“Stay Patient and Trust Your Journey”
The photos above are through the span of the last 6 years. I still look at the first and last photos with amazement. The first photo was prom during my senior year of high school. I have many others that show close-ups but, I think you can see where the differences are. The middle photo was during my first trip to California in 2014 and the last was just a couple of months ago. 3 different photos. 3 different weights. 3 different confidence levels. Three different girls.
I was not a heavy child. Not even in the slightest! I was tiny until about junior high. I was always active, semi-healthy and always busy. I am not the tallest person alive so, everything shows. No matter how small or big, it will be seen. I would say my heaviest was definitely my senior year of high school. I was about 160-165. It wasn’t until the year after graduation that I actually realized and noticed what exactly my weight was. I took a year off from school after graduating. I was supposed to go back to school in the Spring of 2012 but, I decided to continue working. I was working in the food industry at the time and then when I did go back to school, I ended up sticking with the food industry and earned my culinary degree. Oddly enough, going back to school it what helped me lose the first 20 pounds. I was finally back in a routine, eating normal meals and on my feet most of my days. I don’t want to say easy but, the first 20 pounds just slowly fell off as I stayed in this routine. Even being around food and having to taste, sample and constantly eat didn’t faze anything. What some call the “Freshman 15″(where you gain 15 pounds or more during the first year of college) I like to call my “Freshman -20” because I lost 20 my first year of college. I slowly changed my eating habits (side note – they were not crazy bad to begin with. I wasn’t eating fast food all the time and I am not a huge snacker/junk foodie.) The only thing I was not doing was being active(i.e – working out).
When I noticed the weight sticking between 145-150, I decided to join a gym. At the time I join Lifetime Fitness, my city didn’t have all the crazy options it now does. I was torn between LA Fitness and Lifetime but I ultimately decided on Lifetime because it was 24 hours and less than 10 minutes from my house. Upon signing up for a membership, you get a free one hour consultation/session with a trainer. After my consultation, I ultimately decided to go with the person that did my consultation in the Fall of 2013. This was the best and worst decision of my life. The best decision because he has, quite literally, changed my life. Bad because well, they kick your ass and show no remorse. They show you so many things you never knew your body could do. Now, before you question why I got a gym membership and just don’t workout at home, let me tell you… It is IMPOSSIBLE for me to workout at home. I get distracted by the ten thousand other things I could be doing/need to do. I love my gym because it is attached to our local community center and as so many things available. It’s not the cheapest thing in the world but, proved well worth it until recently.
When you get a personal trainer, you are literally putting everything you want in someone else’s hand. Now, I say that I the sense that they know all your insecurities, all you eating habits, all your ups and down in weight loss and know everything you want to accomplish. However, you also gain a built-in therapist, a life changing human at your fingertips and, in my case, a new “friend.” I will do a follow-up post on my tips to picking a trainer and what I think YOU should look for to make sure you are getting your money’s worth!
Fast forward to the picture in the middle… March 2014. I was in the #1 place I had dreamed of since I was 12. I was 25 pounds lighter than the prom photo and I was so indescribably happy. I remember having to go shopping for this trip for all new clothes. I went with my mom and about half way through, I broke down crying in the dressing room because I was finally a size I hadn’t seen since elementary school and I was so happy in a swimsuit. I messaged my trainer right away to thank him for everything. When I came back from my trip, I didn’t want to lose any more time without a training session or going to the gym so, I was back with my trainer less than three hours after touching back down in Minnesota. I was tired, I was sun burnt, I felt like I hadn’t showered in day but, I was determined. Pro tip – if you want to get out of any ab work on a mat, get a good sunburn on your upper back and you’ll get out of MOST ab work 😉
Going on vacation means going of the wagon a little. Sure, I had ENDLESS options in California and I was mindful about things but, I did eat and I enjoyed it. ever since this trip, my relationship with food has been anything but good. I started working at our local pro baseball field in the Spring of 2014 and I was on the BEST routine of my life. Up at 3:30am, in the gym by 4am, out by 5am, ready and at class by 7am, home changed and at the field by 3pm, in bed by 11pm. I would LOVE to have this routine, or something similar, back in my life. I strongly belief a routine is the key to success with most anything in your life. A solid routine is not something I currently have in my life. I continued with my trainer, and have until this past January, either once a week or every other week. It became so much part of my routine that it felt like something I had to do but, wasn’t getting the full benefit from it. I was no longer going to the gym 3-4 times a week. I let my eating habits change and, still to this day, my sweet tooth is OUT OF CONTROL.
Fast forward to the last photo… a girl who has gone through more change since the middle photo than one should by 24. From mid-2015 until recently, there have been a slew of changes. Two breakups, a new nephew, health changes with my mom, three moves, 4 job changes(including two seasonal positions), credit card debts, student loans, many happy celebrations and some sad. So is life. Unfortunately, I was no longer using the gym as my release, my fixer, my stabilizer. I have maintained my weight loss from 165 to 135-140, respectively for the last 4-1/2 years. However, my body fat has not stayed the same. I am currently up in body fat compared to photo number 2, certain clothing items fit a little tighter and I am no longer that happy, confident girl I was three years ago. Am I getting there compared to a year ago, oh hell yeah! It’s definitely changing. However, I know that what I was doing three years ago and I know how to get back to that. the motivation I had three years ago is gone. The drive I had is gone. The will to do what I know I need to do is gone.
Since January, I have seen one person in my left COMPLETELY change her eating habits(follow her on IG! working_keto_mom ;)) and slowly light that spark in me again. The change you feel and see in your body is incredible. I took time away from my trainer, from being so hard on myself and just started to live a little. You should NEVER feel ashamed or guilty for indulging in your favorite foods. When it comes to weight loss, or building a new relationship with food, the terms “cheat day,” “guilty pleasure,” and “oh, it’s just one bite” really irk my nerves. Once you get your mind on that track, you will start to feel a change in the way you pick your foods, eat and even live. You should never hate your relationship with food or your weight. For some people, it could be what they love about you. I am the type of girl who can put away an entire family sized plate of spaghetti and still want dessert. Do I do it, no… Simply because I know I will wake up the next sick because, well, I ate an entire family sized plate of spaghetti and some dessert! (Haha!) but, I sure do enjoy some pasta and sweets. They are my favorite foods and NO ONE will ever tell me I can’t eat them. Except maybe a doctor and only if it’s because I will die. And I will NEVER feel guilty for having them to eat or think that I should be having something a little better instead. Eat that damn pasta! Have that damn cupcake! Go to the gym the next day and LIVE YOUR LIFE! you are beautiful. You are loved and you are your own you. NO ONE can tell what you should or shouldn’t look like. What you should or shouldn’t eat(except a doctor and maybe an allergist) and NO ONE can ever make you feel like you aren’t enough just the way you are.
Now, the time has come to get back to it. The image of the body I want is gone. The clothes I want to “fit into” is also gone. Now, I just want that feeling. The feeling of a clear mind, the feeling of being unstoppable in the gym and the feeling that your body really can do anything, no matter what is. Except maybe fall out of a plane and land gracefully without a parachute.. That is not what we are talking about here…
It is time to get “Back to Basics.” (New blog series coming soon…i.e TOMORROW!)
Also, be on the look out for another favorites post! This one will be about my favorite, every day “fitness” clothes. There might even be a special surprise included in this post that you do NOT want to miss out on!
“I’m working on myself, for myself, by myself!”