marathon is greater than my discontent.
I haven't worked out in a month and I've been eating out a lot, but my weight is still close to what I'd consider "ideal." The funny thing is, it doesn't matter to me. That number on the scale isn't an indication of my worth or what I can do. What matters right now is that I get my body back into shape so I can rock Hood to Coast, and PR at my next half marathon ;)