my journey

wpid-IMAG1912-1-1-1.jpgAt this point in my life, I really enjoy being able to say that I’m one of the healthiest people I know. I eat a lot of fresh food–and I’ve finally got past the young-kid stage of not liking my vegetables. I exercise daily–about 4 days a week of cardio, two of which are running “long” distance (5+ miles) and the other two at my discretion; the other 3 days, I’ve been working on strength training. I don’t claim to be perfect in my eating or exercising, but I’m a lot better than some people I know 🙂 My journey has taken awhile, but I seriously feel the happiest I think I’ve ever been.

My journey to become a healthier person has been very gradual. While I like to think I’m a fairly healthy person now, that wasn’t always the case.

I used to eat fast food at least once a week, typically more than that. I could go through a box of Little Debbie snacks in a day (especially those zebra cakes haha). And I would drink 1-2 cans of pop a day. I was very unhealthy because not only was I eating a lot of bad food, I was eating very little good food and I wasn’t very active. I did gain weight in college, though it wasn’t the typical Freshman 15 (I’ve honestly never been a big drinker). But I did find myself eating a lot of snacks out of those pesky vending machines all over campus. At one point, my lunch consisted of 1-2 large muffins (like the cream cheese or chocolate CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE kind), a bottle of pop, and maybe some Twizzlers. Here is what I looked like towards the beginning of my sophomore year in college (fall 2007):

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I don’t really have many better pictures of myself than these (at a cousin’s ceremony). I don’t know what I weighed at this point, but it was certainly probably the heaviest I was. Based on what I know about my weight in 2010 (when I started paying a little attention), this was probably 170-180 lbs.

Towards the end of college, I started to be a little more active. I often walked to classes from my parents’ house (I lived at home throughout) and then I walked to work after school. So I probably walked about 2.5 miles a day. But I didn’t really eat much better. As a busy student who was doing methods and student teaching, it was typical for me to just eat a can of Chef Boyardee ravioli while I worked away on the computer.

Despite the fact that Nick and I got married just half a year after I graduated college, I still didn’t really workout or anything. You would have thought that, as I was unemployed at the time, and planning a wedding, that’d motivate me. But it didn’t.

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At some point after we wed, I began to do a little exercise. I know, ironic right? I didn’t try to look my “best” at my wedding, I started worrying about that afterwards. Duh! Anyways, I bought a set of Bollywood dance workouts and then eventually I bought some Zumba DVDs (the Exhilarate program). Nick was doing P90x at the time and was getting in shape, so I went about it my own way. But it was better than nothing right?

Starting in 2012, I became more serious about my health. I still didn’t do the best, but I changed things gradually. I started 2012 at 164 lbsAs a new year’s resolution for 2012, I gave up fast food–I still haven’t had any since 2011. That was a big change. In the spring, I started running. I’m still so thankful to my friend and her family who got me into it and are so supportive. And running really became my gateway exercise. It has led to so much more!Then, halfway through the year, starting in July 2012, I gave up pop–just like the fast food, I haven’t had any since I gave it up. This wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be. I found that what some people were speaking the truth when, the less you drink pop, the less you crave it.

The biggest change happened by accident, honestly. It was in September 2012 that I gave up sweets. I hadn’t really eaten much dessert the week before we had our big housewarming party. I figured I’d just pig out at the party with everyone else. But as the days went by, I felt better and better about just the number of days that had passed since I’d had dessert. I’d decided I’d just wait for my sister’s wedding cake in December–didn’t even want it. As of writing this page (August 2013), I haven’t had sweets for over 320 days. The fact that I can say I don’t eat dessert gives me such more pleasure than eating dessert ever gave me. I’d found it to be true that the cheesecake did go to my hips–I know this to be true because when I wasn’t eating dessert and didn’t work out, my hips didn’t get big again.

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So 2012 was very much a cutting-out-the-bad year. And it has turned out that 2013 has been a putting-in-the-good year. Finally this year, I started to really eat healthier. For the last couple of months, I’ve been making sure I get the USDA recommended amount of servings for the food groups. So I have actually been eating vegetables!! Never would I have thought that my health would change so much. Oh, and one of the best things about 2013–I ran my first half-marathon (picture at the top left). Tell that to the high school freshman who played tennis and couldn’t even run a whole lap around the set of courts without doubling over!!

My reasons for being healthier are, I think, good ones. My family has a lot of history with heart disease and diabetes, so I’m obviously trying to nip that in the bud. Plus, Nick and I plan to start a family soon. And I’d really like to be healthy before, during, and after my pregnancies. Of course, feeling like my body looks good is always a plus! Never thought I’d see the number on the scale that I was in high school. Then I surpassed it. I seriously never thought I’d see 125 as an adult, and it seriously has made me happier than any cookie ever did 🙂

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