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.
Shop my outfit: Pink Long Sleeve Workout Top | Essentials 3 Stripes Leggings in Black | Cloudfoam Running Sneakers in Ice Purple
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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YES! So proud of you. When you can shift your mindset to health instead of weight, it makes all the difference!
Thanks Chelsea! It truly does make a difference when it isn’t about weight.
I applaud you for opening up about your past health/body image struggles! I know it’s not easy, but it is good to talk about since so many of us women go through similar experiences. I think your goals for the next year are great and super attainable! I’ve been getting bored with my workouts at the gym, so maybe I’ll have to check out one of the Jillian Michael’s workouts, too. Just keep on loving you for you, girl!
Thanks Karly. It’s something a lot of us try to hide behind, but there’s very few girls I’ve met that haven’t struggled with their health/body image on at least some level. I think you’d like her workouts! She really knows her stuff and I’m already seeing awesome results with her BodyShred system two weeks in. As always thanks for your sweet encouragement, friend. 🙂
Thanks for sharing your story! I think that your unhealthy relationship with food is one that many women, myself included, can relate to. It’s awesome that you’ve now found your sweet spot of a healthy balance! I’m a huge Jillian Michaels fan too, and her DVDs have always been a go-to workout of mine when I exercise at home. I’ve gotten to meet and workout with her, and she’s exactly what you’d expect her to be like 🙂
That’s so awesome! Her workouts are so effective and two weeks in I’m already seeing great results with her BodyShred program. Glad to hear you’re a fan too. 🙂
You are so brave + awesome for sharing your story, sister! I’m so glad you’re in a happier + healthier place now!
Le Stylo Rouge
Thanks Ashley! 🙂
I so agree with the Progress, Not Perfection mantra! It’s been a struggle for me too, and it resonates with me that you said that your second child’s birth prompted you to look for healthier and kinder approach. Keep it up, momma! (Also, nice to meet another adidas/Mediavine blogger!)
Thanks so much, and so nice to meet you too! Learning to be good to our bodies is what it’s all about. Fad diets, starvation, and other unhealthy methods can be so bad for our bodies. I’m glad I’m in a healthier place now where I’m focused on cleaner eating and regular workouts.
I love everything about this article! As a health and lifestyle coach, I can’t agree with you more. Your health is a journey, not a race. People get so frustrated when they set these huge, unrealistic goals and don’t meet them, saying screw it is easier. I always tell my clients to set 90-day goals and break them down into 30-day goals then into weekly. It makes it so much easier for them to hit their goals and build momentum.
Yes, so well said! I have a calendar at my desk right now where I check off my workouts everyday as I go along and I have one day a week where I track my progress. It’s SO motivating and pushes me to keep going to reach my end goals.
Weight has always been a struggle for me, so I can totally relate to how you felt. It’s hard, so hard. But I’m so glad you realized that what you were doing was unhealthy and have set goals for — wishing you the best!
Thanks girl. Sorry you’ve struggled too, but I know you can reach whatever goals you set for yourself too. I believe in you, friend!
Thanks for sharing your story with us. Its really hard to be happy with yourself when society has such a strong focus on looks and body type. I have struggled with being happy with myself for so many years. Looking back now I would take the weight I was 5-6 years ago in a second. I have worked out since high school and continue to 3-4x a week. Diet is the problem for me and that is what I need to work on. Hopefully I can get some will power and REALLY try to eat healthier this time around.
I know what you mean, I look back on pictures of times I thought I was “fat” and roll my eyes so hard lol. It’s funny how sometimes we are blind in the moment to how we really look. For me, it’s learning to make small, everyday changes that eventually become habit. I’ve been doing a lot better with cooking lately and that’s helped a lot. When you can control the ingredients it really does help with staying on track. Best of luck with all your health goals, friend. I know you can do it!
Thanks for sharing friend! Yes fitness is a journey! Sometimes rocky, sometimes awesome, but I know I do it for my kids, so I can watch them grow up and eventually see grandkids!
Yes, same here! I love how much better I feel when I’m healthier.
What an awesome outlook on fitness! I have always struggled with how I look but since I started Burn Boot Camp last year I have finally been able to be happy with how I look and feel. I may not have lost all the weight I want to but I feel so much better about myself!
I love to hear that, Ashley! It really is about learning to embrace our bodies and love ourselves enough to be healthier. Once we realize it isn’t about weight, it becomes so much easier to make better choices.
Thanks for sharing your story girl! I feel like it’s so easy to get discouraged when it comes to staying in shape and I often struggle with my weight, especially sitting at a desk for more than 40 hours a week. I’m definitely trying to get better about doing the home cooked meals. I tend to eat out a lot. Especially for lunch while I’m at work :\ Oh and I absolutely LOVE those shoes, so cute!
Yes- I can totally relate! I’ve been trying to set little alarms on my phone throughout the day to move around and do stuff for 10 minutes here and there, and that’s been helping increase my steps. I know it can be hard when you work a desk job. And thanks girl those shoes are SO comfy.
Yass!! You are absolutely gorgeous.I also struggled with my weight after my first. And I just had my second child 6 weeks ago and I’m so disappointed at how much weight I gained. Sigh. I love this blog post, I feel more motivated myself and less depressed. I can relate to wanting to eat more home cooked meals, I’ve started making freezer meals just to dump them in my crock pot or bake them. You can make a bunch f healthy ones all at once.
Thank you so much! It’s so hard right after you have a baby because you want to lose it all in a few months, but just remember your body needs time to heal and you will get there, girly! And that’s such a great idea with doing freezer meals. I need to do that.
Love your mantra and encouraging attitude! You look fantastic!
Thanks so much friend. It’s a journey, but I’m happy to be in a healthier place.