at my heaviest

Would you say the girl on the left or the girl on the right is heavier?

In January of 2010, I saw this picture and realized I had gained the sophomore seventeen. Days filled with snacks from Twenty Something and nights filled with beer and Taco Bell really got the best of me. This was my "wakeup call." It was time for a change. 

I started working out (and by working out I mean getting on the elliptical for twenty minutes or going to a kick boxing class). I took diet pills and drank protein. I ate "healthy," like granola bars, salads smothered in ranch and 300 calorie Healthy Choice meals. I did everything I thought was right. Although I slimmed down quite a bit by putting forth a healthy effort, I was never content with my results. Muffin tops and thunder thighs really like to stick around.

That's when I started running. I thought running would jiggle that fat right off. I hated running. I mean really, really hated it. But I thought I'd get better and faster and learn to love it over time. Man, was I wrong. I forced myself to run for four years. 5ks, 10ks, a half marathon........I ran them all but hated every step I took. I did some hot yoga and workout videos, but never really felt satisfied with my workout routine.

In the midst of it all, I graduated college and became an 8-to-5-er. I was introduced to the Paleo lifestyle, which threw me for a loop. What do you mean whole wheat pasta is bad?! But, anxious to get rid of those jiggly legs, I said why not? I went Paleo.

It completely changed my way of thinking. It challenged me and made me reconsider everything I knew when it came to eating healthy. It really sucked at times. It took me several tries years to really perfect the Paleo lifestyle and make it work for me, but every time I challenged myself, I saw major results. I still do. 

Insert Crossfit. This was a whole different world of fitness. I learned to love the feeling of being strong. The feeling of excelling in something. I may not be fast, but I am strong. I fell in love with this feeling and began pushing myself harder than I ever had before. I saw changes in my body and my athletic legs finally stopped jiggling, my arms and shoulders got definition. I went from going to class two days a week to not being able to stay away. I can't wait to go to the gym every evening because I love the high it gives me. 

Mix that love for fitness with learning to fuel your body with clean food and what do you get? You get abs. After five years of working at it, I finally have abs. And I'm really freakin' proud of myself. 

The funny thing is, all that muscle I've been building up the last few years weighs a lot. That picture at the top? I'm betting you picked the girl on the left as the heavier of the two. If so, you picked wrong. I am currently at my heaviest weight (a whole ten pounds heavier!), but I look and feel better than I ever have. It's taken some mental adjusting on my part, but muscle really does weigh more than fat, and lifting heavy weights doesn't have to make you bulky. It's a weird thing, fitness, but it's a beautiful one. So don't go telling me that I must just "have good genes" or that I "must have quick metabolism" and that you aren't so lucky in that department. I've worked my butt off to be proud of my body and you can, too.

It doesn't take weight loss pills, no crazy diets. Just patience, clean eating and pushing yourself in a fitness routine that you love. It doesn't have to be Paleo. It doesn't have to be Crossfit. Yes, those things work for me, but any mix of clean eating and exercise will get you started in the right direction. I promise, it works. 

1 comment

Ellysia Dierker said...

So proud of you little! It's so great to see you happy, healthy and confident! You are truly a fitness inspiration and a fantastic lady! Love ya!!

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