But once the pain set in, I realized that would not be the case.
Now, several years later, I was sliding fast towards 30 and creaking around my apartment like an old person. I started small, going to yoga classes once a week, then twice. I started eating better. I quit smoking. I spent a whole year meticulously counting calories. I then started working out three to four days a week two year in. I spent about six months eating no dessert.
Since the beginning of all of this nonsense, I've gotten a little stronger, my lungs are better, but no weight lost. I get sick just as often. I still can't do a proper push up. I found out recently that my obsessive counting of salt milligrams was actually making me ill. I apparently need closer to 4 grams of salt, not the "recommended" 2. Thanks for the lies, FDA!
Since nothing's working, I've decided to try something different. Instead on focusing on calories, fat, sugar or anything else, I'm going to try focusing on eating as much whole foods as possible. Unprocessed and mostly unprocessed ingredients made into hearty dishes.
The first thing I decided to do was crowd source a few recipes to get me off the ground. My friends were overwhelmingly helpful, sending over mostly "clean" eating recipes, where all or most of the ingredients were unprocessed or only slightly processed. I switched from pasta and white rice to whole grains.
The transition is going better than expected; everything I have made has been delicious (minus a particularly awful version of egg drop soup). Although making everything from scratch and avoiding flour and added sugar is much harder than it should be, I have gotten a lot of support. Although I'm only a week in, I have been incredibly successful with the changes I have made. I average between 60% and 80% whole foods every day. I think this might actually be a "diet" that makes sense for my lifestyle. It might even help me lose those 20 pounds I've been dying to get rid of!