"Waking up every morning with a healthy body is the best gift."
I wasn't overweight growing up. I would drink and eat whatever I wanted, and I never once thought about calorie intake. Exercising was something I had zero interest in.
I was on the curvy side in college, but I never felt uncomfortable with my size.
Then, a year after I graduated college, I moved from my hometown in upstate New York to New York City to be with a guy I was dating - and that's when I really started to gain weight. The relationship became toxic, and I started using food to cope.
I started feeling noticeably worse. I was constantly tired, my back hurt, and simple things like getting off the couch became a struggle. I was overweight, extremely anxious, and depressed, and I had no idea how I was going to pull myself out of this hole I felt like I'd dug for myself.
Then, after a particularly scary outburst from my ex, I left him. It was 2015, and I had gained around 35 pounds at that point. I stayed with a close friend of mine who ate nutritious foods and would cook us lunch and dinner.
Without much effort, I started to lose weight. But a month later, once I got settled in my own place and started dating someone new, I returned to my unhealthy habits - and my new boyfriend followed suit.