What Is My Greatest Accomplishment?
a colleague asked me,
“what is your greatest accomplishment?” and i was stuck.
i was just reaching my 20s. what have i done?
i truthfully wanted to give a real impressive answer
when all i felt like i have done is attend school
(the #1 public university in the world btw lol GOBLUE!),
and earning good grades and merit was always expected of me,
being the 3rd child of 4 to attend a university and a 2nd generation student..
so i did not consider any of those to be my greatest.
i really had to think.
i proclaimed that
I am my greatest accomplishment;
because losing 80 pounds is actually pretty amazing.
not only did i physically change either,
but i grew mentally, emotionally, as well.
i read a quote,
“our culture made a virtue of living only as extroverts.
we discouraged the inner journey,
the quest for a center.
so we lost our center and have to find again.” – anaïs nin
i used to think being an introvert was a weakness,
and that I was shy
but now i consider introversion to be my greatest strength
because since i am so in tune with mySelf,
no matter what chaos is happening around me,
i know i can turn inward.
i am my greatest accomplishment because
i fought so hard to be who i am.
and i know what it’s like to want to be someone else, which made Me feel like a waste.
i gave that mentality up.
because i knew i was Me for a reason.
i was given this specific Life because i was strong enough to live it.
it’s been such a journey.
beating fat is my greatest accomplishment
and I think it took me awhile to answer my colleague’s question
because it is not necessarily something i talk about with people often.
when i started to lose weight, i wanted to forget it all and let the past be the past;
and i didn’t want to share because what if i failed and couldn’t lose the weight?
however, i have been learning that sharing my story
helps me cope with my past of self hate,
as well as rebuilds my self esteem and confidence within my introverted mind.
plus, i am proud
the progress pics, i amaze myself!
i would keep my progress pictures secret
and my losing journey on mute,
but i cannot hold it in any longer.
Yeah some people could tell,
But I didn’t like to talk about it at all.
(2010 vs. 2015) *I learned my cheeks ain’t going nowhere*
i was overweight my entire childhood and adolescence,
it was not until my freshman year of college (2011)
until i made changes that ultimately changed my Life.
both clean eating and exercise have made my weight loss possible,
my behavior change to eating clean is what helped me beat fat.
changing my eating habits was the real challenge,
not necessarily getting to the gym,
because to be honest i love food.. who doesn’t like to eat?
since i was overweight during my entire upbringing
i had a lot of self-esteem issues and experienced things
that only continued to diminish it.
i used to eat my feelings.
social pressures made me obsessed with numbers on the scale,
which ultimately caused me mental distress when I did not see the number I wanted.
then attending the university of michigan added more stress,
feeling inadequate, uncomfortable, confused, and heartbroken.
i had trouble navigating myself through college,
i knew something had to change in order for me to survive
the four years because i seriously did not see myself succeeding
in the conditions and mindset i was in.
i was so negative, always blaming others for my situations,
but it was me who needed to recognize
that i was my own problem and my own solution.
i was what needed to change.
i always wanted a smaller frame,
and wished for it so badly.
i believed “skinny” would make my life so much better.
one day i just decided that the time to make a serious change had come.
i was motivated with just the hope for happier days.
i think this was my internalization process that takes place during behavior change.
i familiarized myself with the phrase, “train dirty. eat clean.”
clean eating is a lifestyle that consists of eating whole foods,
none that are processed or refined;
so basically i ate foods i never typically ate,
and stopped eating the foods i was so used to.
clean eating calls for five to six meals a day,
drinking lots of water,
learning portion sizes,
grocery shopping consciously and other healthy habits (The Clean Eating Team).
it was not until the summer after my sophomore year (2013) until this type of lifestyle became sort of innate.
so, once clean eating became a part of my every day life,
i was more inclined to stick to it and continuously seeing results.
that summer in 2013 i spent 2.5 months with my sister, paris,
in claremont, california
and all we did was eat clean and do two-a-days (gym twice in a day).
my older sister in essence forced me to into it;
i was living with her by her rules.
i needed that push though.
i remember a point i realized the sweetest tasting thing i ate
was peanut butter
and every liquid was too sweet tasting
because water was all i drank.
i didn’t even have snickers ice cream cravings anymore, bittersweet lol.
we had a lot of fun too though
and i thanked her for allowing me to intrude on her for a summer!
we participated in the 5k color run in pomona,
took cycling classes,
ran outside, ran inside,
had arm/leg day in the weight room,
researched new dishes
and were each other’s support system.
looking back now i feel as if that summer was the true beginning of my weight loss journey.
alone, i struggled figuring out how i was supposed to eat
and exercise to see optimal results,
and my sister taught me how to:
cook clean meals,
grocery shop consciously (with a plan),
navigate restaurant menus when i’m out with my friends,
and train dirty, which refers to weight training and working out.
i learned so much that summer and lost a lot, the lowest i ever been;
and when i returned to ann arbor i was still motivated to keep my clean eating and weight training habits.
i was finally seeing results faster,
and even though i felt like i had a lot more loss to go
i was closer than I ever been to my goal.
so i did my best to keep going
don’t get me wrong though,
when i got back to ann arbor, indeed there were days
when i did not eat as strictly as i did in California
or work out as much. and it was tough
because i had to get back to studying,
going to class and having campus responsibilities,
but i still maintained my clean eating (and dirty training) in a way that continued my progress.
i had to accept that any progress was better than none.
even with the expenses of groceries
and the struggle to find places that adhere to clean eating lifestyles around campus,
i kept going.
i stopped eating in the dining halls,
and it was so easy to go out with friends and get side tracked
clean eating takes being conscious of the eating choices I am making.
and i would give in some days too tbh.. but i kept going.
all in all, since that summer alone i have lost around 65 pounds
and currently in the process of building muscle,
still eating clean.
i don’t have to be so strict on myself.
it’s okay to have ice cream or chili cheese fries,
just not everyday.
i believe in “moderation not deprivation.”
if i want some cake.. i’ma eat cake lol.
it has been a long and trying journey changing my eating behaviors,
i had to mindfully make better choices
but since i knew they were better for my wellness i knew to stick to it and just be patient.
clean eating is a behavior i am proud to have started and it has changed my life in the greatest way.
i am proud of the person I am becoming.
I.. myself.. am my greatest accomplishment.
i can honestly and proudly say.
as simple as it may sound,
i found just being me is easier.
my inner journey is so worth it.
self love shows:]
Thank you for reading.
That was honestly something I wrote
For a public health class lol
it’s still the paige-relevant.
Of course I didn’t include the eating disorder part,
SAME TIME a lot more of my story
And more of my voice was in this post.
This was a reminder to me
Of how far I’ve come.