I will never say my decision to start losing weight was an easy one. I had a pretty terrible three days and it led me to focus on myself and making sure I was happy. While I had never been fully content with my weight, I never let it hold me back from living my life. As a full-time graduate student, my process always starts with research, so I looked into credible lifestyle change advice and recognized dieting fads weren’t going to lead me to real, sustainable results. At work, I started observing what people ate. The key is moderation. I started tracking my calories, meal prepping, and going to the gym.

Between school and two jobs, timing was everything and freeing up that time was crucial. Interning at the Celanese office in Dallas also gives me access to a gym facility, which really helped me stay committed while simultaneously avoiding rush hour traffic. I had changed my diet, started working out and after 4 months and 40 pounds, I received the email that put my journey into overdrive.