The Starting Line
Sunday, January 04, 2009
I'm a 23-year-old college student trying to get to a healthy weight and lifestyle.
I've had odd eating habits for a very long time. I remember when I was young, I would hide myself with a jar of peanut butter and a spoon and eat as much as I could before I would get caught. I'd sneak quarters from my parents' dresser so I could run down to the convenience store and pick up a Little Debbie snack cake. Even now, I find myself buying candy bars, eating them one or two at a time and hiding the rest so I can have them when I get the urge.
I was very, very active as a child, playing soccer, being a gymnast, swimming, doing ballet, riding horses, playing pick-up basketball and just plain running around the neighborhood. I climbed trees and hiked and camped for years and years.
When I moved to California, I withdrew, and I stopped doing these things even though I kept the same eating habits. I was blessed with the revved metabolism for a few years and when I hit high-school I was hovering around a boderline-healthy 160 pounds at 5'7".
My freshman year in high school I gained 40 pounds because of a bad relationship and the even worse consequence of eating my feelings. I peaked at 215 pounds one summer, and though I have always been extremely body-conscious, it wasn't until I saw the photos from a road trip with my mother in the summer of 2003 that I realized I had to do something productive. I didn't get around to it.
With six strenuous months working at high-movement jobs (especially being a bagging clerk at the grocery store), I lost down to 175. I wasn't even proud of myself because I hadn't even been keeping track.
The following year was spent in a haze of manic-depression, and the combination of binge drinking and not eating led to some massive swings in my weight. I was lucky to get out of that without injuring myself or others, and weighing about 160 pounds.
When I finally got myself together and transferred to the college I'm slated to graduate from this May, I slipped into slightly compulsive anorexic behaviors and got myself all the way down to 140, the lowest adult weight I've ever been at. I was elated, but also very mentally ill. This was about 1 year ago.
I have since gained back to about 160 pounds. I would like to get myself down to 125 pounds, but considering my body I think that might be asking for a little much. My initial goal right now is to get back down little by little -- 5 pounds at a time. I will be pretty satisfied if I am fit: my ultimate goal is to be able to run a 7:30 mile. When I reach it, I'll re-evaluate where I am and work from there.
The main thing for me is to get to a healthy place, mentally and physically, that I can maintain. The one thing I want more than anything else is to be able to travel and see the world, and I simply don't think I can do it comfortably or well in my current shape. My first goal for travel is to head to Japan to teach English this fall, so I'm hoping that the next 6-8 months are productive ones. :)