The Beginning

My freshman year of college was certainly a rough one. My first semester I was taking multiple difficult classes, trying to figure out how to live on my own, I joined a new sorority which was struggling to stay afloat and there for was extremely demanding on my time, and I also started drinking alcohol. All of these things added up to me gaining at least 15lbs. By the time I came home for Christmas I was well over 200lbs at 5’2. I went Christmas shopping with my grandma and aunt and cried when I realized the only jeans that fit were a size 16 and I had wear an XL in everything. After all, my mother wore a size 5/6. I really hit the tipping point.

My second semester of college I was taking a psychology class. We were very briefly studying the holocaust when I heard the professor say that if you cut your caloric intake in half that you would lose a significant amount of weight and fairly quickly. Now, I certainly did not want to be emaciated like the people in the screen, but I did want to lose a lot of weight and the quicker the better. This may have been a sick and twisted thought, but struggling with your weight really is a mental disease and you are sick. This idea began my journey into calorie counting.

I think at this point in time it’s universally known that 2000 calories is the recommended daily amount. I read somewhere that woman should eat 1200. I don’t know if that’s accurate or not, but at the time to me this was an important number. If I had to guess I would say I was eating over 2000 calories a day, so logically 1200-1000 calories would be cutting my calories in half, but that was not enough for me. If 1200 was recommended for woman who were trying to lose weight than I would eat 500-600 calories. For the next 2-3 weeks I used my fitness pal to track my calories. I was eating 1 whole sandwich a day and a side, usually a bag of chips. I quickly realized that this was not healthy and that for me counting calories was not going to work. I could not trust myself to eat an adequate amount of food. I am a numbers person and I knew the less calories the better.

After I realized that counting calories was not an option for me, I realized that I needed to change my eating habits. So, I started to make changes. First, I needed to learn how to eat breakfast, which is something I hadn’t done since about kindergarten because it physically made me sick, thank you acid reflux. I started to eat a granola bar for breakfast every day. Then I cut out sides unless it was a fruit or veggie. I would eat a sandwich for lunch and dinner on wheat or vegetable bread with no dressing being sure to have both meat as well as veggies on it. I would also eat a snack twice a day fruit snacks generally or some sort of fruit. This system worked well for me. I would assume I was eating an appropriate amount of calories. I cut out a lot of bad habits and added calories. I lost a fair amount of weight. I did not really notice until a pair of size 14 jeans I had not been able to previously wear were the only pair of jean I had and even they were too big, I needed to wear a belt with them.

When I returned from school my freshman year and I weighed myself I was 185. Now over the course of those 5 months, I cannot tell you how much weight I actually lost because I did not weight myself before I started on this journey, but I would guestimate 30lbs. Throughout this time, I did periodically go to the gym and take exercise classes, but my focus was not so much on exercising and was more focused on changing my eating habits.

What I learned:

*Counting calories is not for everyone and can in fact be dangerous

* Nutrition is one of the most important factors to weight loss

Tips:

    • If you’re like me and you really like mayo or other dressings on your sandwich making a Panini, especially if you add a piece of cheese can really cut down on the need for dressing.
    • Switching from white bread to some sort of whole grain whether it is wheat or a veggie bread makes a big difference.
    • I would recommend cutting down on carbohydrate intake, but do not cut it out complex carbohydrates are good for you

fat

This is me my at the beginning of my freshman year. I probably gained 15 lbs after this picture was taken.

*** disclaimer I am not a medical or health expert these tips are purely from research and are self tested. Be sure to talk to an expert for proper health and nutrition recommendations.

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