Hi, I’m Julie. I grew up in sunny Southern California but I wasn’t your typical California girl… at least not until 2 years ago and I was living in North Carolina. I led a sedentary childhood and duh, got fat. Fortunately in high school, I studied a little and was kind of nice so life wasn’t terrible. My meals consisted of Sourdough Jacks, chicken soft tacos, and personal pizzas + buffalo wings + bread sticks with ranch.
It only got worse in college. I ballooned up to 185 pounds on my 5’3 body. Times were hard – my parents got a divorce and I was on my own emotionally.
Then I found my passion in teaching and worked at a local high school all the time. I finally got my act together in school and earned my degree in history with honors. Things were going well. By the time I graduated, I was down to 150 pounds with no effort. I ate a little less and drank lots of water.
I partied a lot after college. That was how I made up for all my years being a fat girl, kind of. Student teaching helped me lose another 10 pounds. I ate the Taco Bell fresco menu and Subway all the time. It worked.
I started going to the gym and lost 20 more pounds by May 2010. I looked darn good at 120-125. It was natural.
I overdid it. I was out of school and wasn’t substitute teaching during the summer. I went to the gym 5-6 hours a day. I woke up, went to the gym, ate, napped, and went to the gym again. I had a combination of anorexia and exercise bulimia.
I went down to 111-113 pounds at my lowest. I lost my period and was always aggravated.
I started to gain weight. 10 pounds here. Another 15 pounds. Another 15. I kept exercising and I kept eating like I had and nothing would stop the weight gain. It wasn’t just weight gain, my body fat percentage shot up way high and my belly looked permanently pregnant (not really). My body stopped responding to the workouts and I experienced pain in my knees, back, shoulders, feet, everywhere. My smooth dance moves got rickety, I couldn’t jump as high, and my hips were extremely tight.
And that’s where I am now. Trying to figure it out. I’ve had my period back for 2 years now. I’m back to my pre-working out state. It pretty much just sucks with all the work I’ve put in. My new plan: do a little less. Break the anorexic/exercise bulimic thinking, get back to the point where I was losing weight naturally and was happy, and remember I’m more than my weight.
There are good days and bad, but I’m realizing a few pounds here and there are no big deal anymore. My body can run if I ever choose, traverse mountains, lift some pretty heavy things, and bend into unimaginable positions (I’m talking yoga here). I’m also a woman who teaches, loves, laughs, and enjoys life.