Hey there! Thank you so much for visiting my page! Here’s a little background about me:
I was born and raised in the Maryland / DC area and have a younger brother. I attended an all girls Catholic school for 12 years in Bethesda, MD. and made some of the best, most supportive, and long lasting friendships that still exist to this day. My parents divorced when I was 12, and unlike many children of divorced parents, I had a very unique shared schedule. I spent Mondays and Tuesdays with my “vegan-pescatarian” mother, Wednesdays & Thursdays with my fabulous carnivorous chef of a father (he’s seriously one of the best cooks I know and that’s not his full time gig), and every other weekend switched. It sounds more stressful than it was, but having my school as constant throughout my parents divorce and all of the back and forth made all of this relatively easy.
It wasn’t until college, that I realized how much impact my grade school had on me. During those 12 years, I made friends who supported me through my parents’ divorce, played lacrosse and field hockey, and received an awesome education that helped me to go to my dream school, the University of Virginia. High School graduation in June of 2007 was bittersweet. While it was one of the most fun summers of my life, it was sad approaching the end of a 12 year era.
That fall, I moved to the beautiful city of Charlottesville, VA to attend UVA. My first few months were filled with a lot of adjustments. I was used to going to school with all girls in classes of no more than 20 – 30 students and never worried about how I looked or what I had to wear thanks to our required uniform. Now I was surrounded by men, (many of them being very attractive!), in class sizes that spanned from 30-300. Without field hockey and lacrosse, I took it upon myself to start exercising at our school gym, doing mostly cardio for about 30 minutes or so, maybe 2-3 times a week. UVA was full of exercising loving, beautiful, and intelligent students, which was pretty intimidating off the bat. Although making friends came pretty easily, I always found myself missing my hometown friends since our connections ran deep and lasted years.
Within the first month at UVA, I decided to rekindle a high school relationship with a boy at a different university. Although we lasted a brief three months, our relationship was super tumultuous and dramatic. Between the long distance and tension from meeting new people etc., my happiness was dependent upon the state of our relationship and whether or not we were fighting. Not wanting to share these feelings or fights with anyone at school, I kept this relationship a secret at the request of my boyfriend, which should have been a red flag from the start, but hey, we all make mistakes.
Although I ended our relationship in January, I became extremely depressed. My college friends noticed something was off and would reach out and encourage me to go out with them. Unfortunately, I turned most of these requests down, and spent a lot of nights crying myself to sleep in my dorm room. I developed intense anxiety that far exceeded anything I had experienced in the past. There were many nights I stayed in my dorm room bawling my eyes out, and calling my mom feeling afraid and alone. I used to hardly ever cry, and would never choose to shut myself off from others, so this was highly unlike me. The only thing at the time that made me feel better, was exercise and music.
Exercising 2-3 times a week at the gym turned into 6-7 times a week. My 30 minute elliptical sessions turned into an hour long elliptical session going as fast as I could go. The gym turned into my happy place and the one place I could set aside my depressed thoughts and regain any sort of positivity from post exercise endorphins. This took a toll however, when I was also under eating due to my lack of appetite from the depression. Between December and May of that year, I lost about 20 pounds and was scary skinny.
While I look back on my first two years of college with some regret, I rationalize it as a learning experience which led me to where I am today. Although it took me years to recover mentally and physically, I eventually got back to a healthy weight. Unlike many with eating disorders, I managed to do so slowly and on my own, and wasn’t sent to an inpatient facility (I’m not advocating for this at all, it made the process way longer). This definitely was not easy, and I don’t know that it was necessarily the best move, but it worked itself out. I graduated from UVA within 4 years with great friends, a boyfriend who is now my husband, and a great education.
It wasn’t until my first job that I really discovered my passion and love for all things health and fitness. It all started when I had slow days at work and would browse the internet or social media sites looking for something to read. One of my fellow sorority sisters, who now has a well established blog and cookbook, Laura Lea, had started a blog about her life in NYC and some of her healthy practices. From her blog, I found Peanut Butter Fingers, the Real life RD, and many other health blogs that I still read today.
I hope that my instagram and blog can inspire those struggling with eating disorders and show them that a better future exists. I will also share my healthy dining recommendations in Charleston, favorite exercise studios, some of my own recipes, also known as “fran bites,” and just a peek into my life. Thank you for visiting!