I've got a little something different for a post today. I wasn't sure if I was going to talk about it or not on the blog, but after some thinking I feel like now is a good time to start talking about it-- my fitness journey!
Growing up I was a competitive swimmer for 12 years of my life and never had to worry about the things I ate. The thousands of calories I burned during practices allowed me to eat anything and everything I wanted-- mostly just junk food because I had no consequences of eating all of it. I stopped swimming my sophomore year of high school and vowed to keep exercising and kept up with running for a bit but it soon fell to the wayside when my OCD kicked into overdrive my junior year, and then depression my senior year. I lost all motivation and desire to exercise, and since I had never developed good eating habits, I continued the diet I had when I was a competitive swimmer without any real thought.
I knew I was gaining weight all these years but it didn't really matter to me because I accepted my body and loved it. It made me so happy that I could be a healthy role model for other girls for my curvier body type, and it was a dream come true to be featured in Seventeen and teach other girls how to dress for their pear shaped body. My freshman and sophomore years of college I lived on campus so I just ate from the cafeteria and didn't have to worry about fixing my own meals. And then when I went to Italy, I just ate pasta pretty much every day because it was cheap and I was on a budget. I never really had to learn how to cook for myself.
When I came back to the States to Kent for the second half of my junior year in college, I found myself living in an apartment and for the first time, having to completely cook for myself. I didn't know how, so I was just buying a lot of frozen meals or fixing easy, very unhealthy meals. I began feeling seriously sick every night--awful stomach aches, heart burn, bloating, and just feeling so sick...it was triggering my OCD in a way that hadn't happened in a long time, and I was reverting back to always being in a panic and having to call my parents multiple times a day to calm down my fears. I didn't really know what to do...I feel feeling awful, it was affecting my mental health, and I was just stressed with having to get an internship for this summer. And then the thought kind of dawned on me....why not start living a healthier life style?
I've tried doing so in the past but for all the wrong reasons. Self loathing of my body, desire to fit into a piece of clothing I once did, a push fueled by a fitness obsessed boyfriend. None of those times it was ever for ME. So I decided in the middle of February to start living and healthier life style and I've continued it for the last month and a half.
I've cut back on my junk and learned how to cook real meals. Lots of fruits and vegetables, healthy alternatives to things I was eating-- but NO cutting back on the amount of food I eat. I started using My Fitness Pal to track the things I was eating and was shocked at how unhealthy the things I was putting in my body were and how much I was really consuming. I started small, not cutting out every unhealthy but gradual switches. And still, I treat myself, every day. If not I would go crazy. It's about balance-- you can have the things you want, just in moderation. I've learned how to cook a lot of meals that are a LOT healthier than what I was, and it's actually been very fun and exciting to learn.
I didn't start out on my healthier life style with exercising-- I was just going to concentrate on eating healthier to feel better and less sick. But one random day, I just got the urge to go to the rec center in my apartment complex-- I did it, and I ended up loving it. I looked forward to going back every day, as a part of my routine that I've grown accustomed to, and I love the release of stress exercising gives me and the endorphin high afterwards. I've become so in love with it, that usually I exercise 5-7 times a week. I would be lying if I said I LOVE healthy eating, but I do LOVE exercising. Both are important though!
It's been amazing to see how much better I feel. I no longer feel sick at night; no longer am having panic attacks. I feel light, free, and so much happier and healthier. That was the biggest goal for me-- to feel better. Body wise, it's also been exciting to see changes in myself from the work I've been doing. Over a month, I lost five pounds which is crazy. It was slow and a lot of hard work, but 5 lbs is actually a ton and I am so proud of myself. It's not about the weight though. Weight is just a stupid number society tells you to go by-- I'm more into about how my body feels and the new found strength I've gained. I am so much more confident in myself. As I said, I loved my body before-- it was fantastic to be a role model for others in being a pear shaped girl. But I was not healthy-- I wasn't treating my body the way it should have been treated and although I don't hate the way I looked, I hate the way I went about my health. Not saying that if you look to me for body inspiration that you should feel bad about your body-- that is NOT the case. We are all different in our bodies. For me, it was time to push towards a healthier life style to feel better; it doesn't mean we all have to. You can't do it if someone else tells you to or you do it so you look like so-and-so. You have to do it for yourself; because you want to be the best version of you! It's not easy. It's a long process if you do it the right and healthy way and it comes with lots of obstacles. I probably should, but I don't necessarily have 'goals.' I just want to continue this journey I'm on and see where it leads me. The only goal I have is to keep living this healthy lifestyle and developing good habits to treat my body right so I can be the best version of me that I can be ♥
I can keep you all updated on my progress as I work along if you'd like, but if it's not something you all are interested in then it can be more so of just a passing by sort of thing. Let me know and thanks for your support! x
With much love, Lauren.