While I was going through tech school, I gained weight. I was debating whether to write this post or not because I didn't gain a "significant" amount of weight compared to other folks. The weight that I have now is some folks' goal weight. It's not the numbers to me, it's how I could feel myself changing and I didn't like the way I looked. Admittedly it hasn't happened to me often in the past, maybe a few pounds here and there in the summer, but when I got to my new base it became very apparent to me. Before our move here, I got rid of a ton of dresses. They held a lot of memories for me, but kind of felt out place not being in a college scene and I also didn't feel 100% comfortable in them. I lost weight in college, not a significant amount, and I usually maintained it because I was walking all the time and working out for ROTC. Thinking on it now, I was constantly stressed in college and running to back-to-back appointments. I was always on the move and eating as I ran. Probably not the best, or healthiest, way to go about things but I know many college students do that.
Unlike college, tech school was very stationary. I did hours and hours of studying, was constantly stressed, and did so sitting most of the time. By the time I was done studying, it would be 8 or 9 at night and then time to eat dinner. I would snack or grab something quick throughout the day, not the best things. If I was exhausted, I made something that was simple and easy. For the first few months, I was worked out every single day and made use of the workout facilities. As the material I was studying became more difficult, I spent less time in the gym. This developed into a bad habit, and one that I had never developed in the past.
I would get into arguments with my husband about it. I felt overwhelmed by studying, moving, and balancing the new pressures of this job and aspects of being an adult. When we moved, Ryan would encourage me to go the gym with him. I would go, run, lift on the machines, etc. It was good and I started to feel better but I would get bored. I invested in Jillian Michaels's 30 day workout. I did it for a couple of weeks, but it started to get redundant.
Amidst all of this, I was frustrated at first because looking at myself in the mirror, I didn't like what I was seeing. I went from this:
To taking pictures after weekly workouts to see my progress:
I swam competitively for ten years. This caused me to get a very muscular set of shoulders and back. My specialty stroke was breaststroke, so I usually have very muscular legs as well. Seeing that back chub/love handle combo was really devastating on my spirit. I've been athletic for so long, that I've never had to worry about it. I feel like my metabolism has gone on vacation and set up a coconut carving stand.
So when my metabolism sent me a postcard of my youth, I decided I needed to get more proactive about this. My grocery lists are filled with healthier items and as always, everything within reasonable portions. Whenever I head to our fridge or pantry, I can find healthy alternatives and I'm always looking for other healthy snacks or things I can make (feel free to leave suggestions). I've been drinking a protein/meal replacement program from GNC with almond milk in the mornings to give my metabolism a kick start. I also try to head to the gym everyday after work and play games like wallyball and basketball with my friends. I've even been going to Zumba two to three times a week and I love it! I've missed dancing so much and it's a fun way to really work up a sweat without feeling like it's a "typical" workout.
My friend Lindsey also recommended a running app called Zombies, Run! It's pretty sweet. The whole premise is that you're part of a township in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. By running, you're able to collect valuable items like medical kits and radios to help accomplish the mission. It taps into your already existing playlists. For my first run, it played songs by ZZ Ward and I've got to say, she would be an awesome artist to have on a zombie-themed-survival movie soundtrack...just sayin' ;)
My mom would always say that one day my metabolism would just s l o w down but of course, you never believe your mom until it actually happens. I feel better about how I look and I am finally get back into my regular fitness routine. I want to try more with weight lifting and incorporating green shakes (kale) into my diet. My goal is to do heavy toning. I want legs like those on Dancing with the Stars. Have you seen it? The show has become my new obsession since The Bachelor has finished up and hunky Sean Lowe is making an appearance.
If you have any recommendations on workouts, recipes, or kale drinks, definitely comment below. I would love to hear them! :)
Thanks for reading and here's to a more fit lifestyle!