Ok ladies, I am taking a break today from my usual daily outfit posts. Sad, I know! But come back tomorrow for my favorite outfit that I have EVER worn... shh its a secret. For those fellow fashionistas, I apologize for the break, and if you find yourself bored with this post feel free to disregard and head back over here tomorrow!
I have been inspired recently by some wonderful bloggers that are taking time to focus on getting healthy and getting in shape. If you don't know by know, my blogger bff Christen and I have been emailing back and forth about getting in shape. I absolutely adore all the positive attitudes that have been going around, and in that respect I would love to share my little story with you in hopes that it spreads a little more inspiration, so we can keep the positive vibes going. :)
Back in my college days, I was someone that took pretty good care of herself. I wasn't a workout fanatic, and in all honesty, I never really thought about it much. However, I was always a part of a team, something that I was very proud of. I was lucky enough to be one of only a few freshman that made the Cheer and Dance team my first year and continued on it for the next 3 years. Though we were a small college, we were a division one school for basketball. Which meant some really lovely perks, like being on ESPN, and going to the NCAA tournament (beyond cool!) and competing in countless arenas around the country. I still look back on some of the experiences that I was able to have, and I am truly in awe.
Well, one of the benefits of being on a team is that when you practice you are sort of forced to work out, whether you would like to or not. So that being said, I never really put much thought into making sure I was staying in shape, I would just go to practice and that was that! nuff said. And of course as a college girl I was going to parties, and developing some really poor eating habits. fast food. oh man. Between the crazy training for the team and the atrocious eating, there was some how a balance that kept me a pretty normal weight all through college. Here are a few pictures of the girls back in the day...
Doesn't it look like we had a blast? We absolutely did. Well after four years of this, I was pretty drained. Practice 5 days a week with games on off days? Saturday morning bleacher runs? Torn ligaments and sprained ankles? It was time for a break. The problem is I took the break a little too far. Once college was over and I didn't have the team to get me motivated and working out, I just simply stopped. I stopped exercising and kept eating. To add insanity to madness, I moved in with my then-boyfriend-now-hubby and took up his eating habits. Has that happened to anyone else? moving in with your man can wreak havoc on your body. If he ate half a pizza, I ate half a pizza. If he drank half a bottle of wine, I drank the other half. Bad news Ladies, let me tell you.
Fast forward a year, and I had managed to add an extra 60 plus pounds to my 5'1" frame, and on a little body that is a great deal of weight. Let me stress now, that while the weight was an
issue for me, since it clearly wasn't where my body was supposed to be, I just felt awful. I was
sick all the time, had no energy, was completely depressed, never wanted to see friends or family because I was embarrassed of what I had done to myself. worst of all: I could no longer shop. There were no sizes in regular stores that fit me any more. these are some photos from right around the time I was my lowest, I can hardly even recognize myself here.
I wasn't sure quite how it had happened, nor was I aware of how quickly life got away from me, but I remember the moment I knew I needed to fix it. I woke up January 16th, 2008, just 7 months away from the wedding I had always dreamed of, and everything changed. I stood in my closet and stared at all of my clothes, and realized that nothing I had no longer fit me. I was so sick of trying to find something to wear to hide how I looked, to cover up the problem. When I had my epiphany I collapsed on the floor of my closet and cried until there were no tears left.
After about an hour I stood up, grabbed my old, long-since-been-used tennis shoes, got in my car and drove directly to the gym. I spoke with one of the trainers and told her that I needed to start today, that I could no longer live the way I had been, and that I wanted to be able to shop at a regular bridal boutique for my wedding gown. I was beyond upset, and I knew the worst was coming with the weigh in. Trying to talk myself out of getting upset didn't do much good. When the trainer pushed me onto the scale, the numbers didn't lie. 65 lbs in a year. What would have happened if I had let this go for yet another year? Adult onset diabetes, heart problems, thyroid problems, and eventually a short life span, thats what.
That day literally changed my life. I don't think that it is a date that will ever be removed from my memory. In fact on the one year anniversary my friends and I had a healthy dinner together and some champagne to celebrate how far I'd come. Though at that point I didn't even know how to begin to fix it.
What followed was one of the toughest ordeals that I've ever gone through. Dropping weight like that can be a very intense experience. I had to commence a full life make over, one that was going to be permanent and lasting. I wasn't going to be in this to gain it all back eventually, I needed a major life change. With the help of the trainer we set up a nutrition plan, and and exercise regiment, and I really can't say enough for her. She was my guardian angel in a red 24 hour fitness shirt named April.
At first I was supposed to do 30 minutes of cardio a day. Sounds easy right? WRONG. I remember barely being able to walk a mile without being out of breath. It took a few weeks for me to be able to run again without feeling like I was going to throw up. Which I did by the way, in the middle of my first training session (didn't I tell you it was rough?). The accomplishment I felt when I ran that first mile was astounding, and the momentum began building from there. The original plan was 20 lbs, but that quickly became 30lbs, and before I knew it I was working towards being 50 lbs down for my wedding day.
Over a year later and I am officially 65 lbs down and still going. I train like a fiend every day, trying to hit between 40 and 50 miles a week. I do my major cardio in the mornings, hitting about 5 to 6 miles, and then try to do another 1 or 2 later that night. I make sure to do weights five times a week, alternating between arms one day, and legs another day, followed by abs and stretching every night. Supplementing workouts with fun things like yoga, dance classes, swimming, or even crossfit. And of course Sunday is break day, no exceptions! I take the day off and get one bad meal, something DE-LISH. I still maintain a strict diet throughout the week, eating small meals throughout the day consisting of mostly salad, fish, nuts, fruit, and veggies. Carbs are a no-no for my curvy, Italian body. Please if you would like any details send me a message and I will be happy to send you my plan, and some recipes if you would like!
I am now doing things that I never imagined I could accomplish. Including making it to the final round of auditions for the Oakland Raiderettes. Recognize the lovely ladies below? These are my college teammates that are now rockin out on the golden state Warrior girls, the 49er Gold Rush girls, and the Raiderettes. They inspired me to try out, and while I didn't make the final cut, I am incredibly proud, and I think my team trial shots turned out amazing!
This entire experience has truly changed my life. I will never again take for granted the ability to live each day and I will always be thankful for everything I am able to do. Staying fit and healthy is absolutely a way of life, and its the only way to go. I love how great I feel and how much energy I have to attack all of life's challenges. To finish up I'm leaving a few more photos of the adventures that I have been on since dropping all the weight.
my dad and I after completing the San Francisco Marathon-July 26th, 2009, my first marathon!
hiking Carlsbad National Caverns- March 2009
zip lining in Costa Rica- December 2008
climbing a Hawaiian volcano- September 2008
I was incredibly nervous to post my story, so I hope that you enjoyed it if you took the time to read it. Having only really done fashion posts til now, this was outside my safety box and its not a story I am usually tell everyone. Anyways, hopefully everyone was ok with it, and I promise to return to fashionista type things tomorrow. :)