I’ve come very far since my visit to H3 – it really did change my life. [Since my visit in June 2008,] I have lost 70 pounds and have gained a lot of self confidence and determination. When my mom told me she and I were going to H3 a few years ago, I was excited and nervous. When I think of the time leading up to going – it never really occurred to me that I wanted to lose weight; I got to a point where I knew I was heavy but didn’t really care much. Then when I got there [to H3] and started exercising and losing weight, it was an awesome feeling. She [my mom] and I bonded when we were there which was also really nice. We were able to lean on each other and motivate [each other] when we felt like it was too hard or when one [of us] felt like we wanted to give up. – That was my favorite part about having my mom there. Even when we got home it was helpful because we made healthy meals and went to the gym together and did pool workouts! It was fun too because I set goals for myself – for example, when I lost 30 pounds I bought a really nice perfume or new clothes. It’s a whole new life for me now and I am really thankful for that.
The one thing I will never forget was when my mom and I got off the airplane before we arrived at H3 and I got a TCBY ice cream. We met this lady at the airport who was also going to H3, for her third visit, and she said to me “that may be your last ice cream for a while because this place will change your life.” – At the time I thought that was really cheesy, but now I have said it too.
It is definitely very hard being in college and staying on a diet. Eating in a dining hall is sometimes a challenge because there aren’t always the healthiest choices and sometimes I would love to eat that pizza they serve everyday – BUT, I just remember that I never want to be at the weight I used to be. So I skip the room with the bad food and head straight to the salad/soup bar. [Another healthy tool I’ve picked up] is buying 100-calorie pack snacks or fruit and keeping it in my room for the times I want something to eat when my friends are snacking. If I get discouraged or anything I really just remember how far I have gotten and how much better I feel and look now. It is very hard at times but like anything, dieting becomes a part of a lifestyle and you just learn to live by it.
I have really grown from then, not only have I lost weight, I have done so much better in school, I have a boyfriend now and life is just more enjoyable. I will continue to eat healthy and exercise and hopefully help encourage people as well. My mom and I are actually thinking about coming back to when I graduate in May!