Updated: Aug 28, 2018
I have always walked the line of fitness and health. Always attempting to keep fitness in my routines even when I haven't been in the peak of health (ya know your 20's full of late night cocktails and 2 am pizza). I certainly am not thin, but I have always been strong, I always had drive, would push myself and had a great level of endurance. Like any girl, I've had bouts of wanting to lose weight, I've always wanted to be more toned. But in general I never desired to be "skinny," I've been happy with my size 12 frame. At my thinnest I was a size 8/10, and never have thought I needed to be a size 4. Not to sound conceded but I have never had a confidence issue, I have always thought of myself as a beautiful person.
Workouts in my 20's
In my 20's I would excersise pretty routinely. But even when I wasn't working out regularly for a few months or a few weeks, I could jump right back in full force: weights, running, challenging workouts. I would dabble in following fitness social media accounts, blogs, etc. reading how women would commit to health and fitness, starting with small steps. And although I am not proud of it, I would judge and say, well if you're just walking everyday, what's the point. Because I never had difficulties in jumping right back in to a tough workout routine after breaks with full commitment. Being my size 12 I still felt very strong and was never afraid to dawn a bikini or short shorts. I felt toned and muscular, and fit.
Workouts in my 30's
Then I turned 30! Shortly after turning 30, I had to have my gallbladder removed. And when I say shortly after, we are literally talking the day after, so no large 30th birthday celebrations for me (40 is going to have to make up for it). I had brief digestive issues, for a few months before being diagnosed with a failing gallbladder, and it was decided to remove my gallbladder that it was functioning at just 3%. A few weeks after my surgery, I went right back to my workouts, I was preparing to get married a few months later and of course wanted to get in shape for my big day. So I went back into my workouts, running and heavy weights.
I was happy with my progress and felt beautiful and comfortable in my dress.
Just months after my wedding, purchasing a new home, and beginning a new job I was traveling back from a work trip and literally felt a rip in my abdomen. I came home and examined myself realizing I had a large protruding "thing" on my stomach. After visiting the doctor I had been a hernia. Which I thought was not a big deal and one year almost to the day from my gallbladder surgery (and just a few days after my 31st birthday) I underwent a second surgery to fix the hernia. Surgery revealed that I had extensive damage in my abdomen wall from the original gallbladder removal. It was pretty clear that I had done too much too soon and had caused significant damage to my muscles and abdomen resulting in five incisions to place mesh in my abdomen wall from torn sutures. After this I realized I can't jump in and out of fitness full throttle. I eased back into fitness routines, taking almost a year to feel confident in my much less aggressive workouts. And then life happened...
Everyone has their own version of it, whether it's having a child, a new job, a move. Mine was a sick parent. My father was diagnosed with cancer and was beginning an extremely aggressive cancer treatment plan, I had been given an additional job duty at work, and my time was just pressed daily. I decided I first and foremost needed to be there as a caretaker for my father. He is such an important part of my life and I had to be there for him like he has been there for me through everything! Simultaneously in my career, as with most companies, we were consolidating and I found myself with literally double the workload. I went from directly overseeing marketing for one property to two. Workouts began to dwindle to the point they were non existent.
This is all coming up on just one year ago; and since then I have decided to take on writing this blog, started my own part time consulting business, and am adjusting to the not so large family in my future; so that time I was pressed for, is almost non existent. I wake up tired and often late almost everyday, and I have lost my motivation for fitness all together. Where I used to splurge on the weekends with a bit too much wine, or a slice of pizza here and there, I have found myself buying ice cream cakes weekly and drinking soda on the reg. I have definitely been struggling with emotionally eating, and am on a spiral to becoming extremely overweight. As part of the conversations with my doctor on my inability to become pregnant, among my biological challenges, my doctor also hit me with the truth that I have become obese and would need to lose 30 lbs or more to even try to undertake the surgeries if I were to try and conceive.
I look at photos of my best friend's wedding and I don't recognize myself. My arms are not toned, my frame is much larger, I am reaching for size 16 jeans and XXL tops, bikinis are out of the question. I am not happy with the chubby turkey neck under my chin. I can't run, my knees hurt, I can't wear high heels for long periods of time. I am basically not happy.
I started to think back on my judgy- 20 something self, think about the stories I used to scoff at, and I have begun to follow new inspiring accounts of women like me on their fitness journeys. I started to really contemplate on why I was more successful at a younger age, and I realized I always had a friend to workout with. Someone else to keep me committed, and accountable. Someone to drive me or someone I could in turn help motivate when we weren't feeling it everyday. My friends lived close to me and we had time before marriage, and homes of our own and careers. But I always had someone... and now we are "grown ups," my friends don't live close, or we have careers that don't enable that kind of time together. So I decided sharing is my accountablity. Starting this blog and photographing myself has really shed light on how unhappy I am with myself right now, so why not use that same thing to help me stay motivated and accountable! I am looking forward to my new recommitment, again... and I think this is going to be a forever journey this time!
~ No matter our path in life, dress fabulous and let's practice some social graces.