Growing up I was always an active kid. Softball, basketball, cheerleading (yes, it IS a sport), skiing and snowboarding in the winters, surfing and swimming in the summers, living in San Diego under the sun made it hard to be any form of sedentary. I never considered myself unhealthy. Most my childhood I was told, “You’re such a good eater!” And this was true. Never a picky kid (except that phase where all I wore was hand-me-down jean shorts and a white-T… everyday… but we won’t go there). Sure I didn’t like onions and tomatoes on my burgers (crazy talk) but what kid did? My mom, being a single parent aka super-mom, always had food on the table and made sure my sister and I had full bellies. Of course we all have our insecurities, and sometimes being a teenager is rough. Lucky for me, I was surrounded by an accepting family, reassuring me how much I am loved, blessed and beautiful in every way. Never was there a moment, even through my awkward stages did I not feel beautiful… I accepted that I would never be a small, tiny person, it just isn’t in my genes.
I guess it was in high school when I started to be more conscious of my health. Still enjoyed being active, although I did more eating out; Fro-yo after school, Cali burritos by the pool, dinner in Coronado.. you know the usual. My swimming and running at the beach still occurred but, of course, I did more laying out than actual laps. I had a gym membership off and on and would go to spin or run on the treadmill for 30 mins. I ate whole wheat bread, instead of white, ate more things like cous cous (the name so nice, they named it twice), and quinoa instead of rice, drank Skinny Vanilla Lattes with soy or non-fat milk and sugar free vanilla, ate snacks like rice cakes, pretzels and peanut butter with celery. My point is, I thought about fitness and nutrition, but I didn’t really understand what it did for my body. For the most part, I ate what I wanted. If I felt like going for a run, I did, if I wanted a chocolate chip bagel with cream cheese, I ate it and I loved it.
After high school, I left my mom and sister, best girlfriends (EEAKJ), beach and sunshine and headed north… waaaaaay north to Chico, CA. Huh? Where? That was my thought too. An iffy transition turned into a little, quaint, hippie-isk, college town that I grew to love. From the streams that run through Chico State’s campus, to biking to Bidwell Park during the fall and floating down the Sacramento river in the summer; Chico’s community is enriched in mother earths beauty and embraces outdoor activity (beyond flip-cup and buck night).
During my sophomore year of college, one of my roommates started Weight Watchers. I was very familiar with the program because my mom had done it off and on for years. In 2008 during one winter break home, my mom asked if I wanted to go to a meeting with her. Out of support, I did. But on our way there, we got to talking and I was inspired to do it with her. I am 5’5 and at the time, weighed in at 168 pounds. And so, my weight-loss, OMG how many points, journey began! My personal goal was to be 145 and I was ready for the challenge. The weight came off fairly easy (I say that now) but it helped that I was strict and my roommates and I had a communal gym membership– you know, one of those in which we all pretend to be the same person. Whoopsie, sorry InMo Fitness! Overall, it was a pretty steady loss, 4 pounds here, 2 pounds there and then there were times I gained. For about three months I was a dedicate WW advocate and got down to 162 pounds. And then…fail. I lapsed. I got.. uh, really, really busy? You know… with school. And I was lifeguard training. And…and getting ready for my summer abroad in Japan? And a million other excuses–let’s be real, I no longer made WW or my health a priority.