Why I Got Started
Growing up I was extremely overweight and teased for how I looked. My parents were never strict with my diet and were gone a lot so I was free to eat what I wanted. Consequently, I found comfort in junk food. If I had a bad day, I wanted to eat. If I had a good day, I wanted to eat. Food was my emotional support.
When I started high school the teasing became almost unbearable. I was walked to class by the Student Resource Officer because students would yell names at me, throw objects at me, and would even block me from entering into school through the doors. When I finally graduated and started college, the weight grew even more out of control. I was buying fast food in-between classes and staying up late at night eating junk food while working on papers.
I began to loathe my reflection so much that I would shower with the lights off so I would not have to see myself in the mirror. If I ever went shopping for new clothes, I would be in the dressing rooms for 10-15 minutes.
My final breaking point was in the middle of a Monday afternoon, I was 19-years old, at the doctor's office, and I had an epiphany. It was as quick as that. I thought to myself, "I am only 19-years old. Do I want to set the foundation of my adulthood of being overweight and hating how I look?"
I was ready to be healthy, happy, and enjoy life so I knew I had to make a change. I wanted to know what it was like to look at myself and be proud. I wanted to know what it was like to not find so much happiness in food, but find happiness in me as a person. I wanted to know what it was like to not have to shop in plus size clothing and be excited to go shopping. I never envisioned myself being fit so I was ready to push myself and make a change in my life forever.
How I Did It
I began to research and read everything on fitness and nutrition that I could. Countless magazines and books were bought and incalculable hours were spent surfing the Internet. I watched ample instructional videos to look for specific moves for different body parts and made sure I learned the correct form.
All while doing this I made sure I took notes and applied everything I was learning in my meal preps and my exercise regimen. When I went to the gym if I saw a man or woman I admired or saw them doing an exercise I was interested in, I would simply go up to them and say "My name is Liz and I am trying to lose weight. I am interested in that exercise I saw you doing, could you please teach me how to do that?"
Over time I began to learn and understand my body and I found out what works and what does not work for me. I did not have a lot of extra money to spend to have someone train me, so I knew if I truly wanted to change my life, I was going to have to work for it.
Suggestions for Others
The old saying "the best things in life do not come easy" is true. Losing weight, gaining muscle or making any type of lifestyle change will require hard work, determination and discipline. Do not give up when your journey to transform your life gets hard.
Whenever I felt like giving up, I looked inside of myself, and forced myself to give more. If you can stick with your training and proper nutrition over time it will become easier and you will enjoy it. I am living proof - I went from binging and emotional eating on junk food for 19 years to falling in love with healthy eating. What you can accomplish from your fitness goals is so much more than just a better body.
It is belief in yourself, confidence, and instills a drive and discipline you can take with you in anything you do. Set a goal for yourself, do your research, put in the time, and do everything possible to reach it. You will be amazed at just how happy you will become.