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  • Writer's pictureAlyssa Mongroo

My Health Journey

My Health Journey

When we’re younger we never appreciate our bodies for what they are. But as we grow and change, what we fail to realize is, our bodies need to change. We always doubt ourselves, wishing we could go back to our younger bodies but if we had those bodies, we wouldn’t be healthy. This is a tough lesson I had to learn between 2020 and this year. In 2022 I am at my healthiest that I probably could ever be both mentally and physically. But that comes after a whole two years of being really hard on myself in the worst ways.

As many of you know in 2020, I suffered a really heartbreaking loss. Right before that happened, gyms were still kind of closed in Boston and had just started opening back up again. I signed up for a personal trainer at the Boston Sports Club in Allston. About a week after, life just happened and I didn’t know how to adjust. I went home to finish out the rest of my semester, (even though we were remote already), which was probably the most stressful part of all of this. But even after the dust had settled a bit I found it hard to readjust to life as I knew it.

I had problems sleeping--- I still do. I felt like I couldn’t get out there are be a regular person again. For about a month I just stayed inside and did nothing but watch Netflix. I felt my body telling me to get up and get outside get some fresh air. But my stubbornness told me nothing would help. I even took a little break from influencing. When I did get back to Boston, it was even a tougher readjustment because I was living alone.

I had two major turning points that happened about 5 months later. The first one happened after one happened after my Spring Semester of 2L, I was visiting a family member. We were all at a restaurant sitting on a high top. As I climbed to get on, this family member made a comment that I was getting “too big” for the seat. I sat there shocked and upset by the boldness. Looking back, I don’t think my reaction would have changed even now. This was totally unacceptable. I knew I had put on weight, but look at what I was going through.

The second turning point happened about two months later. The day before I went on vacation to the Dominican Republic, I had tried on a bathing suit and absolutely HATED the way I looked. I was so embarrassed and just so upset. I sucked it up and went on the trip, but I was constantly judging myself. Constantly wondering if people looked at me with the same judgment that I did.

So about a week or so after I came back, I started to get serious about my health. I was sick of feeling the way I did, and I told myself that if I am being serious and actually working on it then there is no reason to look at myself as negatively as I should be. I started running. I am NOT a runner but, you know, I just did it. I rejoined the gym and began doing the TikTok Trend 3 12 30 on the treadmill as well as the stairmaster. I got serious about my diet and stopped eating junk food. I began to incorporate more greens and salads into my diet. I am not a huge fan of salads, but the trick is learning to make them taste good, again I have to thank TikTok for that. If I want a snack, I try to go for healthier options like carrots and hummus, or a fruit like a clementine.

I felt like I wasn’t seeing results until recently, when I went shopping for my trip to Cancun. There is a significant change and I am so much happier because of it . I don't just mean the physical change, more emphasis on the mental change. I am so proud of myself for how far I’ve come, and while it isn’t where I want to be yet ,the progress deserves a round of applause. I’ve learned to love myself along this journey and appreciate the fact that I will never look the way I was when I was 16 again, it would be unhealthy and that’s okay. My body is healthy, I am not sick I don’t have any serious illnesses. I am doing what I can but I am also taking care of myself. I still find it hard to gear away from judging myself with my own critical eye, but I am not as harsh as I used to be. I don’t have the strength to show my before picture, but just know that this body has come a long way.

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