The great thing about any journey? It’s just that, a journey. You make mistakes, you learn, and you grow.
When I first started my fitness journey, I had just graduated high school. Growing up, I had always been pretty active, participating in school sports and making occasional appearances at the gym. I ate healthy the majority of the time (shout out to my momma for teaching me about nutrition and health) and knew the basics of nutrition. But as an 18 year old girl, I quickly became addicted to the gym and fascinated with the idea of being skinny and “toned”. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I worked out 6-7 days per week, barely allowing myself any rest, and I would stress when I wasn’t able to get to the gym for a workout. More so, sugar, carbs, and fat had no place in my life. Calories were limited severely. I remember tracking my daily caloric intake and feeling guilty when I ate more than 1,000 calories. Say what?
It was stressful to go out to eat with friends or celebrate with family. Special occasions meant unhealthy food and most likely binge-eating. I can recall many times I felt sick to my stomach because I consumed 1847592x more food than my body was used to. More often than I’d like to admit, I would avoid going to restaurants when I knew I wouldn’t be able to stick to a “healthy diet.”
Looking back now, it is so evident that my fitness routine and eating patterns were anything but healthy. I wish I knew then what I know now. But, unfortunately, time travel has yet to be invented. Until that day comes, I hope to share my insight with teenage girls who are going through similar experiences.
Fast forward a couple years and my knowledge of overall health increased dramatically. I became a certified personal trainer, spent quite a bit of time researching on my own, experimented with healthy recipes in the kitchen, and learned copious amounts about the body, muscles, nutrition, diets, etc. I absolutely loved this time in life. I have no doubt that helping others with their fitness and nutrition is a passion of mine that God will use for His good- maybe more than just random ramblings, like this.
At this point, my goal was to get strong. Ever heard the saying “Strong is the New Skinny?” That was my motto. I wanted to pull a heavier deadlift, perform multiple pull-ups in a row, and increase my metabolic rate with the sole purpose of eating more without gaining fat. I was a lean, mean, tiny machine, if I do say so myself. As a personal trainer, my life was fitness. I lived and breathed workouts, healthy recipes, and motivation.
After a few years, I became burnt out. I do believe that too much of anything is a recipe for disaster. The more you receive something, the less it will satisfy you. Workouts and meal prepping became a chore. It was no longer something I enjoyed, even though I wanted it to be. Moving forward, my new goal was to find balance. Moderation, moderation, moderation. I just wanted to be healthy, fit, and happy. I was sick and tired of feeling pressure to workout when my body was tired and just wanted to rest. I wanted to enjoy a glass of wine with friends without feeling guilty and to focus my workouts on strengthening and nourishing my body, not punishing it.
Here are the top 3 take-away’s from my own fitness journey:
- Goals will change. As you can clearly tell, my goals drastically changed over the span of 6 years. First, I wanted to be skinny, then strong, now balanced. The #1 thing I’ve learned is that it’s OKAY for goals to change. As seasons in life come and go, so will your goals and aspirations. Just go with it and give yourself a break. Some days you will feel more motivated than others. Some days fitness won’t be a top priority. As goals evolve, keep striving to meet them, whatever they may be.
- Everyone’s journey is as unique as they are. My journey and your journey will look completely different. That’s the beauty of it. We can use our own experiences to mature, grow, and share with each other.
- Never give up. No matter where your journey takes you, do not throw the towel in. As life goes on, continue working to meet your goals. They may not be fitness related, but always work hard to achieve your dreams.
One last thing I want to leave you with- Philippians 1:6 says, “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will continue it to the day of Jesus Christ.” How amazing that we can find hope in the fact that Jesus will use us for His good. Our purpose is so great- greater than our wildest dreams or goals could ever be. Be confident in that.
Keep truckin’ on, sister.