Why did I start to sweat?!

Something that even those who are close to me don’t understand is my dedication (that’s what I am going to call it) to the gym.  To understand I think we have to travel back in time about 7 years to when I turned 25 (I turned 32 a little over a week ago). 25 was my worst birthday ever. No one knew that at the time. I hide it well that I was depressed about a lot of things but mostly about how I felt about my appearance.  I was the heaviest I had ever been in my life and knew I was living a life I hadn’t been dreaming about as a kid. It wasn’t a bad life by any means but not the life I had envisioned for myself.

Not long after I knew it was time to start making changes.  I did a few things to get me started. The main kicker was when I read The Secret and I started to make my vision boards.  I started to put my visions into action and kept my mind on the good, positive things I could control.  Things started to happen. I bought a condo I had been eyeing but didn’t think was possible. The best thing I did though was health wise – I joined a coworker on trying out that little diet that counts points, and I started my fitness commitment that lives with me stronger than ever to this day.

During the course of my first bout with that diet, I lost 77 lbs. I was running everyday – made it up to 9 miles at one point – doing yoga, fitness classes, etc. The diet had ingrained in me that if I wanted to eat more I needed to workout. I learned I was happy having exercise and goals to work towards and looked forward to my workouts in the morning or after work.

However, I burned out on the diet quickly and could not maintain on the amount of food it was recommending in the style it was recommending (this was before it switched to the now more protein and veggie/fruit based diet it is today- which still doesn’t quite work for me but we will get to that in the future). I was able to maintain 40 -50 lbs lost over the next 5 -6 years depending on the diet I was following and if I had an event coming up.  Overall I learned some good healthy choices and started my obsession with working out and making it a daily habit.

The way I have for the most part maintained my weight for so long  was by being consistent with my exercise.  I learned from Chalene Johnson, the creator of Turbo Jam, Turbo Fire, Chalene Extreme, and PiYo, that you have to make fitness a meeting with yourself that you cannot miss everyday.  Even on your rest days, you can be active.  Once you get in that mentality, it really does become a major part of your life.  It is very rare now that I miss a work out, whether it is hopping on an elliptical in Vegas or Spinning at my favorite studio (also to come in another post in the future) in NYC, walking home from the grocery store 10 blocks verses taking the bus, etc…I make being active a part of my life.  Its so ingrained now that if I don’t have that form of outlet in my life, I get a little cranky even because it is a huge stress reliever I didn’t know I needed!

So fast forward to the last 6-8 months. I really decided turned up my fitness nutrition and have been seeing the best results.  I have worked with trainers and go to new and different classes and nutritionist (also going to be another future post). I have friends that I see some weeks only to work out with and have a quick chat on our way to the subway. We keep each other motivated and want each other to live the best healthy life that we can.  Anyway I can, I incorporate fitness into daily gatherings and routines and I have found that others are usually game for this as well since we are all fighting the never ending battle of the bulge that all the tv ads so rightfully tell us about. However, at the end of the day, I sweat for me.

I only have this one life and I want to live a long and great one.  I take care of myself for me. I work out to sleep well at night. I workout to release stress. I workout to socialize and feel empowered. I workout to build muscle and look good for an up coming trip.  All of these reasons however, are for me and me alone. You need to workout for yourself. No one else. Be strong for you. Care enough for you. And believe that you can because then, watch out, you will.

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