Losing & Gaining Weight
Whether it be losing weight, gaining weight, or seeking to improve in different areas of fitness – can be hard, emotional and completely frustrating. At my largest – I weighed in at 220 lbs. I am 27 years old went through a lot of ups and downs in my late teens/twenties. I dropped out of college with absolutely no career direction or plan. I was coming face to face with the residual effects from traumas and poor choices I made earlier in life and dealing with them in poor ways. I was struggling to love myself and it showed. While all of these things were going on within me – I met the man who would later become my husband. Coupling date nights of takeout and dinners out with no fitness or nutrition knowledge the pounds came on quick.
Me and my husband got married in September 2016. This was the point what I thought was finally happy. I had found and married my best friend who loved me no matter what I looked like. How could I not be?
You are not able to really start living and loving others until you face, accept, and love yourself. It was unfair to expect anyone – from my husband to my family – to complete me. Why was I treating my body like a human garbage disposal? Why was I tired and depressed all of the time – content with sleeping and watching Real Housewives all day? Why did NOTHING fit or make me feel good when I put it in on? I was long overdue to make some changes inside and out.
My fitness journey started with me thinking about what I like to do and I LOVE to dance. No matter my size, mood or who I was with, dancing always made me feel good and like close to my authentic self. It was me who knew all the choreography from TRL and 106 and Park videos back in the day, the one in the middle of the dance circle at the club, and getting the dancing started at weddings. Through Facebook I found a dance fitness master class that was coming to Atlanta and although I was apprehensive, I bought a ticket and dipped my toes in alone.
I walked into the class very insecure – worried about my hair and how bad I looked in my leggings. At the beginning of class, the instructor said “We are not here to look cute or judge each other. We are here to work” and then led us in a challenging workout to awesome music. It was fun, effective, and I looked good sweating! I was hooked.
Over that year, I continued to take dance fitness classes which quickly led to me trying boot camps and yoga classes. I loved the motivating and positive energy I got from instructors and classmates – some of whom later became friends. From there I started to learn about weightlifting and added that to my workouts. My exercising, following a good nutrition plan and using My Fitness Pal to track my caloric intake and outtake led to me losing 50 pounds in under a year.
I felt so proud of my accomplishment and decided that I wanted to become a group fitness instructor so that I could lead a fun class that was accommodating to someone who is just starting their fitness journey while being effective to the most experienced person in the room. I have been an instructor for almost 2 years and continue to be inspired by the diverse backgrounds and stories of my students.
The mind, body, and soul
I am still working on my weight loss but even after I meet my goal weight – I will always be on a lifelong fitness journey. The mind, body, and soul connection I made through being active jump started my healing process and gives me purpose and drive to put my stamp on the world and be a better person for the people in my life. My immediate plans are to continue to teach group fitness classes, become a personal trainer specializing in weight management, and finish my education in Psychology.
For those who are struggling with meeting their fitness goals – I have two takeaways.
1. Treat your body like the temple that it is. That means watching what you put into it. We are all human and life is to be enjoyed – so that means that sometimes big unhealthy celebration food, alcohol, and desserts are on the menu. Ultimately having the tools, like the nutritional plans or education the trainers and instructors at Gauge Fitness offer help to follow a healthy lifestyle makes all of this easier to manage.
2. Put yourself out there. There are so many different forms of exercise and fitness communities in Atlanta. Finding somewhere you can get an effective, fun and judgement free workout is crucial to getting into a fitness routine that you can stick to and feel proud of. Gauge Fitness and the classes we offer are a great place to start!
Peace, Love and Squats!