In 2013, I made one of the best decisions of my life. After an April wedding, the bride posted a picture of me standing next to my sister Ann (pictured above left). I was shocked. My diet and activity level had been spiraling out of control for the last two years, but I refused to admit it. Despite feeling sluggish, uncomfortable, and unmotivated, I just did not want to commit to a healthy lifestyle. However, the day after I looked at this picture of an unrecognizable me, I made that commitment.
By November 2013, I had lost 40 pounds, and competed in a physique competition; all while taking 21 credit hours at Iowa State University. I motivated friends, family, and strangers who messaged me to ask for assistance in their own journeys. I received so many messages from women in the professional world asking where I found the time. I was so confused, and even felt superior. If a full-time college student with a part-time job could find the time and energy to meal prep and workout, why couldn’t an adult with a simple full-time job? I thought these people were making lousy excuses.
Now, I am a full-time high school teacher, a two-sport coach, and am currently coaching middle school AAU volleyball, while also coaching JV basketball. I wish I could go back and tell my college self to enjoy her time! The “real world” truly is much more challenging and exhausting than university. After a ten hour day (fourteen if it’s a game day), the last thing I want to do is grade papers and go to the gym. The first thing I want to do is eat fifteen McDoubles, and watch Forensic Files.
Since this school year has started, I have really been leaning more to the do what I want/ watch Forensic Files side of lifestyle. I am by no means obese, or even considered overweight, but as my wedding and summer are only six months away, I want to reflect on my top 5 reasons that a healthy lifestyle and losing my goal of 20 lbs is worth it.
When I lost weight the first time, it was the happiest I had ever been. Working out releases endorphins, and is a social experience. I never came home from the gym feeling guilty about getting a good workout in, or without seeing a friend. Some people like to workout at home, but for me, the gym is a fun and social experience that I like to partake in.
I respect everybody’s desired weight. If a person feels great being overweight, I am happy for them. In fact, I don’t even notice if my friends gain weight, but for me, having extra weight on my body is uncomfortable. I hate the feeling of too-tight jeans, a muffin top, my stomach folding over my seatbelt… yuck. That’s how I feel right now, and I want to be comfortable in my own skin again.
I have a closet full of clothes, but I have not been wearing most of them because they just don’t fit the way they used to. When I am toned, I feel like I can wear anything I want. I need to be there, especially since I just bought a gorgeous wedding gown.
It usually only takes me two weeks of working out and eating right to feel different about myself. Even if the scale doesn’t budge, I just feel better about myself. I find myself speaking more confidently, working harder, and even coaching and teaching with more enthusiasm and passion. Confidence is key, and by living and maintaining a healthy lifestyle gives me this confidence.
5. Better Partner
I would consider myself a great girlfriend… naturally… but, when I am out of control in my diet, it transfers to my personal life. When I feel motivated, organized, confident, and comfortable, I am just naturally a better person. I think Alex has noticed this, which is why he always encourages me to partake in an active lifestyle with him. I am glad we are making a lifestyle change together, so we can encourage each other and hold each other accountable.
I need to remember that these are only five of many reasons I want to make a change. However, they are great reminders and motivators to get back on track. Even though I am incredibly busy, there are no more excuses for me. By July 1st, I plan to look and feel great.