A New Perspective
Balance. Positivity. Strength. Confidence.
(if you haven’t read My Story: Part 1—click here!)
I’d like to say everything CLICKED all at once, but that was not the case—changing a mindset takes time. During sophomore year of high school, I became less restrictive, indulged in my favorite food– ice cream 🙂 –more, and worked out everyday. I started to enter the weight room at the end of cardio workouts, but didn’t really know what I was doing. And during cardio, I read health and fitness magazines and learned more about nutrition and fitness. It became my hobby; I would research nutrition and fitness in my free time and finally began to understand how it affects the body. I was seeing positive changes, but I was still a slave to the scale everyday and felt discouraged when numbers went up.
At this time, I made it a priority for me to surround myself with positive influences and people; I think it was easier for me to transition into a more positive lifestyle along with healthier eating habits because of the support I have/had. I have an awesome family and an incredible boyfriend who would tells me I’m beautiful often, encourages/motivates me to be a better person, and always supports me in whatever my current goals are.
My junior year– running became an outlet for me; it was an exhilarating feeling to just let go or free my mind when I was stressed. In the spring, I ran my first mini-marathon in 2 hours and 5 minutes. It was one of the most rewarding feelings to cross that finish line, and being able to say I ran the whole thing. (I told myself I had to run it all, no matter how slow/fast.) At the end of junior year, I chose to take a weight training class at school. We were blessed with an amazing weight room and a coach that empowered women, strength, and confidence. I was finally feeling more balanced and somewhat content with my body image by the end of senior year.
College: Freshman Year at Indiana University
The freshman fifteen is not a myth; it’s actually, very real. Even though I didn’t gain fifteen pounds, I put on a few more than I wanted my first semester. I worked out all the time, but the food options—processed foods/weird eating times, THE TAILGATES, and stress really took a toll on my body. So, second semester I did a ton of research on nutrition–because abs- they’re made in the kitchen–and looked to see what changes I could make in the dorm. (look forward to future posts on how to stay healthy and fit in college)
During March I received my NESTA Fitness and Nutrition Coaching certification and it has helped me understand nutrition even more. I ‘ve learned it’s not just about calories; it’s about the macronutrients you digest that impact weight loss and weight gain. At the end of the school year I began a lifting and cardio regimen that I still implement today and have seen a tremendous difference in my body and mind. Lifting has made me feel more confident in myself and I receive a sense of accomplishment when I finish a difficult lift and crave that ‘I can’t move my body’ soreness the next day. It has also made a large difference in the way my clothes fit and body looks even when the scale doesn’t budge.
TODAY– I’m happier, stronger, and more confident than I have ever been. I’ve stopped the scale insanity, and weigh myself once a week for progress and curiosity. (this is something I’m most proud of) I’ve learned to love my body for what it gives me the ability to do. Life is too short to focus on a number and try to be something I’m not- I’m not the skinny girl, nor do I want to be; I want to be strong, fit, HAPPY, and healthy. I look up to girls who respect themselves AND are happy, because to me, happy girls are the prettiest girls. I have goals right now to get stronger and leaner and be a better me everyday. I want to inspire others and show them how much a positive attitude, healthy lifestyle and fitness can improve their life. Some days
aren’t easy, but then I remember how far I’ve come and remember how blessed I am to be able to do what I can. I now focus on healthy progress, not unrealistic perfection.
This mental transformation has taken a long time, but I’ve learned so much from it. Positivity has improved my life and has made me stronger than ever. Society’s unrealistic expectations can really affect one’s health in many ways, but I will not let it affect mine anymore. Having a healthy body and body image is important to me and I hope to inspire other people to see how important it is, too.
Thank you for taking the time to read my really long story, hopefully you didn’t fall asleep and maybe even took something from it. Also, thanks to all the people in my life that support me, make me laugh, and make life so much more worth living. xoxo