It’s all about making the decision to get started. This week marks my year anniversary of getting serious about my fitness and health. One year ago this week, June 9, 2017, just a week shy of my 34th birthday, I took a good long hard look at my life and my body. I needed a change. I needed a change for my family. I needed a change for my health. I needed a change for my mentality. I needed a change for my future. I needed a change for myself. I reiterate, I needed a change. My diet had become whatever was fastest and easiest and my mental health was deteriorating. Every single time I looked in the mirror, I saw a person that was unhappy, unhealthy, and unstable when it came to health, physical and mental.
I’d randomly purchase a home workout DVD while at Target (who doesn’t buy more than they need when at Target!), do it for consistently for about 2-3 weeks and then “get busy” with life and not make time for it. Or I’d randomly try to find a quick fix slimming supplement in the pharmacy section, try that for 2-3 weeks, and when I didn’t see immediate results, I’d give up on that too. My diet was even worse. I’d decide I was going to give up carbs for a while, but that didn’t last. Then I’d basically eat as little as possible which totally depleted my energy and I was hungry all the time. And then I just stopped caring and ate whatever I wanted thinking that no matter what I did, there was no changing. Little did I know, there was.
After speaking with a many of my co-workers and they’re constant comments of, “You’re getting way too skinny!” (that was the eating-as-little-as-possible phase) or the unnecessary inappropriate, “You’re looking muy chula (My dad’s Spanish translation term of endearment for heavier), I was tired of it. One day, like a sign from the heavens, a membership coupon appeared in all of the teachers’ mailboxes. It was a flyer from a nearby gym with a sign-up and training special. I took it as a sign. In that moment, I hit rock bottom and my determination soared simultaneously. After going home and speaking with my husband, I said, “I’m doing it…I’m going to stick it out.” And he fully supported me. Family support is key to helping someone stay motivated and determined!
That weekend I marched right into my local Aspen Athletic Club, walked right to the membership desk and said, “I’m going to make this really easy for you. You don’t have to sell me on anything. I want a monthly membership that includes access to cardio, weights, and classes. I want to try to free training sessions. Where do I sign?” And just like that, it happened, and my life changed for the better. My first trial training session started with an intake process, weight, measurements and whatnot. I wasn’t extremely heavy because of my yo-yo eating and working out, but I was fat if that makes any sense. While my weight was low, my body fat percentage was extremely high, and my muscle percentage was extremely low, definitely not a healthy combination.
I sat down with the trainer and we discussed the importance of strength training and how gaining muscle meant burning fat. We also talked about a balanced diet and percentages of macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fats). She helped me download an app (I chose My Net Diary, but I know there are other great ones out there) and was vigilant about what and how much went into my body. Did it take time? Absolutely, but it was worth it. I began doing strength training twice a week with a trainer and cardio 3 times a week, varying between the treadmill, elliptical, bike and rower. If I had time on Saturdays, I went in. Once you start seeing results, it becomes an addiction.
It got to the point where it was harder to skip a workout than to get motivated to get one in. I will say that while the expense of a trainer can more than a regular membership, it definitely holds you more accountable and helps you with form and technique to avoid injury. Sessions are set up and if you don’t keep them or are a no-show, you still get docked a session that has been paid for. Plus, you get to a point where you develop a special relationship with your trainer and you don’t want to let them down. I was told what to do and pushed myself to do it. I don’t like failure so if I was told 10 reps, I did 10 reps. If I was told to do 6 miles on the bike on the hill setting, I did 6 miles. Some of it might just be my mild OCD, but if I left without completing the task, the guilt hung over me like leaving something undone. Gym-guilt is real, guys!
Concentrating on my macronutrients, particularly my protein intake amount and timing, was what originally led me to Performance Inspired. I saw the PI Ripped Whey at my local HyVee and was immediately drawn to the thermogenic element. I mean, why not get your protein AND continue the burn? It seemed like a no-brainer. After starting with this product, others became more enticing to me. I loved the natural aspect of Performance Inspired so when deciding to start taking a multivitamin, of course I chose a brand I already had trust in. Then came the exciting world of smoothies and my natural choice was to add Strawberries and Cream Performance Whey to my berry smoothie. Heavier lifting led to BCAA. Research led to Turmeric Curcumin. Stomach ease and needing protein before bed led to Isolate Whey. Healthy snack options led to the yummy bars. Performance Inspired literally had everything my body needed to be healthy. I honestly feel that Performance Inspired products had just as much of an affect on my overall health and well-being as diet and exercise did.
So now, at my one-year anniversary, I look back and couldn’t be more thankful for taking that first step. It was a big step and waking up at 4:30 a.m. to make my 5:00 a.m. workout was a struggle at first, but it’s all worth it. Now, just a week shy of my 35th birthday, I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in. Growing up, I was never an athlete. I wasn’t very good at sports. I was never a member of a high school team (I was more of an FFA and 4-H kind of country girl), but just because you’re not a quote unquote “athlete” doesn’t mean you can’t be fit and healthy. After all, fitness is not about being better than someone else…it’s about being better than you used to be.