Healthy changes begin with positive resolve

Jan. 26, 2016

Two weeks ago, I stepped on a scale for the first time in a couple years. I knew I probably gained some weight since the last time I weighed in, but I honestly did not expect that the number on the screen above my toes would be anywhere near as high as it was.

Column by Ashley McCallum  Managing Editor
Column by Ashley McCallum
Managing Editor

All I could think to myself was, “How could I possibly let myself get to this point?”

The tears started rolling down my face, and they wouldn’t stop for hours. I felt like I had taken a time machine and went back to being 13 years old – insecure and uncomfortable in my skin. I thought I had made it past being severely insecure after my early teenage years, but all the work I had done to build my confidence came crumbling down after one look at the scale.

After spending the rest of that day with the gut-wrenching feeling of self-hate in the pit of my stomach, I knew I had no option. I needed to make a change.

Starting that day, I was committed to living a healthier lifestyle. Luckily, I have a couple other friends who already decided they were going to get in shape at the turn of the new year, so I looked to them for help. I reached out to get advice on healthy eating because I have never taken my nutrition nearly as serious as I should. I am incredibly thankful for the people who care about me who fully supported my decision. That has made this all the easier.

In order to get the results I wanted, I knew I had to be strict on myself. I did not want to allow myself any room to fall back into old habits, and in doing so, I have cut out a lot of food I normally would not bat an eyelash at eating, like sweets, pizza, fast food and a lot of other tasty treats. I went to the grocery store and bought all fruits, vegetables and low-fat, low-calorie foods.

Going into it, I thought it was going to be difficult to change my lifestyle around completely, but I found that since I wanted to change so badly, solely for myself and nobody else, it was both easy and exciting.

A friend advised me to download the app “My Fitness Pal,” which counts calories and other nutrition facts like sugars, fat, sodium and other nutrition categories. This app has been absolutely crucial to my journey toward healthy living. I did not believe how unhealthy certain foods were until I saw the nutrition facts on the app and how food accumulates throughout the day. If you are looking to lose weight or get healthier, I absolutely recommend downloading the app and logging your food.

Eating better in addition to working out has helped me lose six pounds in two weeks. I no longer feel like I am always tired and overall, I feel like my attitude is much more positive. 

While I am definitely excited to look better and feel healthier as I continue to lose weight, the best part of this process is the confidence I have gained in knowing I can accomplish a challenge that I never thought I could before.

I have always struggled with not making myself a priority. I constantly work myself into the ground and help other people with what they need before I help myself, and I believe that is what has been most detrimental to my health. This transformation has taught me that getting in shape is truly a psychological battle – more so than a physical one. I ate the worst in times where I felt less confidence. Last semester my confidence hit a low after a series of problems at one of my jobs, an overwhelming school schedule and some personal situations that caused me to begin to feel like I was constantly not good enough. I felt comfort in eating crappy food, which ended up making me feel even worse. It was a horrible cycle that I am happy to put an end to.

Sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom to see that you need to make a change. While it felt awful to feel so unhappy with myself, I am glad I have been given the chance to make a change before I felt any serious repercussion for my health. The last couple weeks have opened my eyes to a new way of living, and I am so excited to see where it will lead.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email