I love who I am now! I am so much stronger and happier.
To be completely honest and blunt, my main reason for doing another Lean for Life Challenge is because I was sick of being fat. College, relationships and life, in general, got in the way of all the things I wanted to do and be. During college I gained at least 20 pounds and was very inactive, especially my senior year. During my clinical rotation of my senior year I was eating McDonald’s or Burger King every day. Coffee and soda were the only things keeping me awake during my eight hours at the lab and five hours a day studying. I knew I was unhealthy when I went in to get a physical right after my board exams and my blood pressure was through the roof at age 21. I moved to Boise from Minnesota in the hopes of doing a lot of outdoor activities, like hiking and running, but I was so out of shape. I felt like my body betrayed my personality and who I wanted to be. I knew something had to change, and doing this challenge and the last challenge have helped me finally become someone I can be proud of. I can go hiking for hours and not get tired. During this challenge I even started training for my first half marathon.
I love the motivation and accountability that comes with each Challenge. For me the real motivation is the initial weigh in and measurements. When I feel like slipping back in to my old habits I remind myself that in less than 90 days I need to get measured again. Going to classes every day and writing down my goals and tAbatas, helped to push me even further. The encouragement and support of my coach, trainers and other members have helped me so much during this challenge. Everyone has helped keep me accountable towards my goals.
During this challenge, one of my favorite successes has been seeing my running times improve each week. For my running group we have to do a mile time at the beginning and middle of the season to see what our pace groups should be. I improved my mile time by a minute and 14 seconds. I never thought I would be able to run a mile in under nine minutes and now I’ve got it in under eight.
During this challenge, and most of my life, my biggest challenge has been accepting myself for who I am. For me, my self-worth was tied closely with my weight and appearance. I was always the big girl in elementary and middle school; I was constantly teased for the way I looked. In high school I dropped a lot of my weight and was a lot more active, it boosted my self-esteem and self-worth so much. It became too difficult for me to continue exercising during college and quickly my self-esteem vanished. I started depending on my boyfriend and friends to help me feel good about myself. When I moved to Boise, my boyfriend and I split up and it shattered me. I felt so broken and disgusted with myself. I felt like he left because I wasn’t good enough or beautiful enough. When I started Fitmania and the challenges, I started to become stronger. Physically, I could tell I was changing, and I realized I had changed a lot of how I thought about myself. I could tell I was a much stronger person than I used to be. I look back from when I first moved here, and I feel like I was a totally different person. I love who I am now! I am so much stronger and happier.