Fitness Journey- Back to Where I Started

Fitness Journey | Health | Wellness | Motivation

I decided to start getting a little more personal here on Caitlin Cosmetologist and talk about my fitness journey.  I think the best thing is to just dive right in.

Fitness Journey Background

After graduating from college in 2011, I took a full-time job traveling.  I basically lived out of a suitcase for 10 months.  When I was done with that job I moved back home to start my next adventure-cosmetology school.  When I got home, I soon realized my inconsistent sleeping and eating habits and being in a plane so much had left me feeling out of shape and I don’t know how to describe it, but gross.  I also had gained weight and didn’t fit well in my clothes anymore.

I joined a gym and dedicated myself to getting in shape.  Along with working out regularly, I paid attention to what I ate, and when I went to bed. I didn’t start this lifestyle change just because I thought I was “fat.”  In fact, I wasn’t. But, I did know that I felt sluggish and uncomfortable in my own skin.  Routine was good for me and my body started to feel good again, internally too.

Around this time I realized how important my overall health in my 20’s could be for my future. This helped fuel my fire.  I got a great routine down- I was at the gym every (weekday) morning, went to school for 8 hours, and then (most nights) went to work.  Packing my snacks and lunches instead of going out to eat helped. Drinking as much water as I could did, too. I was really proud of myself as I started to see changes.  It took a while at first but once it was noticeable, I felt great.

Even after I graduated from cosmetology school, I stuck with my workouts and trying to drink a lot of water.  I dabbled with the protein powders and bars as well.  But when it came down to it, consistent physical activity, water, and well-balanced meals were the best for me.

I was on track with my fitness routine for about 3 years.

Then I started waitressing at a bar.  The hours were late, the food was fatty, and the soda and High Fructose Corn Syrup filled drinks were flowing. I went through a lot of personal stuff during this time and sadly, it affected my workouts and my routine started to go away.  I had a few different medical issues, nothing severe but enough that I didn’t feel well enough to go work out.  Just one missed workout here, led to several missed workouts.

One day I realized I didn’t fit into one of my favorite pairs of pants.  I thought it was really weird.  I kept noticing after that.  So I weighed myself. And boy, was I shocked.  I was 15 pounds heavier than I usually was. It seemed like it happened quickly so I went to my doctor. But, I was wrong, it happened gradually over about 6 months.  I was really upset with myself.  How could I let years of work just go away?  I am back to where I started in 2012.  I gained the weight back, I don’t fit into my clothes well and my body doesn’t feel good.  My parents said they wouldn’t have noticed, that I don’t look overweight.  And they’re right.  I’m not overweight. But, I don’t feel good.  And isn’t that the biggest part of glam?  Feeling good about yourself.

I remember Valentine’s Day last year, I wore a cute dress I had only worn 1 time before.  It looked great, and I felt great.  It was even better because my relationship had just ended days before and doesn’t it feel good to be happy post-break-up?  I know that this Valentine’s Day I will be paler, my hair is growing out awkwardly and I am heavier and out of shape.  It kills me. And it upsets me.

BUT, I can and will get back to that feeling.

It’s About Health

Like I said before, it isn’t about being “fat” or “skinny”.  It’s about HEALTH.  And feeling good in your own skin. That’s what it’s always been for me.  It’s something I have control of in my life.  I think when I realized I had lost control of that, especially during a time of turmoil in my life, that’s what broke my own heart.

So, for a few months now, I have been hard on myself but I have not been able to get back in the swing of a fitness routine. Of course, it’s hard during the holidays and the cold months.  But I am confident that I will get there.  I actually gave myself a pep talk earlier and convinced myself to share this story.  I hope that you, or someone else, can understand where I am coming from.  That you can realize that it’s not about being skinny, it’s about being as healthy while I’m young.  And most importantly, if you’re in a place like me where you have to start over, or you’re just now starting- you can do it!

How To Start/Get Back on Track With Your Fitness Journey

When my frustrated I remind myself of these things and it really does help:

Keep trying – or try something new.  Switching gyms and trying new exercises has helped me gain motivation

Set goals – it can be something small like 30 mins on the scary StairMaster or extra reps with a heavier weight.  Anything that will keep you motivated.

Celebrate the small wins – when I have a really good workout I tell someone.  If I drink a lot of water I praise myself.  It sounds silly but building myself up really helps

Forgive yourself – if you miss a workout or don’t hit a goal, don’t beat yourself up.  Just keep at it.

Be patient – this is SO hard for me.  I’m not seeing results yet and I start to get hard on myself.  Remember, it’s a fitness journey, it will happen, but it takes time.  Stay consistent.

Stay positive – as I said, celebrate when you can.  And think about where you will be when your hard work pays off. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll reach your goal!

Give yourself some wiggle room – if you need a day to rest, take it. Have a big craving? It’s ok to find a way to get your fix. If you’re too strict it can be hard to stick with it.

Don’t give up – stick with it! If you get off track for a few weeks, or binge eat for a few days, that’s ok.  Think about the things I said before and keep on keeping on. You will feel so good when you get to your goal.  Trust me 🙂

Now that I’ve shared my story I have to work hard and reach my goals.  You’ll know if I’ve slacked off, haha.

Wishing you luck with whatever your goals are this year-fitness journey or otherwise.


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