My Fitness Journey Got Me Here…..But First, Let’s Take It Back
This post has been, as they say, ‘a long time coming’, lol. Over the course of a year, I’ve lost 50 pounds. My fitness journey began very intentional, but it still was a slow and steady race. As I aim to shed my last 15, I realize I’ve fallen in love with working out and fitness in general. Who’da thunk it?
I should probably preface this with my fitness background…..I had none! lol #thatwaseasy ha! Well, not exactly none, but no real gym experience. I danced off and on all throughout school, and was even active on dance teams outside of school. This kept me “fit” most of my life. Even in college, I was active in dance with my sorority, etc. However, I’ve always eaten whatever I wanted. Being from the south, I know good food…like forreal forreal. You know how everyone thinks they know good food, *rolls eyes*, I actually do 🙂 lol
Why did I eat this way? Because I could! lol I never gained weight. My mom told me once I started to gain weight, “I’m so glad you picked up some weight, we thought you were gonna be skinny forever!”. Oh the irony, lol. I was skinny (like barely over 100 lbs skinny) up until about my sophomore year of college. Then, I filled out with the glorious shape I’ve coveted from my mother for ages! But, by my senior year, I had gotten a little TOO shapely!
Getting Real With Myself
I didn’t realize that as I was getting older, there would be less activity, and more adult responsibilities looming overhead. I didn’t change my eating patterns AT ALL, and this combined with being virtually inactive was a dangerous formula. It was actually the game changer, because I never objected to working out (the few times I’d try)–it was the FFOOOODDD! lol
Over the next 5 years, my life would spiral into a series of unfortunate events, sporadic depression, heartache, and overall bewilderment. Eating healthy was the last thing on my mind. In fact, food became a vice.
When I was happy—I ate (celebratory!); when I was sad–I ate (temporary comfort!). Like so many people in the world, I had an unhealthy association with food. Eating to celebrate or drown your sorrows should NEVER be the case…we eat to live, we don’t live to eat.
Fast forward to 2015, and life (and my body) looks a lot different. I escaped my self-destruction and found true life. My testimony took form 2 years ago, when I gave my life (the whole thaaang, lol) to Jesus Christ. It changed everything about me, including how I looked–more on that later. I had a new outlook on life, and 1 day, when God leads me, I’ll tell my whole story. But for now, I wanted to share with you guys a part of it–my fitness journey!
So, here’s the top 5 reasons I decided to get fit, and why I’m a fitness junkie for life now! I hope you find bits of yourself within these bullets, and that it sparks your inspiration to get healthy!
Why I Decided to Get Fit
1. To take control of my health.
I don’t come from a family of runners, health enthusiasts, or gym stars. In fact, my mother and grandmother have eaten bacon every day of their lives for the last 20 something years! lol My family is genetically poor in health, heart disease being a leading culprit for many deaths. Every sickness you can think of, someone in my family is suffering from it. I wanted to break the chain of laziness concerning health in my family, for not only my physical body, but for generations to come.
2. I wanted to develop discipline.
I know what it means to be a hard worker. Resilience, yes-I’m familiar. Perseverance, i can hang with some of the best of them. But I didn’t really know discipline–like I wanted to. I wanted to develop discipline here (in my fitness journey), so that I could transfer that trait into all areas of my life: my Bible studies, prayer life, work ethic, my diet, everything. And nothing shows discipline more than chiseling out a completely new body! I admire athletes so much because of their discipline!
3. I knew I could do it, IF I really wanted it.
I’m a bit of an overachiever. Always have been…probably always will be. Usually this works in my favor….sometimes, it just doesn’t, (I’m working on that, lol) When I started training 1 year ago, my trainer did a full assessment of where I was physically, and said quite matter of factly, I could look AMAZING in less than a year, if I REALLY wanted to. Why did he say that? Any overachiever/perfectionist will tell you, we don’t like when people give us the smirk, followed by sneakily tucked inspiration–we WILL show up.
I love a challenge, maybe a bit too much, lol. I’m that player who no one wants to play with, because we’re not quitting until the game is over–ahem–until I win🙂 bwwaahhahahahaa! He ignited a passion I didn’t know was there, and made it seem so easy! He literally would look at me and say, “You can do that. Of course you can!” That’s because it can be simple folks, all you have to do is try! In no time, I was addicted to the gym, and started training on my own.
4. Black don’t crack, but it CAN stretch a little, lol.
I realized I was getting older, and getting fit later in life would be unlikely. The truth that no woman likes to face! I’m getting old y’all. ha! Don’t let the dimples fool ya:-) But I enjoy aging. I enjoy growing. I enjoy acquiring wisdom, and discovering things about womanhood that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Point is: you’re not getting any younger; so start now! I know of people who started caring for their health later in life, but it WILL have its challenges. Start early (like today), so that fitness can be a habit you MAINTAIN, not try to DEVELOP.
5. God wanted me to.
Remember earlier when I said God changed everything about me. He really did..even down to my appearance. He ‘cleaned me up’ in every way *insert ‘won’t He do it?!* lol
The truth is, I wasn’t taking care of my body, I put anything into it and never developed its strength.
I’ve always loved God, always believed He’s been with me, and always knew that as His child I have a purpose and mission for my life. God started dealing with everything in my “temple” that wasn’t clean. He made it clear to me that if He was going to continue to dwell here, it had to be clean. All my bad habits had to go: cursing, getting drunk, gluttony, listening to certain music, AND destructing the body He gave me to live in while on this Earth.
I have a purpose while I’m here, and I NEED a healthy and fit body to ensure I’m doing my part. When God showed me this, I was like: wwwoowwwww. #mindblown haha!
And from Him I drew my motivation to push away certain foods, get up and work out, and make it a lifestyle, not just a diet/phase. I’ve got an impact to make on this world, lol, I can’t let laziness or a poorly cared for body slow me down. And you can’t either!
Fast Forwarding & Reflecting
Now, I can’t imagine my life without my 4/5 workouts a week. I’ve learned so much, and still set goals for myself every month, like when I first started. That’s why it’s called a journey.
You don’t really ‘arrive’, ever, lol–you’ll just find new heights to climb and goals to set. This is why comparison is silly, no 2 journeys are the same, stay YOUR course!
If you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to get healthy, please stick to it! Honestly, we KNOW what to do to lose weight–it’s not rocket science. You don’t eat crap, and get off your butt! More calories burned in 1 day than went in= weight loss. We’ve heard it all before. As humans we look for the easiest way to do things (i get it); but I’m telling you nothing works better than good old fashion diet and exercise.
Do some research on the healthy changes you can make to your diet, and EASE your way into working out–don’t try to bodyslam the notion–you’ll tap out, #trustme. It took me 1 year to lose 50 lbs, because I took my time, I did research, and I studied my body–how it responded to different things. Slow and steady wins the race! It’s a change you’ll be making for the rest of your life–don’t rush it & end up giving up.
I hope I’ve encouraged you a little, and that my transparency helped you see anything is possible. If you REALLY want it, no one can stop you! I’m in no way a “fitness guru”, but I wanted to share with you guys a different perspective to working out from a ‘regular’ person–not an athlete, trainer, insta-star, etc. lol.
Start out with full body workouts, if you’re new to exercising, they’ll give you the most dramatic results the fastest, then work your way into weight training, alternating body parts on certain days, etc. There’s a ton of guys & gals Youtube killing it with their workouts–and they share them–for the free! lol
Look up a few you can relate to, to get inspiration occasionally. I switch them up a lot, but here are 2 I’m currently liking:
Hope you enjoy, peace and love guys;-)