Growing up, health wasn't a problem. My parents never gave me fast food, and we never had soda or piles of candy laying around the house. When I hit my teens, I loved going out with my friends, and the weight began to pile on. Pizza, pasta, burgers, fries, sugar in a cup at Starbucks--you name it! Because I didn't have an apartment and therefore lacked my own space to relax other than my bedroom, the most freedom I could get was leaving my parents' house and eating out with my best friends for a couple hours. This behavior was detrimental--not only to my wallet, but to my health.
I finally decided that this path was no longer for me and I was going to recruit the best person to help me deal with my food addictions. So far, I have lost a total of 16 pounds, and regardless of the numbers on the scale, I just feel better! I'm less bloated, less irritable, and have much less shame around what I am putting into my body.
Food is no longer my priority. I have more meaningful, worthy relationships with my friends, parents and boyfriend. Instead of focusing on how good my food tastes, I focus on how good the relationship is with the person I'm sharing a meal with. This year, I was able to choose correct portion sizes while enjoying my delicious Valentine's dinner with the person who supports my journey.
I have many hobbies, and many of these hobbies have previously taken a backseat to my love for food. Now I use the time I would be going out to eat to do other, more meaningful things (like homework)! I am no longer filling the void with food. When I'm bored, I pick up a book or my laptop and start blogging. I'm a more productive happy camper, and my body loves me for it.
Most importantly: I feel more comfortable in my skin. Because of my healthy eating, I no longer feel gross and therefore the way I perceive myself when I look in the mirror has changed dramatically. I am able to show a little more skin than I typically would have felt comfortable with before. In addition to healthy eating, I have started to attend regular yoga classes when my schedule allows, perform nightly mindfulness meditation, as well as at-home HIIT training and tabata routines.
Overall, this journey is only beginning for me, but I invite everyone to join me if they feel so compelled. Eating clean is one of the best blessings you could ever give to your body. Your body is your life-force: it is the reason you are not only functioning, but flourishing today. We must treat our bodies (and livers) as though they matter!