| The Beginning |
I grew up in a home where we didn't drink soda, or eat an excessive amount of treats/fast food. Not because it doesn't taste yummy. It just wasn't accessible in our house because my mom never brought it home from the grocery store. The summer after my senior year, I got a gym membership and started exercising (doing something besides ballet) for the first time. I had gone running before, but I started weight training and doing plyometric workouts.

| The Fatness |
During my freshman year of college (dun dun dun), I gained 12 pounds. Not only did I gain twelve pounds, but I lost the muscle I had gained during the summer and replaced it all with fat. My booty has never been so big in my life as it was then. I knew what I was supposed to be doing to stay healthy, but I was adjusting to college life and was not able to manage my time well enough to eat healthy and exercise. I had toast for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My roommate and I would justify having a giant homemade pazookie (big half-baked cookie topped with a giant mound of ice cream) multiple times a week because we would do an insanity workout right before we made them. Totally counterproductive! When I got home for the summer, my mom lovingly helped me evaluate my health in a realistic way.

Finally, my eyes opened to the junk foodie I had become. I cut out the goldfish, mint hershey kisses, pazookies, lean cuisines (they should be called sodium cuisines), toast, and was able to eat out less because my wonderful mother was making homemade dinner for me again. I joined the gym again and went every day. The weight dropped easily and I was healthy!

| The Extreme |
During my sophomore year and junior year of school, I have continued to choose healthy foods and exercise every day. I love weight training! And I have a love-hate relationship with cardio, but I do it anyways. I limit dessert to froyo on the weekends and try to have as many fruits and veggies as possible. The feeling I have when I am healthy versus when I let myself indulge is night and day. I am definitely my happiest when I am healthy. 

Over Christmas break, I indulged in treats and goodies more than just froyo on the weekends (as I should!). However, when I came back for winter semester, it was very difficult for me to get back into my pattern of healthy eating. Isaac and I were used to eating out and getting lots of dessert during the holidays, so we continued that when we returned to school. It didn't make me feel good, I felt sick a lot on the weekends from pizza, ice cream, cookies, etc.

We decided to recommit ourselves to healthy eating and started the "whole 30" program. This program is a 30 day commitment to eating only fruits, vegetables, and proteins...no bread, no dairy, no sweets. I cut out yogurt, milk, bread, crackers, tortillas, cheese, etc. It took a little bit to get used too, but once I got into it I felt great! Isaac and I still had froyo on Fridays and Saturdays, because what's a weekend without froyo? Poop...that's what it is.

After a week on "whole 30," I woke up one morning feeling really nauseous. I got out of bed, got dressed for the gym, and picked up isaac. I thought I was feeling sick because of my birth control (it has done that to me before). Isaac dropped me off at the front of the gym before parking because my class was starting. I got out of the car, took two steps, then started feeling really sick, and I gagged the biggest gag! Blehhhhh. so gross!!!!

I hate throw up. It is my worst fear, so when I gagged I immediately teared up and ran back to the car. Isaac says that he's never seen such willpower in his life, as he did when I was trying not to puke. I breathed through it and walked into my class. I felt okay during the class, but towards the end I was starting to get nauseous again. On our way home from the gym, we stopped for some saltines and powerade. I was taking deep breaths trying with all my might not to get sick. The saltines and powerade made me feel much better!

This happened five more times in a matter of two weeks. I felt sick most of the time, but it didn't occur to me that it might be because of "whole 30." In the meantime, I wasn't losing any weight (not really a part of the original goal, but it was interesting) and my stomach seemed like it was constantly bloated because I was starving. After talking with Isaac, he reminded me that I didn't need to do "whole 30" to be healthy. Prior to Christmastime, I ate bread, cheese, tortillas, milk, and yogurt! When I cut those foods out, my body hated me for it. I started going back to the way I ate before Christmas, which is still healthy, but includes some of the whole-30-prohibited foods. I feel great! I feel way healthier. However, there are still some lingering effects of "whole 30." When I was sick, I got sick a lot after I ate dinner. My body has no appetite for dinner now. By restricting so many foods and causing my body pain, I created a bad relationship with food. I resent dinner now because it made me sick, but I am getting a little bit better.

| The Point |
I guess what I'm trying to say is balance is essential in anyone's diet. Don't indulge every day, but indulge. Once I started focusing on how I was feeling, rather than what my body looked like, that's when I started seeing the results that I wanted. Having a healthy relationship with food is so so so important! Rather than focusing on how many calories you're going to have to burn to make up for a meal, focus on the positive! Focus on filling your tummy with food that makes you feel good. For me, strawberries, bananas, turkey sandwiches with avocado, peanut butter chocolate protein shakes, and froyo make me feel good! If that's what makes me feel good, that's what I'm going to eat. I never thought that I would ever resent food…it's really sad actually. I dread dinner time because it reminds me of being sick and I'm worried I'll get sick from eating it. That's so not normal. I know better than that.

Eat a well-balanced diet and fill your body with foods that make you feel good. I definitely learned my lesson and will never use such a restrictive diet ever again. Thankfully I am readjusting to my normal diet. Make good decisions because a healthy body is the best gift.

*I wrote this post a couple months ago and am feeling much better! Boo ya!