human behind the post
My love for food and nutrition happened gradually, although thinking back on it now, it feels like it happened all at once.
Let me give you some background.
I grew up an athlete. Ever since I was able to stand up my parents had me playing every sport under the sun. I loved being active and socializing in a group I could identify with. I grew up with the idea of, “Since I workout so much, I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want!” I frequented the pantry and refrigerator for snacks from the moment I opened my eyes until right before I went to sleep. Still, I remained a “skinny-mini” for most of my life up until the age of 20.
I went to a school in Pennsylvania and received a scholarship to play division II varsity lacrosse. During my sophomore year, despite all of the intense physical exercise I was participating in (three hours of practice 6 days per week, weight lifting, and cardio workouts) I was starting to gain a lot of weight. Unwanted, non-muscle weight that I called chunk.
It wasn’t gradual either.
It felt as though I just woke up one day and there it was! I thought, “How could this be?! I’m always lean and fit and I do so much physical activity!” The realization of WHY didn’t hit me until junior year.
I was required to take an Introduction to Nutritional Sciences class for my major. I fell absolutely in LOVE with the science and after the first week, I went up to my advisor’s office and switched my major to Nutrition and Dietetics.
Everything made sense. Seriously.
Even though I was burning many calories each day from intense physical exertion, my diet consisted of highly processed meals such as pizza, mac&cheese, cereal, pasta, canned foods, beer, beer, and oh, did I mention beer? It was a huge shocker to me how my heart didn’t explode due to sodium overload.
I learned so much about the human body. I became OBSESSED with anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry and how the body interacted with all the vitamins, minerals, and other molecules on a microscopic level.
Every time I looked down at my plate before a meal I saw all of the nutrients I was about to ingest and absorb through the endothelial lining of my duodenum (small intestine) and into my bloodstream where my body will reap the benefits! It was something I never knew I’d be good at, and I ended up graduating top in my class.
I began taking cooking classes. I remember so vividly the very first day I learned how to properly slice an onion. I started throwing myself into cookbooks and calling my mom for old family recipes that I could amp up and modify so they’d be healthier. I became a true advocate for food and nutrition and human health. And yes, I’d be the person showing up to holiday gatherings with my own cooler stocked full of pre-made healthy goodies! I never felt so alive in my whole life. There I was in the kitchen, a place I used to avoid like the plague due to crazy, imaginative, intense fear. It’s insane how ridiculously incorrect I was, and the extreme lack of confidence I had in myself.
Don’t let me fool you, my entire world as I knew it had changed.
I lost friends who didn’t understand why I was in the produce section of the grocery store instead of the middle aisles (no joke). I wasn’t drinking as much either, so right away I dropped a class in the social world and immediately became an easy target for side comments and nicknames like “Rabbit”. People told me that I needed to “eat more” or that I looked “too skinny”. It was the strangest thing I had ever gone through. There I was, making positive changes for my life, and I was being shot down. It was so backward.
It was definitely a challenge at first, but then I remembered everything that I was gaining.
My place in the world
I started my own garden that I tended to every day. Planting the seeds and watching them grow was very symbolic for what I was going through. I found my way. I ran a half-marathon in just over 1 hour and 30 minutes. This was a magnificent achievement for me! Even though I was an athlete I was always the last person to cross the finish line when we ran the timed mile. Thinking back on it now it was probably because my body was so tired of constantly trying to sort through all of the crap I was feeding it.
I was so headstrong and passionate about what I was doing. I was confident; a trait I thought I had missed the boat on. Now, I see no reason to ever go back to how I used to be. I am a much better and happier human for making those changes despite all the barriers that I faced. I couldn’t be more proud of myself.
Now I feel it is my absolute duty to pass along the wealth of owning your health.
Are you ready to begin your journey?
Creep on Devin
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