Where I Started
Health and fitness is very important to me, but it took a lot to where I am now. I wasn’t into sports as a kid and wasn’t very active in general, despite all of my parents’ efforts. All of that was fine, until it caught up with me in college. The second half of college was when my stress, insomnia, poor nutrition and lack of exercise all caught up with me and I quickly gained at least 40 pounds. It’s so easy not to see it happening in the moment, and I felt like my unhealthy lifestyle hit me out of nowhere. Even though I didn’t feel good, I was in denial of how bad it really was.
Prior to my major weight gain, I had yo-yo dieted and taken diet pills and done all of the things people try for quick results. I bounced around 130-135 pounds and always thought my goal was to be at 120. Looking back, I can’t believe how pointless everything I did was and I wish I had just focused on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
When I Turned Things Around
At the end of college, I was a wreck. I think I was depressed and I was medicated for insomnia because at one point I was sleeping every other day. Relationship problems and a crazy schedule that changed every day all added to the stress. I blamed most of my struggles with my weight on all of these things, and I even tried signing up for personal training. Turns out that one personal training session a week really doesn’t make a difference if you don’t embrace a total lifestyle change.
Fast forward a bit to the fall after graduation, and my boyfriend came back from abroad and moved in with me. He doesn’t get all the credit, but I am very thankful that I had him as my support system and to hold me accountable. My boyfriend is a fitness nut and going to the gym with him everyday became my new normal. Then after the holidays we stopped eating out and drinking a few days a week, and my lifestyle did a complete 180!
All of a sudden I started talking about protein and rest days and all of this stuff I thought only guys talked about. My diet was extremely restricted but healthy, and I was working out every day with an active rest day once a week. I did about 45 minutes of cardio and an hour of strength training with my boyfriend. Almost immediately there was a noticeable difference, and from there I was motivated to keep going.
After a few months, I dropped most of the weight and finally looked like my old self again. Except the new me looked even better, stronger, and healthier. I will never forget when strangers started commenting on my progress at the gym, which was a major turning point. I was both mortified that people had noticed me, but it was also so amazing to know that all of my hard work paid off.
Where I’m At
After losing at least 40 pounds, and adding a bunch of muscle, I started to slowly transition to a maintenance regime. I added a lot more foods to my diet, like fruit and yogurt, but maintained my new lifestyle and activity level. It’s been about 18 months since I started, I gained about 10 pounds and I’m still working to lose more body fat. Everyday I’m working towards a healthier and happier me. At this point I’ve completely changed my lifestyle for the better and there is no turning back now!