There are many health and fitness topics I would like to post about on this blog. Before I start I decided I should post a little about my journey, as many of you can probably relate.
In Jr. High and high school I was always active. I was involved in as many activities as I could. I figure skated when I was younger, played baseball , danced- tap, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, cheerleading, Irish dancing and basketball. I was always active and I was lucky enough to have a single mom put me through as many of those activities.
When I started college, I gained the “freshman 15″… well more like “freshman 25”. I put on weight and it just sort of seemed to creep up. I went from about always being 115 lbs- 140lbs. It was kinda like all of a sudden I was in a different body. I tried different diets and ultimately, my doctor recommended weight watchers. I actually did weight watchers twice and it does work if you stick to it. The best part of weight watchers is the information you can take home and really being aware of what/ how much you are eating, reading labels, making healthier choices. You can find out more information here:
When I was 21, I went through a tough break up that caused me to drop weight quickly. I barely ate. I had no appetite. I kinda stuck to this pattern while I was single. I worked retail, roughly 30 -35 hours ( almost full time) on my feet 9 hours a day. With school and work- and my social life there was not much time to sit around and eat. The more the scale dropped, the happier I became. At 22 I was in a very bad short term relationship where I was talked down to a lot. Being apart of that relationship made me eat even less. The smallest I became was around 110lbs. The smallest I had ever been.
I remember thinking how proud I was of the self control I had. I would maybe eat a granola bar around 10 am at school with a coffee and I would have maybe 1/2 a sub at subway on my dinner break at work and that was all. I remember being weighed in at my yearly check up with my doctor and being excited about how much weight I lost in such a short time. In fact, I felt like she was also proud although it was completely unhealthy. I remember quitting the gym. I remember quitting and losing 5 pounds ( maybe of muscle) and thinking- why go do something I hate if I can just not really eat and not worry about it?
I had bad habits with my friends. We didn’t really go out to eat all that often so that wasn’t an issue. We had our bar star phase where we were literally out drinking 4 times a week. We would dance the entire night. Back then I would drink beer alllllllll night. I truly believe this ended up catching up to me, or maybe (wishful thinking) we were dancing so long that we burnt it off. We would then pick up Mcdonalds on the ride home – which I also truly believe caught up to me.
I got into a serious relationship when I was 23( which I am still in). I kept the weight off for a while. The bad habits started forming. Eating out more and more, going on dinner dates, being wined and dined, going for wings and schooners of beer, lazying around and snacking ( which I never did). Craving wings, fast food, etc I had always known that I wasn’t blessed with a fast metabolism but it didn’t seem to effect me- at least not right away.
After the age of 24, on top of forming unhealthy habits, I switched jobs to sitting all day. I absolutely hate sitting. I miss being able to get up move around. As much as I complained about standing all day in my old job- you can actually research articles- sitting will actually kill you, it is SO bad for you. I soon became once again- unhappy with how I looked.
In the new year of 2014, I decided I was tired of being uncomfortable. I felt like I would go to the gym and have no clue what to do. I also only ever did cardio. A friend of mine started lifting weights and used to preach to me about how lifting weights would actually completely transformed how I looked. All I could think was ” ew, I don’t want to get bulky or gain weight” ( which is a total myth). Through some research, I hired a trainer who I had a few in person sessions with but she more so guided me online – we did check ins every week and I Sent her progress photos, etc. She encouraged me to lift and lift heavy. I couldn’t believe how hard she kicked my ass the few times I saw her in person. She promised me that I would not get bulky and that it basically takes a ton of calories and a ton of heavy lifting to look well, manly.If you are interested in checking her out- this is the link https://www.facebook.com/L2FitnessCo
The thing I liked about the training was that it all made sense. I took away information that I am still using today It was very Practicable and she was extremely knowledgeable . I wasn’t on a strick chicken and broccoli or white fish and rice diet. The training she taught me was called IIFYM. Which you can google here:http://www.muscleforlife.com/what-is-if-it-fits-your-macros-and-does-it-work/
It a nut shell, it is still a calories in- calories out equation. 80% of the food you eat should be “healthy” and the other 20% or so you should be trying to hit your macro nutrient goals ( enough carbs/protein/fat/fiber). You are not deprived of carbs, I was actually encouraged to eat a larger than normal amount of carbs. Does it work? It worked for me for sure. The crazy thing was I didn’t lose much weight. Maybe 5 lbs. But my body composition changed drastically. I was going to the gym 3-4 times a week and lifting HEAVY. I couldn’t believe how much I sweat and how hard I worked.
So what now? The summer time was hard for me. I have never really enjoyed the gym. I won’t say hate but people who ” love it”- can you make me love it?? I wish I loved it. I think finding what works for you is key. I quit the online training in September. Yes she held me accountable and I took away alot of knowledge from it. She actually ended up opening her own business and I decided it was time to try it on my own. Well, I stopped going to the gym and I stopped weighing my food and I probably started having a few too many patio drinks and/or wine nights.
January 2015 I promised to start back up again. Am I where I want to be right now? No. But I am living my life and I do believe there needs to be a healthy balance. I do weigh all my meals like a crazy person every gram- even fruit and veggies ( when I am on track). I don’t drink pop, I try really hard to not eat out. I bring a lunch every day. I try and cook healthy meals at home. I quit drinking beer ( I could cut back on the wine). You never want to go grocery shopping with me because I read every label like a lunatic. Eating out- I research the nutritional information on what I will eat before hand. I already have the right habits, this blog is to help myself stay more consistent.
I hope to hold myself more accountable. I truly want to do things the right way and healthy way. I know that by eating less than 1000 calories a day – I completely screwed up my metabolism. Could I have the control to go back to that? Probably but what would my metabolism be like in 10, 20 years? Did I have an eating disorder- no, I don’t think so. I wasn’t starving. But I definitely think I have and will always struggle with some type of body dysmorphia which I am working on.
In the above pictures- I lost inches and I was eating around 1500 calories a day- shocking right? I am ready to rev up my metabolism and get back into my sweat sessions at the gym! There is nothing better than the feeling of your endorphins running high after a good sweat! I am really bad for dwelling on how unfair it is that I have to actually work my ass of to not gain weight and watch what I eat and other people are skinny as hell and eat donairs, teen burgers and all the delicious food I would KILL to be able to not have to worry about eating. I need to realize that life isn’t fair. There are people who have been injured and physically can not exercise. We are so blessed. We only get one body in this life time. Might as well treat it the best and feel amazing! I once read a quote that said – ” you can be stuck hating your body and do something about it, or not do anything. Either way- the months will pass by” and this is so true.
For me working out has made me sleep better, feel better, feel more confident and happier. In my family my grandmother and mother have osteoarthritis. I see how much pain my grandma is in , and I want to do everything to prevent that. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to slow or prevent muscle, joint and bone problems.
What are your reasons for working out?