In my early 20's I never once thought about my body, calories, love handles or cellulite. I grew up a big time athlete. I played water polo and swam my entire life and had one single focus that drove all of my decisions. I was going to the Olympics to play water polo. It was my life. My dream. It was all I thought about. As a result, I was so incredibly proud of my body and what it was giving me as an athlete. I was big and strong and never felt better flaunting my stuff in a bathing suit every day. Mind you, at this time in my life, I was a good 40 lbs more than I am now but it didn’t matter, I was strong and I felt amazing. My body was getting me to where I wanted to go and I was so proud of that.
Then, after years and years of dedicating my life to water polo, it was all over. I decided to walk away from my life’s dream at the end of my sophomore year at Berkeley. I had played on the US National Team and traveled the world playing my sport but it was no longer my passion. I had already missed out on so much: high school graduation, prom, parties and more, and I just didn’t want to live the rest of my life like that. So, I walked away.
Immediately, everything changed. I no longer felt like I had an excuse to look big and strong like I always had. All of a sudden, I had this immense awareness of my body and I became increasingly uncomfortable in it. Right after I stopped playing water polo at Cal, I joined my sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma, which was the best decision I made in college but was also a total mind F*** when it came to body image. At the time, I was this 5’11 180lb athlete that towered over every single girl in my sorority and definitely didn’t fit into any of the crop tops that they were all wearing. So, with that, I decided that I needed to lose weight and I needed to do it fast.
I began by cutting my calories to just 2,000 a day. I don’t really know where that number came from or why I chose it but it was like religion for me. I never, ever went over that number unless I was really intoxicated after a party when I’d come home and devour an entire bag of tortilla chips or 10 cookies. Mix that with already being a celiac and I started eliminating nearly every type of food unless it was really low calorie. It was the unhealthiest thing I’ve ever done to my body. I cycled in and out of starving myself and then bingeing when I’d get home late at night after a party. It was a cycle of love and then hate over and over again and it was totally exhausting.
Finally, one night, I hit rock bottom. It was my senior year at UC Berkeley, I was down 50 lbs from my water polo days and I was suffering big time. This was the beginning of my understanding of my relationship between my food, my body and my mind. I never realized how intertwined it all was and how deeply I’d affected my entire body and soul over that last year.
I began a journey, a very rough one at that, which taught me to connect my body with my mind and soul. A journey that showed me how empowering and healing food was and that my confidence and power in this world are not at all determined by the number on the scale nor how I look in a bikini. I slowly began to heal and get back to the mindset I had when I played water polo. I began to appreciate my body for all that it gave me. The strength to graduate from UC Berkeley, to begin living on my own in San Francisco and to bring love and happiness to my friends and family. As I healed and began loving my body again I realized how many women out there suffer with their weight, confidence and journey toward a healthy life. I’m not talking purely about weight loss here, I’m talking about loving and understanding how your individual body works and what it really needs to function at its very best.
So, with that, I created this space. A space where I can share my journey and hopefully help you on yours. A space where you can learn to feel happy and healthy without starving yourself, thinking about food all of the time or obsessing over a number on the scale.
I'd love to hear from you and get to know you and YOUR story! Please share yours with me in the comments below. Welcome to this community and I can’t wait to get to know you!
With love xo