My Fitness Journey
It’s easy to look at someone and think they have it all together. Think they have it figured out. You compare yourself to them and feel like your own goals are simply unattainable. But what we see is often the ‘highlight’ reel of someone else’s life. It’s them at their best. How many selfies do you take and delete before uber-editing and posting the perfect one? See??? I wasn’t always fit. This life is NEW to me. And I’m still stumbling. I want you to know where I came from. Know that it’s an everyday struggle against emotional eating and confidence issues. Know that if I can do it, so can you.
Thank goodness I was an active child. I was an emotional eater. I’ve never been anything but overweight. It would fluctuate between slightly overweight and REALLY overweight, but always overweight.
I hid it well, tried to be confident and poised, but it weighed on me. Literally and figuratively. I loved public speaking, but was always nervous about my appearance. I wanted to be confident, powerful, strong, but almost because I had to compensate for my embarrassment in my appearance. I played with dieting and exercise, but I never stuck to anything. I continued to stress eat and overeat.
It really caught up to me in law school. All I did was sit, study, and EAT. I had found this wonderful man who loved me for exactly who I was, inside and out. I wanted to be attractive to him and did my best to dress my curves and take care of my appearance (which, btw, EVERYONE should ALWAYS do – you are worth the effort to look and feel cute no matter what your dress size). The summer of my best friend’s wedding was a wake-up call. June 2011. I had a blow to my confidence in my career field and was still reeling from that when I had to squeeze myself into my size 14 bridesmaid dress, girdle included. I was on the verge of tears in the bathroom right before pictures (the teal dress on the right) were taken. I didn’t think the dress would zip. And when it did, I was seriously worried about tearing a seam. I wanted to be present, happy, and helpful for my amazingly beautiful best friend, but I had sunk into a deep hole of self-doubt, embarrassment, and depression. My weight was a huge millstone around my neck.
For lack of any other idea, I started running. A Couch to 5k program and ran my first 5k. I joined a gym, and began taking fitness classes at the student center. I also put myself on a very restrictive diet. It worked. I shed the extra weight I had put on during the first two years of law school. By my wedding, I was back to a comfortable size 8 and able to focus on my wonderful new husband and new career as an attorney.
I had discovered that running could be an outlet for my emotions and stress. It was a real breakthrough for me. I started running half marathons are a regular basis and met friends through running. But it didn’t keep the weight away. I tried (and fell in love with) Brazilian jiu jitsu. The cross training it provided, and some serious dieting, helped me to drop weight for the first time in years. But it was SO HARD to shed even one single pound. I had to go no-carb, crazy cardio, jiu jitsu maniac to scrape myself down one more dress size. And when life got in the way, it started to creep back.
So what’s a girl to do? I’m a full-time trial defense attorney (read: crazy busy at work) and wife to a law enforcement officer who works the graveyard shift. I am NOT giving up my distance running or my jiu jitsu. How am I going to find the time to add even MORE physical activity to my day? And what happens when we have a family???
ENTER BEACHBODY. I tried the 21 Day Fix on a desperate whim. It was only 30 minutes each morning, which I could roll out of bed and do. The diet seemed like too much food. I was probably going to gain weight. It involved carbs. There was no way this would would. I had always hated workout videos, so I was convinced that this would not be fun or effective. I was SO wrong.
6lbs. 7 inches. 1 dress size. 21 days.
This may not seem like a lot to you. But think about it. It happened in 3 weeks. LESS than a month! And the diet? Yeah, it worked. And it’s sustainable. But the biggest change was my attitude. I felt AMAZING. Confident. Passionate. Sexy. I WANT to wear a bathing suit. I’ve NEVER wanted to wear a bathing suit. (Downside: I had to replace my entire wardrobe. Most of it has been stolen from my mother’s closet.)
I’ve continued my journey since that first round, finding new possibilities for my body and a new love for health and fitness. This is a big passion for me now. I can’t believe I struggled with myself for so long. No one should hold themselves back. You CAN be who you want to be.
I wanted to share this with other people like me: people who have tried everything, think they’re just cursed with bad genetics, HUNGRY people, athletes who don’t look like athletes, and BUSY people. I’m so thankful that someone shared it with me. It was the beginning of a huge lifestyle change and is taking me places I never dreamed could occur. After all the hard work, I found the missing piece that has finally made me feel fit. I’ve got the confidence now to be the fierce woman I want to be. And I’m ready to fight whatever battles lay ahead.