I love health and fitness. It’s an important part of my life and a great passion. To me, there is no better feeling than kicking some major butt in a tough workout. It’s fun to sweat, be competitive with myself, listen to a good playlist and feel the energy from a workout class with some incredible athletes. I legitimately crave healthy foods now, as opposed to what I craved growing up. I care about what I put in my body and I like to feel good, which is what eating healthy and working out does for me. I haven’t always been like this though. My health journey has definitely been a journey….a long one. There have been ups and downs and I am still working on learning healthy habits and un-learning not so healthy ones. I have had to work really hard to give myself some grace, love my body and treat it right! So here it is folks… my health journey and how I have gotten to where I am today.
As a kid I grew up playing all different kinds of sports: basketball, gymnastics, soccer and always loved the physical aspect of them and the training they required. I can’t exactly remember when it started, but I know it was when I was still doing gymnastics that I became self conscious of how my body looked and I started to become critical of it. I distinctly remember one night after gymnastics wanting to skip dinner because I thought I was “fat” (even though looking back at pictures I had a legit 8 pack). This is the moment in time when my up and down journey of unhealthy eating and negative body self-esteem began. Instead of thinking of what would nourish my body and what wouldn’t, I would think of what would “make me fat” and what wouldn’t. Some days I didn’t really care or think about what I was eating and other days I would obsess over it. Some days I would think I looked great and other days I would hate how I looked. I was in great shape (even though I didn’t think I was) up until I graduated high school. I graduated high school one trimester early and that half year prior to college I wasn’t involved with any sports and ate poorly. It inflated my weight and crushed my self-esteem. I kept the weight on until the middle of my freshman year of college. A comment from a girl saying that I was “getting bigger than my boyfriend” and an unhealthy relationship made me realize I needed to make drastic changes in my eating - but I didn’t make healthy changes. I became an exercise-bunny/cardio queen and cut what I was eating in half. I remember living off Diet Mountain Dew and Diet Cokes, skipping meals and losing all the extra weight I had put on towards the end of high school. Yes I lost the weight but it was in the most unhealthy way possible. I recognized this though, and improved my eating habits during my sophomore year and started eating a healthier, balanced diet versus being extremely restrictive and limited. Again though, I had a hard time sustaining positive habits throughout college. It’s like this up and down cycle was never ending.
After college while figuring out my first big girl job, the weight was on again. I stopped working out and I started to eat TERRIBLE. I remember just feeling blahhhhhhhh all the time. I didn’t actually realize how much weight I had put on until literally nothing in my closet fit and when I saw myself in photos. Wheww I saw a drastic difference and I did not like it! Kyle and I were dating at the time and I was talking to him about how awful I felt. I was ready to make a change. He told me that his mom did this “nutritional cleansing thing” called Isagenix that was really good for you and that I should try it! I figured I didn’t have anything to lose so I made the commitment to try it out.
I started with one of the systems and lost the weight that I had recently gained. I started feeling energy to work out again and felt freaking awesome! This was almost 7 years ago and when I really got into health in a healthy way. I still put the Isagenix products in my body on a daily basis and use their workout line as well (going to do a fitness post soon). I started being more conscious of what foods made me feel good and what foods made me feel not so good. I finally started listening to my body. It was about what I should be eating and not about what I shouldn’t be eating. I went on and off with this “new” way of approaching health where some days I would care and others I wouldn’t- but as time has passed, I’ve gotten better with my consistency. I’ve found that the more I learn about food and what it does to help or harm my body, the more important it is to me. And the more I got more into working out, the more I cared about what I ate because as a competitive person I want to feel good enough during my workouts that I can continually push myself and get stronger and faster.
With this journey I have also worked on learning to love my body more and improve my self-esteem. For a while I felt like I could never get quite where I wanted to be and I also wanted “to lose a little bit more” or “look like that girl”. I still have those thoughts some days but not nearly as much as I used to and it’s actually pretty freeing. The most important thing to me today is how I feel. I’m not obsessed with how much I weigh anymore, but how I feel in my clothes. And I don’t feel deprived because I practice balance. This is still a journey for me and it will never be perfect. Since I’ve embraced that nothing is going to ever be “perfect”, I’m a lot more at ease with my thoughts.
With health being such a passion of mine I have also loved helping others on their own health and fitness journeys. I would love to get back in sharing more healthy tips and exercises like I did before I became pregnant. I am not a registered dietician or a personal trainer, I am just someone who truly cares about her own health and the health of those around me!! I hope to inspire others to make positive changes with their own health and if I can inspire just one person then that is all I care about!
Here are some tips I have learned along the way for creating a healthy lifestyle:
Change your mindset. Feeling like you are constantly deprived is going to make you always feel like you are on a diet. When you feel like that you are more than likely going to slip up, fall of the wagon or just quit. Focusing on what you should be eating versus what you shouldn’t be eating does wonders for your mind! Instead of constantly feeling restricted you are focusing more on all those yummy healthy foods you can be consuming.
Balance! You have to have balance. I used to be super strict during the week and going wild on the weekends and now if I have a craving I have what I’m craving! So if I want a cheeseburger from Brown’s Dinner on a Wednesday night I’m going to get it. And when I eat that it doesn’t make me go on a rampage where I eat 5 of them a day for the rest of the week (I also won’t not eat on Thursday to “make up for” the Wednesday cheeseburger.) That one burger satisfies my craving and I get back to my healthy meals the next day.
Switch it up! If you eat the exact same thing every day you will probably get bored with what you are eating. Creating different healthy recipes and switching up your meals helps you not feel deprived! Find some meal inspiration in books, and blogs, or even easier on Instagram!
Do it for reasons other than your appearance. If you start educating yourself on why it is so important to be healthy and all the benefits of eating certain foods, it will become a lot easier! Trust that the performance of the cells inside our body is more important than the appearance of our external cells- and even better, when the cells on the inside are taken care of, it helps the cells on the outside!
Eat and do exercises that you enjoy! If you hate kale and broccoli, don’t eat it! Eat veggies and fruits and foods you enjoy eating. Find healthy recipes have them! As far as working out, if you hate running, again… don’t do it! Do things that you enjoy doing and the results will come.
If you ever have any questions or just want support, please don’t ever hesitate to reach out! I know I will get some questions about Isagenix, so if you have any feel free to shoot me an email, message on instagram or you can always check it out here.