The picture on the left (May 2013) was probably the point where I was my lowest weight. Gaining muscle scared me, unless it was abs, which didn’t happen because I was eating 1200 calories max a day (minimal carbs, protein, and practically zero fat) while running 5-10 miles. Every single day. In April alone, I made it a point to never take a day off and run each and every day. And I did it. Some days twice a day. I didn’t want to be that “fat girl” I thought I was in high school. I wanted to be skinny in college. That was on my mind 24/7, and when I was careless my first semester of freshmen year a “gained a little weight” my mind went into full weightloss mode. Crazy to think in that picture on the left, I still considered myself chubby.

After that year, I started to really educate myself as to what it means to live a healthy and active lifestyle, which is all I truly wanted. That meant that learning that running every day was not the healthiest way to get fit. That meant cardio didn’t have to even be every day. That meant that carbs were my best friends. That meant learning that when I saw arm muscle, it meant my body was happy and not that the extra mass meant I looked “fat”. It meant that if I wanted to eat 5 cookies, I totally could, because tomorrow is another day and one night of junk food will not kill me. It meant a cookie or chocolate or an extra treat a day will not kill me (I mean because cmon I have to have my sweets).

The picture on the right was taken only yesterday (August 2015). Lifting has literally saved my life. Looking in the mirror and being excited about what my body has gained instead of what it hasn’t lost, has made me happy to continue growing, both physically and mentally. If I’m constantly worrying about becoming less than I am, I can never grow.

Shoutout to all my warriors searching for a healthier lifestyle. You have it in you, trust me.

Thank you to the fitblrs that have given me the confidence over the past years that I am not alone in my journey. You are all rockstars and I admire each and every one of you.

Lastly, I could not have had the confidence to confront my health if it wasn’t for Delta Phi Epsilon. My sisters have supported me through my entire journey, and if it wasn’t for ANAD awareness, I don’t know where I would be. 💜