From Freshman 15 to Fit Foodie

When I graduated from Iowa State University in 2014, I felt like I had no control over my life. I was moving back in with my parents, I didn’t know when I would get a job and I couldn’t control the massive student loans payments that were quickly coming my way.

Over the course of college I had gained the dreaded “freshman 15” and more. I lived on junk food, coffee and spend majority of my evenings drinking or at the bar scene.

The picture on the left was my very first professional headshot at my first big girl job. I’ve always had a rounder face, but man. I was embarrassed that people were going to see that picture. I was embarrassed that I let myself get so unhealthy.

What is the “trick” to losing weight?

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For a long time I searched for the “trick” to getting in shape. I thought there must be some sort of magic food and workout combination that I was missing. In reality, all I needed was some determination, smart food choices and activity.

I started by switching up my eating habits and paid close attention to the serving size on packages and the nutrition labels on food. I learned about metabolism and began eating five small meals a day. It was at that time that I also increased my activity level. I got a fitness tracker and worked to hit 10,000 steps per day.

These small changes began to add up! I started to see my clothes fitting better and the numbers on the scale going down. Also, I felt amazing! I had energy, I slept better and my acne started clearing up.

I’m not saying my journey to better health and fitness has been easy. I’ve gained back weight at times, I’ve eaten plenty of cheat meals and I’ve fallen “off track” more times than I can count.

Ups and Downs

There’s 5 years of life between these photos. 5 years of struggle and joy. 5 years of cravings and telling myself I’d start again on Monday. I wasn’t perfect over the past 5 years. My weight has gone up and down. I’ve been less toned at times. I’ve been more disciplined at times and less disciplined at other times. But just like life, getting your body to a healthy place is a journey.

Along this journey, I have truly found a passion for the science behind food, nutrition, physical activity and the mind. I am encouraged by challenging my body and working to be the best version of myself.

And honestly, this is only the beginning.

When I first strived to get healthy, I wanted to lose weight mainly to look better. There’s nothing wrong with that! But now, I care much more about my overall health, the strength of my body and the science behind it all.

I’m really excited to see where the next phase of life takes me. I want to push my body to new limits and truly become the very best version of myself. I can’t wait to take you along on this journey with me!

Did you experience gaining the freshman 15? Or did you manage to maintain your weight? Leave your stories below!