Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Why I Decided to Change My Ways

I have spent 23 years doing minimal exercise and eating generally anything I wanted. 5 slices of pizza for dinner? Yep. Half a roll of cookie dough? Bring it! Large McDonald's french fry? Move out of the way!!

I never spent much time thinking about calories or grams of fat because I wasn't that overweight and honestly, until about my senior year of college I was still in single digit pants sizes. So why did I suddenly decide to hop on the exercise and healthy eating train? Honestly? Pinterest.

Have you ever clicked on the Fitness section and seen pictures like this:
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Pinned Image
I will be able to do this.

After being brainwashed by these tight, toned abs and their equally as tight and toned tush pictures, I gave myself a once over in the mirror and thought to myself, "I can do that." I realized I wasn't giving my body the opportunity to be the best it would be. I could look like those women if I would just care enough to give some effort (okay to look like them, I'd have to give a LOT of effort). It wasn't that I necessarily hated myself, had low self esteem or anything like that. I understand you should love your body for what it is, but the thing is...I didn't know what my body could be...and I wanted to find out.

Then I thought about my body transformation over the past 5 years. I've gone up 2-3 pants sizes in 5 years and completely lost any natural muscle tone and strength I had. I was eating fast food multiple times a week and if I was cooking anything, it was some sort of pasta dish or hamburger helper with the occasional Mexican Night thrown in for good measure. I never ate veggies, rarely went to the fresh produce section of the grocery store, and I drank 2-3 (sometimes 4) diet cokes a day.
Believe it
I had hit a point where I became very unhappy with the way I looked in clothes and the fact that I could rarely find something in the cute boutiques around town that looked as good on my body as it did on the hanger or on other girls. And I was sick of having to buy more and more clothes because the ones from the previous year were too small.

I saw so many motivating photos on Facebook and discovered websites like Gina's Skinny Taste with the most delicious, healthy recipes. I started making a couple a week and before I knew it, I was hooked. I love cooking and I especially love knowing that this scrumptious meal I just made is actually GOOD for me! I can't remember the last time I went to a fast food joint that wasn't Chick Fil A (where I get the chargrilled chicken sandwich and a fruit cup...390 calories). 

Skinny Mozzarella Sticks (click for recipe link)
After I had changed the way I eat, I knew I had to tackle the worst part...exercise. I had tried just going for runs in the mornings before work, but I always talked myself out of going in order to get more sleep. Then I tried going for runs after work, but by that time I just wanted to go home and relax. 
.... get it on!

So...I joined a gym. It took me awhile to decide on one because for the past 4 years, I had access to an AMAZING gym right on campus. Seriously, Georgia Southern has the best Recreational Activity Center with anything and everything available, but I never went. I figured out the reason I never went was because I was intimidated. It was co-ed, always busy, and there were so many machines that I didn't know how to use and I was too shy and embarrassed to ask for help...not to mention it was full of made up girls who you could tell were naturally thin bouncing around on an elliptical for an hour and barely breaking a sweat. Puke.

I settled on joining LOA Fitness for Women. It's a local gym on the other side of town. I fell in love with it almost immediately. First of all, it's an all-women's gym and it's PINK! The whole place is pink and turquoise and you just can't not love that. I also felt very welcome right away. Before I started my own workouts, they scheduled me (as they do all new members) for two 1-hour intro sessions where they take your measurements, weight, body fat % and show you how to use all the machines and write down the suggested weights for you. 

The women at the gym are mostly older than me and it's not super crowded so I am never intimidated. It's a perfect fit. I also went shopping and bought some cute new workout clothes and a fun gym bag which makes it that much more enjoyable to go to the gym.
Fun new purple bag!!
I got myself on a schedule and I've now gotten to the point where going to the gym after work is my favorite part of the day. WHO AM I?! It's only been 3 weeks, but so far I've got a good thing going and I don't plan on reverting back to my old ways.
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2 comments:

  1. I am super proud of you!! I love your statement that you wanted to know what your body COULD BE. That's so cool. Keep it up my love.

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  2. You're really inspiring Michelle! I just caught up on all your posts and love the workout ideas and pasta recipe! :) I had the same realization as you- only you said it 10x better- your statement about what your body could be was awesome! I made it my goal for my 21st year to get fit and get healthy and to make it last! So I'm a work in progress. :P :)

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