I’m a little more than 3 years into my fitness journey now. Feeling much more like my old self. Not in the sense that I didn’t actually feel like myself; but being confident in your personality and the person you are, and feeling confident in your appearance and the way you look physically are two really different things. This is also a very personal opinion. Not everyone feels the same as I do and that’s completely okay because everyone’s journey is going to look and sound different. As someone who has been small framed their whole life, weight gain came as kind of a shock to me I won’t lie. I guess I just never really imagined it being something that I’d ever really be forced to think about.
You get older, things happen. Life happens. Metabolism changes. Your body changes. Hormones change. I get it.
I moved away from my home town of 22 years. I took a job working as a barista at one of the most popular coffee chains ever! ;] I did so much soul-searching. I made new friends. I grew as an adult. I sorted a lot of things out. I learned a lot about myself and others, and I am SO thankful to have gained all of that. I wouldn’t do it differently if I could re-live that time period. But somewhere along the lines, I totally lost sight of my health. I did this for obvious reasons:
• Always being a “thin” person • Never having to pay attention to a healthy diet because of always being a “thin” person • Always having the money to eat out • Never making time to actually cook real meals • Alcohol •
You get the idea..
My weight was at its peak when I hit about 167 lbs. Keep in mind, I’m only 5’3″… I’m not built to carry that much extra weight. I became really unhappy for a little while, and was so uncomfortable! You would never have seen this because I do try not to let negativity have any place in my life so I strive really hard not to let things eat at me. But I started noticing that there was no way for me to hide my weight gain in photos anymore – I started buying size 12 jeans – I drank a couple of bottles of wine a week – I ate out frequently, and a bunch of other CRAZY things were going on. I don’t know how or why but I had the notion that I was physically unable to lose weight and that even if I did get serious about it, that my body would never physically let me be healthier and more fit again. I even made doctor appointments to have my thyroid tested and a few other things that can have effects on weight loss.
I was just fine.
So, I decided to make changes. I wanted to be serious. I wanted to start. I wanted to at least try. So I got a membership at L.A. Fitness. I got a discount on initiation fees because of Starbucks and it was only $30.00/month so I went with it. I took baby steps and started walking on the treadmill, doing the exercise bike, and the elliptical. I’m not sure why I gravitated to cardio equipment [considering that I once flunked P.E. in high school… DO NOT JUDGE THIS] but, I did. I would stare at my friend Stephanie who would do a 10 minute warm-up when we’d get to the gym and I’d think “how in the actual hell does she run for ten minutes straight?!” But, like most things important in life, this was going to take time so I just worked at it and worked at it and we can just fast forward about 8 months and now……..I can run 5k in roughly 31-33 minutes.
Not too terrible!!!
But it honestly doesn’t matter really because again..YOUR journey. Well, mine but you know what I mean. You will go at your pace and do things when you’re ready and who knows how long it’ll be. Another 8 months pass by and now I’ve added weight training into the mix about 3 days a week along with a pretty balanced diet! The more time went on, the more serious I would get about all of this. It really did become so much more than just a goal or accomplishment. It’s actually become my life-style. I cut out a lot of my dairy intake too. I switched over to unsweetened almond milk which doesn’t bother me because I’ve never been a huge fan of “regular” milk to begin with so I actually ended up liking almond milk more. I definitely stopped drinking alcohol. If I have drinks now it’s usually no more than 2 and then I pass right out like a ninny. I started getting full nights of rest and drinking tons of water. I stopped drinking soda and diet soda..all types of crazy things I never would’ve imagined I would do.
The thing about wanting to live healthy is that it actually does require a LOT of changes, and way more discipline than I would have ever thought someone like me would be capable of. I’m literally the most impatient person! I would work out for a week and be disappointed when I wouldn’t see results…yes, one of “those” people. It took me a while to get the hang of it all and to find what works best for me and my body. I’m not perfect, so of course I fell off the wagon more than a few times, and I don’t by any means claim to be perfect at this now. A health/fitness journey never really ends once you begin. It’s a forever thing. There is always new information coming out and you can never stop learning about food and your body and how to nourish yourself; we’re humans so we’re going to make mistakes and give into those amazing donuts from the corner bakery on the weekends sometimes, or stay up really late packing the kitchen eating a pint of Ben & Jerry..the key is to not make habits out of those things and let them deter you from your goals. Brush it off and keep moving. I really need people to know how impossible I thought all of this was for me and that if I can do it, literally anyone can do it! There are going to be times when the motivation just is not there and that’s okay too as long as you know that it doesn’t just “appear”, and no gym partner, spouse or significant other, personal trainer, nutritionist, friend or family member is ever going to motivate you the way that YOU are going to need to motivate you so please don’t depend on another person to give you that. It’s not realistic. People in your life can be the most amazing supporters, but they aren’t going to do it for you and they aren’t going to hold you accountable for everything. Only you are going to do that, I promise.
Okay, so now that I’ve written a mini book here and given you a little background on why I wanted to start this whole journey – here are some of the older and more recent before and during photos that I have. I used to be really against before pictures but trust me, you will want them later – so just do it! Anyway; before and during, there is no “after”. Like I said, it’s a forever thing!