This post on My Health and Fitness Journey + Goals has been sponsored by adidas. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Kindly Unspoken!
My Health and Fitness Journey + Goals
Hey friends! Today’s topic is going to be a bit different from the traditional beauty and fashion posts that I share on here, but it’s something I’ve wanted to share on my blog for awhile now.
As you all know, the goal of Kindly Unspoken has always been to encourage and support other women and I know negative body image and being healthy is something that a lot of us struggle with.
That’s why today I’ve partnered up with adidas to share my health and fitness journey over the years, including both my struggles and lessons learned. I’m also sharing some of the health goals I’ve set for myself for the rest of this year and next year, and ways that I want to continue to improve my health and well-being.
Even though sharing my fitness journey is a super vulnerable topic for me, I want to share MY story in the hopes that it will help someone else out there who might be struggling, and I hope you find my post encouraging to you, no matter where you are within your health and fitness journey. Remember, it’s never too late to make a change and focus on becoming a healthier person.
My Health and Fitness Journey
For me, my struggle with weight started at a very young age. Although I started out as a completely healthy, average-sized child, I can remember being bullied about my weight from the time I was in kindergarten all the way up to high school.
As you can imagine, being called fat and chubby at such a young age really does a number on your self esteem and it definitely played a role in some of the unhealthy decisions I made early on. For me, food was always the enemy and if I wasn’t overeating for comfort and feeling horrible about myself, then I wasn’t eating enough which wasn’t healthy either. It also didn’t help matters that I’ve always struggled with perfectionism.
In high school I was determined to do whatever it took to get “skinny” so I started working out like crazy and eating basically just one meal a day. Of course this method worked in the beginning in losing weight, but as you can imagine it became a rollercoaster cycle every time I would eat more/stop working out. It became an unhealthy habit to starve myself throughout the day and then binge one giant meal at the end of the day. I would of course then feel awful about that, workout like crazy, and go right back to starving myself the next day.
This unhealthy cycle more or less continued on until my early twenties when I got pregnant with my first son and ended up gaining close to 60 pounds. I guess you could say my body was tired of being deprived of food and it wanted to store away as much as it could.
After my first son was born I was determined to lose all the weight, so I started doing workout programs with Jillian Michaels (the 30 Day Shred is amazing!) and focused on portion control. These healthy methods helped me lose all the baby weight plus an additional 20 pounds. But instead of being happy with my body the way it was, I started obsessing over the need to be even smaller. (Even though I was already tiny, ya’ll) This unhealthy obsession led me to my lowest weight until I thankfully found out I was pregnant with my second son.
And this is what you could call my saving grace moment. My doctor informed me that I was underweight and that I needed to gain weight for the health of my baby. And so I did. Because for me in that moment it wasn’t just about me, it was about my baby, and as a Mom I would do literally ANYTHING for my boys.
I ended up gaining about 55 pounds with my second pregnancy and 6-8 months later I lost all the weight thanks to working out and portion control. But unlike before where it was all about the desire to get as skinny as possible, I was more focused on simply getting healthy and feeling better about myself.
In that moment I realized that being healthy wasn’t just about the numbers on a scale or the size of my jeans, but it had so much more to do with my overall well-being and happiness. I was tired of the unhealthy obsession with working out all the time and eating barely anything, and I was ready for a change.
My Favorite Fitness Mantra: “Strive For Progress Not Perfection”
My Health and Fitness Goals For This Year & Next
This past year has been a balancing act and it’s been a total struggle trying to get in a good routine with my new work from home schedule. Pair that with a lot of stress from things that have happened in our family and it’s been rough at times. Although my fitness routine has remained steady my clean eating habits have definitely fell by the wayside and I’m ready to get back on track. Here are some of my top health and fitness goals for this year and next:
- Start a new workout program for an extra challenge – Although I currently workout 5 times a week, I feel like I’ve reached a point where my body isn’t being challenged enough with my current routines. I’ve always been a huge Jillian Michaels fan and her programs always really help get me into my best shape, so this past Monday I started her 8-Week BodyShred program. I’m super pumped to see where this fitness program takes me and I definitely love a good burn!
- Focus on cleaner eating & increase veggies – Instead of turning to whatever’s quickest and easiest, my goal is to start eating cleaner and to really increase my veggie intake. I tend to stick to the same meals and vegetables whenever I’m eating healthy and I really want to focus on branching out and trying new things, so that I don’t get bored with it. That doesn’t mean that I won’t indulge every now and then with treats, but it does mean that I’m going to stop filling my body with so much junk that doesn’t nourish it.
- Aim to cook home-cooked meals at least 5x a week – As I’m sure many of you can relate, cooking every single night is a struggle, but I’m making it a top priority moving forward to start cooking healthy home-cooked meals as much I can throughout the week. I have a feeling my crockpot and new Instant Pot are going to be used A LOT! (haha) I also plan to start doing weekend meal-prep again to make it even easier with cooking more throughout the week.
- Start doing more fun outdoor activities with the family in the evenings – Evenings with my boys is one of my favorite part of the day, but we unfortunately haven’t spent our time outdoors much lately. My goal moving forward is to start getting outside and doing fun things together as a family again. Not only will this be great for everyone’s health, but I think it will serve as a great stress reliever for me and my husband. Bike riding, jumping on the trampoline, playing football, and taking evening walks are just a few of the activities we love doing together.
One of the most important lessons for me with my fitness journey and the biggest piece of advice I would share with you today is that fitness and health is a JOURNEY, not a race. Just because you’re not yet where you want to be in terms of fitness or health, doesn’t mean you should give up or feel like a failure. It also doesn’t mean that you should beat yourself up every time you have a small setback. Life happens and that’s okay.
Being a healthier person is about making small steps and better choices everyday that will add up to big changes. In the end that’s what helps you reach your health and fitness goals and not all these unhealthy shortcut diets and fads.
Just like everything in this life, everyday is a chance to do better than the day before and I hope you’ll join in with me in challenging yourself this year and next to be a healthier you!
Now that I’ve shared my fitness journey, I’d love to hear about your own fitness journey and/or struggles in the comments below! Remember, we’re all in this together and it’s about supporting one another to be the healthiest and happiest versions of ourselves that we each can be.
What has been your biggest struggle with health/fitness? What’s a goal you would like to make for yourself?
As always, thanks for stopping by!- Cara
P.S. If you love today’s post be sure and check out some of my other health and fitness posts over here.
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