When it comes to fitness and living a healthy, balanced lifestyle- there are a million opinions out there on how to do it. For me, as it is for many people, fitness has been a journey full of ups and downs. When I was in middle school and high school, being fit meant that I was skinny as a rail. Honestly I couldn't have put on weight even if I'd tried, but I didn't think about it much past going to soccer practice and playing on a traveling team. Once I was in college and not playing soccer 7 days a week, I had to reinvent what fitness meant to me. I started riding the stationary bike in my dorm's basement gym, and thinking about which meals I ate in the dorm cafeteria. After just a semester at school in Orange County, I decided to return home and go to the local junior college because I wanted to transfer. The combination of a highly unknown future and a toxic relationship brought me back to fitness once more- as a way to find control and consistency in my routine. It brought me a sense of accomplishment and progress when the rest of my life was chaos, and I spent a lot of time exploring the gym.
In 2013 I transferred to Texas A&M University, and if we're honest, the college social scene and academic load took my focus off of fitness almost completely. While my body didn't change that much in terms of putting on a significant number of pounds, the shape and feeling of it changed drastically. I was tired more often, and found myself buying clothes a size up just so they wouldn't stick to the new shape of my body. By any normal standard I was still in "good shape" but I felt like crap- internally and externally. It was a huge blow to my self esteem and while 5-10 pounds seems silly, it made me realize how important self care is to my self esteem. Toward the end of my senior year I started to get back into a routine, when my awesome boss (shout out to Haley Clark!) introduced me to a 12 week weightlifting program on bodybuilding.com. It helped me to get back in the gym consistently and taught me so much about how to integrate weightlifting into my fitness routine.
This routine continued after I moved back to California, and led me to start exploring other areas of fitness. I have since taught barre- a class based in Pilates and ballet- and seen changes in my musculature that weight lifting never brought. In my most recent move to Santa Monica, I have been able to start exploring even more fitness techniques through Class Pass (my new favorite) which allows me to take classes or book gym time at a variety of different studios.
Working out is a form of self love, for me at least. Taking even just one hour out of the day to make my mind and body feel better makes all the difference in the world. The added bonus of course, is that my clothes fit better and I feel rockin' in anything that I put on. That however, comes second to the inner boost of energy, confidence, and self-worth. AND, I know from personal experience, that no mater how great you look on the outside, it doesn't really matter if the inside doesn't match.
So, why should you care about my perspective on fitness and health? I'm not a registered dietician or certified personal trainer. But, what I do have is a lifetime's worth of personal experiences in the area- I have personally felt the highs and lows that you experience as you wander through the vast fitness world trying to find the path that works for you. So, whether you are at the beginning of your fitness journey, or a seasoned vet who knows it all, I hope you'll follow along! Fitness and health is about so much more than looking a certain way or losing a certain number of pounds. It is about balance and taking care of yourself, even on the days when you don't feel your best. It is about taking a day (or week) off when your body needs it, and truly listening to what you need. The thing about working out is that it is a never ending journey- even the fittest person you know would back track and lose muscle strength, definition, or tone if they stopped doing what they've been doing to get to where they are right now. I am here to hopefully share the human side of health fitness, the real side, through my perspective- because nobody is or should feel the need to be perfect.