So I decided it was time to share a little about my health and fitness journey because it has definitely been a roller coaster. I am not a nurse nor am I a dietitian. I am a social worker by trade however I did receive some additional training in health coaching. I have overall been pretty healthy most of my life. In college I was a workout-aholic, I started on my path of vegetarianism and survived on fruits, vegetables, and my college drinking life. I did every kind of workout and was very thin (although at the time I did not think so but looking back at pictures I was a rail), but alot of this was due to my own insecurities and self judgement. I strived to make myself perfect or live in the my own perception of perfection. I never found it.
After college I move back in with my family full time but still maintained my vegetarian lifestyle despite no one else in my home being this way and still worked out all the time. I was still super thin and still unhappy (seeing a pattern here?).
It was not until after our wedding in 2013 when I started noticing the weight increase. I began doing alot more weightlifting and trying to get super toned. I never reached that toned physique I was striving for. I was still insecure but doing better. My biggest was in 2015. This was right before I became pregnant (which happened December 2015). That Halloween of 2015 I nearly cried and had a panic attack because none of the clothes I needed for my costume fit. I was 20lbs heavier than I was at our wedding. I had to wear leggings for my costume because regular pants did not fit. I was super bloated. My diet had become worse and I was not working out the way I was before. December 2015 I became pregnant and of course my weight went on a steady trajectory upwards. I was swollen all over. I retained so much water weight and it did not help I was at my heaviest in the heat of a very hot summer of 2016. At one point I was well into 220lbs. After giving birth September 2016 the weight did not come off very easily like I hoped. It was on Easter 2017 when I announced a change. I was going on a diet, having 2 protein shakes a day, working out and losing the weight. Well I did it. I was a member of LA Fitness and I started going back to Zumba. I worked out at home with videos that had some super intense workouts which made me do burpees and mountain climbers, all of which I avoided before. The weight started coming off rapidly, but I knew I could not live off of 2 protein shakes/day forever so I started incorporating real meals once a day.
Adding in real food did slow the process a bit and I started getting discouraged. I also felt bored with my workouts. I needed more. I needed a harder workout. My hsuband also needed more. We did not want to just go to a gym on our own and run on treads and lift our own weights. We needed pushing. I tried out kickboxing. I loved it but about 1-2x/week but the costly membership didnt justify me signing up. I found a groupon for a Heaven and Hell bootcamp. I let my husband try it first as I was still trying out my kickboxing class package. When he took the first class he came back extremely sore and was like this for a week. It was a big challenge and this is a guy who took a police acadamy boot camp twice! I decided to purchase a groupon and try it out. At this same time I started trying out OrangeTheory Fitness at some of the local studios as a mystery shopper (so I can get a free class AND get paid! I loved OTF! I tried out the bootcamp and this was another winner! It is a small studio with a total family feel. It is a 45min class with multiple stations and you spend a minute at each station and do however many rounds is set up for that day with usually another "extra" set of exercises in the middle of the workout and sometimes at the end as well. There is some kettlebells and barbells involved at time but alot of is is your own body weight, bands, sliders, ropes, tires, etc. I am now a member and do this exercise 3-4x/wk. I felt I needed more intense cardio to get rid of the fat. I became a member of OTF and go 2x/wk. I am not always very challenged by the strength training part but the treads and rower machine is an intense workout. Up until OTF I have not done rowing. I hated it at first but now I have noticed such an improvement in my ability to do the machine.
I am not perfect in diet. I drink my sugary coffees every morning. I have my ice cream at night. I love my carbs, but I can honestly say I feel much more healthier now than ever before! I have more muscle tone in my arms and legs than ever before. I am continuing to lift more and more weight. I can go harder and faster on the treadmill and rower. I can hold a longer plank. My confidence as skyrocketed! I am so much more happier with myself. I like myself when I look in the mirror and actually for once see a pretty woman staring back at me. I no longer try to diet and I no longer have the mindset of trying to lose weight. I am trying to be healthier and this different mindset has made this whole process less daunting. Today I have some key pieces that help me stay healthy and fit.
Although I am not eating protein shakes 2x/day or even every day I still try to make a shake a few times a week. I have some key ingredients that go in every shake to keep and continue feeling healthy and strong. First is protein. I am not a protein snob where I need a particular kind but I want it to taste good and be a reasonable price. I like Chocolate protein with a banana to make a chocolate banana smoothie. This one by EAS is less than $18 and tastes great in my smoothie. I found this Burt's Bee's vanilla protein at Ross one day and I like that it has alot of extra nutrients and plant based ingredients to increase my overall health. Collagen is great for healthy hairs and nails as well as muscles and joints. I find I have quicker recovery from workouts when I take the collagen. Everyone will swear by Vital Proteins but for me it is too costly. I found this one on iHerb and it is a much better price. I like to put it in my smoothie to mask any funky taste. I have been buying this Superfood blend from Walmart and it is chockfull of healthy ingredients. It is just my "extra". This creatine powder was a little over $3 at Walmart. I take it in the morning before a workout to give my muscles an extra boost. My husband is on a 4 day a week work schedule so he comes home late. I work out in the early morning before the sun even gets up and I found this has helped push me a bit. It also has a lemon flavor that actually was not too bad! Plus I get an extra cup of water in my diet first thing in the morning. Win Win!!
This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click on my link and buy something, I will earn a small commission from the advertiser at no additional cost to you.
EAS Protein powder: https://bit.ly/2Mm0523
Burts Bees protein poser: https://bit.ly/2Bgw6U9
Superfood blend: https://bit.ly/2OJJyS6
I can still use some improvements in my diet. I no longer am a vegetarian. I started incorporating white meat into my diet when I got pregnant and kept going at it, mainly because it is easier planning family meals when I am not needing to make my own on top of everyone else's. I also signed up for Imperfect Produce. If you don't know about them, they are a company that has a mission to decrease food waste. They buy the "ugly" produce or the surplus that is not bought by the big box retailers because they are not pretty enough. This is putting more money into the farmer's pockets and business and keeping that food out of the landfill.
I LOOOOOVE Imperfect. Each week I am reminded to pick my box. I then go through the available produce for that week and shop for what I want/need. You can also do this every 2 weeks as well. The company delivers right to my doorstep. I get a text when my box is almost here and then another when it has been delivered. They will sometimes give cute little thank you gifts or little recipe cards. It has made shopping a bit easier, more fun, and I feel better knowing I am helping the enviroment. It is an all over win. If you order through my link you will get $10 off your first box!!!
Thank you for reading about my journey. Hopefully I was able to inspire just a tad bit!