Just for fun, here's a little photo-journey of my struggle with weight and health.
There is no grand change here; I've had issues with weight, (and still do, like most women on the planet) but not in a way that warrants a special on reality TV. In fact, I never had a problem with food or weight most of my life. I was a skinny kid, and actually rather underweight before I started junior high - but I remember thinking that I had gained a dress size every year up till high school graduation, from about a 0 to a 6. But I was lucky that I like broccoli and salads, and hate fast food (too many food-poisonings).
That's me second from the right, at 8th grade graduation.
I played softball for a lot of my childhood until my junior year of high school, when I also was done with daily P.E. - cutting out all exercise was definitely a mistake. My mom generally made healthy foods, but I've always had a sweet tooth, and without all that physical activity I started to gain weight gradually. Nothing drastic or scary, but frustrating, and by senior year I often thought of dieting. Being in a long-term relationship also didn't help; boys eat junk.
After graduating high school I went on to UC Davis, where I gained "the freshman 15" and ate like most college freshmen do in the dorms, with a few extra salads thrown in. But by Winter Break I was fed up with myself - literally.
Never sit on a barrel for a photo - ever.
I bought a scale and shocked myself a bit, being the heaviest I ever was, and joined weight watchers online. With their help I lost about 18 pounds over 5 months, and also found out that I was lactose intolerant. I started working out at the UCD gym frequently, and felt active and fit for the first time in a long time.
My 21st birthday.
But for the next couple years I suffered from digestion problems (as I explain on my "About" page) and I still didn't feel thin, despite working out and eating healthy.
Grad school, year 1.
Looking back at photos taken during my last years at UCD and my first years of grad school, I was not overweight, but I wasn't happy being where I was. I felt sick all the time, and my face looked puffy - a symptom of inflammation from eating gluten. My second year as a grad, my mom was diagnosed with Celiac's disease, and I began to change my eating habits after getting very sick of myself during a trip to Southern California. By eliminating some gluten from my diet the pounds fell off and the scale started to move down past what I thought was the sticking-point. My asthma nearly disappeared, and I could actually run for more than 5 minutes!
Christmas 2009 was the first time I started to take photos of myself with my actual body in them. Soon after I cut out gluten completely, and have so ever since! By finally eating properly I was able to lose about another 15 pounds, and reach a weight that gave me some freedom from the constant stress and self-consciousness. I still have a sweet tooth (without it I would probably weight 105 pounds, no joke) and have to juggle exercise and life, but my outlook is bright.
Here I am today: not perfect, but so much happier, and healthier!