One of the most important journeys anyone can undertake is the fitness journey. It is a journey without end, and a journey that has an effect on all the parts of your life. It can be a journey with many twists and turns, stops and starts, and more than a few bumps along the way. I thought I would share mine with you.
I’ve always been a big girl. I was a pretty skinny kid, but family history, genetics and not learning how to eat healthier contributed to my size as I struck out on my own. However, I’ve always been active. You probably wouldn’t guess it by looking at me, but there it is. I started working out way back in junior high school when a new gym opened in my neighborhood. I would hop on my mo-ped and go work through the Nautilus machines (do they still have those?) I have always loved to dance, so hitting the clubs was a great exercise for me as well. I would take aerobics, yoga, fitness dance classes, had work-out videos that I actually put to good use and not as a coaster. So, working out has never been my problem.
Eating healthy has always been an issue for me. My thoughts used to be, “Just eat less”. Well, not necessarily. Because I can be strict and eat hardly any calories in a day. I’m tough that way, but it doesn’t always result in weight loss or loss of inches. Stress eating can also be a problem with me. I’m a picky eater, so add that into the mix and it makes healthy eating a problem. I joined all the diet programs at some point in time. I followed them with religious fervor. I would see success and then the results would stop. Just stop. I went to the doctor and told him all the things I just told you. He would refer me to a nutritionist. Same thing, results for a while and then nothing. So, I can eat less and follow diet rules, but why wasn’t I seeing results?
I will give myself this, I never stopped trying. Over the last two years, a couple things happened. One, I looked in the mirror one day and said, “OK, this is what I am going to look like as an adult human.” Then I said, “And I’m super OK with it as long as I’m healthy enough to be an old lady and drive my kid crazy.” Then a friend told me about NerdStrong Gym (then known as Nrdfit).
I went into NerdStrong with the usual goals, “Lose Weight”. That is what I was always taught. It is about being thin. Thin is better. Thin is beautiful. Thin is healthy. Right? Well, not necessarily. I learned that increasing my strength and mobility are the keys to health. If you get better at those two things, then the fat will burn and the muscles will build. The weight, well, it might change and it might stay about the same; but your body, your engine, will run better and you will achieve the real success, which is health. When you are searching for a gym to call your own, please take into account the coaching you receive. I’m super lucky to have coaches that are still on their own fitness journeys and encourage and push when needed, but always with safety as a first priority. You might have to look for a while to find a good fit for you, but keep looking.
Here are some photos of my progress over the last couple of years:
The other thing I learned at NerdStrong is to go to FitFax, or a program like it, to get a real picture of your overall health. FitFax combines solid nutritional advice to compliment your workouts. Their advice to me as to cut sugar way down and build protein up. Just taking my sugar down to under 40 g a day made me feel so much better, I burned fat and built muscle. My weight stayed about the same, but I took up way less space. Now, that was the advice I got for my body and my body alone from professionals, coaches, nutritionists and doctors, so don’t you go doing this without checking with a doctor first! What’s good for me may not be good for your body. Got it? OK.
One bonus benefit from NerdStrong Gym is the community spirit of the place. There are game nights at the gym, RPGs at the gym, there is a facebook group that plans outings together to museums, hiking, theme parks, etc. That added benefit helps keep me on track as well. My fellow nerds help me along the way as we workout and reach new goals in our fitness journeys. They are there with a high-five when you accomplish something major and a hand-up when you are struggling.
All of these positive results had an effect on the rest of my life. I began to look in the mirror and like what I saw. Not because I was a size smaller, but because I was taking an active role in my health. I am the boss of me as it turns out! I also started really challenging myself by taking and posting selfies on days when I felt particularly awesome. I don’t allow negative talk in front of the mirror anymore.
You can also get your friends and family in on your journey. Let them know your goal is to feel better physically and mentally. Not that you want to lose weight or fit a certain jeans size. Ask them to provide positive feedback to ease you along those bumps in the road. Also, feel free to comment to us here at RAHNOV, so we can applaud your progress as well. We love selfies!
Your own journey should start with a visit to your doctor no matter what you decide to do as a first step to better health. Keep us posted on your progress!
Happy and safe travels!
Love, Kim and Scout