The Good, The Bad: Health + Fitness Journey
Welcome to my fitness diary, where all things are raw and in the moment. I’d love to start this segment off by taking you through my fitness journey, from back in 2014, to now, 2018. While this may be on the longer side, it walks you through the success I had in 2014, to falling off in 2015 and being my worst self. After many attempts, and many failures, finally finding my way back on this lifestyle in early 2017.
The Beginning: 2014
In January of 2014, I was on vacation in the United Arab Emirates. I was indulging in all of the delicious food; from shawarmas to middle eastern deserts - but I wasn’t feeling happy. I wasn’t happy with the eating habits I had, I wasn’t happy with my body. The amount of material I wore in desert-like weather because I wanted to hide my body. Because I felt uncomfortable with myself. Because I hated my body. I decided I needed change. I began doing research around goal-setting and staying motivated. That’s when I came across the article Get Disciplined, Not Motivated.
I remember sharing this with my friend back in Canada who had similar goals. She then introduced me to a community of ladies that spread positivity and provided knowledge behind what to eat when, why along with workouts you could do anywhere.
At that very moment, I decided I was committed. The more I read, the more I learned that in order to care and want change for yourself, you need to love yourself. You need to love yourself enough to care about changing your lifestyle for the better.
I came back from my trip in February of 2014, and went cold turkey. Cold turkey has always worked best for me. I created a meal plan for myself that consisted of 5-6 meals a day, and scheduled my workouts in six times a week.
I had tremendous success. I reminded myself to love my body every single day. I loved it at each point, and I saw progress week by week, month by month. I took measurements and photos on a monthly basis, each time seeing progress.
Sounds incredible, right? While I had progress in my fitness life, there were some things I was missing…
I was setting goals and reaching them. It felt great. But where my mistake was is that I had no social life. I had no family life. I never ate out. My life was: cardio session in the morning pre-work, followed by work, strength session at the gym, home, meal prep, pack lunch and sleep. This was my life, day in, day out, for six months straight. My own best friend, I hadn’t seen in six months. Picture that.
For whatever reason, at that point, I started to feel like I hit a plateau. I decided to try something new: intermittent fasting. While intermittent fasting can be great and have it’s benefits, it isn’t for everyone. It definitely wasn’t for me. Everything caught up to me. I felt discouraged; I felt exhausted. I missed having a life outside of the same routine every single day. My discipline was gone. My love and my relationship with myself diminished.
I took it out on food. I would overeat unhealthy processed foods filled with terrible ingredients for breakfast, lunch, dinner and in between. I lived on pizza, fries, and all the chocolate and candy possible. Day in, day out. At times, I would overeat to the point where I would vomit because my body was no longer used to this type of food that I wad forcing in. I couldn’t stop. It was an addiction I developed towards sugar and carbs.
I would wake up early before work so I could head to Krispy Kreme or Tim Hortons for doughnuts, timbits and muffins. Not one, but all three. Protein? What is protein? That was no longer a part of my life. During break at work, I would go purchase protein bars. Some options are clean, no? Well… You’d think. Except I binge ate that as well. I would purchase 4+ bars and eat them all on my lunch. Moderation, out the window. I ordered pizza every single day after work with potato wedges AND fries, because I couldn’t decide which I was craving more. I would eat the leftovers the next day for breakfast.
I lost every bit of my progress, and gained an insane amount of weight. I was heavier than I ever was in my entire life. What was even more discouraging is how people began to look at me and judge me. I had people approach me telling me “you’ve gained so much weight.” Those were the same people that never thought to even tell me “you’ve lost weight” when I initially had progress. But none of that mattered at this point.
I tried to get back into the healthy lifestyle, lasting a day at most - if even. I struggled. Time and time again, I would attempt to. I would meal prep and exercise. But I couldn’t commit again. I couldn’t identify why I was unable to get back into it. I just couldn’t do it. The key thing here is that I never stopped trying. For two whole years, I tried and was unsuccessful.
February of 2017
In February of 2017, I began to reflect. I reflected back to 2014 and how I originally got started. I also realized that what worked for me once, may not work for me again. I decided to try something new. I started by focusing on repairing my relationship with food. I didn’t want to overwhelm myself with nutrition and exercise at once. I wanted to do things in a way that I felt would be manageable for me, and in a way that wouldn’t make me dread or burnt out right away.
I re-read Get Disciplined, Not Motivated. I read some books and articles around fitness and nutrition. I craved knowledge and understanding of what I was putting into my body. This time, I made a decision to believe I was going to be successful. And that, I was.
My first month was strictly focused on building a healthy relationship with food. This in turn allowed me to build a better relationship with myself. Putting healthy foods into my body made me feel better. I was treating my body right. This was the start of me loving and treating my body right.
My next step then was to begin to exercise. I scheduled it in my day, Monday through Friday, at 5:30 pm right after work. Scheduling it in my day allowed me to not have to think about whether I wanted to workout or not. I just did it. I did some research and began to craft my own workouts. I was committed to going six times a week. It was scheduled as part of my day - so I had no excuses.
It is now July of 2018, and I am still going at it. It has been over a year, and yes, I’ve had my fair amount of challenges, but I never gave up. I never let go. I stayed disciplined throughout. And most importantly, I did things in moderation.
I have a social life. I will go out with friends and family. If they are going out to a restaurant, I will join. I will find a healthy alternative to order, rather than restrict myself from those outings.
I found what works for me and could not be anymore proud of myself.
We all go through challenges. We all go through struggles. The most important learn is that you should never give up. What works for one person, may not work for you. What worked for you once, may not work for you again. But never give up and keep trying. Believe you can achieve, and you will.
I still go through challenges. I have days when I feel like I am going to fall off. But then I get myself back together and remind myself ‘Discipline.’
This fitness diary section will be a raw diary for myself of how I am feeling, challenges I am going through, intentions for the month, goal setting, and more. If you would like to chat, or have any questions you would like me to cover, please feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I want you to be a part of this as much as I am a part of it.
I look forward to hearing about some of your journeys with health and fitness.