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Losing Weight and Feeling Great: My Two-Year Journey and Tips that Helped

There was a long period of my life where I didn’t feel like the best version of myself. I felt miserable about the way my body looked which overall left me with a clouded mind full of negative thoughts. The added stress of my new living conditions away at SUNY Geneseo did not help and I found myself eating as a coping mechanism for my overall melancholy. I was constantly going out on the weekends, binge eating, drinking, and not taking care of my health at all. After having an extremely difficult semester, I ended up transferring back home and continuing my education at a new university, Nassau Community College. A requirement of the school is for students to take a Physical Education class. Initially, I found this as such an inconvenience, questioning why I had to do this and thinking about how much of a hassle this was. But as I began to take Spinning Class, I fell in love with the exercise and the overall positive effect it left on me. My body began to change in a way that made me feel happy when I looked in the mirror and my mind was full of clarity.

I decided that exercise could not be the only way I could continue to watch my body change. I knew that diet is a huge part of a weight-loss journey, and it didn’t help that I had cabinets filled with Doritos and Oreos every day. I knew I needed to seek help in order to change my eating habits and start living a healthier lifestyle. I joined Weight Watchers soon after and began to really work on myself, both physically and mentally. I learned about the relationship of food with your mind, and how a combination of eating right and working out could help me fulfill my aspirations.

It sometimes seemed almost impossible to begin, and even more impossible to maintain my decision in changing my lifestyle. After a year of hard work, dedication, and determination, I was 35 pounds down! This accomplishment is something I feel forever proud of. It was extremely challenging at times, especially with the stresses of academics and social pressure, but it was a change I knew I wanted to make in order to find who I truly was. Sharing my story with my community is important to me because it has forever changed my life and my self-image greatly, so I hope to help those who seek to make a change to feel better.  

Below I have written about some healthy strategies and tips I utilized during my journey; I hope they are helpful and lead you to live a happier healthier life.

  • Choosing Weight-Loss Friendly Foods

There are endless possibilities of healthy alternatives to many foods. I found that picking low-calorie treats and substituting unhealthy foods with wholesome choices allowed me to keep on track with my diet plan. This especially allowed me to continue to enjoy the many things I loved and kept me from splurging on unhealthy foods as I was still having equally tasty foods, but just healthier choices I was unaware of previously.

  • Cutting out Sugary Drinks and Drink More Water

There was never a time where I was not drinking a soda with one of my meals throughout the day. These unnecessary added calories actually are detrimental to your health, as they are extremely high in sugar which could lead to many health conditions. And don’t get me started on the binge drinking over the weekends! So I found that water was necessary to include in my diet, especially as it filled me up more, leading me to eat less, as well as keeping myself hydrated after working out heavily at the gym. Added sweeteners that are low in calories also are great alternatives to juices and sodas, such as crystal light or MiO (and they are great to bring out with you to make sure you don’t indulge in too many calories for drinks.) 

  • Eat Breakfast… Do Not Skip It

For years, I always skipped out on breakfast, but it wasn’t until my time at Weight Watchers that I realized how crucial it is to eat in the morning. Fueling yourself with nutritious foods in the morning gives you an energy boost, allowing for increased productivity throughout the day, leaving your body and your mind healthy and happy. Some things you can find me eating in the morning are eggs, yogurt, fruit, avocado toast, and of course, a BIG glass of water!

  • Slow Down When You’re Eating

I have become the slowest eater you will ever meet…kidding. But I take my time during each meal, an essential part to begin a weight-loss journey, and overall living a healthier lifestyle. It takes your stomach some time to communicate to your mind that you’re full, so eating quickly leads to bad digestion, overeating, and weight gain. So, simply eating slower and chewing more often may help you eat less, in addition to letting you enjoy and savor your food. 

  • Don’t Restrict Yourself… and Don’t Beat Yourself Up for Overeating

It is so important to remind yourself that mistakes happen and not to belittle yourself when they do. Cutting foods out of your diet that you love often leads to a failure to maintain a healthy lifestyle as it just is unrealistic. Incorporating your favorite foods like Pizza, Pasta, Steak, etc. into your diet is totally okay, it’s just as long as you don’t over-intake them. You can still eat whatever you want, it’s always important to fuel your body, but it’s also important to have a balanced diet, so when you overeat one day, don’t give up, just look at the next day as a new start…never give up!

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Erin Stark

Stony Brook '21

Hello! My name is Erin Stark. I am a senior at Stony Brook University. I am studying as an English major along with a film and screen studies minor. I am a member of Sigma Delta Tau sorority at Stony Brook. Some of my favorite things to do in my spare time are watch movies, write stories, hang with friends, drink iced coffee, and shop!
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