I’m a 20-something American girl living in Ontario, Canada, and as you may have already read, I’ve struggled with everything from obesity to anorexia, and everything in between. I’ve lived through twenty lives worth of struggle with my weight—and I’m a stronger person for it.
I grew up in Connecticut, went to high school in Florida, and attended the University of Washington (Go Huskies!) and McMaster University. I live with my boyfriend of five years, John, and my kitties, Milly, Tilly, & Oreo. I’m currently training for my first marathon while feeding my ever-growing obsession with ballet barre workouts. I’ve also completed, with distinction, The New Nordic Diet: From Gastronomy to Health at the University of Copenhagen, and am currently completing Health and Society through Harvard University.
I’m a nutritionist and I write a weekly healthy eating/cooking/fitness/wellness column for Canada’s oldest Daily Newspaper, The Kingston Whig Standard. Check it out here!
The beginning of my story is an all too common one. I went from a normal kid to a chubby kid to a fat kid. I really, really loved food. We’re talking start-out-my-morning-with-a-cheese-danish-as-a-breakfast-appetizer-before-my-french-toast kind of love. And that love turned into an unhealthy love. I hit 100 pounds in grade two, and got made fun of—a lot. I started to feel self conscious about my weight, my body, and myself, and my unhealthy relationship got worse. Food made me feel good, and I clung to that ice cream like it was my only friend in the world. I started hiding whole boxes of cookies in my room—I was like one of those alcoholics that have a vodka bottle in every room. The bullying got worse and the number on the scale got higher. By grade 7 I weighed more than my father. I dreaded going to the doctor (that scale!), and the summer was a series of embarrassments. I was wearing a women’s size 12 and let me tell you—that look ain’t great on someone under five feet.
Obese is defined (roughly) as 30 or more pounds overweight. I was obese—and I’ve still got the stretch marks to prove it. Something changed, though, around the time I hit high school. My family moved, and I really, really didn’t want to be the fat kid at my new school. I had a fresh start and I didn’t want to waste it. I started to become aware of what was going in my mouth. I managed my portions. 40 pounds fell off.
I really liked how it felt to lose weight. Everyone was telling me how great I looked! I didn’t have uniform skirts that went down to my ankles before they got hemmed! BOYS looked at me! And most importantly—the bullying stopped. I wasn’t skinny, but I wasn’t fat either, and that felt really, really good.
Junior year of high school, I started to like that feeling a little too much. I walked the line between healthy and obsessive. By Senior year, that line was history. If I ate dinner and didn’t throw it up, I considered the day a failure. I went away to University and got worse. A lot worse. I won’t get into specifics because I don’t want to give any ideas to anyone that is struggling, but I was very unwell—not just mentally, but physically as well.
I started treatment about three years ago, and can happily say that I don’t recognize the person that I used to be. There is no miraculous cure for an eating disorder, it isn’t like a traditional disease. But these days I am healthy and happy, and proud of my journey. I prioritize my health, and I am truly grateful that I’m in a place that lets me do that.