In April 2012, I went into the doctor’s office because I was afraid about my weight and my health. At the appointment the doctor told me something I already knew, but hated hearing: I was obese and at risk for diabetes.
Something clicked in me. I knew I needed to change. Growing up, my mom always tried to get me to eat healthy and exercise regularly, but what eight-year-old wants to be healthy? I wanted to sit in front of the TV, play in the pool, and eat junk food and ice cream all day.
In May 2012, I participated in my first event a 10K and I ran my first Half Marathon in Santa Cruz. Over the course of year and a month I had completed five half marathons, three 5k runs, two 10k runs, one 15k hike, two spirit triathlons, one obstacle course race, and one 60-mile bike race. Save for the second triathlon, I didn’t really train for these events and I barely finished most of them.
Before that though, I was that typical adolescent who slept as much as possible, ate the worst food, and drank way too much. When I moved into my first place with over 21-year-old roommates, our fridge was roughly 60 percent alcohol, 40 percent junk food (frozen pizza, pizza rolls, etc.).
When I decided to live a healthy lifestyle – when I decided to live – I cleaned up my fridge. I bought fruits and vegetables, lean meats and anything else I thought seemed healthy. My selection of healthy foods was still skewed though; I only ate fruits and veggies that I knew, I never ventured to try anything new, and if I remembered not liking something as a kid I didn’t try it again. I was doing better but not good enough.
Over the next couple of years, I slowly started eating even better and began actually exercising outside of major events. It may having taken me two years, but I now practice yoga almost daily, throw in some cardio wherever I can; and eat only fresh fruits and vegetables (and I try to go for something new as often as I can), grass-fed lean meats and other vigorously-researched foods that I never would’ve even glanced at two years ago. I even cut out alcohol altogether as well. So now my fridge is 100% packed full of in-season fruits and vegetables, juices made from them, non-dairy milks, and other delicious healthy options.
Now, while I may still be in the overweight category, I’m no longer obese (and I’ve been cleared for Diabetes in case you were wondering). I am far healthier and very certain my life will only improve now.