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Editor's Note: Confessions of a former faker

Editor's Note: Confessions of a former faker

Becky Schilling, Food Management Editor-in-Chief

Almost eight years ago I got my first job covering the noncommercial industry. I had never written about food and was a little nervous faking it as an industry writer. Back then, I was a very cautious eater and didn’t stray too far from what was comfortable and known. Slowly, but surely, I got to know and love food. So much so that when I was out recently eating with my mom, she turned to me and asked, “Who are you?”

My knowledge and love of food wasn’t the only thing I was faking. Back then I covered the K-12 schools and healthcare segments. That was about the time schools were required to start wellness programs and hospitals began to practice what they preached. It seemed that every story I wrote was about health and wellness.

At the time, neither health nor wellness had any true relevance in my life. I was grossly overweight—technically obese by body mass index standards—and my daily workout consisted of walking to and from the subway. I had just moved to New York City and, without a car to get around, I got hooked on the convenience of takeout.

I can’t say for sure what woke me up, but four years ago I decided to get real. Perhaps it was sitting in a conference where the speaker was discussing the childhood obesity epidemic or maybe it was the stories I was writing about operators creating wellness programs to help their employees, but I knew it was time for a change.

In that four years I’ve lost 90 pounds, and I must say, I’m pretty damn proud of myself. Don’t get me wrong, I still love food and I eat well—there are some perks of working for a food magazine, after all. But I’ve learned how to balance what I’m eating and to work out … a lot.

So I wanted to say thank you to all of you whom I talked to over the years about your wellness programs and making healthy decisions. It was like having my own personal dietitian and life coach without having to pay for it!

I’m certainly not the only one who has made changes to my lifestyle. This month we profile four chefs who made some kind of diet change in their lives in search of better health. Whether they were diagnosed with diabetes or they were trying to change the perception of hospital food, these four individuals made the commitment to bettering their health. And now, they’re taking it to the workplace and sharing their personal journeys with co-workers and customers.

So from all of us who were motivated to get off the sofa and eat better because of you, thanks. You changed our lives. If you have a story of personal change, I’d love to hear it.

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