Weightloss story from @rosieee93
Growing up in my culture, having a few extra pounds wasn’t frowned upon. In fact, it could be seen as a sign of prosperity, showing that you had wealth and the ability to put food on the table. However, in high school, I had hit my highest weight and lowest level of activity; I was upwards of 275lbs, at 16y/o and about 5’8 and making no moves to change it. Looking back, I also had a lot going on in my personal life that I guess you could say was easily masked with food and aided in pushing my personal fitness to the background. Despite that, overall I would say I had little to no motivation to eat healthy foods or do anything about my weight.
Everything changed in 2009 (my junior year of high school) when I chose “aerobic dance” as my mandatory P.E. class because it sounded like it was the easiest. Let me tell you how wrong I was. The teacher of the class also happened to coach the girls basketball team, and the last thing she would have was anyone sitting down or not being active during the hour we were present. In her class was my first time I can remember using free weights, the first time I was pushed to run/walk a mile, or thought about eating healthily. She hosted a challenge every semester with her classes, where we had to “eat clean” for one week, no junk food or soda, and in those 7 days I lost 10lbs! I remember when I got on the scale, the surprise and joy in her eyes, she was so proud. She saw my results and challenged me to keep going, to imaging the possibilities if I took what I learned from this class and incorporated it into the rest of my life. I am forever grateful.
As weird as it might sound, the biggest changes I made in my eating habits stemmed from Instagram. There is a large “foodie” community on Instagram, and everyone I have run into has been so kind. It was on the app where I saw so many beautifully crafted foods, both healthy and sweets that I got my inspiration. I really believe that people eat with their eyes first, which is why I love to present my food as I do. Presentation is what grabs my attention long enough to really read what the ingredients are, and inspires me to go to my own local grocery store and try out a new recipe. I have tried healthy recipes using homemade pesto, cauliflower crusts, dates and starfruit just to name a few all because of other ‘healthy foodies’ on Instagram. Also, soon after the class in high school I cut down on my soda intake and now do not drink it at all, but other than that I have no significant diet restrictions. It’s been said many times before that the key to losing weight is putting in less than you burn, which differs for every individual. That being said I really believe its possible to eat your favorite foods and see results, all in moderation!
As far as exercise, I would say the aerobic dance class in spring semester of 11th grade was the eye-opener I needed to lead a healthier life. Never had I felt so in control of my own body. I have always been somewhat of an achiever when it comes to schoolwork, and in a sense I decided to take a similar approach to my health. I kept up with the workouts I learned from her class for a while, and then branched out to workouts I would find in magazines, funnily enough. In college, I had built up enough endurance to run a 5k, then 10k. In 2016, in my first year of medical school, I ran a half marathon. Sometimes I can’t believe I am the same girl who was out of breath after jogging a quarter of a mile but I am! Until recently, my workout routine was very sporadic, I like to switch it up all the time whether its exercising alone or playing team sports with intramural leagues. Every now and then I go for a run because I would like to do another half marathon, but right now with school I’m not sure I have enough time to train.
Currently, I teeter between lowest weight of 158 and 163lbs, and while on some days I want to cringe at this, I look back at where I started and can breathe a sigh of relief. I know the changes I’ve made are permanent, and in that I feel confident. Some advice I would give to anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation as I was is this: look out for other people who will motivate you and push you towards your dreams, but remember your number one cheerleader should be yourself. Sometimes we need someone there to show us a new way of living that we didn’t even know was possible, but ultimately the responsibility is in our hands. Just as I keep working towards my career goals in medical school, so will I aspire towards my ultimate health and fitness goals. Nothing worth having in life comes easily and I am happy in knowing that I wake up everyday and put my best foot forward, steady in working towards my goals. Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to hear a little about my story!