By the time I turned 19, I had already deeply internalized the unspoken rule that if I wanted to meet a guy and get married, I had to be thin. For years I had been bouncing around diets—from Weight Watchers to Atkins, South Beach to Cabbage Soup, and back to Atkins—trying desperately to lose the excess weight I had carried since childhood. But it just wasn’t happening.
I was worried: Why would anyone want to go out with me? How would I find a guy to settle down with, if I couldn’t get my weight down? My biological clock was ticking!
One day my mother called me up and told me how she had just bumped into a family friend who lost half her body weight and looked amazing. My mother had gotten the number of the nutritionist this friend was using, and in no uncertain terms informed me that I had an appointment set up for six weeks later (this nutritionist was popular, apparently). It wasn’t exactly what I had planned for myself, but I quickly resigned myself to realizing that this was just what I needed. I wanted to meet someone, and this was how it was going to happen.