Somehow, the Freshman 15 has turned into the Post-Grad 30.
Yes, I’ve gained 30 pounds since high school.
Some days I tell myself that high school was many years ago — everyone was skinnier in high school, right? My metabolism was faster and my hormones were different.
But then, I also worked out more and didn’t go to happy hour after class on the occasional Thursday. Ah, and the late night Domino’s in the dorms. That’s sure to add 30 pounds.
Whatever the reason, gaining 30 pounds seriously impaired my mental health.
I never actually stopped working out or eating healthy, I simply did both less. I starting jogging three times a week instead of going to a HIIT class six times a week, and eating pizza once a weekend instead of once a month.
And that’s why the physical change induced years of mental tumult and feelings of guilt and defeat — because I felt that I hadn’t stopped being a healthy person, I had just added more balance into my life. I had spent years in high school trying to shrink myself. Limiting myself to 1,200 calories — less was a bonus — and pounding the treadmill for 90 minutes every single evening after school.
In trying to achieve a healthier (read as: less obsessive) lifestyle, all I had accomplished was becoming fat.
If this was balance, it kind of sucked.
And yet, the world didn’t suddenly stop turning when I gained weight.
Eventually, I came to terms with the fact that I weigh more than I did when I was 16 years old. Mercury didn’t spiral into retrograde and my friends still liked me and I bought bigger pants.
And finally (I mean years later) I realized that I am healthier at this weight, both physically and mentally. I went from being borderline underweight to a normal BMI. I stopped letting myself be tormented by the calories in my food. Now, I focus on eating nutritious food and honoring my body with movement — not punishing it with excessive exercise.
And I get to eat more ice cream.