Last summer I reached my all-time high of weight gain. I weighed the most I ever had after spending my summer after high school at graduation parties, out to dinners, constant eating on breaks during work, etc. Although it may not seem like a lot in comparison to others, I weighed 145 pounds meaning I had gained 17 pounds in one summer. I was not overweight or obese but I was so unhappy with the way I looked and felt. I felt disgusting.

I continued to weigh 145 pounds until Thanksgiving of my freshman year in college. Starting in December I was at an all-time low of my depression and anxiety I decided to turn my life around.

First, I joined the YMCA. I started eating healthier and in moderation. I did not stop eating what I wanted to such as cookies, cake, brownies, etc. I just started eating less and less fattening foods. When I decided to lose weight I looked at this challenge as not just a diet, but a lifestyle change. Once I lost the weight I wanted to, I never wanted to gain it back and going on a temporary diet would defeat that goal.

Regarding my diet, I tried to keep my calorie intake at 1,400 calories a day. For breakfast, I would eat eggs with a side of toast, oatmeal, or a yogurt with a banana. For lunch, I normally would have a tuna sandwich, soup, or a piece of pizza. Dinner is where I tended to splurge with a large salad, pizza, sub sandwich, or really anything. And then because of my strong sweet tooth, I would have a cup or two of honey nut cheerios to satisfy my sugar craving. But, I still allow myself a delicious treat four to five days a week like ice cream or Oreos.

In terms of food, I learned that it is not entirely about what you eat, but it is how often and how much you eat. I limited my portions to just fill me up enough so I was no longer hungry which really did work. It's all about self-discipline and motivation to lose the weight.

Regarding my workout, I came up with a goal to help me keep working out: training to run a half marathon. I plan to run one by next year as I am still getting into shape. Basically, my workout consists of going to the gym five or six days a week, every day being cardio and one or two days of lifting a week. I run every other day three to five miles depending on how tired I am at a 10-minute mile pace. I didn't start out at 10-mile pace, I had to work hard every day to achieve that time. On the days I do not run, I bike to give my body and joints rest for about 30-40 minutes.

I weighed 145 in December of 2018 and by May of 2019, I weighed 120 pounds. I lost 25 pounds in six months and I have never felt better. It is still so hard to stay on my routine, especially in the summer when I am bored and hungry all the time but I do my best despite my weight fluctuating here and there every now and then.

There is no sugar coating it. Losing weight is hard and you can't lose sight of your goal for one second but it is so worth it. Not only was it worth it to lose weight but just going to the gym every day has helped me become less depressed and anxious. Sometimes it is so freeing to just run as fast as I can on a run with nothing standing in my way.

If you're trying to lose weight or get into shape, remember to never lose sight of your goal and continue to be determined because achieving what you want is the most priceless feeling in the entire world.