My journey to a healthy mind, body, and soul.
The High School Years
Ever since I can remember I have always been a little chubby, but I have always been very active. I was a cheerleader in 9th grade, and then quickly switched to cross-country and water polo, because I didn’t feel comfortable in a short skirt! My mother and father have always taught me to be health conscious, but in high school I made my own diet. I ate what I wanted when I wanted. I figured I was running or swimming all the time and burning so many calories that this would be ok. Well I was wrong. I always felt like the chubby friend, especially since I had two of the most beautiful skinny models for best friends. They were over 5’7 and so thin, I envied them for being able to eat whatever they wanted. Why wasn’t my metabolism like theirs?!
The College Years
I went in to college at 5’5 and 155 pounds (I lied on my driver license and put 150 because that seemed smaller to me). I started my college education as a Kinesiology major because I wanted to be a PE teacher one day, and this was how I thought I would lose all the weight. Well I was partially right. I began to exercise a whole lot because all my classes were exercise classes. I had yoga in the mornings, Akido in the afternoon, and kickboxing at night. I was also taking nutrition classes and learning a little about what the right things were to eat. I slowly started knocking the weight off, but I wasn’t doing it the healthy way. I remember people saying to me, man you look great, keep it up. I was so happy but started to get depressed. I knew that I was messing with God’s temple. The breaking point was when I got down to 10 wheat thins, and an apple a day. I was starving myself. How could have I have gotten this far? How was I justifying this? I was falling a part. I got some help and started developing a better relationship with food, better but not great.
My sophomore year I left to Memphis Tennessee, the third obesity state. Don’t get me wrong they have some great food in the south, but a lot of it is full of grease and salt. I knew what to eat, and I tried to stay healthy but college got the best of me, and I had one to many beers and free pizza dinners. I gained all my weight back plus some. I was in a size 12 and still fighting to get down to 15o even though that was still considered overweight for my body frame I thought 150 was fine. I finally decided to bust out the old running shoes and start running again. I took it easy and got back in to running shape; well at least I could do a good three miles without dieing. I then started to get inspired and motivated I loved the way I felt when I ran. I was born to run! I have and will always love it. I knew that I was going down a path to freedom.
My senior year of college I decided to do my first marathon, St. Jude. I started training with a friend who had to drop out, so I finished the training on my own. I didn’t have any kind of plan, I just ran when I could and did long runs on the weekends. I had no idea that I should be taking goo’s or doing interval training and yoga was out of the question. I still ate OK, not great. Had those late night Chilli’s runs oh so often with happy hour margaritas! I ran that marathon the best I could and hated it. I remember hitting 18 miles wanting to run off that road and go home! I ran the whole thing and got a 4:20 and was proud of myself. Never thought I could do any
The Post College Years
After the marathon I developed a bad case of foot spurs (probably from those cheep shoes I wore). So I got a gym membership and started doing kickboxing 4-5 days a week. This was it! I was shedding weight like crazy. I quit the alcohol consumption and started eating real healthy food. Didn’t need free meals anymore, I was making real money! Gave up all white breads, and sugar I couldn’t believe how much weight was falling off. I got a personal trainer for two months and he taught me how to use free weights at home, and how to eat at least five small meals a day. I had gotten down to a size 9 and I was so happy. Met and got engaged to my hubby that year. He fell in love with me at first site. He never thought I was overweight, but I knew I still had a couple more pounds to lose before the wedding. I got down to a size 6-7 on my wedding day, and can you believe I had to get my dress taken in 3 times?! I looked stunning!
It’s been a year and two months sense the big day. I am now TEACHING kickboxing, running on a regular basis, and my diet could not be healthier. I love working out and training for the next event (by the way I just finished my second marathon and ran a 3:24). I am down to a size 4 (smaller then I wasn in High school) and for the first time in my life have stepped on the scale and I am in the 120’s!!!! Never thought I would be here, writing about health, and now going back to school to be an R.D. I have friends from High School that don’t recognize me because of how much I have changed. People ask me all the time, how did you do it? How did you get so small? It’s because I treat my body like God’s holy temple. What goes in my body is very important to my spiritual walk and how I take care of it is an example of how much I appreciate this gift of life. I want to continue helping other women and men discover the beauty in a healthy mind, soul, and body. Without these life is only half full.
Mix it up! Work out at least four-six times a week and do what works best for you! My body did not change when I just ran, I had to do something that brought my heart rate up and back down.
Eat REAL food. Get rid of all the processed crap! Lots of veggies, fruit, and get rid of the white breads. Make dinner at least 5 days a week, and when you go out don’t order anything you couldn’t make on your own. Plan your menu for the week on Sundays; you are more likely to stick to good food if you have a plan!
Quit the quick diets. They don’t work. I did weight watchers points and that was good, but it was a way of life diet and takes off the weight slowly. It helps you develop a better relationship with food, instead of seeing food as the enemy. Don’t do anything that guarantees quick weight loss, slow is ok.
Have a training buddy and goal. It can be anything from a 5k to a marathon. If you have a goal and a buddy it will be more fun for you to get out there and do it!