For the first 20 years of my life, I never worried about what I ate or how often I exercised. I was able to eat whatever I wanted, without any consequences; life was great! I did competitive rock climbing throughout high school where I trained several hours each week and burned a lot of calories through intense core and cardio workouts. I stopped rock climbing when I went to university, and I still didn’t really notice any weight gain. It actually wasn’t until last winter, when I moved to Edmonton and I stopped all physical activity, that I noticed my body wasn’t the same as it was before.
I gained about 13 pounds in under a year. I wasn’t exercising at all, and I was stuck in a slump living in Edmonton where it was always -30 degrees and I didn’t feel like doing anything. When I stepped on the scale in the fall of 2018, I knew I wanted to get back to feeling better about myself and live a healthier lifestyle. I wasn’t too focussed or caught up in the numbers on the scale, I was more concentrated on how I felt when I looked in the mirror and realised how much different my body looked.
Everyone’s body will go through some sort of transformation in their lifetime. Whether it be weight gain, weight loss, acne, skin discolouration or stretch marks. All of these things are a part of life and sometimes we can’t control them, but what we are able to control is how we feel and what we think about ourselves. Self-confidence is something I have struggled with for as long as I can remember, and it’s still something I still struggle with today. Working out and reaching my goals at the gym have been an outlet for me to improve not only the way I look and feel, but also my self-confidence. Anyone who is struggling with body image or even just self-doubt, I feel you. I’ve been there, and honestly, I’m still there! It’s an ongoing internal battle and I know one day I will be able to truly love myself.
In order to reach my fitness goals, I’ve had to be a lot more conscious of my diet. I used to drink juice every day, until I realized how much sugar I was putting into my body that I didn’t need. Now, I only drink water, and when I get bored of that I’ll add some lemon to give it more flavour. I also started only eating whole grains and whole wheat, even though Ahmed has complained a few times about the whole wheat tortillas or pasta that I buy… I try to limit my sugar intake but carbs are really hard for me to give up, and I don’t think the Keto diet would be sustainable for me. I believe everything in moderation is okay, but I’m not a dietitian so don’t take my advice too seriously. I also started tracking my daily calorie intake by using an app called “My Fitness Pal.” This app is really easy to use and helps you keep track of your diet as well as your exercising.
When I go to the gym, I almost always have to go to a class, or I don’t have the motivation to go. I love classes because I always end up so sore and exhausted after, so that means they’re working, right? I go to a women’s only gym in Kelowna that offers a wide range of classes and also has all of the work out equipment if I wanted to go workout on my own as well. The classes that I enjoy most are the ones that don’t require an insane amount of cardio, although I do LOVE Zumba. Spin class though… not so much. One class that they have is with stations where you do several related exercises for 6 minutes and then switch, which I really enjoy. I like doing short intervals of different workouts so I don’t get too tired and I enjoy the short breaks in between. However, I do not enjoy HIIT . I want to meet someone that truly enjoys it and doesn’t want to die every time… I’ll wait.
Anyways, that’s a little bit about what I’ve done to improve my lifestyle in terms of diet and exercise. I don’t do anything too crazy, but I wanted to share it in case you were like early 2018 me, living in Edmonton, not working out, lazy and sad. Don’t do that to yourself. You got this. I wanted to end this blog post by giving a shout-out to the 70 to 80 year olds in my Zumba class that are a hundred times better than me. You go girls.
Bye for now,