Three and a half years ago, I graduated from college. Like so many other college graduates, I was bewildered, confused, and overweight. Having been chubby for several years, I finally packed on about fifteen or twenty pounds during my senior year bringing my weight to somewhere over 170 pounds (from my best estimates, around 175). But I didn’t know that then; I was so focused on my lack of a post-grad job that I didn’t notice my weight creeping up until I tried on a pair of size 14-16 pants…and they were tight.

Unlike so many others, my weight loss journey didn’t actually start there. There was never one moment when I decided, “This is the time.” It sprung from a series of unintentional decisions and lucky situations. My new roommate (now known as ex-roomie) after graduation joined my gym; I started going more. She drank nonfat milk; I switched from 2%. She subscribed to Glamour; I started a subscription to Self. My dad sent me a BBQ.

That first summer, I lost about 7 pounds. Suddenly, things clicked: I was not destined to be overweight. I could be healthy! Ex-roomie started running, and I started–slowly–to jog a few minutes at a time with her.

The good things only continued: I found a job with a bunch of health-conscious men who provided valuable information gleaned from losing weight and starting running programs. They were always supportive and never judgmental. I signed up to run a 5k, and then starting training for a 10k. When I got below 150 pounds for the first time since my senior year of high school, I started to cry. While on the scale. At the gym. Needless to say, people were cutting some startled glances my way!

Of course, disaster struck: my knees developed “patellofemoral pain syndrome” or some such nonsense. I kept working out but I wasn’t able to do the activity I had become addicted to; yet, I managed to keep off the 30 pounds I had lost. I was

When I left my job to head to law school, my weight was steady around 142 pounds. I bid a fond adieu to Ex-Roomie, packed up my things and found myself without a gym buddy, without a truly regular schedule, and with a stressful seven months ahead of me. I did alright at first. The exercise was the first to go, but I was so busy the first few weeks that I actually lost weight because I simply didn’t have time to snack. I didn’t feel great, energy-wise, but I thought, “Hey, I’ll work out, eat on a regular schedule, and I’ll be happy and healthy.”

And then, I adjusted. And all that lovely muscle shrunk, taken over by more and more padding. I sunk back into the habit of eating when I was bored, of not eating healthy portions, of relying on sweets when I was in a bad mood.

I have two finals left before this quarter ends, and I have gained back the weight I lost at the beginning of fall quarter, plus five pounds. It sounds so ridiculous: five pounds. But what matters is NOT the weight: it’s how I feel. I am tired and stressed out, and I’m not making healthy choices. I have high cholesterol; even when I lost the 30 pounds, my levels were too high. My family has a history of diabetes and high blood pressure.

I am starting this blog because, yes, I don’t want to regain those 30 pounds (for one thing, losing and regaining weight is as bad if not worse than not losing weight at all). But it’s about more than that: it’s about being stressed out and still making healthy decisions.

I’m making a (semi-)public declaration here: I’m getting back on track. Starting right now.