Post chinups.with.chen

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetIf you made it this far, you’ve read the story that motivated me to change my life. I started my account as a way to hold myself accountable and nothing more. I had no idea just how much it would affect me.

Let it be known that I have no background in health and wellness. I had no idea what superfoods were, or what HIIT meant, or even what it meant to live a healthy lifestyle. So it’s safe to say I did not know where to begin. I should have taken the time to research, but all I wanted was the change and I wanted it quick. I was tired of looking and feeling the way I did. At first, it was fun. I went to the gym with my roommates and we would Pinterest workouts for killer abs or sculpted legs. If the picture on Pinterest lookedabs promising, we would try it out! I mean look at this girls abs, how could you not want to attempt to look like that? Confused me certainly did! I went to the gym with the sole intention of breaking a sweat, which I did almost every time. I felt that sweating the way I was, there would clearly be a change coming. I ran every so often, but the stair-master became my one true love. I would put on Gilmore Girls or Friends and climb for a very long time. I would drip sweat and I was so happy with my performance. Food wise, I would eat mostly “healthy” foods. I would come home from class and make big salads full of veggies and chicken; I wasn’t craving these foods, but I knew my body liked it. I would still late night Steak n’ Shake and find the best chicken fingers in town, but my body always revolted the next morning. Spending hours on the toilet in the morning was not ideal, but I was surviving. Needless to say, I was tired of just surviving and not thriving. This is where the scary diets came into play.

One week I had a HUGE test to study for. I locked myself up in the student center of my apartment complex and studied from 8 am to 8 pm for a whole week. My anxiety was so high I truly was not hungry. I drank multiple cups of coffee a day (which I don’t even enjoy by the way.) Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with drinking coffee, but I used it as my only form of sustenance for the day and that was not okay. Looking back now, I have no idea how I made it through that week. I barely ate a thing, but as a result, I lost more weight. I knew that my method was wrong, but the outcome was exciting. From here stemmed my obsession with eating less. I skipped breakfast and ate smaller meals; green salads were my go to, maybe the occasional egg for protein. I was not fueling my body properly at all, my stomach was a mess due to the Crohns and lack of proper care; I didn’t understand the kind of harm and stress I was putting on my body. Fast forward, last week of senior year. I was managing my stress a little better, treating myself to buffalo chicken dip with my best friend on the occasion, and trying to take better care of my body. Was I totally back on track? Heck no. I convinced myself that I knew what I was doing, but I did not at all. This is when I read a book that changed the way I looked at food, and still do to this day.

If you haven’t read it, I highly suggest it. It’s called the “Fast Metabolism Diet” by Haylie Pomroy. I will say, the cover looks so gimmicky and fake, that I hesitated to read it. However, Haylie did wondrous things for body. She focuses on the importance of fueling your body constantly throughout the day. Eating full and balanced meals to actually improve your metabolism and your overall health. After so many years of different diets, weight loss programs, counting calories, eating LESS, this was a totally foreign idea. How could I possibly eat more and still maintain the image I wanted so desperately. I read the book twice, before deciding to take a leap of faith and follow her program. I won’t tell you all details, but basically it’s a four week program that helps you reset your metabolism by eating foods from every food group in a clean and balanced way. She emphasized how important fruits were, veggies, protein, grains, and even fats. Yes, fats! Those things I wanted to avoid like the plague. I had to cut out most gluten, dairy, corn, and sugar in order to follow the diet as she said. I thought this would be impossible, but let me tell you why it wasn’t!

For once in my life, I felt AMAZING. All around, inside and out, freaking amazing. Over the four weeks, I ate three meals a day and two snacks. I was full of energy, never hungry, and my stomach didn’t totally hate me. I was shocked to find out that I did not have to spend hours on the toilet a day… who knew? I was finally thriving! I lost weight, gained muscle, continued to work out, and found a love for food, fitness, health, and wellness that I did not know existed. I was baking actual desserts, cooking full meals in a kitchen, and loving every second of it. Me! The girl who preferred the vending machine and take out. After the diet was over, I found myself craving all the foods I had been eating. Gluten and dairy free chocolate chip cookies, hell yah! I would  treat myself to pizza on nights out with friends or a an amazing slice of cake, but the amount of pain my stomach would be in was no longer worth it. I had finally felt what it was like to not struggle with the side affects of my chronic illness and I was not willing to give that up already. About six months after the “diet,” after experimenting with gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, corn, and everything in between, I made the decision to cut certain foods out of my life for good. Not because they were high in calories or whatever, but because I was tired of surviving and not thriving. I was tired of waking up earlier just so I could spend a total of 45 minutes on the toilet instead of getting ready for class or just chilling in bed.

Present moment: writing all of this and reading it back, I feel a little all over the place. I don’t think I ever had an eating disorder, but I definitely saw myself in a negative light more often than not. I had mistreated my body in hopes of becoming a Victoria Secret model and I thought I would love myself more if I was one. Reading it all back though, I headdid realize one thing: the importance of feeling good on the inside. I had always over valued my outside person and treated my inner one like garbage. I cared way too much about how others saw me that I would do anything to be “perfect.” I’m not saying that now I’m all better, I have endless self confidence and shine like the sun. That’s not true at all. I just see the value and self care and try my hardest to treat myself as I would treat anyone else, with respect. I have gone almost 6 months without gluten, dairy, soy, corn, and most refined sugars. I feel infinitely better than I have in the past. I have found a true love for fitness! I LOVE yoga, really love yoga. I want to teach it eventually and help others find the things that make them happy. I want to surround myself with all things health and wellness, make it my life 100% of the time. For now, I’ll just post on here and hope to share my journey with you guys in the most honest way that I can.

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Just a girl trying to keep her stomach and her heart happy

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