After this past week of reading my fellow Hot & Healthy Habits Girls first fitness images/idols/and motivations (all the fitspo wrapped up into one thing). I decided to write about my own … and how I got here. I have such a hard time talking about stuff like this, but it is my hope that sharing will help you feel connected as reading about all these wonderful ladies has helped ME in turn feel connected to them.
This was me, (I’m the tiny blonde in white shirt/blue shorts in the first picture, and in the veil/flower boa thing in the second picture) at my bachelorette weekend. All these beautiful women with me are some of my closest friends who were in my wedding party.
How did I get to this place?
Well, it all started in the swimming pool. When I was growing up, I had a brother who was an amazing competitive swimmer and my mother had been a swimmer all her life as well. They were both tall and thin and it seemed like they could eat whatever they wanted because of how many calories swimming burns. I was a lifeguard at that time, and so the last thing I wanted to do after a shift guarding the pool – was get in it and swim!
Flash forward to college. I was still a lifeguard, and after my first semester in the dorms I had ballooned up to that stereotypical ‘Freshman 15’ and all I wanted was to go back to normal! So, I started swimming. I would work early mornings, swim, shower, and walk to class from the pool. I would always find time to lift a little bit during the day as well, and I would run on the days I couldn’t get in the pool.
Post college, I was walking everywhere or biking. I would drive up to the gym in the morning before work, walk/run on my lunch break, and then lift and bike or run in the evenings. All this work, I thought I might as well start trying triathlons.
So I signed up with a triathlon team. And this is probably where I really met the person I wanted to emulate. She was my coach, a Timex triathlete who had won the Kona Ironman and a personal trainer.
I just wanted to look like her – be fast and win big! And I loved how endurance sports made me feel, but I never figured out how to eat enough to actually complete an Ironman without bonking at some point on the race … But I was stubborn, I just wanted to try.
It was at this point that I met my husband, it took years, but through his love and encouragement I gradually got to a point where working out wasn’t the be all end all of my life and I wouldn’t feel guilty or get anxious if I didn’t do a serious endurance feat that day.
I’m also learning how to eat better. I was always healthy but I never figured out that I could eat quite a bit of good healthy food and not blow up like a balloon… because after my Freshman year I was convinced that food made you fat.
Your body is your life, your story. It won’t be perfect, but it is yours! It took me a long time of being misrable to realize I can’t judge myself against others, or a scale. I am who I am and who I am making myself to be. Own your own image and try to love it!!
I am learning how to be strong – physically and mentally. How to enrich my life through my relationships (especially with other women! sometimes it is so hard being away from those amazing ladies in the picture above).
I am so grateful for the lessons I have learned – especially this year, from my friends in the fitness world, from Ander Wilson and Amanda Adams Rowland and I am thrilled to be part of the #omgneverdietagain movement. I know that this will just keep helping me grow and become the women who can teach other women about being healthy. Precisely what I have always wanted!
I would love to hear your story as well – Where did your first images of fitness come from or who did you look up to as a fitness idol?