Meet Her Campus Princeton Summer Slimdown Blogger: Patricia!

 

My name is Patricia and I am an alcoholic. 

Just kidding. I am addicted but not to drugs or TV or chocolate. I am addicted to fitness; I am addicted to strength and feeling good about myself, both emotionally and physically. I am a firm believer that the number on the scale DOES NOT MATTER. Health is not about having washboard abs or the perfect physique. Health is about being active and making the right choices for yourself, so that at the end of the day, you are confident and happy with who you are. 

Fitness is not a 3-month push to your ideal beach bod, it is a lifestyle. Eat clean, exercise right, and all aspects of your life- including your social and academic life- will change for the better. 

My fitness story:

To be honest, I never really cared about fitness when I was younger. I swam competitively for ten years and then ran cross country in high school only because I didn’t want to be “fat” and my parents told me it would be “good for me.” I was self-conscious about my body but never believed that I could do anything about the way I looked. I was uneducated and ambivalent about my lifestyle.

By keeping up my cardio bunny ways, I managed not to gain the freshman 15 when I came to Princeton. However, I only went to the gym sporadically and as the months passed, I felt my motivation to exercise slowly slip away. There were ALWAYS other things that were more important: homework, exams, hanging out with friends, having fun…. and all of the other distractions of busy college students.

However, at some point between freshman and sophomore year, I fell in love. I stumbled across some articles on weightlifting and I was instantly addicted. I pored through youtube videos, scientific articles, and numerous websites, trying to absorb all the information I could about lifting. I used “researching” about fitness as my form of procrastination and slowly but surely, it became my lifestyle. 

I joined Fitocracy last year and only fell more in love. I made friends who watched my form check videos, taught me the tricks of the trade, and included me in the virtual lifting community (yes, there is such a thing). As I gained strength, I also lost body fat and built lean muscle. The results were astonishing and I quickly became a lifelong advocator of heavy lifting.

What I hope to accomplish this summer:

In the spring, I spent 13 weeks abroad in Panama. Though it was an absolutely amazing and life-changing experience, I lost a lot of muscle and strength on the trip. Because I did not have much control over what I could eat, I also added on unwanted body fat. It is my goal this summer to regain my strength, blow my previous personal records out of the water, and continue getting stronger.

To this day, you can always find me at the gym, most probably inside the squat rack. I perform the big compound lifts (bench, squat, deadlift, overhead press, barbell row) 3x a week and I eat clean whenever I can. I do yoga to increase flexibility and I hope to incorporate more sprints and rock-climbing into my routine to make myself a more-rounded athlete.