The Girl Getting Simple

Hello, everyone!  So I guess you’re interested in knowing who is behind all these not-very-understandable postings, yeah?  Well, that’s me!

General Background

My name is Miranda and I’m a 19 year-old junior in college.  Even though I started in 2008, I’ll be graduating a year early in 2011 with a B.S.F.C.S. in Child and Family Development before I [hopefully] pursue a masters in psychology at a school setting.  It’s always been a dream of mine to be able to help all kids of all ages and backgrounds better themselves and counseling just seemed to fit.

I currently live with my my boyfriend, Alec, and our two pets – Sasha, who is a Siberian Husky/German Sheppard mix, and Harper, a small cat who just happens to be fat.  We try to cram all of us plus our stuff in a tiny apartment in the bad side of our little-big college town.  It’s terribly convenient to campus, looks amazing on the inside, and is close to everything.  We’re hoping to move.

I’m a laid-back type of person – I don’t like to intrude, I rarely speak up in class, and I tend to try and not “rock the boat.”  If I’m put into a situation where I feel my morals or values are being tested, I usually stand and deliver but I try to be conscious of what others around me are feeling so I don’t go unnecessarily far.

To be as laid-back and come-what-may as I am, I’m a very driven and stubborn person.  I don’t like being told I can’t do things and, most often that not, I go out of the way to prove that I can.  When I have a goal, I usually stick with it until it’s complete or else I’ll dwell on it later.

My History with Food

Food and I have always gotten along.  Not saying I was a porker growing up but there was nothing I wouldn’t eat.  I’ll try anything once – sometimes more than once just to make sure I’ve judged it correctly.

I love to cook and experiment with new things.  In fact, my earliest memory is being four years old and trying to make play-dough out of a recipe that I found in one of my books.  I even made from scratch waffles at this age!  I guess it was always in my blood – my grandmother owned and ran her own restaurant and my parents actually fell in love while working at that restaurant – my mom as a waitress and my dad as a cook.

I always ate well while at home.  My mom is a nutrition manager at a school which lead me to learn my basic food groups like my ABCs.  I can’t count how many times my mother told me the importance of having a properly balanced meal.  During my Junior year in high school, however, I got a job at a retail store in an Outlet Center near my school.  I don’t know how it was even legal but I typically worked 30-40 hours a week there while being in school and participating in multiple after school activities.  It was during this time that I picked up a few “bad” habits.  McDonald’s, one place that I absolutely loathed before hand, became my favorite place to eat since it was always open, especially after leaving work at twelve or one in the morning on some nights.

When I went to college, these bad habits stuck.  I didn’t party like my other friends but I would eat at odd hours and it would be heavy, greasy meals that were cheap and easy.  It seemed I had lost everything that I had once held so dearly from before.

Exercise and me

Exercise was never my forte.  Heck, as a child, I chose to play in band so that I wouldn’t have to take P.E. year-long.  I just never got into it – all the running and sweating and panting and stuff.  It just never appealed to me.  I once told my gym teacher that I wasn’t going to run the mile because I didn’t see the point of running full on for ten minutes just to get back where I started.  Sure, I got a stern talking to but remember, I’m stubborn!

During my last year of high school, a friend of mine who was obsessed with working out introduced me to the joys of dancing and yoga for fitness.  This made sense to me.  It was fun, it was relaxing, I didn’t sweat too bad.  Soon afterwards, I started thinking about how awesome it would be to take yoga classes or dance lessons but never really had the time to make the dream a reality.

In my second semester of college, I started working out at the on-campus gym regularly in hopes of getting in shape.  A month or so in, I managed to bang up my knee to the point where it was painful just to walk on it and so had to take some time off.  Eventually, that fell to the waist side, too.

Weight

I wouldn’t say that I’ve always been fat or anything like that but I’ve always had an issue with weight.  Being the first girl to hit puberty in my class, I always felt bigger than other girls my age, more awkward and clumsy.  I spent many years hiding my “weight” in baggy clothing and an “I-don’t-care” attitude, though it hurt me on the inside.  Looking back, I know I was never fat – the clothes made me look bigger than I really was.

I entered into high school in the 129-132 range, thanks to an intense summer of movement.  I would love to say I found a love of soccer or tennis or swimming but nope!  I started marching band, something that wouldn’t be so slimming except that we practiced outside for weeks in the summer for hours on end.  Did I mention it was in Georgia and the temperature was usually in the 90s or above?  Oh, yeah.  It went there.

But I felt the best I ever had!  I was becoming more social, actually looked skinnier, and was learning to take care of myself.  When I left high school, I was in the 138-142 range but nothing too drastic – I chalked it up to being “relationship” weight when I started going out with my boyfriend and working weird hours.

In the past year and a half, I’ve managed to go from 142 to 155, almost 160.  I’ve never been this heavy in my life and, for my height of 5’7″, it puts me dangerously close into the overweight range.  But, for me, it’s not about what the scale says – it’s about how I feel.  I don’t feel like myself and I don’t feel healthy.  I feel like that little girl again in those baggy clothes except now it’s a reality.

The Change

In the beginning of 2010, my partner [the same boyfriend from high school] and I decided to challenge ourselves to become healthier since we’ve both had a significant increase in weight and decrease in wellbeing in the past couple of years.  We’ve cut down the fast food, left McDonald’s completely in the dust, and have tried more healthy living.  For me, that meant eating more balanced meals, just like my momma taught me, and exercising more.  I bought a knee brace and some yoga equipment for the latter but I was hung up on the food bit.  Try as I might, I couldn’t balance my meals.  I have the know-how just not that extra push.

Discouraged, I turned to the internet for some inspiration and that’s when I found all these health and food blogs.  I read them for a while, trying to grasp the idea and see if it seemed to work, and slowly fell in love with the community.  So, one random day in February, I signed up for WordPress, spent a few hours trying to figure out how to post something, and then started out on my biggest journey yet.

Making my life a little healthier, a little more balanced, and a little more simple.

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