Unfortunately, most of us these days seem to find ourselves at some point in a situation where we want to change our bodies. Gain weight, lose weight, gain muscle, lose fat, get more toned, grow our booty , shrink our booty. Anyone else been there?
From about the age of 10, I found things about myself that I wanted to change. Both physically and mentally. Once puberty hit, so did my baby fat. While it’s completely natural,I felt like there was something wrong with it. Granted, I also loved my chips, pop and candy and didn’t understand what it meant to eat healthy – which didn’t help that situation. I wish I had been given formal education in school about it. I wish I didn’t have to wait until my mid/late 20s to figure it out for myself. I wish I didn’t have to wait until I had an unhealthy relationship with food.
I have never been obese, I haven’t had a dramatic switch in my physique. I don’t have a crazy story of losing hundreds of pounds. But I have been unhealthy, and unhappy. I have stretch marks. I have gone through fluctuations and spent periods of time of restricting calories.
Late highschool was probably the first time that I made a big change in my body. We moved to New York, and I wanted to reinvent myself and actually, in many ways I found myself. I eventually walked everywhere, moving my body more than I had in years. It was the first time that I felt in control of my food, and not being dictated by what I ate. I lost a lot of fat, could run miles, and for the first time started to feel confident. I was by no means physically strong though and I may have actually been underweight by the time I Graduated, but I was able to taste the freedom.
Then university hit. I moved out and lived in residence where the food is anything but healthy. And where the lifestyle is anything but healthy. Junk food, late nights, drinking, partying, little sleep. The freshman 15 turned into 50 lbs and constant health issues by the end of my second year of university.
The next few years I was able to get control of it again, but by ways of excessive exercise, and limited calories. I didn’t know the right ways to eat. There was no focus on eating the right foods, no veggies, just restricted calories and disjointed activity – mostly in the form of frequent intense cardio.
Once University ended and I found my first serious job (with the company I’m still with now – although I’m not in the same role). The hours were demanding, the expectations were high, and the promise of success became more important than my activity or my health. Pizza lunches, take out, no food planning. To top it off about a year and a 1/2 later, Evan went back to school and we went down to one income. It became less about quality of food and more about how the next grocery bill was going to be paid and how could I make it as small as possible – quality of food wasn’t even on the radar.
About year after Evan started back in school, I hadn’t communicated enough with him about what I needed and I became depressed, stressed, had gained a lot of fat, lost muscle and found comfort in high calorie foods and alcohol. I remember coming up stairs from our parking garage, which was maybe one flight of stairs and being winded. It was that moment where I realized how far I had slipped back. This was maybe December, so come January, I did the thing that a lot of us do and made a New Years resolution. And worked hard at it. Daily. Hours at the gym focusing on building muscle and improving my cardiovascular strength, saying no to parties and free lunches, meal planning, reading blogs, educating myself, building strength.
That was January of 2013. Since then I have gained back my strength (and then some – I’m probably now at the fittest that I’ve ever been), I have gained back some of my confidence (that’s still an ongoing process), lost fat, regained energy. And to top it off – I haven’t had the flu or a cold in probably 3 years (other things that are ongoing health things, but no environmental health issues).
The thing about the last 4 1/2 years though is that it hasn’t been easy, it also hasn’t been the same activity, it hasn’t been consistent. My idea and knowledge on eating has changed, adapted, grown. I went as far as getting a nutrition certification. My workout routine has changed, adapted, and grown. I used to think that once I got to ‘x’ weight I could stop working so hard, I could eat whatever I wanted, I didn’t have to go to the gym as often. But I learned that’s not the case. It’s an ongoing commitment. For your entire life.
That sounds rough, but there is an upside to this:
-You start to love healthy food. Honestly. Maybe not all healthy food, but enough of them. You start to crave them. You start to enjoy the way that they make you feel.
-You start to be able to do things that you weren’t able to before. Carry groceries, run, move heavy things by yourself, join teams, climb mountains.
-You learn about your limits, and how to break through them.
-You truly learn the meaning of balance. Just because you make a change doesn’t mean you give it all up. I still love my chips, fried food and candy. I still eat them – just not all the time.
-You start to realize that doing this for the rest of your life is not only doable, but it’s enjoyable. And necessary to do the things you want to do. You have a healthy life ahead of you that you can look forward to.
What is your journey?
Now my question to you is this: Are you ready to make that change? You don’t need to go through the same hard process that I did, I wish I had hired a coach to get me through it. You don’t need to do it alone. If your interested in getting some nutrition Coaching please reach out either by filling out your information in the contact page here, or sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to help you find your balance, find your healthy lifestyle and find yourself in a journey that you are proud of.