October 11, 2013

A little story about how I lost weight and got healthy.

"How did you lose all that weight?"

I get asked this question a lot these days. I don't really notice the weight loss (well, it's more of fluctuation because I lose a few, and gain some of it back...which means I only notice the addition of pounds, of course). Though it's extremely flattering to have so many people notice for me, I don't really see anything on a day-to-day basis.

Freshman year - Winter

But I was trying on some of my fall/winter clothes last month, and I realized that everything was fitting differently. All of the clothes that used to be too small on me (my sister and I are weirdly firm believers in "Just buy it, you'll fit into it later" -- which is never a good thing to go by, by the way) now fit, and all the things that used to fit are now too big on me. And it was a big deal.

So I wanted to write about it. Though even now, I'm not sure exactly how to.

Sophomore year - Spring, Fall

My initial intention really wasn't to lose weight. I expected it to be a by-product of my efforts, but the goal was to be healthier. And I know so many people are going to laugh at me for that, but it's true. I was tired of getting winded from walking up a flight of stairs, or not being able to keep up with my friends when they power-walked down the streets of New York like we had somewhere to be. I was tired of being tired all the time, of feeling sluggish and exhausted in the middle of the day. For someone so young, I thought it was super abnormal.

I didn't really cut out any foods or force myself to exercise if I didn't want to. If I wanted dessert, I got dessert. If I wanted pizza, I ate pizza. The one thing I did that I think really did the trick was doing everything in moderation. I drank a lot more water. When it came to exercising, I didn't force myself to jog. I didn't guilt myself. If I really didn't want to work out, then I walked instead of jogging. As long as I wasn't sitting around doing nothing, I was content.

Junior year - Spring, Winter

And I did that on and off for a year and a half, in what seemed like five-month intervals, until January of this year, when I really tried to stick with it. What helped me in doing that was not forcing myself to do anything I really didn't want to do, just for the sake of being healthy. I let the change be gradual and went with it, instead of trying to make it happen overnight.

Of course, the lifestyle change helped a lot to. I went from California, where everyone drives and portions are huge, to being in New York, where everyone walks and everything is so much more expensive (either that, or I was paying for my own meals outside of the dining hall so I saw how much everything cost).

Now (top), Senior year (bottom)

So what does all of that mean? I have lost more than fifty pounds since I came to New York in the fall of 2009. A good portion of that weight was lost this year, after I started eating smaller portions and being more active (this even means walking a few blocks instead of taking the train). And I feel a lot better about myself, my health. I don't need to sit down for ten minutes after walking up some stairs (or...maybe I still do). I'm not as tired as I used to be. I'm still an insomniac and I don't get nearly enough sleep, but I know the source of my lack of energy -- it's not a mysterious thing anymore.

The only unfortunate part (though I'm definitely not complaining!) is that all of my beloved jackets and jeans are too big now. Jackets are a bit of an easier fix as I can layer to my heart's content, but the jeans...well. I'm going to have to either get creative or to the Goodwill I go!

Just to note, I didn't think I was terribly large before -- again, this was all an attempt to be healthier. Starving myself wasn't an option. It was about moving around, changing the way that I ate, and making sustainable changes in my life.

Have any of you been trying to get healthier? Especially with the holidays coming up, I'm trying to make sure I don't binge on apple pie and hot chocolate...too much, haha.

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1 comment :

  1. shoot, we look good tho at RA soiree! hah. I was skinnier then.


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