My Fitness Journey

 

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I’m not going to sit here and tell you that losing weight is easy. If I am going to tell my story, I want to be completely transparent with you all. There is no magic pill or diet that you can follow to magically shed the pounds. It takes hard work, sweat, tears and a strong mind to achieve your health and fitness goals.

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Growing up, I wasn’t a big girl but I knew I was unhealthy, and I didn’t always feel comfortable in my own skin. I would be depressed when my family and I would go shopping and nothing would fit me right. When we would go shopping for the new school year, I would purposefully avoid dresses and swimsuits because they made me the most insecure. I would look in the mirror and not like what I saw, but one thing I never did was compare my body to others- I was fortunate back then to not have Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook. So, even though I knew that I didn’t like what I looked like, I at least didn’t have social media telling me “hey, this is what you should look like”.

I did, however, compare myself to my sisters. One of my sisters has always been the athletic type, so she went through extensive training and practices to get her body the way it is. My youngest sister used to be a big girl, and then I started to notice that she was eating smaller portions and drinking a lot of water and that she was getting smaller and smaller. Now, I had two people around me who had the ideal body image that I wanted. However, I had to understand that their metabolisms worked faster than mine, they could eat whatever they wanted and it not go anywhere. I couldn't do that, I ate one slice of pizza and felt like it just stuck to me.

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I struggled for years with my weight and never did anything about it. I would say “I love my body” that I was mastering “Body positivity”, but that should not make you feel disgusted by yourself. Around New Years last year, I became friends with this girl I had followed on Instagram, she was moving to Virginia and wanted to meet up and while we were making plans, she mentioned that she knew I wasn’t happy. She asked me to go on this diet that she had done called the ketogenic diet. She had lost 300 lbs by just simply sticking to this diet and exercising regularly.

The keto diet essentially is based on high protein and low carbs. I couldn’t eat bread, rice or pasta, all sugary snacks and drinks were out, and I had to kiss all fried and fast food goodbye.  So when I heard what this diet was asking me to sacrifice, I became intimidated-I had already had a defeated attitude but I was willing to try anything and I didn’t stick to it long at all, I couldn’t. There were too many distractions and I picked the worst possible time. It was spring semester of my senior year in undergrad when there were so many graduation parties, kickbacks and endless outings which involved some really bad (so good) food. On top of all the temptations and distractions, I didn’t have people around me that would support the new lifestyle I was trying to live. My family tried to be supportive but they could only accommodate me but so much and as for my friends? Well, they didn’t exactly tell me to not go for the cookout or Wendy’s. Plus, when you are a broke college student with limited income, fast food is the best option. I wasn’t ready and my friend could tell, she didn’t try to push me, she knew when I was ready, that I would stick to it.

Graduation came, and with that came the summer. The summer before I began another new chapter in my life. I was going through a bad relationship, I made so many mistakes that affected both myself and my family and friends. I wasn’t making good choices and I hurt a lot of people...so I clung to food for comfort. I at the very least would be active, taking a 45 minute walk once or twice a day and workout with a local trainer. But then that started to fall through again and when money got tight, I was right back to my bad eating habits.

Then, I got my act together, and then I noticed I began to change. I was forced into solitude, being in a new environment as the fall semester started. I was far away from home, my friends and all of my comforts. I was starting a new chapter and everything in me felt that it was time for a change. I threw all of my junk food away in my apartment. All of the frozen dinners, the chips, juice, cookies...they all went in the trash. This time around, because I was making a stable income, I was now able to go grocery shopping and buy the foods that my body needed. But, I didn't officially start my weightloss journey until October 15th, 2017.

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That week, I began meal prepping the right way. My way. I had began making food that I knew was healthy and I would like. I also began working out every single day (with a rest day on sunday) .This time around, I knew I was ready. I had friends to help motivate me and go to the gym with me. I also began to drink 2-4 Liters of water a day (that is how much the body needs in a day). I also started doing intermittent fasting, which is when you eat within a 9 hour window (my eating window is 11am-7pm and then after 7, I don’t eat anymore until the following 11am). The great thing about intermittent fasting is that for those 16 hours where I am fasting, I am sleeping for about 6-7 hours.

Related: 3 Easy Recipes For Any College Student

I am now in the best shape I have ever been, my mind is more powerful and my body has quickly adapted to that new mindset. I am leaner, getting stronger everyday and taking the proper steps to getting the body I have always wanted. I don’t compare my body to anyone, I don’t count calories even though fitness experts say you should and I by no means use a scale. I rely on the changes in the before and after pictures I take every few weeks to speak for themselves. I do this my way and now my family has noticed the changes, my friends have noticed the changes and I am just in this amazing space.

I do not stop. I set goals every single day that I want to accomplish in the gym and I make sure I accomplish them. I listen to my body’s cues, if I am tired, I take a quick rest. Since I have been doing this for a few weeks consistently now, I am able to push myself more and keep going.

I am able to wake up in the morning and look in the mirror and grin because I love what I see. I started to lean out in all areas, my booty got bigger, legs got more defined and abs started forming. To celebrate my little victories, I bought myself a bomb velvet, skin tight birthday dress that was a few sizes smaller than what I am now. I was always a large, now I can proudly say I am apart of the medium gang. I tried the dress on and it hugged every curve and fit me like a glove. I started to cry because I had never been able to wear something and it accentuate me like that before.

Lastly, I will say this: Weight loss takes time, be patient with yourself. Yes, put in the work to achieve your goals, but if you just so happen to fall off, pick yourself up and keep going. Just don’t stop. Remember-mind over matter. If you put your mind to it, there is nothing you can’t accomplish.