G R A D U A T I . . . . .s this real life?
Looking back four years ago to being a senior in high school, I thought I was on top of the world. You wait, for what seems like, your whole schooling career to be an actual S E N I O R—to be amongst the “top dogs” on campus, the coolest, oldest and most talked about students—but for me, it didn’t mean all that exactly. It meant I finally had to make THE decision and answer question after question. . . . . Which college are you going to D? What are your plans? What do you want to be? Will you stay close to home or travel far? Will you play basketball or hang up the kicks? So many questions, so little time. High school was a memorable roller coaster ride, but does anyone expect a teenager to know 100% what they want to do, be and become without changing their minds along the way? My father is an athletic superhero in my eyes and introduced us all to sports and it quickly became our lives to the point where, essentially, our whole family was known for our athleticism. My siblings and I have been playing sports our whole lives—since we could walk practically. Growing up I was always compared to Blu and our older sister, Gisemi—let’s be real, I had huge shoes to fill. These two were known as the toughest, most skilled dynamic duo 1-2 punch in all of New England (may or may not be being dramatic) but they were every coach’s D R E A M and played their way to receiving full-scholarships to DII colleges to play basketball. Yes, it was remarkable! It was a dream come true, mission accomplished. And truly, I was on the same path as them but my story didn’t end up quite the same . . . . .
Long story short, I went to culinary school in Rhode Island (on loans) and only played DIII basketball two out of my four years. I only switch majors once and studied my way to a Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Nutrition. No one, excluding my family, truly knows why I chose this route in comparison to the glorious life of a full-scholarship athlete.
Cutting to the chase, I developed an eating disorder freshman year in high school and it continued all throughout until I finally put my mind to ease and decided to learn about food nutritiously and become its friend, not enemy, in college. I was never hospitalized for my disorder but most certainly had to begin to see a professional twice a week my junior year of high school. It was hectic as E V E R—having to fib to your soccer coach and teammates as to why you had to be late to practice twice a week, let alone push your friends away because you could not fathom anyone but your family knowing your current life-altering struggle. To me, an eating disorder is something that never leaves your thoughts or everydy well-being but essentially becomes a part of you, apart of you for L I F E. I thought I was in control of my habits until I realized that it was C O N T R O L L I N G me in everyway possible and hindering me ways no one could ever imagine. Deciding to become a friend of food + nutrition was my greatest choice.
Graduating from college was an unbelievably rewarding accomplishment and brought forth so many different emotions that I cannot put into words and will never ever forget—college was simply a time that I will forever remember, laugh and reminisce so much about! So many highs and so many lows along the way — from my first heart-break to my first alcoholic beverage to making and losing friends 4ever + EVERYthing in between J college was incredible but was most certainly not the best years of my life—looking back now, college is merely a fantasy land you live in for four years as you begin to truly discover who YOU are as you prepare to start a life in the REAL world once fantasy land is over. Don’t be silly, growing up is the biggest T R A P ever.
I am currently on my way to becoming a registered dietitian and living life as a health enthusiast + lover of all things that make your inside smile just as big and bright as your outside! And yes, living with an eating disorder has indeed consumed me in countless ways. And no, it was not easy to overcome but being persistent, determined and wanting better for myself changed e v e r y t h i n g—finally feeling in control + amigos with food at the age of 23 is exhilaratingly really friggen A W E S O M E ! #EatBetterFeelBetter
To all my family, friends, nutrilovebugs + ERYone in between—ILY4EVER and everly ever ever, always. Thank YOU thank YOU to furthest stars and UNtil eternity for being YOU and staying by my side through it all, couldNOT have accomplished all that I have without you!