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about me

Growing up, I led a pretty healthy lifestyle by default – I had a stay at home mom and 10 siblings. With that many kids, my mom always encouraged us to play outside. We were members of the swim team, golf team and the younger girls cheered. In terms of diet, my mom knew that healthy food could be stretched further and filled us longer than junk. We came home for lunch, which was always homemade, and afterschool snacks consisted of fresh fruits and vegetables, peanut butter sandwiches and the occasional pretzels.

Things started to get shaky once I hit high school, it was my first time eating in a cafeteria and having a meal be a social event. By sophomore year I forgot what was considered healthy – every day my best friend, Heather, and I would pig-out, lunch typically included a fried chicken sandwich, french fries with cheese, fro-yo with a warm chocolate chip cookie washed down with a diet soda. The point of the diet soda escapes me.

It didn’t take long for the pounds to pile on and for others to notice. The first comments came from my family, my brother John casually mentioned that I was out-eating him during family dinners. During this same time, my sister Jill was struggling with her own eating issues. While away at college Jill developed an eating disorder. On a visit home, I overheard Jill comment to my Mom that she “better watch what Angela was eating – she’s getting really chubby.”  I knew Jill wasn’t healthy but at the same time it hurt that she thought I was chubby.

The final straw was a note from my so-called best friend calling me fat. That note put me over the edge. I decided then and there that I would lose the weight and be skinnier than Heather and all of my sisters. At first, I was focused on being healthy, I started to pack lunches, eat whole grains and incorporate more fruits and veggies. The Tae Bo craze had just become popular and I was quick to jump on that band wagon.

I maintained a healthy diet that year and quickly lost 13 lbs, I felt good and recieved tons of compliments. That’s when things started to get out of control. I realized than that I could continue to lose weight if I just cut more calories. It started with halving my portions sizes and soon escalated to skipping entire meals, while maintaining a fitness program that included cheerleading practice 3-4 hours a night, 3 nights a week and Tae Bo 4-5 times a week.

My mom took me to the doctor, but since she wasn’t with me at lunch or breakfast she couldn’t really deny my claims that I was still eating healthy. Despite this my weight held out at a healthy but low BMI throughout high school. Then came college and things took a turn for the worst. Without any adult supervision I was able to live on virtually nothing. I maxed out at 300 calories a day my first semester.

That’s me on the left at one of my lower points.

That fall my weight plummeted nearly 20 lbs and my parents threatened to pull me out of college. I had a lot going for me at PSU and there was no chance I was going to leave. Lucky for me I found a super supportive friend in my sorority and she recognized my problems right away. Not only did Molly push me to see a doctor, she also encouraged me to join her for lunch and dinner. The girls in my sorority were by no means role models, but seeing them enjoy food and eat healthy helped me to get over that first hurdle.
Me a little on the heavy side, just after college graduation.

Unfortunately, I became a little too relaxed. All of those years of starvation left me ravenous. Between the all you can eat buffets, binge-drinking and late-night pizzas the pounds came quickly back and more. By sohpmore year I had gained 39 lbs and was miserable. That’s when the yo-yo cycle really began. Throughout college I would continously gain and lose the same 15 lbs. By the time I graduated I was maintaining a relatively healthy weight but still didn’t have a grasp on how to eat and exercise healthfully.

I wish I could say that things calmed down as soon as I started my career (I was in the health industry after all), but that just wasn’t the case. It took years for me to finally get to where I am now. I started by incorporating regular meals, exercising at a more relaxed pace and learning as much as I could about nutrition. With the help of my family, friends and Jeff, I am finally able to eat without feeling the shame that I once dealt with. There are days I still struggle, but knowing how much better I feel mentally and physically, and seeing others across the internet who have dealt with eating issues, allows me to shut down those feelings. I’ve never been happier.

Me and my two favorite roommates and one friend in Southampton.

My sisters Jane, Amy and Jill at Amy’s engagement party in 2009.

At Jeff’s 27th Birthday at The Box in NYC with Michele and Svetlana.