“My Fitness Journey” was a long, 3 part series, that I did when I first started my blog.
Why you may ask?
BECAUSE IT’S IMPORTANT!
I wanted to share with you guys my fitness journey before I start sharing too many meals or fitness tips, or acting like a know it all about healthy living. I think it’s important to share this information because I am not a registered dietitian, or a trainer of any sorts. Yet, I am a person who lost a significant amount of weight, has kept it off and have dedicated their life to a healthy lifestyle.
For those of you who have known me for a long time, you guys know and remember very well, that I have not always been the tiniest person in the world. As in, I have lost almost 30 lbs since I was 16. Might I add, 30 lbs is a lot of weight when you are only 5 feet tall.
I was always the chubby girl, like my entire life. Maybe not as a baby, but for as long as I can remember. Even as a young child I knew I was heavy. I knew. As an eight-year-old child I would stare in the mirror with disgust in my eyes, as I looked at myself. I would cry to my mother because I didn’t understand why I couldn’t be thin. Why I was different.
While as a child it hurt, I was still a child, I was confused more than anything. As a teenager, it probably hit harder, but yet, I still didn’t do anything to change it. I mean I wasn’t doing anything different then all my friends. We ate the same food, drank the same drinks, were in the same activities. So why was I so much heavier?
When I was 16, I realized that I was different. I didn’t have a fast metabolism, I wasn’t going to just wake up one day thin and there was’t going to be a magical pill that would make my weight melt off. If I wanted to lose weight, I couldn’t eat like every body else and I needed to start really working for it. Right around the time I had just gotten my drivers license (Fall 2008) and my mom was finally letting me drive to and from school by myself, I drove to the YMCA and I got a gym membership.
I had no idea what I was doing in the gym at the time, nor where to even begin, but it worked. After school I would go to the Y, and I would make myself run for a full 10 minutes. To you, and to myself today, that is nothing, but at that time, it was the hardest 10 minutes of my life. I would then go down to the matt, I would stretch, do a series of ab exercises, and then I would do weights. Most of the weights that I did were only with the machines they had there. I had my own little routine, and I would normally do full body exercise everyday.
Nutrition wise I cut out all bread, all fast food and all sodas. This started after reading the book Fast Food Nation (everyone should read it!) I also ate a grape fruit…. or two a day (I call it the magical fruit). At this time, I was not counting calories at all, but I was very careful about the amount I was eating, and what I was putting in my body. I would watch the scale go down every week, every day, and that was all the motivation I needed.
The moral of “The Beginning Series” is, that by solely cutting junk food out of my diet and dedicating myself to 45 minutes at the gym 6 days a week, I lost 20 lbs in less than a year.
&& I don’t want you to read this and think I am just posting this for praise, because I am not!!! I actually hate it. I mean, Colton has only seen very few pictures of me at my heaviest. It wasn’t a happy time for me. Just real-ness.
I wanted to stop the first series here because this truly was only the beginning of my fitness journey.
Also because I want it to be motivation for you guys, who are just starting your own fitness journey. I want to show you guys that it doesn’t happen over night. You have to stop eating JUNK, and you have to get your body moving everyday! It’s the little things that make the biggest difference.
Writing the “Second Part” of the series was actually a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. Only because it was so hard deciding what to share, how to share it and how to make everything flow. I kindof call this my “figuring it out stage.” If that makes sense.
So without further ado
Towards the end of my senior year of hs, a few months before heading off to Baylor, I let myself add on a few extra pounds, but nothing drastic. I knew that I wasn’t going to let myself gain the freshman 15 though. Nope, not this girl. Not the girl who worked so hard to lose the weight in the first place.
OH HAILLLL NO WAS THAT GOING TO HAPPEN!!
Well, it did. #awkward & it happened all before the fall semester had even started. I went to Baylor and started classes at the beginning of July, so I was a month ahead of everyone in the gaining weight department
( Poor Eating and Cardio )
By this time, I had gained half the weight back that I had previously lost. But how was this happening?! I wasn’t doing anything that different. I mean, I was still working out?
Like we (a group of 8 girls #freshman) would go to the SLC everyday and do cardio for like 25 minutes and then abs. Like WHYYYY was I gaining weight??? And it’s not like I was eating any differently from them… like we all ate pretty healthy, right? I mean, they were skinny and we were doing like the same things?
SOUND SIMILAR TO EARLIER?
I had lost focus. I lost focus to MY fitness journey. I forgot that I am not like everyone. I am not naturally thin, I wasn’t born with a 6-pack and an ass kicking metabolism. I lost focus on the fact that I have to work harder. I forgot the number one rule in that you cannot ever compare yourself to somebody else, because everyone is different.
By the end of Freshman year, I really noticed how much I had gained, so once again, I cut out all fast food/soda/white bread. By doing this, I was able to lose some weight by the fall, but it wasn’t until Christmas time of my Sophomore year that I decided I needed to step up my game. I started doing a lot of research and realized that the biggest mistake I had been making the past year, was that I stopped doing weights. Remember in part one that I would run, do abs and then would finish with weights. When I began lifting again, I saw almost immediate results and I was hooked. I could rant for days how amazing weights are for you, but this is long enough already.
Side note – I cannot solely blame only doing cardio and not doing weights as my reasoning for gaining my weight back. While that did play a major role, so did the partying. I was drinking way more than I should have been (so much sugar!) and had way too many Chick-fi-la // froyo // Whataburger runs. The combination of eating poorly, and thinking that a little bit of cardio was going to make up for my poor eating habits was the root cause of my weight gain.
(The picture to the left is with clean eating & cardio only, then the picture to the right is after three months of weight training & clean eating)
I followed the plan below for over three years. Each workout was about an hour long, consisting of 45 minutes of weight training and around 15 minutes of cardio.
Monday: Legs – 10 mins on bike
Tuesday: Shoulders – 15 – 20min stair stepper
Wednesday: Cardio – Run Bear Trail (little < 3 miles)
Thursday: Back – 15 to 20 min stair stepper
Friday: Arms – 15 to 20 min stair stepper
Saturday: Chest – Run Bear Trail
For three years, my life revolved around that workout plan and eating a set diet. It was a lot easier to find time to work out at Baylor than it is now. I talked a little bit about it in a previous post. The difference is, while in school, you have a lot more personal time than you do when you graduate. I don’t know how to explain it, but I am telling you right now, BAYLOR DOES NOT WARN YOU ABOUT THIS. Baylor does not warn you that once you graduate, you will not have time for life. Plus, due to walking campus, I moved so much more compared to now, #deskjob.
Diet wise – absolutely no fast food, soda, or white bread. Only fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and whole oats for this girl (To this day I still eat like this, but I am more lenient).
Are you guys catching on to how big of a deal it is to cut out fast food, soda, and white bread? Okay, cool. Just making sure.
I want to say, this was a great routine for me, & it could be a great routine for you to follow too! I will post soon on the exact work out I did for each day. What I want you guys to get out of this post is, how important weight training and clean eating are in reaching your goals. As well as how important it is to not compare your fitness journey to others, because as I said above we are all different.
This is the end of Part 2!
MY FITNESS JOURNEY: PART 3
AKA – LEARNING TO LOVE YOUR BODY
By my senior year at Baylor, I had lost all of my weight again + more. During this time, I was in great shape. I was the thinest I had been at 103 lbs. Which btw – for my height, is completely normal, I am barely 5 feet people! This is when I started documenting everything I put in my body, everyday, down to the ounces I drank in my wine. Only allowing myself 1300 calories. I was obsessed with people telling me how thin I was. Asking what my secret was. I wouldn’t go out with friends in fear of over eating, if I thought I over indulged on a date w/ Colton I would cry myself to sleep. Vacations still give me such anxiety that I make myself sick the entire way leading up to them.
After graduation, I saw my weight rising. This really wasn’t a big deal looking back, but the first thing to flash through my eyes was,
“OMG IT’S HAPPENING AGAIN!!”
So basically, I became more of a psycho and harder on myself then ever before. I mean, literally freaking out. I’m not sure if it was because my body wasn’t use to sitting all day at my job or whether it was the fact that my body was way too use to my workout routine from school, but I was definitely gaining weight and started being really hard on myself. Poor Colton, I was not a fun person to be around.
I NEEDED TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT.
I learned very quickly that financially, a full-time trainer wasn’t an option. But, after meeting with a few, the number one thing they told me was that I needed to kick it up a notch. I started doing two-a-days waking up at 5 a.m. & working out after work. I mean that kind of worked, but I was being so hard on my body, that I was exhausted. I was so stressed, and focusing so much on losing weight that I wasn’t able to lose anything. (Remember, I am self taught) Right around this time, my friend, Tera told me she was starting the Kayla Instine’s Bikini Body Guide. I told you all about Kayla in this post.
When browsing through Kayla’s website & Instagram it’s pretty easy to get stoked and pump yourself up. I mean, she has fantastic success stories. I thought to myself “this is it, I am going to get back on track and lose all of my weight with this plan, I mean, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kayla featured me.” I know – right lol. #daydreams
Well, that didn’t happen. Actually, I haven’t lost any weight, like I said in my Kayla post, her workouts worked for me. Her workouts pushed me to that next level, getting me out of my plateau. What’s the amazing part? After all the years of stressing so much about my body image, the number on my scale, not missing a single workout, & having Colton take my “reminder” pictures, I finally looked at myself in the mirror and liked what I saw, regardless of what my scale said that day. THIS was an incredible moment.
I was SO exhausted of obsessing over it all – finally I looked in the mirror and felt at peace. The bottom line is, I want to be fit, I want to be happy, & healthy, but I also want to LIVE. I want to get dessert on date nights, and enjoy brunch with my friends. I want to go on vacation and drink daiquiris. Because that is living & the way I treated myself, wasn’t.
So that’s where I am now, focusing on learning to love my body. Learning to love myself. Maybe it is because of my past & because no matter what, I will always view myself as the “heavier girl”. But, I know I am no longer that person, that I have worked hard to get to where I am today and that I will continue to workout hard and to eat healthy, but I won’t kill myself over an indulgence.
It’s all about balance. It’s all about giving your body the nutrients it needs and moving to keep it healthy. It’s also about being happy with who you are. Today I am still doing Kayla’s guide for the second time, but I also mix it up with my old weight routine & a lot of spin classes, which I love love, love. I will always choose the healthier option, but I will let myself indulge.
Maybe this is a weird ending? Idk, I feel like I am aimlessly typing in my bed, so my bad if I just pulled a “True Detective” disappointing ending. I just want everyone who is trying to lose weight, to realize that you’re incredible, beautiful & you can change your habits into being a healthier and happier person. BUT that’s what I want you to do. I want you to change to be healthier and happier, not because you think you should be a certain number on a scale.
My fitness journey will never be a finished series, your body changes everyday & it’s a life long commitment to a healthier lifestyle. It’s just finding what works for you at that moment & what makes you happy. I hope you guys enjoyed reading this series as much as I have enjoyed sharing it. I do not know who all reads this, but if I can just help or inspire one person, then that’s fulfilling enough to me.
If you guys have any questions or comments, please email me! I truly love reading them.