In college, I didn’t really pay attention to what or how much I was eating. It was pretty much: Portion control, what’s that? My meals were almost all from the dining halls, and because they were buffet-style, I would often have more than one helping of food.
For breakfast, I’d often have a bagel with cream cheese or cereal; sometimes I would have eggs over easy. Lunch would usually be a sandwich or a wrap in addition to the hot meal from the dining hall (like a meat and some type of carb such as potatoes, rice, or pasta with cheese). I’d almost always grab a baked good on my way out of the dining hall. For dinner, I’d usually eat something similar to lunch, such as the hot meal and pasta, sometimes accompanied by a salad. Ice cream was always an option in the dining hall, and it would be a frequent dessert for me. I also tended to order pad thai or Chinese food a lot, as it was easier than trekking to the dining hall when it was cold outside.
My snacking, especially at night, was definitely what contributed the most to my weight gain. I would eat cookies, granola bars, and candy throughout the day, and when I was studying at night. I would always have snacks like chips, pretzels, or chocolate with me in my room or in the library.
When I first started college, I was 185 pounds. At the end of my first year, I had gained at least the “freshman 15,” and by graduation, I had gained a total of 75 pounds, putting me at 260.
Immediately after college in August of 2016, I moved to New York City for my first job. I realized that this was my chance to make a healthy change.
At the time, I could barely fit into any of my clothes, and I was getting so frustrated with being sad every morning when my favorite shirt or pair of pants didn’t fit anymore. I remember looking through pictures of myself in high school and college, and seeing the change that my body had undergone—I could not believe how much weight I had gained in four short years! Those pictures, as well as the fact that very few of my clothes fit anymore, were the message that I needed. It was time to get my health back under control.
In college, I ran on the dining hall schedule and menus, which really limited my options. The buffets also made portion control so difficult, as I had endless food sitting in front of me all the time. Once I moved to New York, I realized that I was the one responsible for making my own food choices. While overwhelming, this was also a really freeing and exciting opportunity for me to drastically change my eating. In addition, I was excited about the fact that there were gyms and workout classes much closer to my apartment than the gym was in college.
I joined Weight Watchers in January of 2017. The program appealed to me because I was still able to eat “naughty” things such as ice cream and chocolate—I just needed to be aware of how much of these foods I was eating. Just seeing how many points even a little bit of something like ice cream clocks in at really helped me understand portions, and learn how to enjoy the foods I love in smaller amounts.
Meanwhile, I started eating more lean proteins such as chicken breasts, turkey, and yogurt. On Weight Watchers, you’re given an allotment of “points” that you can eat each day, which correlate to different food items. Proteins are either zero points or clock in at very few points on Weight Watchers, which told me that it was okay to eat a lot of them. I also started eating more vegetables, as those are also zero points on Weight Watchers as well. I tracked my points on the Weight Watchers app, which made it easy to see the value of the foods I was eating.
Breakfast usually consisted of Siggi’s yogurt or two hard-boiled…
- This Woman’s Family Lost 300+ Pounds Thanks To This Meal-Delivery Service
- 6 Women Share The One Food That Really Helped Them Lose Weight
- Surprising Foods the Athletes will be Eating at the Olympics
- 7 Women Share What They Wish They Knew On Day One Of Their Weight-Loss Journeys
- The Abs-Tightening Workout You’re Not Doing—But Should Be