the food bitch

people call me a food bitch. not because of any gourmet tendencies (i go on a weekly fridge-sniff to see what needs to be thrown away), but due to my healthy lifestyle know-how and big mouth. i have a big mouth when it comes to food.

part healthy living, part recipe showcase, part food review - i do a little bit of everything.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Before & The After

So, a little introduction is in order. I'm Ellen. I'm 24 years old, live in upstate New York, and I love food. You'll see how much I love and have loved food in a second.

We'll start our little introduction by way of my trusty time machine, otherwise known as the box of fat photos that I keep under my bed so that no one (no one unwilling to brave the dust bunnies, anyway) will see. Let's take a trip back to September, 2002. Ah, September. I remember you well. Well, I don't, the only thing I do remember is that this is the month my sister got married. And I was selected to be the maid of honor.

So here I am. Just barely 21 years old, and clocking in at 260 - 270 pounds. My college diet consisted of taco bell express, veggie melts with fries dipped in mayonnaise, and lots and lots of swedish fish. I'm not exaggerating, I would sometimes even eat two two-packs of poptarts for breakfast. And the soda, oh the soda.

I wasn't terribly unhappy, but I just didn't feel well. I didn't feel like a normal young person, socially or physically. I had friends, I had had a boyfriend (who loved me very much before he cheated on me), but I still didn't feel right.

Fast forward to the winter of 2003. Things had reached a head for me. I was miserable, and hated the state I had put myself in. I tried diet and exercise, but my diet was more like starvation and my exercise was extreme. I had no idea why it wasn't working. New Year's came and went, and it finally dawned on me - Weight Watchers!

I had joined Weight Watchers with my mother while I was in high school, and lost about 80 pounds (which yes, I gained back in college). I talked to my mother about it, and she figured if it had worked once, it might as well work again. I was feeling apprehensive, I knew I could follow the program, but could I really do it? For good? By the second week of January, I was willing to at least try it and find out.

So my first weigh-in had me at exactly 260 pounds. I received my plan materials, listened to the meeting, and went on my first week's journey towards feeling more like I thought I ought to feel.

What surprised me most was how much food I could eat. I could eat! That first week, I had a hard time even getting all the points I was supposed to be eating. I didn't realize at that point that I didn't have to eat a small veggie salad with fat free cottage cheese for lunch. I could eat decent-sized portions of foods I actually liked (though I have come to like cottage cheese very much since then - it makes me feel like a grandma), I could eat real food as long as I put the effort into controlling my portions and keeping track of what I was putting into my mouth.

I hate to say it was easy. I hate to tell people it was easy, because I know it isn't for most people. But to be completely honest with you, for me - it was easy. It made so much sense! I eat sensible portions of healthy, balanced foods, I exercise, drink my water, and what?! I'll lose weight?! Imagine that. I found that I had self control, and that discovery alone was almost as good as losing 135 pounds.

Yes, folks. I lost 135 pounds. I weigh somewhere between 123 - 125 on any given day. I have so much energy, so much more stamina, and heck, I even went to Disney World!

Yep, that's me. As of September, 2005. Ah September, I remember you well. That's because you were only a month ago.


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