One reason I have been putting off writing about fitness/health is because I have so many ideas running around in my brain that I don’t really know where to start. So I figured I’d stop procrastinating and just jump right in!
I guess a good place to begin is to tell you about my own fitness journey up to now.
Ever since puberty I’ve had a slow metabolism and big hips. Its like they popped out of nowhere! I was always involved in sports (volleyball, track, dance, cheerleading, etc.), but it didn’t seem to matter how athletic I was, I was always bigger than all my friends.
Going into college I quit playing sports and slowly weight continued to accumulate on my body. It wasn’t very noticeable, though, because it would all go straight to my hips. No matter how big I ever got, I always had a small waist. So I was deceived for a long time, thinking that because of my tiny waist, I wasn’t as overweight as I really was.
After college I would work out, but I’m horribly undisciplined and wouldn’t stick with any one thing for very long. It wasn’t until I got engaged in 2011 that I stuck with a program. I did the couch to 5K program along with Jillian Michael’s 30 day shred. But even though I worked out every day, nothing happened. When I got married the summer of ’11 I was bigger than I ever had been before. I didn’t understand why all my work for months didn’t show any change.
But I had hope, because I married a very fit man who was so encouraging in helping me reach my fitness goals. We had only been married for a month or two when someone at work told me about a girl who was her personal trainer. I was intrigued and decided to see if this girl could help me, too. My mom had just recently had a trainer and lost a ton of weight, so I thought maybe this was what I needed, too. The trainer’s name was Priscilla, and I was never more intimidated to meet someone than her. Let me show you why…
She is a body builder from Barbados and one of the most gorgeous people I have ever met.
I thought she was going to kill me. And there were several work out where I really did feel like I was going to die. I loved working out before I met Priscilla, but there was something about working out with her that made that love even stronger. She taught me how to do power lifts and lifting heavy weights quickly became one of my FAVORITE things! (side note – Women should not be afraid to lift heavy! You won’t turn into a man!)
But as I trained with Priscilla we discovered what my problem is. During one of our workouts I was telling her about how hard I trained before my wedding. She was surprised that there was no change, but stated that it must be what I ate. We didn’t discuss it further then and I vowed to try to make sure I ate even cleaner than I already was. But then our workplace had a wellness program where you could enter in what you ate and how your worked out and it would calculate how many calories were burned. I told Priscilla that I was shocked and a bit upset by what this program was telling me. According to it I was supposed to be dropping pounds like nobody’s business because I only consumed about 600 calories a day.
I don’t think I’ve seen Priscilla’s eyes get as big as they did in that moment. She was appalled that I ate so little and told me that of course I wasn’t losing any weight, because I had killed my metabolism!
But here’s the kicker. I’ve always been like that, and so has my mom. I just don’t get hungry and I’ve believed the lies that all the weightloss programs out there have fed me saying, “they less you eat the more weight you will lose!” I’m not saying that the calories in calories out logic isn’t true for a lot of people. I mean, it makes sense that if you exert more energy than what you are putting into your body, then you will lose weight, but that’s not true for me. I have gone so long in life barely eating anything that my body has been in starvation mode. Priscilla immediately changed my diet and more than doubled the calories I was taking in. It was hard! I was happy some days if I made it above 1000 calories! I just was not used to eating that much.
Now if you are like me and have this problem where you are eating healthily, but not eating enough, I want to caution you. Your body has been in starvation mode for YEARS and your metabolism is dead. Things will not fix themselves over night and with any truly good fitness plan this is supposed to be life changing and it will take a lot of dedication. Within the first two weeks of changing my eating, I gained 10 pounds. I was horrified! But my body was used to storing everything I put into it, it wasn’t going to change the way it functioned overnight. So if you have the same problem that I do, do not be surprised if you gain at first.
So throughout the year I worked out with Priscilla and my hubs and finally after months of hard work, I started to see things pay off. It wasn’t until 7 months after I had started training with Priscilla that I started to lose weight. Now don’t mistake me, my body had definitely changed over the last 7 months, I had muscle and my shape was changing, just the number on the scale hadn’t moved. And that number didn’t move until I changed my fitness program one more time, I went to two a days. I got a membership at the YMCA and started taking spin and a few other classes. (If you have never tried a spin class, you must! They are so much fun!) I think that if most people were on the diet and exercise plan that I was, they would have started to see results right away, but I had to work twice as hard. I don’t know why, and sure it was frustrating at times, but sometimes you have to work double time to get what you want. And I wanted to be healthy.
Well, I had finally lost 20 pounds when I found out that I was pregnant, and little Flint is such a blessing to our lives! But I have to be honest and say I was frustrated when I first found out. I had put in all this hard work and was finally seeing results when a wrench was thrown into the plans. I’m not a very self-motivated person, so I felt like all my motivation was going to be drained and I was going to have to start all over again once I gave birth. I was able to stay active during pregnancy, but not as much as I would have liked. The first trimester was a killer. 😦
I am encouraged that I don’t have as far to go as I thought I would post-baby. I had gained just over 40 pounds during my pregnancy, but within the first couple weeks after I gave birth I lost over 30. I did not expect that, I thought I would maybe lose 10-15 pounds, so that was a very pleasant surprise!
I know that this has all been about weight loss, but I want you to know that is not my only goal. It’s a big one, yes, because I am considered obese and I want to lose weight so that I can be healthier for my boys. But just starting out I’m not focused on the number on the scale. I am concentrating on gaining muscle, endurance, and balance. I feel like I lost these over the past nine months and it’s so important to me to get these back.
To work on my goals I am jogging on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday and lifting weights on Tuesday and Thursday. I’m sure my program will change several times until I find my niche again, but that’s ok. I’m also considering getting my Y membership back and starting up with spin again. Honestly, doing spin would be more my fun activity of the day than seen as a workout.
So there you have it! Healthy living is an ongoing process in even the most fit person’s life. It is a choice you have to make every day, what will you put into your body today? Will you take the stairs or the elevator? Will you stay at the gym for an extra 20 minutes, or will you stop because you feel tired? Just like anything good, it takes work. Are you willing to put the work in?