If someone would have told me a few years ago that today I would be writing about a healthy lifestyle, I’d probably laugh. It’s not because I found the idea of being healthy funny, in fact it’s been a goal of mine for almost my whole life.
For years I struggled with my weight and my health. I was a picky eater growing up, so I didn’t exactly want to eat the most nutritious food. I also had asthma as a kid, which made certain activities and sports difficult to participate in. Because of this, I was a chubby girl, even into my university/college years.
I had gone on diets and workout streaks in the past, but nothing ever seemed to stick. I tended to give up too easily, and every time I gave up, it just led to me putting on more weight. One day last year I weighed in at the highest weight I had ever been in my life, and it terrified me.
On August 7th, 2016 I decided to make a commitment that I was going to lose weight and meet my goal once and for all. I signed up for an annual gym membership for the first time in my life (which also terrified me at the time) and wrote down my goals, which involved drinking more water, being more active, eating healthier, etc.
Motivation had always been difficult for me, so how was I able to motivate myself this time around? The fact that I was paying for a gym membership was huge motivation for me (I don’t like to waste my money!) and going to group workout classes allowed me to find support. I had trainers there telling me how to work out properly and motivating me each class. I went from struggling to work out just twice a week to working out twice a day most days a week.
I also did research and discovered the Mediterranean Diet, which fit perfectly into my lifestyle. It challenged me to try new/different foods as well as read food labels at the grocery store to choose healthier options. I also cut out juice and pop from my diet and stuck to drinking multiple glasses of water each day.
I also downloaded an app on my phone to track what I ate each day and my daily workouts. By writing down what I ate, I became more aware of what I was putting into my body. From there, I took things to the next level and started to meal prep my food on weekends, so I would have a healthy work lunch every day, and a healthy dinner to come home to.
It’s been officially a year this August 2017 since I made the change to live a healthier lifestyle. When I first started, it was super difficult at the beginning and there were times I wanted to quit. This is the longest that I have ever been able to maintain a healthy lifestyle for. Even with ups and downs throughout the year, and times I even got sidetracked for a bit, I never gave up in the end.
I set a goal for myself last year that by this August I wanted to lose a certain amount of weight. Although I didn’t meet that goal to the full extent, I am proud to admit that I have lost at least 20 pounds and 17 inches off my entire body to date and have managed to keep that weight off while gaining lean muscle. That alone is a huge achievement for me!
This is the most fit, happy and confident I have ever felt in my life and that feeling alone was worth all the hard work. With the knowledge I learned during this past year, I am set up to continue on my journey to meet my original weight goal by August 2018.
– Rebecca Bartley
Public Relations ‘14
Follow Rebecca @rbartleyann