17 | LEARNER
Throughout my childhood, food has been a major aspect of my life, bringing frenzied delight at the mere mention of one of my many favourite indulgences. It has always been something that is usually playing at the back of my mind: what I’ll make for lunch, or whether I should have a quick snack, or if I deserve a treat.
These sorts of things led to my steady weight increase between the ages of 12 and 14. I wanted to lose the extra weight, but I didn’t know how, and I certainly wasn’t going to listen to my parents. So I agreed to see a dietitian towards the end of my Grade 9 year, when adolescent issues often reach a peak.
FOCUS AND DRIVE
My regular visits to a dietitian, Kate, brought a structure and a goal to my approach. Gradually, the kilograms began to shave off, and by the end of Grade 10 I had lost 15kg. This, in my opinion, is the most sustainable approach, because instead of going on a diet, I was merely changing my outlook.
After six months, I had stopped consulting my meal plan and had begun choosing creative alternatives and making health-smart choices on my own. The progress was certainly slow, but steady, and I refused to allow myself to stray from the path.
Losing weight did wonders for my selfconfidence, and I would partly attribute my journey from being an introverted recluse to a functioning social being to it. Food remains a major aspect of my life, and those thoughts have not left, but it’s the choices – fewer carbs, fewer fats and much smaller portions – that I have changed.
I have learnt not to feel guilty about food, but to change my relationship with it, turning it into a positive, healthy activity. If I have had a bad-eating day – it happens to the best of us – I don’t beat myself up. I just pick myself up and get straight back on track.