Being born and raised in Los Angeles, I’ve always been surrounded by pressed juice shops and trendy workout studios. However, my journey with wellness only began at age 17. As a child I had always struggled with my weight. The reality was that I was 11 years old and quite hefty… or as my mom would say, “pleasantly plump.” Whether it was literally breaking the playground swing set or fracturing my sister’s arm by sitting on it—yes, by sitting on it—my size consistently lowered my self-esteem throughout much of my childhood.
It wasn’t until my freshman year in high school that I decided I was done with being the chubby friend. I worked out vigorously and ate almost nothing. An app called My Fitness Pal quickly became my new best friend; it allowed me to track my caloric intake (a detrimental 1100 a day), ultimately putting me on the path to an eating disorder.
Sure, I was thin and the compliments rolled in… but was I happy? No. Obsessing over calories prevented me from living my life fully. There were countless times that I would cancel plans out of fear of where my friends would choose to go for dinner and what food I’d be exposed to. My unhealthy habits were destructive to both my mental and physical wellbeing, and it took an intervention by my close friends and family for me to realize the harm I was causing my body and mind.
By researching online and seeking advice from fitness instructors, I’ve finally reached a happy place. I no longer count calories but rather listen to my body’s cravings and needs. I’ve gotten to a point where eating whole foods and attending my nightly yoga-sculpt classes no longer feel like chores. I’m at a place where taking care of my body in healthy ways feels damn good. So, yes, I’ve learned the importance of eating well and staying active, however this website isn’t all about kale, quinoa, and pilates classes. I’ve created this online publication because, being a teenager myself, I know how important it is to be fit, well, and happy. I am now a freshman at New York University and am proud to say that I’ve learned how essential it is to balance my commitments with taking time out for myself. That being said, I strive to live an optimistic and healthy lifestyle mentally and physically, and I hope to guide and educate others to do the same. You must take care of yourself in order to live your best life.