My Fitness Journey (So Far)
When It Really Started
On December 12, 2014, I joined a gym and began working out 4-6xs per week. I cleaned up my eating (only a tad and was still consuming alcohol) and thought I was doing well. Then I gained 3lbs. That meant I weighed 187lbs. Need I remind you, I am only five feet tall, so that is quite excessive. I was so frustrated I could cry. So much work and no payoff, or so I felt. That’s when I really started researching health and fitness. I had to know why I was gaining weight and not losing. Muscle of course!
Eventually I found a decent food & fitness balance and was able to drop a few pounds on my own. A while after joining the gym, I went to my doctor to see if there was anything serious keeping me from losing weight faster. In hindsight, I should have researched more about what questions to ask and what answers to seek beforehand. Don’t get me wrong, my doctor (at the time) is a really great person, but she also prescribes medicine as solutions to ailments or issues, rather than focusing on getting to the root of the issue. So she prescribed me something they usually only prescribe to extremely obese people. She told me that I could only take it for a few months and then had to wait a good number of years before I could take it again. Um HELLO, red flag! If only I had known then what I know now about prescription drugs. There’s some pretty gnarly ingredients if they tell you that, and it is so important to read up on long term side affects before taking these types of drugs. This one in particular was a drug that speeds up metabolism and curbs appetite. And it worked for me. I lost 20 pounds or so in a few short months.
After that I continued going to the gym and trying to eat healthy. Nothing really changed for a long time. Then once spring came around in 2016, I started to fall in love with outdoor exercise. Running was my favorite and I started going for runs almost every day. The increased exercise as well as heat of the summer months did wonders for helping me drop a few pounds. I lost another 20 pounds by fall time.
Then I went to California for a friend’s wedding. And silly, naive me went there with the mindset that “since I had been so good, I had worked so hard, and I had lost so much weight, that I could eat whatever the heck I wanted”. That was one of my biggest mistakes, ever. Not only did we eat out a lot while on vacation, we kept up it up after returning home. I found it so difficult to get back on track. I had set myself up to fail, and to this day, this is one of the biggest lessons I ever learned regarding health and fitness. Because of my choices, I quickly gained back 10+ pounds, and this time, all fat.
When you start losing weight, you initially lose water weight with fat. If you are a yo-yo dieter, or do anything where you lose weight quickly and then gain it back, what you are going to gain back isn’t necessarily the same thing. In my experience, you gain back a lot more fat. With that comes inflammation too.
From then to about now, (February 2018), I’ve weighed about the same. Struggled about the same. The only exception was my month of Whole30, where I lost 6 pounds, and then gained back 2. I even joined an 8-week Fitness Booty Boot Camp (that was amazing by the way) and still struggled to reduce my body fat. Of course it decreased slightly, but no where near what it should have with the amount of work I put in. I gave it my all and while I felt a tad better, I didn’t see much progress. Well, I mean as far as fat loss. My muscles did tone up quite nicely, and I gained a lot of strength.
I know I should be proud of my accomplishments. But when my end goal is to lose about 10% body fat and trim down a whole lot more than I have, and I’ve worked for that for about 3 years now, how could I not feel disappointed? And I’m a glass half full kind of person.
I am not going to give up though. I know I haven’t tried everything. They say it takes time, but little did I know how much time! And, it is important to look at my entire experience and keep in mind all of the benefits of getting healthier has brought me (See? Half full glass coming up). In the past 3 years, I have lost 40 pounds, established healthy workout routines, actually cleaned up my diet, increased my energy, decreased the amount of toxins around me, increased my sleeping hours, decreased stress (helps to quit a super stressful job. Just saying), and overall feel like a happier person.
My Next Adventure
So, what’s next? What am I going to incorporate into my life next to see if maybe that will help me achieve my goals? Well, it’s a thing called Keto. I go into much more detail here. Essentially, it is a different way of eating that teaches your body to burn fat for energy instead of using the carbs and sugar (glucose) you provide through your diet. By increasing healthy fats and decreasing carb consumption, you can put your body into a state of Ketosis to achieve all this. I’ve done a lot of research and it sounds like a good fit for me. Especially after having done Whole30, and the food I’ll eat is quite similar (minus the sweet potatoes sadly).