Hello everyone! I would like to talk a little bit about my journey with fitness, all of the ups and all of the downs I have faced, what works best for me, what doesn’t work for me, and where I am headed with a healthy lifestyle.
I’ll start from the beginning, ever since the day I could walk there was a soccer ball at my foot. Having two older brothers and a father who played soccer it’s safe to say that soccer was the sport in our family, so naturally it was my sport. I was a fast kid, I knew the game very well, I had the desire to learn and give it my all during every practice and game. There was just one problem, my size.
Moving forward let me say this, I have a unique perspective that not a lot of people talk about when it comes to fitness journeys. For a lot of people, they want to lose weight because they want to look and feel better. For me however, it has always been about gaining weight to look and feel better.
Growing up I was always small, not too short (I’m 5’11”) but always skinny. All through school, I was the skinny athletic kid. Most of my friends put on some weight and grew into their height during the beginning of high school which left me a step behind. Now all of the soccer I had been playing definitely had a role in me being so skinny, however my friends and my brothers who all played soccer were all relatively stocky compared to me.
In the beginning of realizing I needed to gain weight, there was no option I wouldn’t try. I would eat anything at any time but couldn’t gain an ounce. I was drinking weight gainers every day and still couldn’t put on the pounds. I stopped running so much thinking that may help, it didn’t. I was working out with the soccer team, still didn’t help.
Eventually, I started to see a difference after I graduated and got my own gym membership. I joined Urban Active Fitness near home and went as frequently as I could. I was able to experiment with different exercise and see what I responded to best, instead of following the workouts I did in high school.
I then got a job at the gym. I would get up and go to work as a fitness consultant during the day and then lift weights after. It was great, I was meeting people and learning new exercises all while adding on muscle and gaining a little weight. Amy and I started dating shortly after and she started to workout with me. I must say, she is a very quick learner! It was an obsession of mine that quickly became an obsession of hers.
I stopped working and exercising at Urban and switched to a gym that Amy got a job at, Worlds Gym. This is when my fitness hit another level. I met more new people, learned even more exercises and was in the gym 5-6 days a week weight lifting. I very rarely did much cardio still at this point. It was at this gym that I learned one of the best pieces of information I have ever received; it isn’t the number on the scale that matters, it’s the reflection in the mirror that matters.
This hit home with me because at this point in my journey I was trying to gain weight. I looked great in the mirror but felt like I should weigh a certain amount, I was wrong. Shortly after learning this, Amy started taking courses for dietetics and my eating habits completely changed. I cleaned up my diet and stopped worrying so much about the number on the scale and more about how I looked and felt.
I have continued this since that day and it has helped me in my journey tremendously. Recently, a lot of people see me and think I am in the 175-180 pound range, I have even heard as much as 185 pounds before; I weigh a whopping 159 pounds. I eat natural foods, work my butt off in the gym and I am healthy as can be. The number I see on the scale does not matter anymore. I am in the gym most days of the week, but I have many other hobbies that keep me busy and active. I have found a way to incorporate all activities that make life fun and add variety. My goal now is to be as strong as I can while finding happiness and confidence in my physique. I take pride in participating in so many sports and I now know that there is more to life than being in the gym 24/7.
Now when it comes to my eating habits, they have drastically changed. Several years ago, before Amy, as I mentioned I would eat anything I wanted to try to gain weight. Burger King was my go to, and don’t get me wrong, I love a Whopper and fries, but I was sluggish and just never felt good. Currently, I have more energy, I feel great when I wake up, I no longer have headaches all day and I never have a mid-day slump. I usually have a banana for breakfast ( I’m not a big eater in the morning), and I go out to lunch at work most days. When we go out, I try to make a healthier choice like a grilled chicken sandwich, salad or sometimes a burger. The rest of the day I eat the meals and snacks Amy makes for us- which usually consist of many veggies, quality protein, some fruits, complex carbs and nuts. A lot of my meals she modifies to add more protein or carbs at times, compared to hers.
Learning and growing in all aspects of health and wellness, whether it is in the gym, outside or the kitchen has never been more exciting. Although Amy does the cooking, but I like to be involved and learn about the foods we’re eating! It is amazing how much information is out there to learn from.
I hope that we can make a difference in your journey while making it as fun and enjoyable as it is for us!
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