Hey guys! Hope everyone had a good week, and if it wasn’t too great for you, brush it off, go have a drink, and kick back because it’s Friday and Labor Day weekend, which means most of us get a 3-day weekend as opposed to the normal 2! 😀
Today’s post is going to be about something that is pretty much one specific topic, that has a few different parts attached to it. Something that I think a lot of us tend to take for granted sometimes, and also knowing the solution for it but being too lazy or hardheaded about going/doing it. If my “Featured Image” didn’t give it away, and you haven’t already attempted to guess, I’m talking about the topic of HEALTH AND FITNESS.
I feel like a lot of the topics like these that I’m going to be covering, I need to add some sort of PSA for, because in no way, shape, or form am I an expert and/or professional about ANY of this. I’m just simply writing based off of my own experiences and opinions as I’ve previously mentioned before, so as always, if you do not agree with the things I’m saying, that’s okay. If you disagree with something, or several things that I have said and it’s offended you in any sort of way, please by all means leave me a comment down below as to why you feel the way you do, or just simply not continue to follow my posts.
OKAAAAYYYYYYY, now that THATS out of the way, lets proceed :)!
My Personal Health Background
Thankfully, I have always been healthy for the most part, *knock on wood*, never had to deal with any serious medical conditions or anything other than some asthma, but even that was minor. And I’ve always been very grateful for this because I know and have seen so many people, whether friends or family, having to deal with chronic asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. It’s heartbreaking to see actually, but thankfully neither myself or my immediate family has ever had to deal with those kind of things.
I do have to say that it is kind of a shock to me that I’ve always been so healthy, and I know that sounds weird, but I’ll explain why I say this. I mean I am more than grateful that I have never had to deal with any type of serious or non-serious medical conditions, as I’ve mentioned, but I’ve never been into eating healthy foods. I’m such a picky eater, like SUCH a picky eater, that I never used to like or even go near any type of vegetables or fruits, with the exception of bananas, up until like maybe a year or two ago. It’s actually crazy. Never ate any type of healthy foods, never took any vitamins, or if I did it would be only for a while, then I would stop. On top of that, I am a HUGE junk food eater…..chocolate….chocolate is my THING. Any type of chocolate, I could eat at any point of the day and I will absolutely love that, but going near a salad? Yeah, no.
I’ve always really lucked out with that for my entire life when it came to my internal health and external weight. When my brother and I were younger, and even now to some extents, my parents ALWAYS made sure to keep us active. We were always riding bikes, scooters, playing basketball or handball, etc., we were always doing SOMETHING. So I guess that’s kind of why my weight got balanced out. But it wasn’t until high school and college that my weight really started to fluctuate extensively.
Come my sophomore year of high school, there was this guy I really liked and talked to, we had known each other for a really long time, and ended up getting together around the holidays. It’s a really long story, but long story short, he was my first real crush I guess you could say, I won’t say love, because I know it definitely was not love. But we were together for the span of about a year, on and off, and throughout that time he did so much shady shit to me including cheating and stealing from me. Now I’m NOT going to mention names because that isn’t the point of the story, so please do not ask me. The point of the story is that being that I was so young, and I thought this relationship was such a big deal, I really let all of those things affect me tremendously; because it affected me mentally, I let it affect me physically as well, as in I really wasn’t eating as much, and I lost a TON of weight because of it. I wasn’t anorexic, and I wasn’t trying to hurt myself by forcing myself to throw up or anything, I had just legitimately lost my appetite, so I just was not eating. I would eat the smallest portions ever and feel full. Even for some of my favorite foods that my mom would make for dinner I would barely touch. And they would constantly try forcing me to eat, but I had no real appetite for months. It was to the point where I looked so skinny, that people thought I was always sick. I looked super pale all the time, always had such deep, dark circles, teachers were always randomly walking up to me asking me if everything was okay from how badly I looked. This was also around the time that I found out I was anemic, so that really didn’t help at all either. It wasn’t until about 6 months, to a year later, that I finally got my appetite back and was eating regularly again.
Fast forward to my first year of college now, a a very similar situation happened. (Yes, I am fully aware that it is sad and extremely embarrassing that I let guys that really were not worth my time affect me as much as they did 🙄). This one, however, although it did affect me just as badly if not worse, was predominantly mental, so it didn’t affect my physical appearance too much; if anything, I think it caused me to look the best I’ve ever looked, so that was sort of a plus in a weird way lol.
Shortly after that occurred was when I (re)met my current boyfriend. Now, keep in mind that my entire life (with the exception of that one period of time in high school), I was never necessarily a skinny girl, I always had curves to me. So even when I met my boyfriend, I wasn’t skinny, but I was like a good weight, and my body had a nice shape to it. HOWEVER, this was also about the time where I started to really pack on weight. And I believe there are two major reasons why this ended up happening.
Please don’t mistake anything I’m saying for blaming him for my weight gain, because I am fully aware that it was all on me.
Reasons For My Extensive Weight Gain
When we first got together, and even now after 3 years of being together, we went out to eat A LOT. Which was fine at first, but after a while I think we both really realized that once in a blue moon its fine to go out to eat and/or order in, but definitely not all the time like we were doing. I was also still in school during all that time we were together, and dorming, so between us not seeing each other all that much and when we finally did it was on weekends and we would always just stick to ordering in, and the fact that I was away at school and a HUGE picky eater, it was just a mess lol.
Let me talk about being away at school for a bit. My first full year at Purchase, I was in a regular dorm room, no kitchen or anything to be able to cook my own meals, AND I lived literally right above one of the main food places on campus, The Hub, it was cool at first, but being that I was a picky eater and really only stuck to eating things I knew and liked, I was eating a lot of bad/greasy food back to back for a LONG time. And then came the two years following that first one, where I was living in my own on-campus apartment. That was awesome because it was pretty much a regular apartment that I shared with three other people that had its own bathroom, shower and fully stocked kitchen. Now, living in an apartment on campus was obviously more expensive than living in a dorm, so I BEGGED my parents to help pay for me to be able to live in one both years, because it was a lot better than the regular dorms. When I finally managed to get in one, I made a promise to myself and my parents that since I was going to have my own kitchen, I was going to cook more instead of eating all of the bad things that were on campus. I’m just going to say this now if you haven’t already assumed it, that both years this was an EPIC FAAAAAAAAAAAAILLLLLLLLL! 🤦🏻♀️
I knew how to cook certain things for breakfast and dinner, and they were things I would typically eat if I were at home and my mom made it for me, but I just always felt like I was busy either working or with schoolwork, so I guess you could say I was just lazy about the whole thing lol. But also, I really was working a lot. My second year at Purchase I was working at a retail store, Garage, so of course it was crazy hours during the week and the weekend, and then my third and final year at Purchase, I was working at a restaurant; The Cheesecake Factory, which was just as hectic as working in a retail store, if not MORE. Plus, working at a restaurant created another reason for me not to be able to cook, AND eat out more. The food was amazing, the cheesecake…I mean c’mon….and on top of all that, they gave their employees 50% off on all of the food when they were working. Amazing, but soooooooo terrible looking back at it now. I would literally be eating there every single day that I would be working, which was pretty much every single day of the week for about 9 months. I’d be working every day during the week from about 4-9pm, and weekends from 11:30am-10pm roughly. Between school and work, I would be so tired and hungry at the end of each day, that I was just trying to eat something quick and head to bed, as opposed to waiting another hour to hour and a half to cook something.
From all that and being stressed out with my last year of school, I ended up gaining a ridiculous amount of weight. It was to the point where I weighed the heaviest I had ever been in my life, which was nearly 200lbs. The only thing that really saved me from it being shown throughout my body was that I was tall; if I was short, it would’ve been over, I would’ve looked HUGE. I mean I saw it, and I was still super insecure and embarrassed about it, but the fact that not many other people noticed was somewhat of a comfort for it. But, nonetheless, it was still really tough on me.
My Big Change
Due to my dramatic weight change (among other things), I began to get depressed. I was lazy, and this just ended up furthering my issue of having no motivation to do anything, and just feel extremely tired all of the time. My mother was extremely concerned about me and kept urging me to go to the doctor and and get blood drawn to make sure everything with my health was okay. Thankfully, even though my weight gain was drastic, everything internally was still perfectly fine. However, I knew I needed a major change, because I wasn’t happy with myself or my body. Which when I think about all this it’s extremely ironic because my boyfriend was (and still is) such a big gym person. But this is actually where my change came in the most.
I had already had a gym membership for over a year before this happened at Blink Fitness (total waste of money for that whole time, I know and don’t need to be reminded of that), but it wasn’t until all this happened that I finally realized I needed to get serious about my eating habits and working out. So, I made a vow to myself to get back on track and get fit.
The Steps I Took To Get Fit Again:
- I pretty much had to give my apartment’s kitchen a completely new and different make-over, and go grocery shopping for better/healthier foods for me to be able to eat. This was probably one of the, if not THE most difficult part of the entire change for me, because of me being such a picky-eater, AND pretty much never eating vegetables and fruits before. But, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED 😈, because it needed to get done. It was extremely difficult at first, but I managed to play it smart, and stick to the types of foods that I knew I would like, while also being extremely mindful of the nutrition facts so that I could be eating healthy, but also like what I was eating. Also, being that I was such a big junk food person and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to cut that out completely, if at all, I bought a ton of healthy snacks that were things like chocolate and such that I liked but were still not that much in calories in general, but particularly not that high in sugar and fat.
- The next step was probably the most obvious one which was going to the gym. Although it is pretty obvious, it’s also probably the hardest one. I’ve always said the easy part is working out once you’re there, but the hardest is actually getting there, because there’s a million excuses you could use to NOT go. “I have a ton of schoolwork,” “I’m tired right now, maybe later,” “I’ll make up for not going today, tomorrow,” etc., etc. I know I’ve definitely used a lot of these excuses before. I mean it’s so easy to right, so why not? But that’s not the right thing to do. So I had to force myself to go a lot of the times. It was difficult at first, but once I got into a routine it was a lot better and easier. I also managed to coordinate with my boyfriend, and whenever he would come stay with me for the weekends, we would make sure to go to the gym on both Saturdays and Sundays (most weekends) at some point in the day.
- The final step was tracking everything that I was eating all throughout the day, with the help of this app my boyfriend introduced me to called MyFitnessPal, which allows me to document every single thing I eat throughout the day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and even how much of it I’m eating. This is also an extremely crucial step for this whole process, because it allows you to put how much you weigh and it’ll calculate for you how many calories and such you should be in-taking per day.
There are probably other steps that I could mention, but personally I think these are the important ones that I found worked for me the most.
Let’s just make clear now, that I know doing a lot of these things is never easy, in fact, there are going to be a lot of times when you mess up and fall off your routine, but that’s okay. It’s happened to me countless amounts of times, but if you have at least one person there who’ll back you up and keep you on track like a trainer, friend, or in my case a significant other, then I assure you it’ll make the entire process a lot easier. There have been so many times where I fell off my diet and didn’t workout for a few days, and my boyfriend called me out on it, and made sure that I got back on track. Granted, yes, at times it was a little annoying and came off a bit harsh, but ultimately, I always knew he was just trying to help me and make sure I stuck to it so I could achieve my end goal, which was to get fit again.
Another really big issue I had when I first started all this was going to the gym by myself. I know how nerve-wrecking it can be for a lot of people, especially if you are new at it, because there’s the insecurity of feeling like you don’t really know what you’re doing and whether or not people are staring at you and judging. Although it may seem like that sometimes, rest-assured, no one’s watching you and no one cares for the most part unless they’re a trainer. Yes, there will be the occasional decent people who will actually try to help you out and show you the “right way” to do whatever it is you’re doing, but overall, no one cares because they’re all there with a pretty similar goal as you which is to worry about themselves and get fit.
There is also the issue of creepy guys at the gym. Ladies, I know at some point or another there has been a particular guy(s) that has made you feel a bit uncomfortable with the looks, or even just a group of them at a particular section of the gym (i.e. the free weights), where you want to go, but it kind of turns you off because all of them surrounding the area. I get it, it can be awkward, but that should never be a reason for you not to do that part of your workout, because they will leave eventually and you will be able to peacefully complete that set. There will always be creeps at the gym, but you just have to ignore them and keep it movin’. Do what you have to do, and leave. The quicker you start it, the quicker you can be done and on to the next portion of your workout. Now, I’m not saying to rush it, but just try not to stall that much in getting it done.
My Advice To Those People Who Are Beginners And Trying to Get Fit:
1. Set a goal(s) for yourself in what you want to accomplish as far as your weight, things you want to accomplish in the gym, what you want to start/stop eating, etc. and maybe even a particular time frame for you to get it done in.
2. Create a schedule for yourself for when exactly you think you would and wouldn’t be able to go to the gym (AND STICK WITH IT!).
3. Find a gym partner; someone you know will have fun with you in the gym, motivate you to do better, and try new things/workouts while there.
4. Track everything that you eat in a day. You’d really be surprised how much this could help you realize the kind of things that you eat and what needs to be cut out. MyFitnessPal is a great app to have to do that.
5. Take before and after pictures to be able to see/note your progress!
6. Don’t be shy in the gym!!! It’s okay to mess up, because you will learn from your mistakes for next time.
7. Track your workouts, to be able to see what are your strengths and weaknesses in the gym; what you’re improving, and what your lacking, etc.
8. Read articles and watch videos on YouTube. But not from the fake Instagram people who do those weird juice and cleansing diets, because they’re fake and don’t actually do anything for you. Look up real people and videos that actually know what they’re talking about, show you how to do certain workouts, etc. (My personal favorite fitness YouTuber is Amanda Bucci ladies, she’s great at what she does, and looks AMAZING. 😍)
9. It’s okay to allow yourself a cheat day, just don’t allow it to take over you and make you lose track of your end goal.
10. Weigh yourself weekly. Some people do it weekly, and some people do it daily. I personally prefer weekly because it’ll give me the entire week to be able to track what I’m eating and workout and see if there was any big or little difference.
11. And finally, It’s okay to fall off your eating or gym routine sometimes as weird as that sounds, especially in the beginning since you won’t be used to it, but make sure to have/find the motivation to keep going. Hell, you know how many times I’ve fallen off from my routine, and I’m pretty used to it at this point, even currently? It’s bad, but I had a personal reasoning for having that happen, HOWEVER, I made a promise to myself to get back on track, starting fresh on Monday. It happens, things come up, you have to stay late at work, family/relationship issues, kids, nephews/nieces, etc., but make sure to pick yourself up again and remember why you started all this to begin with.
This was definitely another long post guys lol, sorry about that, but I hope you enjoyed it and that it helps you in some type of way, shape, or form. Please feel free to leave any questions, comments, concerns, future posts/topics you want to see in the future, etc. down below.
Enjoy the long weekend, and until next time!
-Xoxo, Leo Girl