When I posted my before and after picture on Facebook, I got a lot questions from friends. “How did you do it?” and “What’s your secret?” were asked a lot. Although my health and fitness journey has just begun in June of 2014, I’ve been working very hard since then making it a priority in my daily life. As flattering as those comments were, there is absolutely no secret that I have. I drink too much coffee and too much wine (is there really such a thing?), but it’s balanced with plenty of hydration. In terms of my diet, this journey has been about making positive changes, but still allowing myself to have beer and chicken wings at happy hour with friends once a month. As a fairly recent college grad, diet was not something that I really thought of. I ate relatively healthfully (for a college student). When I entered the professional world at the age of 21, my diet really needed to make a 180-degree change. Needless to say, that didn’t quite happen. One day I looked in the mirror while trying on dress pants at The Limited and realized the size 12 pants were so snug they were uncomfortable and digging into my waist. On top of being the heaviest I have ever been in my life, I was incredibly unhealthy. I was constantly sick, even landing myself in the hospital in May because of a sinus infection combined with a virus that gave me a fever for 5 days straight. In the middle of concert season as a brand new music teacher, this was not a good thing. How could I be there for my wonderful students if I was not at my own personal best? I decided then to make health a priority in my life.
I wanted to share some of my own experiences because we are all on a journey towards leading a healthier and happier life together!
- You are somebody.
I started my graduate work this summer and my first class was a Ghanaian drumming and dancing course. Our instructor Kwasi, who is from Ghana, began class with a very inspirational message. “If somebody can do something, then so can you. Why? Because you are somebody. Your name is somebody.” When you see “somebody” doing something you want to do (a chin up, a perfect pushup), work towards it because YOU are somebody and can do it, too! That “somebody” simply put forth the effort and dedication to accomplish their goals. No secrets, just hard work over time. Setting specific goals is an important part of your fitness journey. When I first started my goal was simply to lose weight. I quickly learned that in order to be successful and truly reach my full potential, I needed to set attainable specific goals so I wouldn’t get defeated. The journey to fitness is more than just losing weight; it’s about being able to face challenges and conquer them! I’m so close to being able to row 500 meters in under two minutes, and my goal is to do that by Thanksgiving. You can reach your health goals because you are somebody.
- Make your meals ahead of time.
Life is incredibly fast-paced. Planning my meals out and cooking them ahead of time is my best friend during the workweek. I don’t have the option to stop for a slice of pizza or eat the birthday cake sitting in the teachers lounge because I have perfectly portioned delicious meals. I did not have a good relationship with food; I ate unhealthy food in large portions. Now because I take time each week to research healthy recipes (Pinterest has anything you can think of), I feel more energized and eat yummy food! One of my favorite things to make is a quinoa salad because it is such a versatile ingredient.
- Don’t deprive yourself.
Along the lines of diet, it’s important to eat enough and to enjoy what you’re putting into your body. This is your fuel for life! I have a passion for craft beers, dark chocolate, and pasta, and I have not given up these items in my diet. Instead, I have changed the amount that I consume these things. I’ve found lots of healthy alternatives for me daily meals like Greek-style Kale salads (kale, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, a little feta cheese, balsamic vinegar and a little white truffle oil). I’ve read that healthy bodies are made 30% in the gym and 70% in the kitchen, so being well nourished is critical on your fitness journey.
- Movement truly is freedom.
I have never felt more empowered than when I finish that last set of squats or when I slide into those size six pants comfortably. After a few short months, I can safely say that my life has completely changed. I am healthy, strong, and happy. I feel really good about myself because I know that I am doing things I was unable to accomplish, like coming so close to being able to do a perfect push-up. There is no better feeling than doing something you were not able to do two weeks ago! The best part about my fitness journey is that I feel like I can finally keep up with life and my students. I can go outside with kids at recess and play soccer with them, which I couldn’t do last year because I would get winded way too quickly. I am not coming home from school and falling asleep on my couch while watching TV and eating chips, I’m going out for a run or doing yoga. I am confident in my abilities and myself because I know that I am capable of doing things that I couldn’t in June.
At the end of the day, the journey towards fitness and health is not about anyone but yourself. I think Sara Bareilles said it best in her song “Uncharted” when she sings “Compare where you are to where you want to be and you’ll get nowhere.”
Setting goals, working hard, and making small but attainable challenges is what has led me to my success so far, and I can’t wait to continue developing my strength and overall sense of heath.
This past week Garage Gym launched Katie Hess’ testimonial and it was the most viewed Blog Post since Garage Gym opened 4 years AGO!
Unfortunately our website had a mind of its own and partially crashed. The tabs at the top of our main page disappeared and mysterious content found its way onto our site. Perfect timing for the thousands of people that viewed our website!
With that said we feel horrible for the individuals who were looking to get more information about Garage Gym and its services.
So we are going to offer a 10% discount on ALL PACKAGES for the next 48 hours. The deadline for this is Sunday at 11:00 AM. If we receive a free consult request inquiry from you prior to Sunday at 11:00 AM you will receive an additional 10% discount on your purchase as a courtesy of Garage Gym.
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