A Needed Fitness Journey
Once upon a time, I was a dancer. I still identify as a dancer because dance is the only thing I've ever done where I can truly lose myself. While I don't take classes, I still dance today. I use the counter as my barre and my kitchen as my tap floor. By doing this, I've been able to embark upon a new fitness journey.
Through age 19, I ate whatever I wanted and never had to worry since I danced 40-60 hours a week. Then, something happened; college. I stopped dancing my sophomore year of college and kept eating the same way . Suddenly, I was living a sedentary life and eating like a marathon runner. One day at age 22, after the market crash of 2008 and graduating with no job prospects in 2009, the stress of adulthood set in and I started eating. And eating. Combine that with being ridiculously happy with my boyfriend, soon to be fiance, then husband, and I gained 40 lbs.
Am I complaining? A little. Am I looking for sympathy? Absolutely not. I ate that food, paid for that food. I knew each time I ate a burger, fries, and milkshake that it was packing in salt, sugar, and copious quantities of calories. Then, we got married, and maybe I look a little squidgy in my wedding photos (hey triceps! stop wiggling!). Finally, as a couple, we tried to figure out what to do to change our habits and start a health and fitness journey.
Changes in Food
We went vegan. Cold turkey. I was convinced that going to a plant-based diet would be my weight-loss salvation and would cure me of my ills.
That backfired. We ate more processed vegan burger patties, Oreo's (yeah, they're vegan), and other ultra processed food labeled "vegan." It was not a good life. That's when I learned that a "vegan" and "plant-based" diet can mean very different things. But, more on that another day.
In 2014, I started incorporating animal products into my diet. I had just gotten out of a very toxic work environment and into a new job at an amazing company. They were paying me well and we finally could afford to eat reasonably well. We focused on non-processed food and cooking daily. And you know what, that is working.
Fitness and health needs to be a priority for everyone. The old saying "Health is Wealth" rings true on a daily basis. Being open & direct: I stress eat like it's going out of style and that's an ongoing battle. On the flip side, I have worked out 5 days a week every week since January 4, 2016. Want some inspiration? Check out Jessica Smith on Youtube. She's fun, sweet, and doesn't make you feel terrible about yourself. Want to go H.A.M? Jillian Michaels is my favorite badass.
The point of the this slightly long ramble is this: you are not alone. No matter what you're facing, you are not the only one going through it. Remember, it's not about losing weight or looking good in a bikini - think of your fitness journey as a path to your best self. It's a path to creating a stronger person, both physically & spiritually. You can do it.
Wanna talk about it? I'm here for you. Let's do this together.