When I was younger I used to play a lot of sports, but then my weight prevented me from doing that. I was always the slowest in gym class, and when I played basketball I would get tired really quickly. It was just hard.


Eating too fast
I used to eat in my room for a while. No one could see me. When I used to eat at home, I would take my spoon and I would eat really fast. I wouldn’t even chew my food well; I would just shove it in my mouth, chew, swallow, and shove a bunch more in my mouth. My mom used to tell me that my food is not going to run away from me, and I know that, but still. Then I learned that when you eat fast, and when you put a lot of food in your mouth, you might think you’re hungry even though you’re really full.


Emotional eating
I think anyone struggling with weight knows that they need to lose weight, but it’s finding the motivation to do it that’s the problem. Everyone knows that people eat because of emotion and not always just because they’re hungry. When you’re overweight, you get depressed when people make fun of you, and that’s one of the hardest things. When people are telling you that you need to lose weight, it just makes you want to eat more. So the hardest thing is coming to the realization that you can’t fix everything with food, and that you really need to stop eating. Not completely, obviously, but regulate meal times, and even allow yourself a snack or two a day– just don’t overdo it. For me that was the hardest thing.


Gaining weight
I was never overweight until last year. Before, I weighed 130 lbs, but I probably gained 50 lbs in the last six months. It [made me feel] really gross. I gained weight mostly because I used to be so active playing soccer that once I stopped, I gained weight. I know it’s kind of depressing, but now I have motivation to lose the weight.


Starting a program
I came to the program because my neurologist suggested it. Right now I have something called a pseudo tumor [in my brain]. They’re not really sure how I got it. One of the possibilities is that it’s my weight, and since I’m already overweight they figured it would be easier if I worked on my weight so they could cross that off the list of things that it could be. It was interesting to go talk to the people at the clinic. It was sort of awkward at first because I’d never done anything like that before, but I learned a lot there about eating and what I should eat– just basic knowledge. They gave me a bunch of menus with different foods to eat, and I found that really helpful.

[Later] When I first came to the clinic, I was really frustrated. Before I developed a brain tumor, I was less than 120 pounds, I was a size six, and I had just lost a lot of weight. I’d never been very heavy, but I felt really happy with myself. After my tumor, I didn’t change anything and I gained 100 pounds in the first year or so. By the time I came to the clinic, I was about three times the weight I had been before my tumor. My back was hurting, my ankles were hurting, and I didn’t know what I could do to change; I already exercised and didn’t eat very much. I was very discouraged as to what the possibilities were going to be. After my tumor, they didn’t even know if it was possible for me to lose weight.