My name is Corissa. I am 28 years old. I have developed several autoimmune illnesses as well as other chronic illnesses throughout my short lifetime (rheumatoid arthritis at age 3, uveitis at age 6, glaucoma at age 8, wegener's granulomatosis at age 14, grave's disease at age 16, cataract by 19). I have undergone many treatments, including chemotherapy and corticosteroids, and many surgeries (bowl resection, trebeculectomies, thyroidectomy). Due to my health issues and the treatments that accompany them, my weight was effected. I've been a vegetarian since the age of 10, and have always eaten what others consider to be a healthy diet. As a teen, I struggled with eating disorders; wanting to have some sort of control over my out of control body. Several years ago, whilst in grad school and working full time at a children's psychiatric hospital as a counselor (while undergoing another round of chemo therapy), I decided to take control over my body in a positive way. It took a lot of work, given my extensive medical history and certain limitations, to gain such control, but I was able to lose approximately 70 pounds by making health my priority. I began working out regularly, up to 6 days a week, at times twice a day. I also decreased my portion size of meals. I made the decision that although I cannot control what my body is doing internally nor the (at times toxic) medications/ side effects required to survive, I could put in the extra effort to have at least some control over what happens to my body in a positive and truly healthy way. I had to realize, I am worth it, this body (as imperfect as it may be), is worth the effort.
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