VIEWPOINTS: I promise to get on track

Like a New Year's resolution, my complete dedication to a healthy lifestyle has recently gone out the window.

And as the health reporter, you should know how hard it is for me to admit this.

Some would say my diet and exercise routine is better than the average American's. I go running every day and cringe at the sight of hydrogenated oils, fried foods and fast food restaurants.

But I'm someone who likes to set high goals for myself, and my current lifestyle is not up to par, in my mind.

My dedication to health started after I graduated from high school. I was fixated on being healthy and losing weight. I started a vigorous exercise routine complemented by a healthy diet.

By the beginning of my sophomore year at college I had lost about 100 pounds and I was feeling (and looking) great.

As the stress of college really began to set in, I began to slack off. I continued to run almost every day, but my "perfect" healthy diet started to fall by the wayside. Little by little, I started to gain back some of the weight I had worked so hard to lose - and it's been mentally painful.

I was doing so great for so long, so why did I start to go back to my old ways?

Honestly, I don't know. I'll admit to being a stress eater, and that's the only explanation I can come up with for why I've slipped. I had learned to put the urge to eat under pressure behind me, but something pushed me back.

Maybe it was all that time restricting my diet - never eating cake at birthdays, skipping the bread. Maybe it just got boring.

I thought I had made a lifestyle change and had promised, after losing those pounds, that I would never go back. Unfortunately, promises are often broken, especially when you make them with yourself.

It may sound silly, but I miss my old self. The thinner, more energized me, not to mention my size 4 and 6 jeans.

I realize I may sound vain, and I've probably only gained back a fourth of the weight that I lost. While I can't bear to hear friends and family tell me how they thought I was too skinny before (which I've determined is only a nice way of telling me they noticed I've gained weight), the desire to change runs deeper.

So I've decided to start over. I'm making that promise again that I made to myself nearly six years ago.

I'm going to eat better, exercise more and have faith in myself that I can do what I did in the past again. I've joined my local YMCA, where I'll be adding new workouts and aerobics classes at the gym after work.

This time, I'm putting it in writing, and asking the people reading this right now to hold me accountable.

So if you see me out and about, ask me how I'm doing. I hope I can say I'm feeling great and on my way to feeling even better.

E-mail staff writer Melissa Wilson at melissa.wilson@gwi-nnettdailypost.com.