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Saturday, May 25, 2013

being transparent: my fitness journey

lately i have been feeling god lay it on my heart to be transparent, in an effort to heal and grow and learn more. so with me, what you see is what you get. i won't pretend like my life is perfect and i have no flaws, because that is totally false. i mean, if you knew someone who always seemed happy and like her life was perfect, would you share your heart with her? would you ask her for advice or prayers? probably not, because you're not going to feel like she can relate to you. you're not going to feel that connection, that realness.

i want you all to feel real with me.

so in an effort to be transparent, i feel like i need to share with you my fitness journey. it's a big part of my life, and if i am going to be influencing you in any way or becoming your beachbody coach or giving you fitness advice, i want you to know where i'm coming from.

it all began almost 5 years ago...

i was 19. i had just had a baby girl. i was feeling overwhelmed, depressed, left out, sad, disappointed. i wasn't ready for a baby or a marriage, but that's suddenly what i was thrown into. i was immature, selfish, insecure. i had no close friends because those my age were busy doing other things (i.e. partying at college) and those who had children were a lot older than me. i felt like i had no purpose in life. it was a hard time. i knew i was suffering from depression due to the sudden hormonal shifts as well as the amount of stress that was on my life (my parents were also newly separated at the time). i knew i needed to do SOMETHING to help myself feel better.

and so it started out as little walks. i would get justin to go with me while the baby was sleeping or being held by a family member. it was a sweet time, when we could just be a couple and talk and enjoy each other's company. i loved our walks and will remember them forever.

when i was able to, i started using my mother-in-law's elliptical...every single day. i'm not kidding. i rode that thing so much that it broke. literally, i broke it. i was also doing some of the p90x dvds and getting into running. i loved working out. it made me feel better, it distracted me from my complicated life and boosted my endorphins. i became addicted. i had this obsession with getting smaller. i wanted to look like those wispy celebs i saw in us weekly.

then justin starts talking about joining the military. i felt like it was our only option if we wanted to get out on our own and be a 'real' family (we were living with his mom and grandma at the time). and so i said ok. we started talking to different recruiters to figure out which branch was right for us. finally we chose navy. i was scared to death. during all of this i was still working out every single day, and started restricting what i ate. at the time i thought i was being really healthy and conscious of what i was eating. i was proud of myself. looking back at old photos i see a girl who is just too thin and not healthy at all. i was to the point right before justin left for boot camp where i was barely eating at all. i felt powerful when my stomach growled and i was able to deny it what it wanted. i felt like i at last had control of something, and i liked that. i would have small snacks all day and maybe one good meal, only because people were around and watching. people were telling me i was losing weight, some even told me i was too thin. i didn't hear them. i just kept getting too small for my clothes and imagining a body like nicole richie's as i jogged around the track.

justin left for boot camp, i went into a depression again. i was working out and that should have been helping, but i forgot one key to happiness: my walk with christ. i was not working on that at all. i was too distracted, with justin gone, raising a baby alone, and trying to be something i wasn't made to be.

well fast forward a year to 2010. we're living in california! on our own at last! i was so excited. but it was harder than i imagined. i had never lived away from my family and was so homesick. change is hard for me, i really struggled at first. but eventually i got into a groove, joined a bible study, started going to church more regularly, and took a look at myself. during the move and the few months prior, i had almost stopped working out because of business. now i lived in a place that was perfect for runners, and i had been given a jogging stroller (hallelujah, such a blessing!). and so my love for running was born.

running is my soul mate workout. it is my obsession i guess you could say. my passion. i love to run, i love the way it makes me feel. i even love the pain after a good, long run.

i now see my body as a temple, a gift from god. if i don't take care of my temple, my precious gift of health, then i see it as disrespectful, irresponsible, and sort of selfish. don't my kids deserve a mom who can run around and chase and dance and be around for a long time? i want to be here for a long time, i want to enjoy my children, and their children, and maybe even their children. i know that my days are numbered and death is a certain thing, but shouldn't i use the time i have here to be the best that i can be? shouldn't i take care of myself so that i can live life to the fullest, and even help others to do the same? won't i be able to do so much more for the lord if i am healthy and able to go where he wants me to go? my body is an amazing thing. my body has carried two healthy, precious babies. my body is about to run a marathon. my body can run, dance, carry 20 bags of groceries inside at one time, hug, carry, play. my body is also a gift to my husband. let's face it, ladies, our husbands are visual creatures. i want my husband to love the way that i look. that's part of my calling as a wife i think.

and so, there you have it. i am by no means an expert in anything, but rather a student of it all. i am constantly learning more about what to eat, which workouts will benefit me, etc. etc. i enjoy it. i want to help other people enjoy it, too. your body is a gift from god, you are so blessed if you're able to walk around right now. please, i beg of you, be more conscious of what you are doing to yourself! please take care of what god has given you; be a good steward; be the best version of yourself that you can be;  inspire others to be better versions of themselves! it's never too late to start!

 above is me at my smallest. don't my arms look skinny? and i think i don't look very happy, either =/

and this is me now! HAPPY and HEALTHY, and planning to stay that way!! :)

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