Four years ago today, I woke up in bed and a lightbulb went off. “I can’t live my life like this! I need to do something to change it. No one will ever want to marry me, I won’t be able to do what I want with my life, I won’t even be able to have kids!” Thoughts like this may sound bizarre coming from a 17-year old high school junior, but that’s what I was thinking the morning of January 16, 2007. We had the day off of school, so I trucked it to the gym and spent a miserable 7 minutes on the elliptical, because that’s how long it took me until I was out of breath. Before I got on the elliptical I stepped on the scale; 300. People think I am joking when they find out I used to weigh 300lbs, but the scale does not lie. Sometimes I wish it would.
I began to make the gym a priority and paired it with a healthier diet. No more late night Taco Bell, no more bagels and cookies for lunch at school. Meals now consisted of cereal, granola bars, salads, yogurt and Lean Cuisines. Yuck. For a newly healthy diet though, it worked.
Fast forward to graduation, May 2008
At this time I was still hitting the gym, still eating my healthy foods and seeing results, slowly but surely! In August 2008 I moved to Wichita to attend my first year of college at Wichita State University and was living in the dorms, a requirement of all freshmen. All summer I dreaded the ‘Freshman 15’ and the buffet style meals I was to be feasting on for a year, but found peace in knowing there was a great gym facility free to students on campus. I’m not going to lie; I ate salads and sandwiches on whole wheat bread like it was my job. That was almost all I ate. For a whole year. Plus a few cookies and waffles at late night. My first serving job was also in Wichita, at Famous Dave’s BBQ. Restaurant jobs come with late nights and weird hours, and a lot of late night trips to Dillons to pick up animal crackers and bags of grapes. Only problem? Portion control! I didn’t have any. With this I hit a plateau about 13lbs heavier than what I was when I first moved to Wichita and couldn’t seem to get it off.
During my spring semester I joined the rowing team at WSU, and that has been the best decision of my college career. It allowed me to meet new people and push me beyond my comfort zone and pain threshold both mentally and physically. I thought with all of these 5:45am practices, weight room sessions and miles
walk/jogged, that surely I would reap physical benefits. Problem? I still didn’t have portion control. With rowing came spring training in Natchitoches, Louisiana with real cajun food, bagels and peanut butter before races, and many gas station stops on drives to Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, and more.
I moved back home to figure out what I really was supposed to be doing with my life in May 2009. I continued working out, continued baking, and continued eating. I proceeded to join Title Boxing Club in August because they boasted in advertisements that you could burn 1000 in a one-hour class. The first class I attended, I fell in love. I loved the energy, the intensity, and that it was different than any other workout I had done before. After that first class I was sore for weeks. After a few months I had successfully lost 8lbs. 8? Seriously? That wasn’t cutting it for me. I cut my food intake and at one point was attending class 7 days per week. This was not healthy and I was getting burned out. The only thing I had to show for it was more definition in my arms.
In January of 2010 I was in post-breakup mode with my then-boyfriend and needed something to occupy myself with. If it weren’t for my wonderful Aunt suggesting I do the Trolley Run with her in April, I never would have started running. So in January I made a goal to complete the Trolley Run and started training immediately. When I first started running I could seriously only run for 1 minute without getting winded, but found a training plan that worked for me and come April, I finished my first race ever with friend Lisa by my side!
So began my current love affair. I love racing, I love training, I love running.
Except when it is zero degrees outside.
I became more knowledgeable about health, nutrition and running via college coursework, extracirricular courses and LOTS of reading. I started cooking and eating a more balanced diet and finally saw some pounds come off. Skip ahead to July 2010 and I found out about the diet called Stimulock. Could I finally lose the last of the weight I had been hanging onto for so many months? This was amidst my half marathon training and was rather apprehensive about such a drastic diet, but took the plunge in September. Looking back, I am so glad I began the diet when I did because I believe it attributed greatly to my sub 2:30 half marathon finish. I didn’t have a finishing time goal, I just wanted to finish!
I finished Stimulock in December and for once I was satisfied, comfortable in my own skin and confident. I was putting natural, pure, whole foods into my body and reaping the benefits.
So why am I doing Stimulock again? I admittedly ate a few too many Christmas cookies this year.
To this day I look back at my journey thus far, and it has been a long one. But readers, please know that this journey is not my own. Wanna know the secret? When I first began working out and still today, I make it a point to pray before every workout. I ask God to bless the workout and for strength and energy throughout; some of the most spiritual times I have had were out on long, desolate runs. Sound silly? It worked.
I can assure you that the drive and determination that I possess are not my own. I credit my Father for putting that relentlessness to see my life changed; He is my source.
It has been quite a four years, and sometimes I can’t believe it’s been that long. This is my continual journey; my passion for health, fitness and whole living continue to burn. I have no idea where this passion is going to lead my life, but I can’t wait to find out.
Thank you for reading my ridiculously long blog post. I promise this is the longest one I will ever write.