Posted on December 11 2017
Meet Lucy. Co-Founder of arc_ten and Chief Brand Officer. Below she recounts her journey to a healthy relationship with food and fitness.
“Do you want to have diabetes?” My sister yells as we begin to run along the train tracks. I picture my grandfather pricking his finger as I look down at his numb and discolored feet. The thought makes my eyes sting. “No,” I putter.
With every step, my thighs burn as they rub against each other. My lungs are on fire, and all of my body parts are actively working against me to say, “STOP RUNNING.” Everything except my mind. Because my mind is done being sick and overweight.
When I think back to my 10 year-old self running on the train tracks with my sister, I see that as my starting place on a looooooong journey to making peace with food and with myself.
Thinking about what I ate regularly as a child makes me cringe now. I distinctly remember ordering 2 Super-sized Big Mac meals with Sprite, because one wasn't enough.
Powdered donuts, chips, sodas, ice cream, and candy bars were so readily available even when we were broke. And when we were really broke, we ate ramen and chips and good ol’ hotdogs and bologna. Our family’s rationale was healthy items weren’t the most affordable purchases.
At 10 years old, I weighed over 140 pounds and wore a size 10 in junior's clothing. That's more than I weigh now.
Being that size at such a young age compounded my weight issues. I didn't want to play games at recess, because it made me feel even slower. I wasn’t fast enough to keep up in tag, so I stayed inside, made excuses, and gained more weight. With unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise, it was a cycle of weight gain.
Throughout my adolescence, I didn’t think about nutrition—that the reason I needed to eat so much to feel full was because I wasn't eating things that would naturally make me feel full.
When I moved away for college, I had complete control of what I ate—the food in my fridge, how I prepared my food, the restaurants I went to, even when I ate. I tasted asparagus, cherries, spinach, snap peas, and cauliflower for the first time in my school’s cafeteria. My idea of “healthy” evolved from a Caesar salad with lots of dressing and croutons to a rainbow plate of vegetables. I discovered that eating healthy did NOT have to be expensive.
Even as I explored new foods throughout my early twenties, making healthy eating and fitness a habit was a struggle. I would fall back into the ease of fast food and microwavable meals.
Changing my health has been a holistic process. I’ve had to change my attitude towards myself, towards food, and to what I can do physically. I’ve found forms of exercise that work with my personality. I love Zumba and yoga. Hiking and kayaking. I don’t dread them. I don’t compare myself to others as if I was 10 again and hide away.
There are lots of quick fixes out there. But learning about nutrition and making complete meals where I know everything that goes into them has made the biggest difference.
I have so much to learn and improve upon, but when I’m hard on myself or feeling unmotivated, I think about how far I’ve come from the train tracks. I’m healthier and happier because I let myself try new foods and new exercises that work for me.
Do you have questions about my journey? Write your comments below. Want to share your story? Apply for our Brand Ambassador program here.