Becoming a superhero

My journey to health was two-fold; I wanted to lose weight AND be strong and fit. This was me when I was younger and at about 135 lbs:

135 lbs, pale and starving!

135 lbs, pale and starving!

And I still wasn’t happy with my body. I was starving all the time (because I refused to eat), my energy levels were all over the place, as well as my emotions. I was technically speaking a healthy weight, but I certainly wasn’t healthy.

Neither was that girl. I thought I was starving all the time (a by-product of my excess sugar intake), my energy and emotions were all over the place, and technically speaking I was obese, certainly not healthy.

Once I decided to change my life and got my diet under control, I knew that I didn’t want to be just a skinny, I wanted to be healthy, fit and the strongest woman I could be. I looked at fitness models as inspiration; like Jamie Eason and local San Diegan Ashley Horner instead of models in Vogue.

These chicks are real, both mothers, and every bit of work shows. I wanted to be like them. I wanted to be a real life Wonder Woman.  I was going to need guidance because  I knew the only way to do it was to begin at the gym, lifting weights, and lifting heavy. My motivation level was high, but my knowledge was low.

I couldn’t afford a personal trainer, and to be honest I don’t respond well to others telling me what to do haha! That’s maybe why the navy had such a negative effect on my health. I found bodybuilding.com and started Kris Gethin’s 12 Week Trainer. He had a back injury due to an accident that caused him to gain serious weight, so the videos also follow his journey. The reason I like and recommend this trainer so much is because that every day features a different video and workout, which was key due to the fact I was completely new to weight lifting. I had no form, no clue what to do, and stepping into the weight room of my gym was enough anxiety as it were.

Toe crushed by dropping weight-lesson learned

Toe crushed by dropping weight-lesson learned

I watched the videos daily, wrote my workouts down, and felt confident that I was doing the right exercise. I have completed his program four times total, upping the speed and weight each time when hitting a plateau. I will be posting workouts on my blog, but for beginners that need to be shown the ropes, I really recommend his program.

So that took care of the muscles. But I needed to get my heart fitter. Luckily I live in San Diego and there is no shortage of activities to do. Hiking, swimming, paddleboarding, HIIT training, circus silk training, indoor trampoline mayhem, barre, I’m addicted! I love finding new things to try, there is always some new part of me I discover (through pain and fatigue) from trying a new workout. Most of the time I was not good or graceful on my first attempt, but I learned that failing to try something challenging and new was better than winning in something I was already good at. Muscle memory is a killer to weight loss, so keep up the variety!

I also wanted to tackle an obstacle I had looming over me my whole life; running. I set a goal of completing a half marathon while only being able to run less than a mile without crying. Every week as I pushed for more miles, my body fought back with some new ailment or injury; plantar fasciitis, each knee breaking down alternatively, hamstring pulled, nerve pinched, it was like my body was playing musical injury. I decided not to listen, and pushed through the pain. I don’t know if this was exactly smart, but I don’t claim to be a genius.  I really fell in love with the high of “race day”.

I look towards the M2B 1/2 Marathon in May, with the Tough Mudder after. I chose to tackle running because it was something that I always had trouble with. I was never good at it, and the thought of being a “runner” seemed so far-fetched and laughable I knew it would be a good goal to shoot for. I really could not see myself where I am today two years ago. Every race I am competing against myself, and almost every race I cry when I reach the finish. That’s why I run, to continue to better and challenge myself.

Running isn’t for everyone, and it isn’t even all that healthy for everyone. I suggest just finding something you’re not good at, but want to be, and tackle it with all your might.

What do you think?

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