Most things in our life are things we fully control. We control the time we get up in the morning, the food we choose to eat, the friends we have, and the overall lifestyle we choose. For most, it’s a simple choice: sedentary or active. Growing up I was fortunate to have a high metabolism. I could eat whatever I wanted, and my twig-like limbs remained unchanged. Of course, it didn’t stay like that. During my final college semester, my lifestyle shifted from active to sedentary. I was eating out, snacking late at night, drinking, not exercising and sitting on my butt, stressed out, completing assignments night after night. I succeeded in maintaining my 4.0 GPA, but failed at staying in control of my weight. Within six months I’d gained about 30 pounds. My mom told me that she hardly recognized me when I moved back home after graduation. When these words came from my mom who knows me better than anyone, I knew she wasn’t sugarcoating the facts. I’d lost control.
I was stuck in denial for some time, but then things took a turn for the worst after a doctor’s visit. I found out my cholesterol level was high and that I was pre-diabetic. Things needed to change. At the end of the year, my dad surprised my mom with a membership to a community gym that opened less than a mile from our house. In January, the gym offered a huge discount on memberships. For motivational support, my mom said she’s pay for half of my membership. Now that I was a member, I started going several times a week. The fitness loft was clean with brand new equipment. I quickly found a workout routine I enjoyed. I’ve been going for a little over three months now, and I can officially say I’m hooked! I’m not yet at my goal weight, but I have lost several pounds. The best part is, I can see a difference when I stand in front of my full-length mirror. Even my boyfriend comments on my slimmer waist when he hugs me.
Fitness is not about being better than someone else… It’s about being better than you used to be.
I wish that I hadn’t let things get so beyond my control during college, but this has been a huge lesson. I no longer have a high metabolism, and therefore I have to pay more attention to how I treat my body. It’s as simple as that. I’ve also learned that results don’t arrive on day one. The most frustrating part of working out is waiting for your results to appear, and I think that’s why a lot of people don’t follow through. Whether I’m on the elliptical machine, walking the track, lifting weights, doing crunches or wiping sweat off my forehead, I feel empowered. Even though there may be people there in better shape than me, I’m focused solely on my progress, which is the way it should be. I’m looking forward to see where my body will be come swimsuit season!