Growing up, I was never big, but I was never healthy. I hated gym class and never played sports. My idea of exercise was walking to the store to buy a bag of chips.
Even though my family ate all home-cooked meals, my mom made a lot of traditional, delicious Mexican food with a lot of oil.
On top of that, I work at a restaurant, so I used to eat whatever I wanted all the time. Whether it was pizza at 11 o’clock at night or chips for breakfast, I didn’t care.
When my friend from work started taking classes at Fit Body Boot Camp, I noticed how good she looked! Plus she said she had more energy and felt happier. So for the first time, I thought maybe I would give working out a try.
I started going to classes with her and liked how engaging they were. We worked out at different stations for 45 minutes of high-intensity interval training. I liked having coaches there to show me what to do. I didn't feel so lost.
For the first few weeks, I worked out twice a week. But when I began to lose fat and feel better, I started taking three every week. After a few months, that turned into working out five or more times a week–and actually looking forward to those sweat sessions!
On Fridays we did partner workouts, so I picked someone who I knew would push me to do an extra burpee or jumping jack. Having a support group was so crucial for keeping me motivated.
I also met with the coaches at Fit Body to learn more about healthy eating. I started making small changes to my diet, like swapping soda for water and skipping whipped cream or extra sugar in my coffee. I started grabbing yogurt and a piece of fruit for breakfast instead of a toast. I started thinking about how I felt before reaching for the chips or going to the fridge. If I was actually hungry, I would eat. If I was just bored, I recognized that and found something else to do.
Two years after starting to work out, I live a completely different lifestyle. I still go to boot camp classes almost every day, and I’ve lost 22 pounds as well as 11 percent of body fat.
I used to roll my eyes at the thought of working out, but now it’s my favorite way to relieve stress. You go, you sweat your butt off, and you leave feeling refreshed.
I gave birth to my daughter in a few months ago, and I’ve almost lost the 40 pounds I gained during my pregnancy. I actually worked out (not at the same level, obviously) up until the day before I went into labor.
Even after just having a baby, I feel so energetic. Making my lifestyle healthier helped me realize that I can keep up with whatever life throws at me.
Don’t let laziness stop you. I always told myself that I wasn’t athletic, but I was just lazy. Sure, it’s easier to sit on the couch, but it won’t make you feel as alive.
Make exercise an outlet, not a chore. When I have a bad day, I let out all of my frustration at the gym. I challenge myself to do five more jumping jacks. I don't do it because I have to; I do it because it's a stress release.
Pay attention to the little changes. I didn’t overhaul my diet and quit all the foods I loved cold turkey. I took the time to develop better habits and enjoy what I eat.