Having been born and raised in Los Angeles, I’ve always been surrounded by juice shops and trendy workout studios. However, my journey with wellness only began at age 17. As a kid 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—yep, 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 obsession; 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? Absolutely not. Obsessing over calories prevented me from living my life to the fullest. There were countless times that I would cancel plans out of fear of where my friends would want to go for dinner and what foods 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 professionals, I’ve finally reached a happy place. I no longer count calories but rather listen to and understand my body’s cravings and needs. I’ve gotten to a point where eating whole foods and going to workout 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 having a healthy relationship with food and fitness, but 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, confident, and happy. I am now a sophomore 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 educate others to do the same. I’ve made the switch from obsessing over calories to being obsessed with guiding others to be their best selves. You must take care of yourself in order to be well and live your best life.