Meet Marry

Background

My name’s Mary and I’m a 21 year old college senior majoring in nutrition science with the hope of one day running my own practice as a personal nutrition consultant specializing in eating disorders. I’m fascinated with nutrition and food’s incredible ability to push us to our highest potential. I’m a yoga instructor at my local gym as well as marathon trainee and equestrian. I have a horse, CoCo, a cat, Chloe, and a boyfriend, Michael who all help keep me sane here at school. You’ll hear a lot about them.

Below is my weight gain-loss-gain-maintain story. Some of you may have gone through (or be going through) the same sort of thing and if that’s true, I hope it’s helpful to you in some way.

The gain

High school is wear it really began. Eating fried chicken sandwiches and a mountain of curly fries everyday for lunch eventually added on unhealthy pounds. By sophomore year I was over 160 lbs which is fairly overweight at my height. It wasn’t until my family moved and I had to change high schools that I finally decided to get healthier and shed some pounds.

The Loss

I began watching what I ate, trading in the fried chicken and fries for a whole wheat turkey sandwich and an apple. Not long after, exercise became a part of my daily life. I started out small- just a mile long walk every morning with my mom. Soon enough we got a gym membership and I started weight training and jogging. My friend joined along and the three of us would hit the gym practically every day.

The pounds shed off..156..150..147..140. By graduation I had lost 35 lbs! My eating habits had suffered, though- I was eating teeny tiny meals and not paying attention to the vitamins or mineral content in the food. My only concern was the amount of calories in the food, not health benefits.

Then I went off to college. I was down to about 120, strong, and healthy…although my eating habits were still suffering. Within a month, I got a job at a gym as a sales consultant and suddenly I had 24 hour access to the entire gym along with unlimited classes all for free. I loved it- I would go to RPM before school, BodyPump in the afternoon, work for a few hours, then come back and hit the treadmills and weights. I was running my body down but didn’t realize it because “it’s what I loved to do.”

A few months later, I left the gym and got a job as a waitress. You know the saying “If you work as a waitress, you’ll never go hungry”? Well, you DO go hungry- at least where I worked. We weren’t allowed to eat in the back, front, and we didn’t have normal breaks. I tried snacking when possible but it wasn’t enough to make up for being on my feet running around for hours.

By the middle of freshman year I was down to a scary 80 lbs. HALF my weight earlier that year. In my eyes, I looked good…but my opinion was not shared by others. When I would go home, my parents would stare at me and tell me I looked old cause my face was so sunken in. They were scared for me and worried I might have been bulimic or sick. I felt fine..or at least I thought I felt fine.

The (Re)Gain

It took a lot to finally turn myself around. The first step was quitting the gym and giving up exercising. That was tough, but I managed by turning to Pilates and yoga…and I fell in love and they became such a huge part of my recovery.

After finding a way to cope with no intense exercising, it was time to change the eating habits. This was even harder than giving up exercise- believe it or not. I was so use to the mind set of “if I don’t burn it off, I can’t have it.” So eating more while exercising none was a challenge. And I didn’t want to go about it unhealthily by eating a lot of calorie-dense, nutrient-lacking food. So each day I’d add more and more to my plate before eating large portions, even when I wasn’t hungry, was no longer a big deal. Within a year I was back to my healthy weight.

The Maintenance

Once I gained the weight and felt it was safe to go back to exercising, I picked it up again. I do workout quite a bit, but it’s for enjoyment and keeping my body healthy..not for burning calories. I also limit myself to never going over 90 minutes in the gym and give myself at least 2 full rest days. Also, I eat..a lot- about 6-7 meals a day and get over 2000 calories. Also, I track my meals and workouts online to make sure I’m getting enough net calories to make up for the ones burnt. I’m back to being healthy and happy and am working every day to stay that way.