Everyone’s health and fitness journey is unique to them. It’s your journey and no one else’s. Everyone has different genetics, different mindsets and different priorities.
POST COLLEGE BODY CHANGES
My health and fitness journey started in 2003. Right about the time I graduated from College and my feet hit the San Diego soil. My body started changing and I started gaining weight. I no longer could eat whatever I wanted and still stay slim and trim. I knew I had to make a change.
I joined 24Hr Fitness shortly after moving to San Diego. In 2004 I renewed my membership and with it came 5 personal training sessions. I started counting calories. I started obsessing. I lost the post college weight but I also didn’t know how to adjust my intake accordingly and kept fluctuating. I was still drinking like I used to in College and eating less to accommodate for those calories. (please note, nothing good comes of this!)
I would stress myself out going on business trips or any sort of travel. Was there a gym? What was I going to eat? How much weight would I gain? Would I lose all my muscle? Any sort of work meeting or travel would literally throw me into a tizzy. I would try to eat bars during the day to keep me full and then go nuts at the company paid dinner. I had the “might as well” mentality. (I might as well keep eating because I already screwed up!)
When I would get back from these work trips or vacations I would then feel guilty and “punish myself” for everything I had consumed. I would try to eat as little as possible or add extra workouts to make up for my transgressions. This went on for years.
Then in 2009 I was hit by a car while riding my bike and I couldn’t do anything. I broke my jaw and my elbow so I couldn’t eat, drink or workout. Eventually, I started healing, made it back to the gym and started my fitness journey from scratch. 2009 is also the year that I fell in love. My drinking habits started changing little by little. I was becoming a little more mature and didn’t frequent the local bar from 12- 7pm every Saturday. I started drinking less and eating a bit healthier. I was growing mentally but would still go to the gym everyday and stress if I was going to have to miss a day.
Flash forward to 2015 and I joined Performance 360 gym. My workouts were shorter but more intense. I would still go almost everyday, unless I was too sore to move. I still obsessed over missing the gym but I was also evolving mentally and learning new things. A lot of gym members were following the RP diet and my gym taught us the basics. I learned that yes, the basic weight loss formula is calories in vs. calories out but more importantly, the quality of those calories count. Instead of counting calories, count the fat, protein and carbs you intake. Track the timing and use those healthy fats, carbs and protein to fuel your body properly during specific times of the day. That being said, I couldn’t let go of calorie counting quite yet, but I started implementing the RP foods into my daily diet. Foods like sweet potatoes, avocados, olive oil, quinoa, lean meats and veggies. A lot of foods that I was previously afraid of because of the high calorie content were slowly becoming my best friends!
2 MONTH GYM HIATUS
Then in 2016 I was out of the gym for 2 months because of my scoliosis ridden body. This ended up being a blessing in disguise. It killed me being out of the gym but I quickly realized that I wasn’t going to die if I missed a class. I learned, that if I ate healthy even 80% of the time that I could mostly maintain my current body status. I noticed that overtime I had stopped using MyFitnessPal to track every morsel I consumed and was still healthy and fit. I learned that I no longer had to punish myself for indulging, that I shouldn’t beat myself up, but instead, get back on track and just make better decisions next time.
FIRST POWER LIFTING MEET & MACROS
In 2017 I signed up for my first power lifting meet. With a lot of hesitation, I bought the official RP template and was going to start counting macros and fuel my body properly for the competition. I am not going to lie, I did NOT want to do this. I had finally given up counting calories and I did not want another thing to count. I did not want to become obsessive again. I had been eating the RP way since 2015, however I had never implemented the timing and planning. Sure enough, I began obsessing every night about what I was going to eat the next day and when. I wanted to quit the template many times but I stuck with it for the few months leading up to my competition and saw some serious gains in both my body structure and my lifts. After 3 years, the RP foods are firmly rooted in my diet, however I am not currently following the template. It is an amazing program that teaches you how to eat healthy foods and get fit, but right now I am happy just using all the knowledge I have gained and giving myself a mental break.
My journey continues. I continue to evolve, indulge and experience weight/muscle fluctuations. I continue to grow both mentally and physically and will continue to do so until my time is up. No one is perfect and it’s all about the progress you make. I am committed to not punishing myself, not feeling guilty and will simply make better choices today, than I did yesterday.
Remember, it’s your journey and your life. You have to want it for yourself. Protect the only vessel you have in this world. Don’t beat yourself up when you fall off the wagon. Just keep trucking and make better decisions the next time. Health is wealth!