[Update: WordPress is driving me crazy...can you even see the post?]
[Last day to enter my purse giveaway filled with my favorite food items here]
In continuation what I started here, I want to continue on with my story…
I left off at over 140 lbs on my 5 ft 4.5 inches of frame and we were right around my Junior year at Northwestern University. A change in medication shed a few of those pounds fairly quickly, but I recall entering the Summer before my Senior year and being a weight I was still not happy with. I hated showing my thighs, felt ill at ease in fitted clothes, and hated the roundness of my face. But I was eating healthier overall and making a conscious effort to fit in some sort of exercise. That summer I was interning at 3M in Minneapolis/St. Paul and was active just by nature of the group of friends I had made: tubing, canoeing, hikes, etc.
However, again the sight of myself in photos taken during the summer forced me to take a more serious look at how I wanted to treat my body. Winter of 2002, just after the New Year, I started going to the our campus gym 2-3 times a week on top of walking a few miles each day. I built the workout plan in my day before I even left campus for my apartment. Low and behold, it worked. My food intake still left something to be desired, with carbs as the main focus. I was seriously such a bad vegetarian!
By the time Spring Break rolled around, I was off with two girlfriends on a week long Caribbean cruise and weighed 129 lbs. My confidence was higher than it had been in a long time, but nowhere near feeling like the self-assured girls I envied from afar. Certainly they didn’t have to work to look thin, did they?
A tragic event marked the end of my college experience and the stress and grief led to more weight loss. I’m pretty sure I was around 121 lbs the summer of 2002 and into my first couple of months at Stanford. The size 8 jeans were falling off my hips as I walked, even with a belt on. I was entering territory of size 4, and feeling good. School had me insanely busy. Because I’m a perfectionist, school ranked first, health and exercise second. But a shift was occurring…I started to make time to work out, even if for just 25 minutes at the gym on my property. I was reveling in all the fresh produce that Cali has to offer and trying to incorporate it every which way. Just by being in a such a health-conscious environment propelled me to adapt to a similar lifestyle.
My schedule, new friends, classes, and increased health awareness had me dropping pounds fairly steadily. Sometime in 2003, I remember my Mom visiting and commenting how thin I looked and that made me feel on top of the world. Could there be a better compliment? Surely not, I thought. At this point I was right around 114 lbs.
Soon I found myself not so hungry and was easily contented by 1 (or 2) venti Starbucks each day and perhaps a veggie burger at night and some fruit mid-day. I was ecstatic at my self-control and dropping weight…or at least I thought. The truth was, I was actually rather bummed about some life events during that time, but having that “control” over my food intake felt pretty good. Right around my Birthday early in 2004, I was at my lowest and 103 lbs. I was wearing size 1 fitted (no stretch) Juniors jeans and my bones were prominent. I couldn’t help but think that was somewhat of a good look, complete with a über flat tummy. Oh and I should also add that I was so close to double-digits that I may have given my left arm (or gotten a B-grade, gasp!) to be 99 lbs.And then, those silly photos come back to haunt you. I looked gaunt and sallow. My hair had no luster (not that it really does now anyway, but it was more noticeable). I didn’t actually appear to be all that happy even if I was a skinny minny.
Gradually, life events improved and my weight went up. It wasn’t a conscious effort to start adding more calories per day. I think I just was enjoying life and not focussing so much on restricting. That summer I was back in the range of 112 – 116 lbs.
Then LA hit. I opted out of finishing my PhD at Stanford to try the whole “work thing” for a year in the beach cities of LA (Redondo Beach to be specific). Immediately I felt like a fish out of water. I was an Engineer in the land of the beautiful. Fake tans, fake boobs, fake personalities were surrounding me everywhere and I couldn’t keep up. I suddenly felt like a lard@ss once again. During this time I made some incredible friends, but they were all thin, and it felt like they didn’t have to go through what I was going through (whatever that means). They rocked their bikinis every single Saturday and I started to groan at the thought of going to the beach. Instead of starving myself, I sort of self-sabotaged and my weight crept back up. During the 2 years I was in LA, I think the highest I got was about 125 lbs in November of 2005. At this point I was actually “ok” with it since I was dating my now-husband and felt happy and loved.
The pressure of LA was really too much. I didn’t feel like it was my home, and frankly, I knew if it was going to work with Zach, I’d have to move back up closer to Stanford.
In 2006, I moved back to NorCal and a few pounds just naturally melted off. Again that no-pressure-happy thing seems to be the best “diet” ever
I’ll finish this saga up to present day next!
Did you ever engage in unhealthy eating? My Starbucks diet worked wonders for weight loss, but not my health or long term satisfaction!
Have you felt pressure from your surroundings to be thin? Living in LA was really unhealthy for my mind and body and, for me, it was the right decision to move.