Fitness Journey

I feel like my fitness journey has been all over the place for the last 5 years. Mostly because I’ve had 4 kids in that time frame but also because I’ve basically had to learn everything on my own. While my mom enjoys fitness now she didn’t have much time for working out when I was a kid. She worked full time and raised 3 kids. And I don’t think my dad knows what the inside of an actual gym looks like ha. The only sport I was familiar with as a kid was baseball because my brother played and we were always at his games. I was forced into ballet when I was in 8th grade. I hated it at the time but grew to love it and continued for 3 years with ballet and dance. But that was it. No team sports, no real extracurricular activities. I don’t feel like I missed out on much, my parents were doing the best they could as immigrants, working their own business and hoping to provide a better life for their family.

So all that to say that I didn’t have any examples of fitness around me until I met my best friend Ashley in high school. She loves sports and fitness to this day. I still remember seeing her abs at the beach once and thinking how in the heck did she have those? Anyway time crept forward, I went to culinary school and definitely gained some weight. Then I got married and definitely gained some more weight. I wanted to be a good little wife and made 3 course meals for my man every single night. It wasn’t until our third year living in Baltimore that Pierre and I decided to join a gym. The only thing I “knew” how to do was run on the treadmill and I hated every second. But I was determined to lose some weight and I thought running would do that for me. I started slow, I remember I couldn’t run more than 5 or 6 minutes at a time without stopping to catch my breath.

Along with going to the gym I started reading fitness blogs! I don’t remember how I found them or how it all got started but at some point I was introduced to blogs and my life hasn’t been the same since. I began learning about HIIT workouts and circuit training, and weight training. So many different ways to get in shape that didn’t involve staring at a treadmill for 30 minutes and wanting to cry.

Slowly I started incorporating weights and other workouts into my life. I had Eva in 2012 and a year later decided to do one round of INSANITY. It was so challenging but at the end of the 90 days I was so happy with the results. I couldn’t believe I could be as thin as I was, 118 pounds! The thinest I had been since high school. Shortly after reaching that weight goal I found out I was pregnant with the twins! I ate anything and everything I wanted and didn’t lift a finger. That pregnancy was very hard on my body and I used it as an excuse to let myself go. Delivery day I weighed in at 191 pounds! Pretty extreme weight gain in only 9 months.

When the twins were 3 months old I joined the gym again and started taking group fitness classes to get myself back on track. Things were going great and I was really learning more about weight training and getting more comfortable at the gym when I found out I was pregnant again with Esme, the twins were 9 months old. Again, due to stress and moving from Michigan to Florida, I used my pregnancy as an excuse to eat all the things. I didn’t have a firm grasp on the whole eating to fuel your body concept. I always looked at food as more of a reward/punishment scale. If you ate something “bad” then your punishment was shame, guilt and 2 hours killing yourself on the treadmill. If you worked out for 5 days in a row you rewarded yourself by eating anything and everything on the weekends. I can’t tell you how wrong that is and how it really messed with my confidence and self esteem.

I can’t pinpoint the exact day and I don’t even think there was a lightbulb moment for me but I can say I’m in such a better place today than I was even a year ago. Life went on, the stresses of raising 4 little kids were some days too much to bare. I didn’t have an outlet, I didn’t have an escape. I tried several at-home workouts on and off but nothing really stuck. Until one day I met my friend who is a group fitness instructor at one of Eva’s classmate’s birthday party. Turns out her son was in Eva’s class and he’s a twin! She invited me to the gym immediately and I of course out of desperation to make friends joined the gym she worked at shortly after meeting her.

I started going to the gym every day, taking any class I could in the mornings while Eva was in class and fell in love. I started making friends and working out because I was proud of what my body could do and what I was capable of. A lot of days in the beginning I just wanted to give up and stay home but I pushed through. The friendships I began making at the gym helped motivate me to get there. Food used to be an escape for me but now it’s fuel. Yes, eating things that have a lot of sugar and fat are delicious and I eat those things, too. But I don’t feel like I need to eat those things or forbid them from my diet in order to be happy with myself. If I feel like eating something with lots of sugar then I eat it and move on.

In January of this year I signed up with trainer. My goal with her is to push myself beyond my limits with weights and really transform my body, she guides me and gives me workouts to do on my own. Because I was never “in shape” before I had kids I have no idea what my body’s potential really is. That’s my true goal, push my body to it’s full fitness potential. It’s exciting! Everyone’s fitness journey is different and I hope I can motivate even just one person to get up and get moving. I really have fallen in love with working out and pushing myself to try different things at the gym is something that I don’t take for granted. It’s quickly become a passion that I hope to continue to share with you.

I don’t have many photos of myself but I do plan on doing a before and after photo comparison in a few months, when I reach my 1-year goal at this gym. Bottom line consistency is so key. Consistently do what will get you to your goals and you will have it. Don’t give up!

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