My health and fitness levels have been up and down for much of my adult life. I was a really active, skinny kid, and that carried on through my high school years. I danced, swam, rollerbladed, and loved to play outside and go hiking in the mountains. I practically lived on my bicycle--it was my teenage key to freedom, and I would ride to the other side of the city to visit friends without ever worrying if it was too far.
However, that all changed. I went away to my first year of university and lived in residence, where the food consisted of casseroles topped with tater tots, french fries and gravy, and desserts every night. I grew up in a house where healthy (if CW) eating was the norm, and I had no clue how much havoc that new eating style could wreak. I went from slim to chubby pretty quickly, especially living in a new city and living a sedentary student life. That was made even worse the following year, when I started smoking (I was one of those rare idiots who pick up the habit as an adult).
Through my 20s, my weight went up and down. If I was active, I'd be slim, like the years that I worked in the stockroom of a store and lifted boxes all day. Then life would change and I'd go back to being larger again (topping out at a size 16, about 210 pounds).
Then, four and a half years ago, I quit smoking. I had to do something with the stress, so I began doing taekwondo, followed by getting into ballroom dancing and running. That year, I was also diagnosed with celiac disease. The diagnosis meant learning a whole new way to eat. At first, I had no idea what to do, so I basically cut out all grains, becoming sort of paleo-by-accident. Over the next few months, I dropped from a size 14 to a size 4, losing 65 pounds in the process.