I figure I should start out with a “What to Expect” and Introduction post.
A little about me: My mom named me Emily because in the late 80’s that seemed like an “old time-y” name and “unique”. I know, right? Little did they know it would be the most popular girl name for over a decade! (okay, so my dad wanted to name me Jason since I was born on Friday the 13th…obviously, we know who won that debate.)
I grew up in a small predominately white Christian town (pop. 14,000) in the country that as a grew older began to develop more. I had a great childhood and upbringing. My family went to church at least 3 times a week, ate meals at the dinner table, and were active in the community. There were tons of families in the neighborhood with kids about my brothers’ and my ages… Blah, blah, blah. Let’s get real here, I was awkward, grew an average of 5 inches between kingergarten and third grade & extremely thin, had glasses by the time I was 8, horrible thick semi-80’s bangs, uncoordinated (ow! my face..happened a lot), and just generally nerdy and sheltered. But, hey childhood is an awkward beast. My lack of coordination didn’t really stop me much, I just found things I liked (drawing, jumping rope, biking, roller blading, etc and stuck to that). Plus, with all the kids in the neighborhood there was always something to do.
Cut to the teenage years…when I was in 6th grade my parents got divorced, majority of the kids in the neighborhood had moved, and I had discovered the WWW. I became less active through middle school and I developed very poor eating habits… but nonetheless, I was still happy. More awkward because of that whole puberty thing but that is why middle school is not remembered fondly by anyone!
High school: My freshmen year I became convinced I was “fat” (I was 5’1 & 122 lbs). Looking back on that feeling as an adult I realize I was just “out of shape” and had poor diet habits. (pizza, a cookie, and HFCS “juice” was my daily lunch through middle school). However, “health” & “gym” basically just taught me eat less calories, be more active to lose weight, and the food pyramid was holy. I really didn’t know much outside of that. I started packing my lunch, counting calories, “spot training” abs & arms, walking a little more, and tracking intake & expenditure. I lost 5 lbs by the end of my freshmen year…lost 5-10 more by junior year. Junior year I was average 102-107 lbs at 5’2. I was fixated on the number on the scale. I didn’t want to be an “unhealthy” weight, I just wanted to have the lowest “healthy” weight possible. Most of the time I would eat normally, I’d just count calories.. however occasionally I would force myself to throw up food I regretted eating. That could’ve cycled out of control, I’m sure, but I got braces the end of my sophomore year and purging wasn’t really an option after that. This didn’t fix my fixation on weight or calories, but it did stop my disordered eating from spiraling out of control. After junior year, I got a job at as a waitress and made a bunch of older, healthier mind-set friends & had my first boyfriend. I put on about 5-10 lbs during my senior year by eating out too frequently, but I think this helped me realize how limiting that insane caloric restriction was and probably saved me from metabolic damage. I changed a lot that year.
My first plan for college was to move out of state and go to school for nutrition. Plans changed, so much went “wrong” (this is a post all by itself) and I eventually ended up at community college studying exercise science. This was my kick to join a gym and began my journey to where I am now–yes, I picked my major & I didn’t even exercise. I made gradual changes. Over the next few months, I took up running as my primary form of exercise, lifted weights, ate clean, and I didn’t even weigh myself or count calories. I felt sooooo much better about myself and my new lifestyle…I would occasionally slip and over exercise or purge to compensate for eating “too much” or “unhealthy”, but my mindset was getting healthier. I moved to the city and my life changed much more..I began working in a gym and starting clubbing. I gained about 30 lbs–most of it not the “good” kind–and a lot of confidence, and some of my closest friends (2012 is a whole story itself). at the end of 2012, I decided I needed to clean up my diet and focus on my health–clubbing stopping, diet improved, and I took a new job.
And.. that is where this begins….