It’s never too late to live the life you’ve always wanted.
Once upon a time, I was in a very difficult place in my life. At 23 years old, I was an overweight medical student who was constantly stressed, self-conscious, and anxious. The stress and workload of med school overwhelmed me to the point where I would try to binge eat my problems away (except the problems never went away). I spent my first two years of med school doing nothing but sitting, studying, and eating. Pizza and junk food became my staples because I always made excuses about having no time to cook. In order to keep myself awake at night, I’d sip on high-calorie coffee drinks and snack on candy constantly. I didn’t exercise because I felt like I had to spend all my waking hours studying (med student guilt). Because of this, I was ALWAYS tired. I hated having my picture taken because I couldn’t stand the way I looked. I never socialized because I lacked confidence. I just didn’t FEEL happy or healthy. Even though I was a med student, I felt like I was at an all-time low. I let myself go.
Snapshots from my first and second years of medical school
During my last year of med school, I realized that I needed to take my life into my own hands. I couldn’t keep living this way. So I started becoming more mindful of what I ate, and I started exercising daily. I educated myself on healthy eating and discovered at-home workouts including T25 and Insanity (FYI — I’m NOT affiliated with BeachBody, I just truly believe in their products). The weight loss was very slow. There were some days where I lacked motivation or just didn’t have the energy to exercise after a long day at the hospital. But I had a vision for how I wanted my life to be like, and that’s what kept me going. No surgeries and no shortcuts. For exercise, I chose to do T25 first because it only required 25 minutes of my day. At first I’d have to pause the video several times to catch my breath (and say small prayers). But as I progressed, I found myself having greater stamina and energy. Pretty soon, I’d actually look forward to my daily exercise.
In terms of my eating habits, I didn’t follow a specific diet. I just decreased my carb intake and was always at a calorie deficit (I ate approximately 1400-1600 calories per day). Looking back, my eating plan was probably most consistent with the Atkin’s diet. It took me about 1 year to lose 50 lbs. As I LOST weight, I started GAINING energy, confidence, self-respect, and a spark to live my best life.
Today, I no longer suffer from anxiety. I LOVE socializing. I’m happy and resilient. And (as you may know) I love taking pictures. Being healthier not only changes the way you look, but it changes your whole life as well.
My diet isn’t perfect and I’m still not at my optimal fitness goal yet. My weight fluctuates week to week — but I’ll continuously be a work in progress. Health is a JOURNEY, not a destination❤️ Hopefully this inspired some of you to make small changes in your life. Stay tuned for PART 2!