Hey guys! Happy Sunday and I hope you are all doing fantastic! Since I am so busy Monday through Thursday with work, I love taking time on the weekend to take care of myself and focus on what truly makes my heart sing. One of those things quite recently has been working out and finding different ways to get my body moving. For today’s post I want to talk a little bit about my health journey and where I am now. My hope for this post is that it gives you fresh ideas on how to better your own health and give you motivation to improve solely for yourself and to feel good!
My Active & Healthy Past
As I grew up, specifically through elementary school and junior high, I was an extremely active kid. I tried every sport my school had to offer and I played soccer for 8 years, pretty well if I might add. Soccer (or football as some of you out there call it) was my sport and I put a lot of time into it. I worked up the levels and ended up playing club soccer as a forward or midfielder. With practices at least twice a week for a couple hours each, I knew how to work out and push myself alongside my teammates. Through sports, I was taught how to stretch correctly and how to condition my body to run farther, faster, and beat the competition.
I never had health issues when I was younger, which I was very blessed with. I also never had rock hard abs, probably because I was young and exercised for the sake of having fun and being with my team, not to build muscle or improve my still small body. My family didn’t eat fast food very often and my mom cooked almost everyday. The one flaw I (and some of my family) has always had is a sugar addiction. That stuff is actually like a drug and it’s still something I struggle with everyday.
A Downhill Fall
As high school arrived, I quit playing soccer. There were many reasons for my quitting but one being I was the smallest on the field and although I was the fastest, I was getting hurt often by taller and stronger girls. I decided to pick up tennis through my school (a little reluctantly I will say) and it was a much slower pace than the sport I was used to. I was also growing up and didn’t change my eating habits. I’m sure a lot of you can relate: as you get older you MUST change your eating habits. There is no way you can eat like a child and have a slim figure in your teens or 20’s, am I right? I also ended up on birth control because of my sever acne. I’ve touched upon this topic a bit on my blog, but let me know if you’d like a separate post about it. It’s something I’m quite open about. One of the side effects is weight gain and while looking back at photos now, I can see when it physically hit me. Long story short, I wasn’t that fit little girl anymore and I don’t think I even realized it.
College Years & Health Realizations
Without me even knowing, I had gained a bit of weight. It snuck up on me out of no where and I honestly didn’t even understand to what extent until college. People around me were going to the gym very often or taking workout classes, which wasn’t even on my mind in the slightest. It wasn’t really until junior and senior year that I started taking my health a little more seriously. I was uncomfortable in my body and didn’t know exactly how to fix it. The summer before my junior year I started researching veganism and although I never went vegan, it taught me a lot about food and health. That summer I did see very small changes once I put the effort in. I was going to the gym as consistently as possible (every other day) and trying to eat as healthy as I could. At one point I completely cut out eggs and tried to eat minimal cheese. I grew up on almond and rice milk so drinking cow’s milk has never been an interest for me.
The summer before senior year, I went to Europe as many of you know. I lost about 6 pounds in those three weeks simply by walking 5-6 miles everyday and eating strictly three meals a day. That is what our schedule allowed for when we were abroad and I barely noticed I was dropping some pounds. Of course, when I got back to the states I wasn’t exercising nearly as consistently as I was in Europe and snacking in between meals. I gained those pounds back, which was extremely disappointing for me. Although I hadn’t lost a massive amount of weight, I hadn’t seen a difference in the scale like that in a long time, shockingly. But it gave me a sense of what worked and what I needed to do.
Senior year I had a gym membership and started going as often as I could. It started to become a bigger part of my life and I could slowly see the difference it was making. Although these changes were tiny and most times I couldn’t see any change on the scale, I was feeling better in my body and stronger overall. Feeling strong was an amazing feeling and it became addicting. Of course, with classes and my graphic design portfolio project I still wasn’t as consistent as I could be.
What’s Up with My Health Currently?
Similar to the summer before, I went to Europe again this year and had a similar situation happen. I came back and had again lost 5 or 6 pounds. This time, I was determined to keep it off and use it as a kicking off point for more weight loss. Going to the gym or going on runs is increasingly becoming more important to me. While I’m still getting used to my work schedule, I work out at least two times a week. Which I know isn’t enough if I want to see significant changes, but I’m in no rush. If this has to be a slow process in order for it to become a permanent lifestyle, so be it. I’m in this for my own health and I know it’s going to be a bumpy road.
I’m still not at the health level I want to be at, but I’m taking the time to learn what works for me. I work so hard at the gym and actually enjoy going now! I like challenging myself to do better and push it a little further each time. Another way I’ve been working out is by attending classes and genuinely investing in my health. I recently took a spin class which kicked my butt so hard but was a great way to switch up my workout routine. I’ve also been looking into barre, yoga, and pilates classes. Some days after work I will also go on a beach walk, which is only about 2 miles but so beautiful at sunset! Find things that interest you and will add variety to your life. Hopefully you’ll find something you enjoy so much that it won’t feel like exercise!
Long story short, I’m still on my health journey and I have a ways to go but I’m determined to make this a lifestyle and not fall into fad diets that don’t last. I want to be healthy and live a long life. That doesn’t mean I’ll slip up once in a while, but that’s where my mind has been lately. I think one of the most exciting things is noticing my clothes fit just a tad better and I feel more comfortable overall! Here’s to your health and kicking some butt! Let’s have a conversation down in the comments: let me know your favorite ways to workout or some of your favorite healthy meals to make! Talk to you all soon! xx