I used to scroll through Instagram and roll my eyes at all of the #fitspo and #motivationmonday posts I saw. I didn't get why these people were so obsessed with being fit and skinny.
Then, one day I thought back on my health history. I played competitive soccer growing up and went on to play collegiate soccer. I remember hating my hips and “muffin top” in high school.
I ate Wendy's chicken nuggets before games. I did two-a-day training. I battled anorexia in college. I have suffered from anxiety and depression for as long as I could remember. And I've never been able to stick to a healthy diet and workout plan.
That's when I decided to make a change. Instead of jealously looking at healthy individuals, I decided to become one.
Here's the secret to being healthy: There is no set game plan; it is what you make it. Once I realized this, I realized there is so much more to healthy living than being skinny.
I get to invest in some pretty awesome workout gear.
I have always been a bona fide tomboy, so there is nothing better to me than a fresh pair of tennis shoes or workout clothes. Nowadays, most stores and websites have dedicated a whole section to workout and leisure apparel.
I strongly believe in the mantra, “Look good. Feel good. Perform good.”
And hey, if you need a little push to get on the workout bandwagon, maybe splurging on some cute apparel will give you some inspiration.
My anxiety and depression has decreased.
One of the biggest reasons I work out in the first place is because it really helps alleviate the symptoms of my anxiety. After a workout, I usually feel like the “fog” clears and I'm able to take the day on stronger and lighter.
Every day I wake up and feel a little bit better, I want to keep going that much more. Take away the weight loss, muscles and more; being (mostly) anxiety-free is the best result of all.
A lot of people underestimate the importance of mental health and the effect it has on your daily performance and mood – so remember to be kind to yourself.
My boyfriend is a big part of my journey.
There is nothing better than having the person you love cheer you on in your fitness journey. My boyfriend is a gym rat himself, and it's an added bonus that he is so knowledgeable. He often sends me workouts and diet tips to help me along the way.
It doesn't hurt that it makes me feel sexier and more confident, which really benefits the both of us.
Finding new recipes and workouts is actually really fun.
Before I worked on being healthier, I could count the total number of times I've cooked on two hands. I was the girl who ate chips and salsa for a meal, and ordered pizza at least twice a week. I have always worked out hard, so it wasn't always a huge issue, but finding new ways to fuel my body has been really rewarding.
I now proudly follow a ton of fitness and food Instagram accounts to find inspiration. I do recommend following people who have a “realistic” approach to a healthy lifestyle.
I am all for people doing whatever makes them feel good, but just remember everything you see on social media isn't always “real,” including their diets.
I have found a fire in me that no one can take away from me.
No one can make you want to workout. No one can make you feel motivated. It is all up to you. And it is the most empowering thing to know that you are in total control of your body and your life.
I have overcome a lot of fears in the past few weeks, and while it has been scary, I have never felt this strong and motivated.
Splurges taste better than ever.
I will never ever ever stop eating the things I love. While I am eating less of the bad stuff, and more of the good, life would seriously stop if I gave up pizza or donuts.
I need rest days. I need pizza every once in a while. The difference now is that I really listen to what my body needs.
I am overcoming my demons on a daily basis.
I struggled with an eating disorder in college and it really scarred me for a while.
I took food and exercise, and created a very toxic relationship with it. I have to decide every day that I will treat my body and mind with respect and kindness. Motivation is all between the ears, and not within your workouts. Be kind to yourself, and the results will follow.