I hope your morning is going as well as mine! It’s been quite productive round here.
During my workout this morning, I started thinking about how far I have come along on my journey to where I am at now as far as my fitness level. When I first began stepping foot in a fitness facility, which was at my college, Florida Gulf Coast University AKA Dunk City!, I had no idea what to do, where to start, how some of the machines worked etc. I was overwhelmed and felt so out-of-place. I was probably a semester into my college adventure and I had definitely gained some of the “freshman 15”. I lived off cheeze-its, frozen chicken, publix subs, and peanut butter toast. I went out every single night with my roommates because I was now on my own and could do what I wanted, when I wanted. So, I decided I needed to lose some pounds. After a few workouts on the arc trainer and treadmill, I got bored real fast. I had heard about spin and joined in on a class and LOVED it!! I did it a few times a week and really enjoyed the high-energy level of the instructor and her music choices were most excellent. I even tried her kickboxing class, but since I didn’t stretch, ever, I pulled a hamstring and blamed it on the class and vowed to never go back. I stayed true to that vow.
While I was getting in some intense sweat sessions I wasn’t noticing a drop in my weight, I was actually gaining more weight! I didn’t understand why and my motivation level went out the door…I relapsed! What was most upsetting to me was, all my life, since I was about 4 or 5 years old, I had been so active in sports and playing outdoors. I started playing basketball at the age of 6 and made the varsity team as a freshman in high school as well as did track and field. I also loved soccer, swimming, rollerblading, and I did some diving for a little bit. Once I left high school, I was on my own as far as keeping in shape and healthy.
A couple years down the road, I decided to try out the fitness facility in our neighborhood and I was the only one in there so I had free range on all the equipment. I basically went in there and just studied the pictures on each machine and went for it. I never touched the free weights or the stability ball or BOSU ball. I worked on my “fitness” and started seeing some improvements but hadn’t quite yet grasped fueling my body properly. I saw minimal toning happening but wasn’t getting the results I really wanted…to be skinny!
I signed up for a half-marathon in Nashville, TN, in 2007, thinking that this would lead me to skinny. I ran 6 days a week in my nike shocks, which is basically like running in heels and gained weight. womp! womp! I was over training and not giving my body proper recovery time which at the time I knew nothing about. I did, however post a stellar time of 2:10 with massive hills that Florida definitely did not prepare me for at all. But that didn’t come without consequence. My knees killed me and I lost two toe nails…OMG I died!! Anyways, I was beyond confused and felt hopeless about my weight. I signed up at a local gym and worked out 5-6 days a week, once again falling in love with spin. I started researching healthy recipes and how to balance out food and fitness. In a span of 4 months, I lost 20 lbs…skinniest I had ever been! yikes! I looked fit but I didn’t really have a whole lot of muscle tone but I was okay with that. At 5’5″ 118lbs, I was happy with myself.
A few years on down the road, I started really getting into wanting more muscle definition and eating right. I have finally found my balance and my motto…exercise is queen, food is king. Whereas, in the past it was exercise over food. I know what my body needs after each workout and I mix up my workouts every time. I go in to the gym with a plan! I love HIIT workouts and lifting weights. I also enjoy tabata and body weight workouts as well. I used to be cardio queen but now I warm up with cardio and keep my heart rate up during my workouts. My rest periods are basically nothing, most of the time, and I love, love the BOSU ball!
Basically, long story short, since I first stepped foot in gyms, fitness facilities, whatever you want to call them, nine years ago, I have learned a whole lot!! I know how to replenish my body after my workouts and I just love seeing the results I get after a grueling workout. Not all my workouts are up to par, but I still push myself. I have way more muscle now than I ever thought I would have and I love it!! I would rather have muscles than be 120lbs and skinny. Now, I am going off the fact that I am 5’5″, so 120lbs is skinny on me. There is NOTHING wrong with being skinny if its healthy, but muscle is beautiful, in my opinion, and I love seeing the definition I have worked so hard on maintaining.
I am still an open book to learning about my body, food, and health in general, not only for myself, but for others as well. It has truly become a passion of mine and I can not wait to see where this journey leads me!!