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The Beginning

January 15, 2011

I have always loved food. For as long as I can remember, I have loved to cook and eat and enjoy every bite. My mommy has told me that when she was younger, she thought food was a waste of time. As a little girl she wished scientists would come up with a food pill to take so she wouldn’t have to stop playing outside to come in and eat. I would laugh and joke that I must not really be her daughter. To me, food was never a waste of time. A day spent in the kitchen was a day well spent. I loved all different types of cuisine and was always open to trying any and every new food.

Paris in August 2008. I was enjoying authentic French onion soup for dinner.

 

Oh, and that sweet tooth! I had a raging sweet tooth like no other, and it was the one thing that I would always indulge. In restaurants, the first section of the menu I looked at was the “Dessert” page. But, in spite of that, I was not fat. I was never in my life even remotely overweight. Even back then, I was very active with my ballet and truly needed large quantities of food. Looking back now, I believe that every ounce of food I consumed – whether a large slice of chocolate cake, or a salad the size of my head – was being used to sculpt my glorious, defined muscles, and to fuel my rigorous schedule.

School field trip to the Natural History Museum in NYC in January of 2009. Chowin’ down on a Cinnabon cinnamon bun in Penn Station.

 

At the time though, that’s not how it seemed. I was shorter than most of my friends (I’m 5’3) but always heavier. Back then, I thought that I must have weighed more because I was “fatter”.  It never crossed my mind that I weighed more because I had significantly larger muscles, not fat. Though my weight was something I thought about, it was not an obsession, and for a long time I never really even thought about changing it.

My summer vacation 2008 in Europe, posing with my uncle’s beer. The girl in this photo is nowhere close to being fat, and I know that very well now.

 

I do, however, remember the day I finally did decide to become a bit healthier (again, not like I needed to). It was Tuesday, February 24, 2009, two days before my birthday, and we were having a party in Spanish class.  The day before, we had used the school’s cooking room to make empanadas, flan, and tres leches cake. Yes, I had a very fun profesora de Espanol.  That Tuesday, we had all brought in a few extra treats-cookies, fruit salad, brownies-to go along with what we had cooked. Spanish was the last period of the day, and I spent the 45 minute class chatting with my friends and enjoying the delicious food.

One of my friends had brought in two types of Chips Ahoy cookies, and I was eating them in a very carefree way. Thinking about it now, I would even say that what I was doing was healthy. I mean, what almost fourteen-year-old doesn’t enjoy a few cookies now and then? And they were pretty small too, the kind you can eat in about two bites. I remember reaching for my seventh cookie. I was chewing along rather contentedly, thinking about school being over in six minutes, and what I would do to celebrate my birthday in two days.

Upon finishing my last bite, something hit me: no one else at my table, not a single other friend of mine, had eaten as much as I had. I was already bigger then them, (bigger, but not fatter, as I now know) and I thought that this must be why. I vowed to lay off the sweets for a while, with the exception of my approaching birthday, with the innocent intent of just getting a little healthier.

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