Workout Journey

My workout journey began in 9th grade as a way to cope with my parent’s divorce.  I didn’t know it then, but it would become an addiction I still feel today.  I played sports at the time, so the gym was in addition to practices/games.  It started with miles a day on the treadmill until I got severe shin splints training for soccer season.  Soon enough my workouts would consist of at least 45 minutes on the elliptical and minimal weight training.

I continued this routine for several years.  Imagine my surprise when I ended up GAINING 20 pounds in about 2 months while in grad school.  This crushed me since I was staying so disciplined. Several frustrating doctor appointments later, I was advised of a potential thyroid issue.  Determined to lose the weight, I began doing Insanity and T25 workouts in the morning and a gym routine at night.  The weight would not come off and this became a several year process at this point.  I kept trying, kept working and nothing was actually changing.

I moved to Florida in 2014 and began incorporating more weight training while still dedicating at least 30 minutes of cardio into every workout.  I was also playing in kickball and soccer leagues. My body shape still would not change.  I then decided to try a High Intensity Training program, going about 6 days per week.  I LOVED the program and noticed small changes, nothing major but something.  I began to accept this must just be what my body is supposed to look like.

Nutrition Journey

During high school I started dieting.  I restricted foods.  I did not let myself eat desserts or pizza.  I put peanut butter and jelly on graham crackers instead of bread because I thought it would save carbs (because I heard they were bad for you).  I also went on the ‘no fat/low-fat’ diet. For a couple of years I would not eat anything that was full fat.  I even made ‘no fat’ Christmas cookies and apple pie!  During college I tried the ‘Special K’ diet.

Then from college until about 2016, I would eat healthy from Monday through Thursday and go crazy the rest of the week – believing a reward for my hard work was in order!  This behavior caused me to really beat myself up though.  I would enjoy the food but punish myself and worry about having to work that much harder in the gym.  A cycle ensued of feeling better on Monday through Thursday and worse Friday through Sunday.

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When Changes Started Really Happening

While I cannot pinpoint the exact time my body really started changing, I know it was after I quit pressuring myself.  I began to let myself eat foods without guilt.  I would take Saturday off from the gym.  I started being happy and positive about how I was, not how I wanted to be.  This created a massive transition of losing 30 pounds. I couldn’t believe it!  How could eating what I wanted and not being SO hard on myself make me lose weight?  My family would tell me it happened because I was started to be happy, not fake happy, real happy.

The Journey Now

I am still a work in progress and over the last two years I have gone through several changes.  My workouts now consist of weight lifting with very minimal cardio.  I now use the 80/20 rule with eating – 80% of the time I eat to fuel my body and 20% is food I just want to eat!  I now view my diet through the thoughts of “how is this going to make me feel when I eat it” instead of labeling the food as “good or bad”.

I still believe the biggest factor to contribute to these positive changes was my mindset.  Your thoughts have total power over your actions, mood, and reactions.  I try to maintain positive emotional and mental health first and allow that to contribute to my physical benefits and health.  Every day I am learning how to be a better version of myself. I am taking the time to listen to my body, what feels good and what does not feel so good.  Life continues to be a beautiful journey.

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