My name is Chae and I absolutely love myself and my life.
But, it wasn't always that way. I spent nearly all of my life hiding from the world and I used food to shield me from the elements. I was hiding my fears, my hopes and dreams, and my unhappiness. I also hid the fact that I was gay, which I knew at a very young age. Food became my treatment of choice and my weight became my security blanket. At my heaviest, I was 300lb. I never felt comfortable in anything I wore nor did I feel comfortable being my true self. I was depressed, self-loathing, and lost.
When I was 22, I decided to take responsibility for my reality. Battling bulimia, anxiety, insomnia, and low self-esteem made me sick, and tired. But I was sick and tired of being sick and tired! Change was necessary but I wasn't sure where to start. One day, while walking across campus at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo where I was studying architecture, I stumbled upon the annual study abroad fair. I approached the first tent that caught my attention and wrote my name on the sign-up list. 7 weeks later I boarded a plane bound for Australia. The plan was to escape...but little did I know that changing my environment and giving myself a new perspective would be just what I needed to focus on my spirit.
In Oz, I was walking everywhere as I have always been an explorer by nature. I, unintentionally, lost 40lb within my first 5 months abroad. For the first time in my life, I started to feel good about myself. That was the turning point for me. I got a small taste of self-love and it was the most delicious and satisfying indulgence. I was hooked on the feeling. What came next was a lifestyle overhaul centered around awareness. I started CARING about myself. I began reading labels and asking questions. I was researching everything. I started jogging as well, about 1/4 mile to start, and made me way up to walking and jogging 2-3 miles a few times per week. When I returned home 1 year later, I felt on top of the world.
Back in California, I continued investigating my diet and exercise routine which eventually led me to become a certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist and Personal Trainer. I began focusing on strength training as opposed to endless hours of cardio and my diet continued to morph, quite naturally and very slowly, along with my changing lifestyle. I chose to nourish my body with more fruits and vegetables because they made me feel so good! The changes I experienced were unexpected and phenomenal. I was able to come off all of my medications for and reverse the symptoms of a leaky gut, psoriasis, eczema, chronic fatigue syndrome, inflammation, depression, anxiety, and alopecia areata.
Today, I am strong, happy, and 140lb lighter. I'm all about spreading awareness and love through nutrition education because I fully believe that the way we feed ourselves is reflected in not just our physical and mental health, but in the health of our spirit, the health of our relationships with others, and the health of our connection to the Earth.
My story is still in the process of being written as my journey of evolution and growth continues daily. If you'd like to follow along, please subscribe to my blog and/or newsletter and feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for reading!