Health and fitness have been something I have struggled with for a majority of my adult life. I would go through cycles of being really motivated and then falling off the wagon. When I was a sophomore in college, I lost 20 pounds before my junior year. I even wrote a blog chronicling my journey. It was called “For the Health of it”. I had started that blog to hold myself accountable and it worked until I returned to college. The remainder of my college years was spent developing unhealthy habits and eating to deal with stress.
I really started getting serious about my health in July 2018. My mom had started working with a personal trainer and so I decided I was going to do the same thing. My personal trainer (and my mom’s) Kasey changed the way I viewed health and fitness. Kasey was a fellow military spouse who also helped me navigate that part of my life too. But what I loved about her coaching style was we focused on living a healthy lifestyle and if I lost weight along the way that was an added bonus. Weight loss was not the focus and I believe that made all the difference. Kasey taught me about eating balanced and the importance of embracing the fact that we can move our bodies. She encouraged and pushed me to try workouts that I never imagined I would be able to (like flipping a 275-pound tire). I worked Kasey until the pandemic hit in 2020. She continues to be a friend of mine and I am even working on a website for her right now.
When the pandemic started, my working out stopped. I missed group fitness. Working out from home was not something I thought I would enjoy. I think I worked out once in March because all of my other friends were posting on Instagram that they were. I honestly was not motivated. I was upset about being away from Marek, about our changes to our wedding, and just about the pandemic in general. So, I just spent my days working, eating, and watching tv. Not much movement was going on.
I left my 9 to 5 job at the end of May 2020. I had a whole month to prepare for the wedding, so I decided that I was going to try working out at home again since I had all this free time on my hands that I had not had before. So, I signed up for a Beachbody account. They were running a special since so many people were turning to at home workouts.
I decided to give the workouts out try in the weeks leading up to the wedding. At first, I was working out in the afternoon, but I really do not enjoy afternoon workouts. So randomly one morning I woke up at 6:30AM and decided to workout at 7AM. And that small change made such a difference in the rest of the day.
After working out in the morning, I felt happier and more motivated. And after doing this for a couple weeks it soon became part of my morning routine. It is my favorite part of my morning routine.
Fast-forward to August 2020. I got diagnosed with PCOS (I have a whole post about that right here). I knew I would have to start changing the way I was eating in addition to working out. This by far was the hardest change I had to make and still have a hard time with it today.
PCOS is different for everyone. For me, the main cause of my PCOS is that I am insulin resistant. This does not mean that I am diabetic. “Women with PCOS are often insulin resistant; their bodies can make insulin but can’t use it effectively, increasing their risk for type 2 diabetes.” (CDC) In terms of eating this means a diet low carbs is ideal.
I love carbs! I knew this was going to be a hard change to implement but I decided to try and embrace it. I definitely have days where I cheat but I have learned it all comes down to moderation. I typically try and have the most carbs at my last meal of the day.
My working out has changed slightly as well. I still do Beachbody every now and then, but I have discovered Peloton. My friend, Marie, recommended spin classes to me. I took one and I was hooked. So, I bought a cheap spin bike off of Amazon and downloaded the Peloton app. I typically take 3 spin classes a week and strength classes on the other days. I also enjoy going on 4-mile walks with my friend, Marie, when the weather is nice.
Having accountability is something I was missing. That is why I enjoyed group fitness so much. So, my girlfriends and I actually have a text group where we hold each other accountable to working out. We all have the Peloton app, so we share our favorite classes with each other or do a program together. We all completed a core program together and it was so motivating to know that three other people were doing the same workouts as me.
One question I get asked often is what is the biggest/hardest adjustments and how do I stay motivated? I think the hardest adjustment was waking up early. I love sleeping in and taking my mornings slow. So, the idea of getting and heading straight to my home gym was hard to adjust to at first. There are still mornings where I hit my snooze button and decide to workout later on in the day.
Another question I have been asked is how do I stay motivated? I do not workout or eat healthy because I want to look a certain way or weigh a certain amount. I workout because I want to be healthy for my family and for myself. When I eat healthy and workout I feel good about myself and I am more productive. I am able to show up for those I love and feel fully present.
I am no expert on any of this, I just simply want to share my journey. I know working out and eating healthy can be tough. I still have days where I ask Marek if we can grab cheeseburgers and margaritas for dinner. I think living a healthy lifestyle means finding balance and enjoying things in moderation.
If you are looking for an accountability partner, let me know!
Stay healthy friends!