In high school I was a toned, slender dancer. Any type of dance, you name it, I probably took it. That ignorance of "I can eat whatever I want and be fine" was exactly how I lived my life. Graduation came, I had stopped dancing, decided to put off college, and found a job that soon started to feel like an endless tunnel. I was miserable, irritable constantly, and all of sudden I'd realized I weighed 160 lbs. How did this happen?! It certainly did not happen overnight, but clearly life was taking it's toll on me. Then in April 2010 my boyfriend of 7 years proposed to me. Of course most new fiancée's first thoughts are, "I have to call mom!" and "I have to get in shape!". Well my job continued to take it's toll on me and it wasn't until November 2010 that I took any action.
A Living Social deal popped up one day for a bootcamp class while I was sitting with my fiancé about to indulge in greasy, cheap breakfast food at some ungodly hour of the night. I had quit my job at this point and felt way less stressed out, but still hated myself for the way I let go of my body after high school. A year later, I'm proud to say, I am still taking that same bootcamp class. Somewhere along the way I found Tone It Up as well, and that's where it all came together. I don't buy into gimmicky products (umm, Shake Weight anyone?) and I honestly can't believe I had finally found the answer to my prayers.
At first the eating healthy part was difficult for me. I love healthy foods, but I had been stuck on a three times a day schedule of eating for so long and I was a terrible late night binge eater. The binging was the hardest part for me to overcome and there are still some nights I battle with myself over it. I take it day by day and remind myself that I CAN do this. Now I have come to love searching for healthier versions of my favorite foods (can we say Pasta?!) and experimenting in the kitchen.
Luckily my husband has been so supportive of my working out and eating healthy. He's even gone through the plan for me to help plan dinners! My parents it's hard for still I think when I constantly refuse pizza or fast food. They're supportive, but I know sometimes they just don't get it. That's why I am so thankful for the patience my hubby has. He's put up with the intense crying when I got upset trying clothes on, the 15 minute stop in the peanut butter aisle searching for the perfect one, and the joy when I realized I could feel my abs forming. I do constantly get the "girl you don't need to lose weight" or "you look fine" lines from people, but it's not completely about that. This is about being happy and feeling confident in my skin.
Today I am happy. I am learning to love every inch of my body during this transformation into the best version I can possibly be of myself. Now I am human and I have bad days where I want a good pizza and ice cream. The trick I have found is you just can't beat yourself up for a day. It happens. Tomorrow is a new day and we can start anew. I haven't reached my ultimate goal for my body yet, but I can honestly say I am more than halfway there. My goals of being happy and confident though? Absolutely! I feel better now that I eat better. I'm not a girl that lives by the number on the scale, but even today when I weighed myself and saw 136 staring back at me I had to do a little dance. I haven't seen that number in years! It just proves with hard work and faith in yourself you can see results. I even did a boudoir shoot as a wedding gift for my husband. If you had asked me a year ago if I would do something like that I would have told you that you're out of my mind and I don't have the body for something like that.
I just got married this past September and to be able to feel beautiful in my dress was something that I just can't describe in words. Seeing pictures from that day and pictures from a few years ago keeps me motivated to continue this journey. I have to stay healthy. For myself, my husband, my furkids, and maybe even my own little human children one day. If I'm having a rough day, all I have to do is check in with my beautiful TIU team on Twitter and I am so inspired to keep myself in check. Without them, a lot of this wouldn't be possible.
I've never thought of myself as an inspiration. It just sounds silly to think of myself as that, but when even one girl says that to me I know that I cannot let them down. Talk about some motivation right there! A boudoir shoot, my first two 5Ks ever, and a bikini I refused to wear before. All in just this year. I can't wait to see what 2012 has in store. :)
If you exercise and eat healthy on a daily basis, you'll eventually see results (no matter how small or how large). But in the end it's what's underneath the hood that truly matters; as Elizabeth firmly stated, "This is about being happy and feeling confident in my skin".
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