Warning, vulnerability post ahead.
I started this blog mainly because I needed some accountability on starting/living more of a healthier lifestyle and losing weight. What better way to be held accountable than by your peers? Let’s start with an overview of my life in the way of activity and healthy habits.
So, once upon a time, long ago in a land far, far away, I was super active. All the time. I played a plethora of sports (basketball, softball, tennis) and when I wasn’t, I was always out and about doing things. Always on the move. Starting college saw me gain the dreaded “freshman 15”, but I was still trying to be active by going to the university’s wellness center and working out after/before classes.
Once I started working full time, that became the most important thing to me and everything else went by the wayside. I found an affinity for Starbucks and their many, often caloric, coffee options. I ate out for lunch nine times out of ten, and I didn’t make too many good decisions. Lots of fast food. The weight started to creep up, but I just brushed it off because my clothes still fit pretty well.
Fast forward to a few years of working full time, going to school full time, juggling a not-so-great relationship amongst other life challenges and before I knew it, my pants didn’t fit. None of them. So, I started to eat a little better went to the gym with my free time a little more. It helped, but then I reverted right back to old habits. They were easier. Working took over my life, I said goodbye to school, dealt with an on again-off again relationship that wasn’t healthy and I essentially ate my feelings. Feeling sad? Ice cream. Starving? Pizza and wings. Happy? Cocktails with friends. Stressed? Bring on the sweets. Hello, Excuses.
Before I knew it, I was embarrassed of the way I looked. I was very obviously embarrassing to my then boyfriend as he ended things for good, citing my recent weight gain. Asshat. I took that as motivation to get my ass in gear, and so I did. I dropped a lot of the weight and started living a more active, healthy life.
Fast forward a few years to 2012. The best and worst year of my life. I met the love of my life and then six weeks later I lost my beloved little sister. Sadness and stress are two emotions I don’t handle especially well. Grief caused me to not care as much about what I was eating and my happiness with my relationship allowed me to believe that he would love me no matter what. After Valerie died, a part of me was broken. I wasn’t focused on me any longer. I was more interested in focusing on my loved ones and making sure they were ok and making sure they knew how much I loved them. I wanted to be more social with friends. Neil and I got wrapped up in our love bubble. The excuses continued and were endless.
I started running and training for my first half marathon the following year, but we continued to eat out more often than not. The weight very literally just kept creeping up on me. I had enough and made a doctor appointment to see if I could get some sort of insight/direction/SOMETHING on what was going on. I was diagnosed as hypothyroid in 2014. I started taking medicine to keep it under control. (Side note –Just saw the doc again a couple weeks ago, and all is well!)
On the activity front, the last three years I’ve done P90x and P90x3, ran 3 more half marathons, worked with a trainer or 2, and even converted a room in our new house to a fitness room so we wouldn’t have to have a gym membership any longer. I tried Whole30. I tried going paleo. I tried being a vegetarian. I tried Akins. I bought Bob Harper’s books. I watched The Biggest Loser religiously. What was I doing wrong? Maybe my heart wasn’t in it, maybe my head wasn’t in it. Maybe I tried too hard, maybe I didn’t try hard enough. Maybe running burned me out. I don’t know what it was, but 2016 saw me hit the highest weight I have ever been.
Talking it out one night with Neil, it just clicked. I have to do this for ME. As much as I want to do it for Neil and for him to have that “hot” and “sexy” girlfriend, I need to do this for ME. I want to run a faster half marathon pace. I want my body to be ready to have children in the not-so-distant future. I want to not have the health problems some of my family members are facing. I want to be able to be active well into my older ages. I honestly just want to be the healthiest, best version of me. With that being said I’ve started making some changes that I know work for me.
*BODYSHRED by Jillian Michaels is one of the best workout programs I’ve ever done. It’s very challenging, but it works. I love it! I’ll also start training in a few weeks to run my FIFTH half marathon in November.
*I’m trying to cut out wheat, dairy, processed foods, excessive sodium and sugar, and soda. I feel WAY better when I don’t have these in my diet. I did this about a year ago for a few months, and my body really responded. That being said, I like to stick with the 80/20 rule. If I have a cheat meal, I don’t feel guilty. I know I’ll work it off and eat other meals accordingly. I mean, hello vegan, GF doughnut deliciousness!
*I use the My Fitness Pal app to track my calories and macros. I’ve logged in everyday for well over a year!
Putting all this down pen to paper (or fingers to keys so to speak), really helps me to realize how much I need to hold myself accountable and not let my emotions control me. I need to work harder and make good decisions, but also not get down on myself so much if I slip up and have a Dr. Pepper here or a cookie there. As Jillian always says, it’s all about BALANCE. Finding your why and balance in your everyday life. (Gosh, I just love Jillian Michaels so much!)