I have always been a foodie. When my mama signed me up to run track & field long distance, I figured, “Hey at least this way I can eat all I want, right?!” Riiiiiight.
Well, I was almost always in the back and developed a little exercise-induced asthma; nothing horrible, but just an annoying allergy cough. My coaches were what really got me motivated to run a mile, then two, then three. Soon we were doing four, then five. I learned to love the runner’s high and I absolutely loved cheering on my speedy teammates and long jumpers and shot putters. My coaches were superb and they really taught me endurance.
Then all that changed. In high school we moved far across the country and my high school didn’t have a track nor a track team. I was always energetic, but didn’t know how to channel that and didn’t think I was coordinated enough to dance, cheer, or become an athlete.
In college, I occasionally dabbled around in the weight room and “had” to take P.E. and tennis and still didn’t find anything I loved. Again, we didn’t have a track team. I was unmotivated. Then I fell into a deep, dark depression. I thought it was test anxiety and then I realized it was not only financial anxiety, it was bad influences and mistreatment from male students (harassment, verbally abusive ex boyfriends, etc.) I don’t mean to blame them – I let little comments and dirty jokes really get to me, so I internalized it and fell into a pit; it was then I dabbled in self-mutilation and other dark black holes. I started turning to comfort food, movies, and alcohol to help me sleep.
Then come 2007 – my sister had tried getting me excited about this powder supplement called “Reliv.” I thought she was crazy, but when they came out with a weightloss “Kit” (with a meal replacement, pedometer, and food journal, guides, extra helps, etc.) For eight months this product got me off the couch and into the gym and I lost 40 lbs.! I had a personal trainer friend who worked at the YMCA (in Nashville, TN) and she would run for more than an hour and THEN start on her weights routine. Or she would show me arms and abs one day and legs and back the next, for instance. She was super inspiring and she rarely ate sugar! I was blown away! It was then that I went through a divorce, but it wasn’t that stress making me lose the weight! I’m the stressed out type that eats, so this was good that I started to channel it by running with my dog, bicycling, or in the weight room.
While teaching overseas, we had a great coach and fellow teacher that started a bootcamp program and that’s where I actually began to enjoy some of the tough cross fit and military style workouts. I couldn’t believe I was actually doing a bear crawl or scissors and learning to enjoy the high! I even joined a Hashtag Harrier’s Runner’s club and learned to loved party runs and fun runs and did a 10k.
When I relocated to the land of my dreams, southern California, I joined 24hour fitness and now am a huge fan of their Les Milles group exercise classes. I love Nike Training, Cycle, Body Pump, Bootcamp, CxWorks, BodyCombat, and Yoga. I am so thankful to be on this fitness blogging journey, and to be able to help other women achieve their goals and motivate those who are on this wellness journey with me!