My Personal Health and Fitness Journey

For me, health and fitness has been a long road filled with trials, tribulations, learning experiences, and mistakes.  I am wiser now.  I am more fit now. And I am sharing this health and fitness information with you.

This is my story. This is not my About Me, this is my bare all, tell the truth, embarrassing fitness story and my struggle to face my truth and become the me that I want to become.

Health and Fitness is a long, hard, journey. It’s one I will most likely be on the rest of my life. When you’ve set a lifetime of bad habits, it’s not easy learning new ones. I share my story with you to show you that you’re not in this alone and that I do sometimes know what I’m talking about. I have learned to walk the walk and talk the talk. Now it’s just a matter of achieving the fit body I want!!!

When I graduated high school and started college, I weighed about 120-125 pounds on a 5’8″ frame. I was pretty darn skinny. I was active, I ate anything I wanted (seriously, there were some days I’d consume nutty bars and brownies), and I never cared about nutrition or fitness. Growing up, I was an inline speed skater, I kayaked, canoed, rowed, backpacked, hiked, and cycled. I loved being outdoors (still do) and my parents were awesome enough to let me explore the “weird” sports I wanted to explore!  I never really gave thought to “health and fitness” because I just lived my life and was naturally thin.

Prom 2004-Me at Age 18
Prom 2004-Me at Age 18

Fast forward to sophomore year, and I’d gained about 20 pounds. Since I was still well within my healthy weight range, I still looked fine. The weight gain wasn’t an issue. I’d periodically go to the gym with my friends, but nothing consistent. Come junior year and I was working a lot, going to school full time, and three years of drinking and partying were catching up to me. I was still within healthy limits, but at 21, I had no concept of healthy habits or a healthy lifestyle.

Brazil 2006-Me age 20
Brazil 2006-Me age 20

During my senior year, I pretty much gave up. I’d had a really bad relationship that failed, I was depressed more often than not, I was reckless, I ate, drank, and generally didn’t give a crap about anything. That spring, I was diagnosed with a mental illness and I had to withdraw from the university. I’m not ready to go into those details yet, but suffice to say this was a very trying and difficult time in my life. I was heavily medicated, I was too depressed to move around a lot, and I just couldn’t find my spark, my passion. I returned to school for a 5th year to finish my last 2 semesters and that winter, I had shoulder surgery. I had torn my left labrum several years prior kayaking in Alaska, and physical therapy wasn’t helping anymore.

By spring of 2009, I was medicated, depressed, immobile (I had to wear a shoulder immobilizer for 3 months and then months of rehab), and just quit caring.  I honestly don’t know how much I weighed during this time, because I’m pretty sure I just didn’t care enough to check.  I do remember having to start buying new jeans and eventually I was in the double digits.  I remember the first time I had to buy size 16 pants.

2010-Me age 24
2010-Me age 24

Around 2011, I had to buy size 18 pants.  I realized my life had spiraled out of control. I’d gone on several dates with guys who actually told me “I’m not attracted to you, you’re too fat.” It was gut wrenching.  My self-esteem was gone.  Mentally, I was finally in a much better place after several years of therapy, I’d been able to decrease my medication and was seeing my therapist regularly.  I blamed the medication for my weight gain.  I was determined to get off as much medication as possible to stay sane and I just knew it would fix my weight issues.  I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t suddenly thin again when the medication was reduced.  I couldn’t fathom that I’d done this to myself.  I used every excuse in the book.  My metabolism was slow. Maybe I had a thyroid issue.  Maybe there was something wrong with me.

2013-Me age 27. At my heaviest ever.
2013-Me age 27. At my heaviest ever.

In 2013, I met a woman who was selling fitness products.  She told me “I have the solution to your problem.  Follow this diet plan, take these supplements. You’ll be skinny again in no time.” It was exactly what I wanted to hear.  It was the HCG and raspberry ketones diet through Omnitrition. Very low calorie diet for 8 weeks, maintenance, then as many 8 week rounds as needed. When I say low calorie, I mean, at one point in time I logged my food and I was eating between 600-750 calories a day.  I had no energy.  I didn’t feel well, but man those pounds sure we’re dropping off! When I started this diet, I weighed around 255 pounds and wore a size 18. I was so ashamed of myself and this diet seemed like the miracle cure.

2013-about 10 months after the previous photo.
2013-about 10 months after the previous photo.

What’s that saying? If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

I lost over 50 pounds on that diet. I reached 199 pounds in just a few short months. I was fitting into a size 12 jean again.  I couldn’t believe it.  It really was the miracle.  Then I met and started dating Jacob. When I told him about my miracle diet, he proceeded to educate me on how dangerous it was to eat so little and how weight loss is about calories in vs. calories out. I quit the Omnitrition diet. In about 1.5 years after that, I was back up to 245.  “No” I said “I cannot hit 250 again. I cannot do it.”

In April 2015, I read a book that has since changed and shaped my life.  It is a fitness book geared towards women, for women, for nutrition, and for weightlifting.  I read this book and said “I can do this!”

Since April, I’ve had many ups and downs.  I’ve been half-hearted for many months, life gets in the way, old habits interfere, but the two things that have kept me from giving up are the support of my friends, family, and Jacob, and the knowledge that fitness is a journey and journeys take time. A lot of time.

On this day in October when I write this, I’m currently sitting at 225 pounds, but I’ve lost 7 inches from my waist, and my body fat percentage has decreased 11%.  Sometimes the scale isn’t the only indicator, especially if you’re weight lifting like I am.

C'est moi!
C’est moi!

I am constantly learning.  I am constantly asking fitness advice. I am constantly researching online and in fitness books for new ideas, new motivation, new exercises.  I won’t get into weight loss details in this post, I just wanted to share my story for those, like me, who embark on a weight loss and fitness journey.

Stay true, stay focused.  You CAN do this! It’s called a journey for a reason.  I am confident that I will see my goal of 140 pounds again.  I’m finally down to a solid size 16 pants and I even fit into my 14s but they’re a little tight still. I am confident that you too can achieve your fitness goals.

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