A little about my fitness journey…it hasn’t been linear. I’ve made mistakes, tried to take shortcuts, and had to restart. Although I still tinker with my methods, I stick to the basics now.
I know people love to argue about “calories in, calories out,” but…more often than not, it works. It doesn’t mean it is simple, doesn’t come without challenges, and can’t be nuanced, but the basics work. It’s not the magic pill people want, but it works.
So some background:
I started getting heavy in my 20s. If I exercised, it was walking. I was familiar with strength training but never went to a gym since I was pretty ignorant of what it entailed. Before I had kids, I did try different “quick fix” diets…SlimFast, The Zone Diet, and Atkins…but I gave up quickly because THEY DON’T WORK. Will you lose weight? Sure. Will you be able to keep these diets up for a lifetime? Chances aren’t good.
Back to basics.
Fast forward to post-kids…I was heavy. I weighed over 200 lbs., and I was uncomfortable. I knew I was heavy. I hated myself. I hated that it seemed so hard to fix.
I had my first health scare when my feet started to tingle. I never went to a doctor to discover the issue, but I instantly thought it was diabetes. It terrified me. I didn’t want to live on medication. I didn’t want health issues from my poor decisions.
I took my first step by going to a big commercial gym. Did I grab any weights? Nope…lol...lack of knowledge and comfort kept me on the treadmill. Thankfully, a trainer at the gym approached me and offered the help I desperately needed.
What were the main takeaways from my trainer time?
---you have to schedule a time to workout
---sometimes you need to be accountable to someone outside yourself
---strength training can change your life
I started to see results, and I became hooked on strength training. Problems solved, right? Nope. I had to get my nutrition under control. My trainer would ask me questions about my eating habits, I would deflect, and I would pretend like I was dying from an exercise. Deflection kicked the can down the road. I bulked up and thought, “Ugh…my body is resistant to weight loss!”.
I wish I could remember exactly what led me to track on MyFitnessPal, but I don’t. I learned about calories and only ingesting the correct amount for my body. I’ve pretty much stuck to it since.
I also wish I could tell you that I got it all figured out and smooth sailing from then on, but that does a disservice to you. I still struggle, but not in the ways before. Now I have more refined goals, i.e., protein grams, progressive overload, bulking/cutting/maintenance, step counts, etc... I still tinker, but I still honor the basics. I lift heavy and portion control.
I am proof you can do it. You can work full-time. You can still eat cake. You can get healthier…it just takes time.