HAPPY MONDAY! Sorry I have been MIA on ya’llÂ been enjoying some much-needed rest 🙂 I am really loving the Monday MotivationÂ series on the blog. A lot of you have related to the stories shared so far and there are so many more to tell. I am still looking for more stories. So please if you wish to share your story with NHS readers, please send me an email! WE ALL HAVE A STORY TO TELL!!
Today’s story comes from Jenna Beil from Crazy Healthy Fit!
Jenna’sÂ Â Story
I was a HS athlete.Â I played Varsity Soccer, which kept me very active.Â However, I was never very healthy.Â I was your typical HS student, always looking for a party and just wanted to have a good time.Â I would eat junk food all of the time.Â My friends and I would order dominoâ€™s pizza and cheesy bread on a regular basis, and finish all of the food.Â Then, later that night, weâ€™d make brownies.Â We would also drink every weekend, whenever we would get the chance.Â We werenâ€™t heavy girls, but that was only because we were active in sports.
When I would start to feel as if I was putting on a few pounds (dominos and alcohol can do that to ya!), I simply would consume less calories.Â I counted calories like it was my job.Â In my mind, the lesser amount of calories I consumed, the leaner I would get.Â Â It did not matter what kind of food I ate.Â I remember eating dry cereal for breakfast, and chewing gum like it was my job to curve all cravings.Â Â My goal would be to consume no more than 1000 calories in a day.Â If I completed this goal, it was a good day.Â Trust me, 1000 calories a day for an active HS athlete is NEVER enough.Â I think back to those days and can only cringe at how detrimental I was being to my body.Â My goal was to please others.Â If other people were happy with the way I looked, then it did not matter to me how my body felt inside.
Throughout these years, I was a college student.Â I moved away from home and was finally free to do whatever it was that I wanted.Â I chose to put sports aside, and joined a sorority instead.Â This meant less exercise and more partying â€“ this was what I wanted at the time.Â I still counted calories, believing that 1000 calories per day was appropriate.Â Any alcohol that I would drink and any extra calories over my 1000 calorie limit that I consumed, I would burn away at the gym (usually the treadmill and/or elliptical).Â If I would eat over my caloric limit or if I did not make it to the gym one day, I got very depressed.Â This led me to buying diet pills and experimenting with fad diets.Â I did gain the â€œfreshman 15.â€Â As a matter of fact, I think I actually put on about 20lbs my first year of college.Â And no, these 20 lbs were not muscle, it was pure fat.Â I hated my body, and hated the way I looked.Â Which only led me to more diet pills and fad diets.
At this point, I had hit my plateau.Â After 2 years of college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (â€œIUPâ€), I decided that the school just wasnâ€™t for me.Â I transferred to a school closer to home (and my boyfriend).Â This was the turning point in my life.Â I was living with 3 wonderful girls at St. Josephâ€™s University (â€œSJUâ€), all of which had a good head on their shoulders and were just the kind of people I needed at this low point in my life.Â One of these girls (Alyssa!) was training for her first marathon when I moved into the apartment.Â This really got me thinking about running.Â At the time, my mind was still set on losing weight and looking better, not necessarily feeling great and doing what was best for my body and health.Â So, I started running.Â Little by little, I started to feel like a brand new person.Â I also joined the club soccer team at SJU and met a bunch of new friends.Â After surrounding myself with good people â€“ people who genuinely loved life and cared about one another â€“ my mindset and entire outlook on life began to change as well.Â Running became my stress reliever.Â I would usually run by myself because it was my â€œme time,â€ which I enjoyed very much.Â Â In 2009, I completed my very first race, which began my career as a runner.Â Running gave me the opportunity to interact with other health conscious people like myself.Â I attended race expoâ€™s, subscribed to health and fitness magazines, and followed the lifestyle of some popular fitness icons.Â This was how I began to learn about the importance of nutrition and fitness.
I graduated college in 2010 and remained in the Philadelphia area.Â I began to love my body for what it was and not for what other people thought.Â To this day, I am still running races.Â I ran my first marathon in November 2011!Â Running will always be a part of me â€“ it is who I am.Â However, I have recently learned a lot about the importance of strength training and proper nutrition.Â Therefore, I am now incorporating strength training into my weekly routines.Â I usually aim for 5 days of strength training with a small cardio session per week, and 1 day of cardio alone.Â I have also altered my eating habits, and now have a very clean eating style.Â I aim for about 5 or 6 small meals each day, focusing on getting the right balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat in my body.Â Ever since I began exercising and eating correctly, I have found that I have a lot more energy throughout the day and am overall a happier person.
I have a new-foundÂ love for crossfitÂ as well!Â I try toÂ follow the paleoÂ lifestyle as much as possible, and am currently focusing on my sugar intake.Â Did you know that we are only supposed to consume about 35 grams of sugar per day?!Â One day I would like to get my NASM certification and become a physical trainer so that I can teach all of you about the importance of fitness and nutrition.
To read about the current me, click â€”-> here
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions about my journey.Â Iâ€™d be happy to share more personal information with you via email if you would like.Â I found that talking to others about my problems really helped me learn how to change the way I thought about things and become the person that I am today.