Why I Changed My Lifestyle (A Story)

Wanting a healthy lifestyle started back when I was a Junior in high school. I was never the sporty type or the work out type for that matter. I spent my spare time watching TV, hanging out with friends and doing homework. My diet consisted of Poptarts for lunch and more often than not you could catch me with a gallon of ice cream on Saturday mornings. I remember my mom waking up one Saturday asking me what I was doing. "I don't know. I just really like Oreo ice cream" was the only thing I could think of.

The start of a change

One day, during my 3rd year of high school, I decided to join the track team with one of my good friends. A prerequisite for joining was to get a physical, where they make you do small exercises and weigh you to ensure you are fit enough to do the amount of exercise required for a given sport. I went to my appointment thinking I weighed 135 pounds when in actuality I weighed 150. Part of me couldn't believe it, but another part of me knew it was coming. I cried right at that moment and called my mom. That moment was when I decided I was going to live a healthier life.

Starting to lose weight

Track didn't change me too much. I thought that since I was exercising I could eat whatever I wanted. Boy, was I WRONG. I didn't gain anymore weight, but I wasn't losing any either. Later on my mom told me she was cancelling our gym membership (that we never used) in 30 days, so if I wanted to go I should go now. So, I thought I'd go for 30 days and see what happens. I went every day for those 30 days. The first day I remember I was only going to do 20 minutes of the elliptical, but that turned into 30 minutes. I was really proud of myself! After awhile I saw results on the scale and I became addicted (in a good way) to working out. I would do the elliptical for 45 minutes a day, with two rest days on the weekends, but no weights. I ended up losing 30 pounds.

Going downhill (uh oh!)

By this time I was extremely happy, but super bored with working out. It felt more like a chore than anything. Not to mention my diet was extremely poor. I didn't eat nearly as much as I should. I restricted myself to 1,000 calories a day and made sure I ate zero fat and zero sugar. I thought fat is fat, which in turn will make me fat. My cravings for "cheat" meals were extreme and each time I would eat something that I thought I shouldn't have (i.e. some ice cream, mac n cheese, pizza, etc.) I would punish myself and almost hate myself. Luckily, that didn't last long.

When I got to college I was introduced to drinks galore aka hundreds of extra calories. I stopped counting calories and I exercised here and there, still finding it really boring. Fortunately, I didn't gain a lot of weight. I gained about 10 pounds, but I didn't think it was a big deal.

I went for over 1 1/2 years of not exercising. If I did exercise it was maybe once every other week. My muscle started going away and I started to see love handles and I started to dislike my body again and restrict my calories again. I knew there had to be a different way, but I didn't know what it was. Then in November 2014, one of my best friends asked me if I wanted to do some Kayla Itsines work outs with her. I was like Kayla who? So, I bought the guide without even knowing who she was or what it was about (lol, I don't know why, but I'm glad I did!) and started doing the work outs. I did it completely wrong at first, but after Day 1 my legs were SO sore that I couldn't walk for over a week! I was so out of shape I couldn't believe it. I kept at it though. However, I wasn't following the guide precisely. I did resistance only 2x a week and LISS 2x a week. Again, I ate like crap because I thought I was working it off. I saw little results, but ended up quitting at week 4 right in time for Thanksgiving.

Finally changed my lifestyle for good

I was still unhappy with my body and I was following Kayla now on Instagram. I was amazed by the transformations. "I WANT THAT!" is what I kept saying to each transformation picture. I saw that many BBG (Bikini Body Guide) girls were starting Kayla's BBG 1.0 on January 5th with #TheKaylaMovement. Honestly, my first thought was "that's cool, but I'm not doing it again." HAHA yeah, okay. My best friend asked if I was doing it, she was going to start after her surgery recoveries. I wanted to seem strong so I said "oh, of course I am!" I then created a BBG Instagram account separate from my personal account so that my friends/family didn't get bombarded with fitness related posts.

Ever since then my life has dramatically changed. I would have NEVER thought I would be at the end of Week 8 and starting Week 9 of Kayla's BBG. Yes, it was me who put in all the hard work and I am seeing wonderful results. However, if it weren't for the BBG community on IG I would have never made it and that is a fact. I can't imagine my life without doing these workouts. I no longer count calories or restrict myself. I'm learning to love my body and not hate myself when I indulge a little. I can honestly say I am the most fit and healthiest I have ever been and it does not stop here for me! I cannot wait to see what the rest of BBG has in store for me. I intend to finish BBG 1.0 and then do it again for a second round and then start BBG 2.0.

My advice for anyone who wants to change their lifestyle into a healthy one is this: Find a program (not a fad or a quick fix) but a true program that you can stick with. There are many out there. Do your research and find one that fits your lifestyle and your needs. Find one with good workouts and a good nutrition guide. Note that I say guide and not plan, because whatever you choose should guide you. It shouldn't be a restriction or something you HAVE to stick to. Whether it's BBG or Tone It Up or whatever other program is out there, if it works for you then you will live a healthier and happier life :)

How has your life been changed by living a healthy lifestyle?

Posted on February 28, 2015 and filed under My Personal Journey.