To state the obvious, this page is entitled ‘My Fitness Journey’.
But isn’t our whole life a fitness journey?
Yes! Well, it should be.
But, for me, my fitness journey didn’t really start until I had made four realizations: First, I was obese. Second, I was having health issues. Third, I had zero exercise. And fourth, I had terrible eating habits.
The first realization came when we brought home a Nintendo Wii Fit. That fateful evening, opening and setting up our new toy, I stepped on the Fit Board and was shocked to see my weight at 199 pounds. Crap. Really? Crap.
How had I let myself get to 199 pounds?
It’s a simple equation, really. Four very long, very stressful college years full of late night super cheese pizzas + early morning chocolate soy mochas + absolutely zero exercise = lots of extra padding.
To really rub it in, that sweet little Wii voice tells me, “That’s Obese!“. Oh thank you, Wii, I can see that. Then, the little Mii character transformed in front of my eyes from a stick figure to a chubby little thing; as the little digital waist expanded, the shirt shrank to really exaggerate what I had just learned:
I was obese.
I was feeling pretty hopeless. I desperately did not want to see that scale roll over to 200 pounds.
The second realization came not with a whisper, but with a bang. About this time, I started having some terrible gall bladder issues. These gall bladder attacks made me felt like I was going to die! We’re talking five hours of the most excruciating pain I can imagine. Naturally, I thought it was brought on from carrying around all this extra weight. I was afraid that these issues would only get worse over time, and would certainly lead to more issues or complications.
Being obese is actually causing health issues.
But, believe it or not, even that wasn’t quite enough to get me motivated.
Sure, I was playing on my Wii Fit once or twice a week, but I wasn’t really doing anything else to work towards my goal. I felt like I could never actually get back in to shape, like it was a dream I would only talk about pursuing.
The third realization came when my friend Erica asked a simple question: Want to try a water aerobics class with me? Well let’s see, what you’re really asking is: Want to squeeze your obese body into a tight swimsuit, drag your butt out of bed at 5:25 in the morning, get into a lukewarm pool with two friends and some strangers, then jiggle around for an hour?
I was not exercising at all.
But, somehow, I said yes. I figured I had nothing to lose, except a few pounds.
It started to work. I had finally found an exercise that I enjoyed! I actually looked forward to our water aerobics classes! Weird, I know! And what about the mornings that I laid in my warm comfortable bed, contemplating snoozing the morning away instead of exercising? I knew Erica and Jo would be counting on me to be there, and that was just enough motivation for me to grab a towel and head out the door.
The fourth realization came when I got my smart phone. Because I love collecting data, I started using an app called MyFitnessPal, which helped me track calories, nutrients, weight, and inches lost. I entered the foods I was eating on a daily basis and was shocked to see how many calories I was putting into my body. Crap. Really? Crap.
I had terrible eating habits.
But I thought, as a vegetarian, that naturally meant I was eating healthy! Wrong. I was basically a carbetarian with tendencies towards junkfoodetarian. My food groups were cereals, breads, pastas, cheeses, sweets, sweets, and sweets. I was a vegetarian who rarely ate vegetable.s
So, I made a change to my diet.
Instead of focusing on “dieting”, as I had tried so many times in the past, I chose to simply eat healthier and simpler foods. I chose to look at the word “diet” in the original nutritional sense of the word: the sum of the food choices habitually consumed by a person.
A few months after that, I added in yoga one day a week. I love yoga!
A few months after that, I added in zumba two days a week. I love zumba!
Before I knew it, the weight was dropping off at a healthy rate of just over one pound per week.
A few months after that, I went totally vegan.
Fast forward one year:
From November 2011 to November 2012, I lost 60 pounds, went from a size 14/16 to 4/6, and gained a healthy, active, enjoyable lifestyle. I’m 28 years old, and have never felt better or healthier in my whole life!
How do I continue to keep myself motivated to reach my goals? I regularly evaluate my nutrition and fitness goals, in order to keep myself competitive with myself, and always celebrate the small victories! This keeps me exercising regularly, eating a healthy vegan plant-based diet, and embracing my new healthy life.
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Here’s a little peek into the difference one year can make.
On the left, you’ll see me about 199 pounds, summer of 2011. At this point I was just finished with college, at my heaviest, and still thinking anything vegetarian was healthy ;)
On the right, that’s me 67 pounds lighter, and starting to be more knowledgeable about a real healthy active vegan lifestyle!
Where will I be in one more year? Where will you be in one more year?
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Annnnnd here’s a little peek into the difference 65 weeks can make.
On the left, again, that’s me about 199 pounds.
On the right, that’s me 70 pounds lighter, 75 cholesterol points lower, and 13 pants sizes smaller, officially reaching my “phase one” weight loss goal!
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Why am I sharing this? Because, if you take it one step at a time, YOU can do it too! It’s never too late to turn your health around, improve your life, and feel better! Your body and your loved ones will thank you greatly ♥