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I am healthy. I am confident. I am me. This is my fitness journey.
Growing up I played sports year-round. Soccer and basketball were my favorite, but I tried just about everything — tennis, swim team, softball, volleyball, and even gymnastics and cheerleading. I thrived on staying active and competing.
Once I graduated high school and entered college, I felt lost. I didn’t have a desire to play sports at the collegiate level, and honestly, I wouldn’t have been good enough anyway. In an effort to stay in shape, my friends and I started working out at the gym on campus. But that didn’t last for long. The gym was always crowded, so I stopped going.
At the beginning of my Sophomore year of college, I had my son. Between taking care of him, going to school, and doing homework, I hardly had any free time. Working out was at the bottom of my list.
After college, I started teaching right away. I was gone 10-12 hours a day and had zero energy to work out. I actually ended up losing a lot of weight from all the stress. I may have been “skinny,” but I wasn’t healthy.
Three years into teaching, I found out I was pregnant with twins. After I completed the school year, I decided to quit my teaching job to stay home with my babies. My life became consumed with feedings, diaper changes and play time. It was wonderful and so rewarding, but I never took time for myself.
When my twin girls were a little over a year old, I knew I had to do something about my health. I wasn’t overweight, but I wasn’t happy with my body either. I was out of shape and I didn’t feel good.
On a whim, my husband and I decided to try Insanity, an at-home workout program from Beachbody. We had no clue what we were getting ourselves into. It was hard. I was so out of shape and everything hurt. But it felt good to be active — to feel good and to see my body transform. I knew I had to stick with it. This became the turning point for me in my fitness journey.
It’s been almost six years and I am still going strong. I’m not much for working out at home anymore, but instead find my joy in the gym. I joined my local gym a little over three years ago and haven’t looked back.
At first I was so intimidated by everything — the people, the machines, the weights, the commitment. Each day got a little easier and my confidence grew. I went from spending 30-40 minutes on the cardio machines to lifting weights. On top of that, I made new friends. I had no idea I would love it so much.
Now I lift weights five days a week and do some cardio/HIIT training. My goals are simple — train daily, eat healthy, and get stronger. While simple things like new shoes, a cute tank or a fun water bottle can definitely make going to the gym more fun, I have learned that the single most important motivator is me. I have to want it.
Even though I have never felt stronger or healthier, there are still days, even weeks, that I don’t feel like working out. I have highs and lows. I go through periods of time where I don’t work hard in the gym and I don’t eat well. I’ve had plenty of set backs. But in the big picture, I know I have come a long way. And that is what motivates me to keep going and to not look back.
I’m determined to thrive. I will push through. I will #stepforward.
What steps are you taking to be your best self? Share your Step Forward moment below!
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