215 pounds. There it was. It was staring at me and the nurse on that ugly, white scale. Wait..what?! That can’t be true. I mean, I know in college you tend to gain some, but I couldn’t have gained that much! Denial shot through me like a bullet and then nothing but shame was left.
As the nurse made a note on her clipboard she read, “215 pounds. You can step down now.” I cringed. Attempting at a smile, I found my eyes stinging with tears instead. How did I let myself go like this? She led me to a room on the left, took some more tests, and left me to wait. Not long after, the doctor came in with a stiff smile.
“Hi Janelle, how are you?”
“I’m well, I think…” I replied as he looked over my chart.
“Your notes say you’ve been having trouble staying awake?”
“Yeah, it’s been the past couple of weeks. I can’t stay awake in hardly any of my classes.”
“Feeling kind of lethargic?”
“Yeah, and I feel sick a lot too.”
“Feel sick where?”
“I don’t know. I just feel gross…in my stomach I guess.”
He went on to ask me about the nutrition I was getting and what kind of exercise I did throughout the week. My answers were something like “I’m a good eater” and “I walk to class…sometimes.”
“Janelle, I’m looking at your chart. You’re 22, 5’4, and you weigh 215 pounds,” he stopped to sigh—which we all know is never a good sign. “You’re on the verge of diabetes. You’re not active, not giving your body the proper nutrients it needs, and your BMI is in the obesity range. All these factors are taking a huge toll on your mind and body. If you keep living your life like this it will be a hard road.”
Walking back to my dorm, I kept thinking one thing. I was choosing to live this way. Some people were actually healthy and living vibrant lives with type 1 diabetes. They didn’t choose it, but they made the best of their circumstance. Me, on the other hand, I was choosing to live this way. Comforting myself with food and imprisoning myself in a selfish pity parties. I wanted others to care about me, but I didn’t value myself and it showed.
I called my parents and cried it out with my friends, but instead of “I told you so,” I got encouragement. My friends went with me for my very first experience at our campus gym. They looked up group rock climbing prices and even got me up early before class to run stairs. My family would send me texts that they were proud of me and not to give up while I would send back weight loss updates and pictures of a happier, healthier me. With support, I was able to go far. I even got brave enough to go to the gym by myself, confident enough to sport a tank top while running trails, and started loving myself enough to buy the right kind of food for my body. I stopped feeling sick and 70 pounds melted off.
Three years later I get to work at Elite, which resembles where my journey began. I am currently studying to get my certification in Group Exercise and am learning new things every day. But even with all that under my belt, I still fight the “fat girl” inside that wants to sit in front of Jersey Shore drama all night while munching on nothing healthy. But that’s what healthy is. It’s you fighting for yourself every single day, choosing to live vivaciously with healthy eating, daily exercise, and being brave enough to put yourself out there over and over again.Share Your Story!