Why foodie to fighter?

This column is admittedly difficult for me to write. For the past two years, you’ve known me as the Platter Chatter writer, delivering occasional cover features and explorations of topics beyond the realm of food.

For the past two years, I’ve also run a food blog and Instagram under the name “Follow Your Fork”, where I share my passions surrounding food, cooking, and local agriculture. Because of this, many think of me as a “foodie.” In many ways, that’s true. My life revolves around food.

From my Roc’n Kitchen webseries to my articles in this publication, it’s easy for me to put on a brave face and wax poetic about food.

But there’s more to this story. In fact, it took a long time for me to see food as an outlet of joy rather than an enemy. From the age of eight to just this year, I’ve struggled with an on-and-off eating disorder, body image issues, and a slew of other weight-related problems. Growing up, I was teased for my weight and dreamed of being a new, different person. In college, I transformed this self-hating mindset into one of self-love and managed to lose 50 pounds using exercise and – the very thing I feared – food.

I still struggle with these things, but the difference now is that I’m looking to find ways to grow, change, and become stronger as a human being. To become a fighter.

Have you ever seen the show “Made?” Growing up, I loved watched down-and-out teens like myself set goals and undergo miraculous transformations. I loved watching them sweat a nd struggle and consequently triumph. One of my favorite episodes, in particular, was when they transformed an unconfident young woman into a fearless boxer. I’ve taken kickboxing on and off since I was a teenager, but never felt confident in my skills. This year, 2018, I want that to change.

So why fighter? I’m doing this for me, for my younger self who was afraid to take up space in her body, who didn’t know how strong she really could be. I’m doing this for my present self, who loves challenges and facing her fears head on. This isn’t about weight loss, or about being thin – this is about inhabiting the body I was given and showing up, even when it’s hard.

For the next year, I’ll be working with the team at Title Boxing Club in Pittsford to undergo this transformation. Follow this column for updates, tips on how to be a fighter yourself, and my many trials and tribulations. Pittsford Boxing Club opens its doors on Thursday, January 11. Check out their open house and come say hi.