Life Lessons From a Fitness Journey

My original “WHY” for starting a fitness journey, was the common answer of wanting to lose weight and feel better about myself.  My family history includes a significant level of heart disease. In fact, the women in my biological family don’t live to be 50 years old and the men don’t live to be 70 years old. So, that meant that, at the time, in my mid-20s, I was already halfway through my life if I followed in their footsteps. That was NOT the future I really wanted for myself.

Side note…thankfully, I was adopted as an infant. Had I not been, I would have been orphaned by the time I was 15.

Even with that biological family history, I was only slightly motivated to make changes in my life. Not enough to really make a serious difference in my lifestyle.  It was always in the back of my mind but didn’t drive me to make daily changes.  Eventually, I grew frustrated enough with my body to start paying attention and improving some habits.  I started adding some workouts into my routine between 2004 and 2007, but really had no idea what I was doing.  I was really just wasting my time and energy. Since I wasn’t getting results, I wasn’t all that motivated to keep going. But I knew I needed it.

What I came to realize is I needed a system to follow – a leader to show me the way.  I had to accept the fact that I didn’t know enough to get the results I needed to be getting.  What I now know, looking back, what I really needed in my entire life was a system and structure.  You see, I had spent the first 25 years of my life as a student.  I went through elementary, middle, high school, college and grad school.  All of my life, I had a system to follow, a leader to listen to.  A schedule set for me.  A structure in my day-to-day life.  In the “real world”, I had the freedom to make my own choices.  To set my own schedule.  To set my own priorities.  To be as structured or not as I wanted. As awesome as that was, I realized how easy it was to lose all discipline and become lazy.

I was in a rut. My day consisted of waking up, going to work, coming home and lounging.  I didn’t have any goals or dreams. I felt like I had already achieved what I had always worked towards.  But, I really felt empty.  I NEEDED to feel empowered, excited and motivated to accomplish something again.  Although I wasn’t conscious of that need, that feeling is really what I was looking for when I started my fitness journey.  Losing weight was just a side effect of changing my entire life.

In 2007, I found a system to follow.  I set a goal to complete a 90-day challenge which involved eating clean and working out daily.  Fully equipped with a calendar, a diet plan, and intervening fitness tests to determine if I was making progress.  I tracked my workouts and eating daily and got great results. I lost 30 pounds.

But, what I really gained was the strength, confidence, structure, and motivation I needed to completely change my life.  And, all these years later, I still follow the same concepts.  I set goals, create a schedule, and plan my life just like my workout programs.  Now, I often make up my own workouts.   

I also found my purpose….to help others going through the same struggles I’ve already been through.  It all started with fitness, but over the years, I’ve learned nutrition matters more.

You can’t out-train a bad diet.  You can work out as hard as you can, but if you aren’t eating properly, you won’t get the results you’re looking for.  You may actually do more harm than good.  

Nutrition heals your body. 

Nutrition can eliminate inflammation.

Nutrition can correct hormone disruptions and disorders.  

Nutrition can improve mental clarity and brain function. 

Nutrition can reduce disease risk.  

Your body is unique; therefore you need a customized approach to your health.  We also do better with a community, surrounding ourselves with others on the same journey.  This is why I focus on customized nutrition, exercise, gut health, energy, self-care, and aging well. 

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