I do not know the moment where it started. I just know, one day I looked in the mirror and found that I had become the person, I never wanted to be.
I had always worn people out with my very energetic ways. I am still the person who runs around on about four to six hours of sleep, without any issue. I used to play many sports and participate in different activities that brought me great health, fun and motivation. As always, once you stop doing those activities and continue to eat the way you do, you gain weight.
Gaining over 80 lbs from my high school weight, I had never felt more far away from the person I wanted to be. How can I work daily on my intellect in school but fail to work on the physical aspect? Don’t get me wrong. I have always been happy with myself. I was never one of those girls who thought I needed to change for anyone – but for my own improvement. I never looked in the mirror and thought something needed to be different to impress anyone. Before we think about impressing others, we must impress and love ourselves. I was a bit less than impressed.
There are many reasons that lead to my weight gain. I had lost both of my parents in a three year period, which was the lowest part of my life. My parents were my world, my best friends and the people who guided me through everything. I would give up anything for them, even my own health. During their illnesses I concentrated on them so much, that I didn’t worry about me at all. I stopped working out, I ate a bit more or less than I should have. I slept at terrible times, still went to school (because even through their illness they wanted that) and I was worried all the time. I would eat once a day, or not at all and live on Red Bull. I started graduate school, which during my first year is when I lost my father. Between the depression and all of the work (mostly sitting on my behind studying) I gained weight…to say the least. I left school for a short time, and healed…well you never heal fully from the loss of your parents. But I healed emotionally, and finally two years later felt that it was time to heal physically as well.
In November of 2011, I made a decision, I was going to change my ways. Many think that the reason why someone would gain weight is because they over ate; I was however the complete opposite. Sometimes I would go 12 hours without eating and then have a very large meal, which usually consisted of a sub from Subway. Graduate school, has not been easy on my body and the amount of work that I focused on kept me so busy that I literally forgot to eat. So I made a change. It’s funny that the “change” I made was just going back to the habits my mother had taught me, but society had forced out of me. Eat 5 small meals a day, cook everything at home for fresh— wait cook? Yes, cook. I must say that this part scared me. I am the type of person who can burn water, my mother never thought I should cook – only concentrate on school. Luckily, I have my fiance who also joined in the healthy eating and has been cooking for us. I have to honestly say, that if it weren’t for him I am pretty sure I would have given this diet up long ago.
There are many reasons one becomes inspired. I was inspired by many things, including my upcoming wedding. It wasn’t however the main reason. I had been a healthy person for such a long time, and wanted to get back to that point. I wanted to run a 5K, or even more. I wanted to fit back to these one pair of jeans that I have kept from many years ago. Overall, I also just wanted to be healthy. Someone who is overweight has the risk of many diseases that those who are overweight do not have the chance of being affected by. I wanted to go back to the gym and workout…yes seriously.
The journey has not been easy. Between hectic schedules, cravings for chocolate (me) and carbs (my other half) we are sometimes slightly irritable. Even though the journey hasn’t been easy, it has proven to be a fruitful one. I am hoping that by journaling our story we can help those around us that think they cannot do it. But I have to say, it has been a bit easier than I thought. Once you get into a routine of eating healthy, it is easy to do. I am lucky that my fiancé and I are both working on ourselves, improving ourselves. Is it only about diet and exercise? No. It’s about attitude. If you believe that you can do it, you will do it…you will be your own worst enemy. Join a support group online, find a friend who wants to make wise decisions with you or even make it your own personal journey. We all complain about a lack of time, but how many years are you taking away from your life by being unhealthy? The answer is for each of us and what we would like to reach.
How much have we lost to date? That’s for my next blog after our weigh in on Friday. My fiancé will be joining me in writing the blog and will be giving his perspective, next time.
About the authors:
Diana is a graduate student working on her doctorate, and Mohamed is an EMT for a private company. Together they are working on becoming healthy so they can live a long loving, healthy and prosperous life together.