I have always been big. I knew from a young age that there was something different about me, and that it (supposedly) wasn't good.
I went to weight loss camp for five summers between the ages of 14 and 22, attending as both a camper and as staff. Each summer, I would lose a lot of weight and each school year, I would gain it back.
MY BODY STORY
A few months before my first summer at camp, 14 years old
Throughout my 20s, I repeated the weight loss/gain cycle with various diets, efforts, and cleanses. I was constantly evaluating my body, comparing it to former versions of itself, and frequently in tears over my struggle with it.
The winter after my last summer at camp, 23 years old
When I hit 31, I realized that I was tired. I decided that it was time to stop fighting my body, stop trying to shape it, and just let it be what it was. I knew that I had to give up dieting—but how?
Everyone in my life, it seemed, was in the same boat as me. I knew I needed to find other people who were pursuing the non-diet lifestyle, so I turned to the internet.
I stumbled upon The Body Positive and a month later, I found myself at a workshop with them in Berkeley, CA. Everything changed that day in October of 2014. My Body Positive education had begun and neither my self-care nor the world would ever look the same again.
I started to have pain in my shins when I was a teenager at weight loss camp. It would come on during aerobics classes or while jogging, and I thought it was normal. I would workout until the pain was too much for me to bear.
In 2012 I started to experience the pain on a daily basis for the first time. When I was on the lighter end of the weight spectrum, doctors told me it was shin splints. When I was on the heavier end of the spectrum, they would tell me I needed to lose weight. Ever since, I have been seeking answers on my own and figuring out how to manage it.
It has been a process with many ups and downs and I suspect it will continue in the same vein. However, I can honestly say that I am grateful for all of it. This challenge in my life has been a driving force for my education and it is what led me to become a coach! I have learned SO MUCH—both about myself and about how to help others.
Fat and happy. 35 years old