My (Long and Winding) Journey to a Happy Place

I love reading health and fitness blog of all kinds.  I like reading about new recipes and hearing about each blogger’s reasons for fitness; lose weight, gain weight, heart health, bulk up, lean out, etc.  There are some I can relate to more than others but I still enjoy reading things that are foreign to me (like, people who do not like peanut butter… WHAT?!?!).

My journey to health and fitness started on a cold day in January… the day I was born.  I weighed in nearing 11 pounds as a baby so my chances of ever looking like a thin runway model were crushed before they began.  I have never been ‘fat’ but I have always had to watch my weight because I have an athletic build and I love to eat (currently, day dreaming about my lunch in the fridge).

I am tall for a girl, about 5’10”, and this is advantageous for me as an eater, because I have more places to put my food J.  In high school, I played some sports and ate like a typical high schooler.  College was filled with nights out and bar food but I increased my exercise to compensate.  I would ‘diet’ on and off to maintain a healthy (teetering on chubby) weight.

After college, the real world hit me (and my bootie).  When I first started my 8-5 job, I felt like my life was sleep, work, eat dinner, relax an hour then get ready to do it all over again.  My exercise regime was neglected while I adjusted to my new adult lifestyle.  At my heaviest, I weighed almost 180 pounds.  For those of you that are shorter, this may seem really heavy but it’s just outside of the healthy range for my weight.  But, it was pretty far from where I was happiest and that’s what it’s all about – my happiness not anyone else’s.

In 2008, I started Weight Watchers and had great success.  I lost about 25 pounds and worked exercise into my daily routine.  I have exercised regularly since 2008 and I find that my body craves a good sweat.  If I am having a bad day – a great workout can fix my mood.  I continued to maintain my weight with Weight Watchers until they changed their plan and I decided I would just do it on my own.  Slowly, I gained some weight back, but not too much maybe 10 pounds.  I was still a very healthy weight, but I was obsessed with the number on the scale.

I would beat myself up about an increase in weight and then console myself with a pint (or ½ gallon) of ice cream.  I wanted to be ‘skinny’ and I was chasing a number that would probably mean I was skinny-fat.

In 2015, I started tracking calories using MyFitnessPal.  I tracked religiously for 4 months without losing a pound and I was well under every day but two.  I’m a math major…  how can this be?!?!

I decided to try something new and one of my friends told me to look into tracking macros.  After lots of reading, research, and internet help – I changed the settings in MFP to increase (gasp!!) my calories but target a certain ratio of carbs, protein and calories.

In the words of my husband, ‘it was like the fat just fell off.’  Well, honey, I’m glad I made it look so easy 🙂 .  The truth is, it was a lot of planning and macro-Tetris at first, but now I can plan my days with relative ease.  It is still very Tetris-y but imagine working with Tetris if you know all of your pieces in advance.  I usually plan 60-75% of my food the night before and leave the rest open which gives me flexibility and structure.

It was also in 2015, that I started CrossFit and found my love of weights.  I was always the cardio-kinda-girl that would hit the elliptical at my local gym but was a little intimidated by free weights.  CrossFit taught me how to do the moves and worked in my love of cardio #winning!!

Currently, I feel at a much happier place with my composition and weight.  Could I lose some more body fat??  Yep.  Do I need to lose weight?  Nope.  Am I happy and healthy??  Yep, and that’s all that matters.