A little blast from the past, here is me and my best friend Stu right before heading to Senior Prom. While I may be smiling in the picture, I was pretty miserable. I was squeezed in that dress (my dream dress) with a corset type thing around my waist and miserable, feeling fat and ugly. As awful as that was, it was a time that I learned I had to really respect my body.
In high school I was a Varsity Cheerleader which entailed 2 hours of practice a day running, jumping, and lifting girls above my head. It was intense exercise and while in season, I could pretty much eat whatever I wanted and stay the same size. Come the spring, when I was out of season and not working out daily, I continued to eat whatever I wanted and wound up gaining 8-10 pounds, leaving me frustrated and unhappy come prom season. By the summer I got myself to the gym and watched what I ate and lost some of the weight. It was then that I found myself at the other end of a valuable lesson. Whether I like it or not, I have to either watch my diet, or workout intensely if I don't want to gain weight. And losing weight requires both diet AND exercise.
So why am I glad I'm not naturally skinny? Because, now, at the age of 25, I've spent years learning how to eat right, making exercise a part of my regular routine, and improving my health as a byproduct of trying to keep my weight in control. While other kids went off to college and gained the freshman 15 and then some, I worked hard to try and keep the pounds off. And as I get older, while some people are finding their metabolisms suddenly won't let them eat everything in sight with no consequences, I have already figured out a balanced diet. Not everyone who is thin is healthy, but even a few pounds overweight, I was usually in good shape and could run a few miles without trouble and lift decently heavy weights. As of today, I'm in the best shape of my life!
My most recent transformation (as seen in the cover photo of the website homepage) came from seriously increasing the intensity of my workouts and cleaning up my diet a bit. Sometimes it gets tiring and frustrating knowing that I'll never be able to completely slack off, but when it comes down to it, I'm grateful for it. This body I was given has been a blessing because now that I'm the leanest and most toned I've ever been, I'm also the fittest and healthiest I've ever been. For me, the two are closely intertwined and that means that whether working out and eating right for my health or my vanity, I will gain both.
So as you struggle to create and/or maintain the body you want, remember to be thankful for all that your body does and for its ability to show you when you are not doing what it needs to be healthy and happy.
I'm Amanda K; lover of fitness, sweets, veggies, adventure, travel, and happiness.