I have always been active, ever since I was little. I have an insane amount of energy naturally, most sports weren’t enough to touch the amount of energy that I had, so after many attempts at finding a sport, I started out as a gymnast when I was 5 years old. I continued doing club gymnastics up until middle school, where I gave gymnastics a break and got into volleyball. I had planned on continuing volleyball into high school until I came across the gymnastics team on one of my first days of high school. Naturally, I gave up volleyball and went back to gymnastics, competing as an all-around gymnast all four years of high school.
In high school we were allowed to go off campus for lunch, so I could eat whatever I wanted. This is where my downfall came in with food. I was working out 6 days a week for two and a half to three hours of gymnastics practice a day, but for lunch I would eat burgers, fries, ice cream, etc., then go to practice and wonder why I could barely make it through a floor routine without gasping for air. I was athletic, but I was by no means healthy. I was also a huge yo-yo dieter in high school, I would go on these insane diets – only drinking three protein shakes a day, going on a juice diet, etc – and name a fad diet, I probably tried it! These diets just caused me to crack and break, then I would go back to just eating what I wanted, and not even caring about how much of it I was actually eating. (Can you say entire packages of Oreos!!) I continued this unhealthy routine when I went to college, only in college I wasn’t working out, or doing any sports. I would eat whatever I wanted in between classes, I was going out all of the time, and after closing down the bars I would eat something that was convenient on my way home, or back to a friend’s house. Most of this included, late night Taco Bell binges, pizza runs, and eating my weight in chicken fried rice.
Once I graduated from college and I moved away from campus, I started at a gym. I wasn’t consistent, and I still wasn’t paying much attention to what I was eating, but this was my start. I was doing spinning, a CrossFit hybrid class, and full body workouts with weights when I wasn’t doing a class. After a year of being out of college, my boyfriend (Avi) and I moved to New York. Once we got settled we both signed up for a gym and started going together. Again we were inconsistent, but we were going. We then started paying more attention to our nutrition, and started swapping unhealthy options for those foods that would help fuel us. I took this and ran with it, we started meal prepping and weighing food, started going to the gym on a more regular basis, started adding in supplements that helped us recover, and with this the results started to show.
The saying is true, “Once you start to see results, you become addicted.” My life was the gym, I was constantly analyzing food going into my mouth, tracking every macro and making sure serving sizes were exactly as I wanted them to be. I was committed to the gym, I didn’t really care what I had to give up, or who I had to bail on, I was making it to the gym no matter what. I was so hungry for results and I wanted to see results faster, I wanted to lean out, so I dropped my calorie intake (still keeping my training schedule the same) to around 1000 calories a day, with no carbs! I lost the weight pretty quick, and I continued this diet for about a year, until my body had had enough. I didn’t change my macros at all, but I started gaining weight, and I could not figure out why. I was doing some research and learned that my body was reacting to this low carb, low calorie diet that I had put myself on for so long, so in order to start seeing results, I knew I needed to adjust my macros significantly. I started to reverse diet, slowly adding the calories and carbs back in. I instantly started seeing my body react in a more positive way. I started leaning out again, my strength was coming back, my energy levels were back, and most importantly my motivation was back!
Seeing these results come back, did not change how obsessed I was about the gym though, it made me hungry for more results. I was still completely committed to the gym, up until a pretty serious incident happened in my personal life that shook me to the core. I had a huge wake up call and realized I needed to make a serious change in my attitude, life isn’t all about the gym and your nutrition. You need to have a life outside of the gym. Your results aren’t going to be hindered if you go an hour or two, or even 5 hours later to the gym. If you have planned cheat meals like I did, your life will still go on if you have a cheat meal on Tuesday instead of Sunday. Or even if you have two cheat meals in a week, it’s okay. Don’t punish yourself for letting loose a little. Spend time with your loved ones, don’t sacrifice your relationships for the gym. With learning this recently, I feel better about where I am with my life. I have balanced nutrition, I eat clean, healthy carbs, I still weigh my food, but if I over indulge I don’t punish myself for doing that. I am more flexible with my gym time, I like to make it 6 times a week into the gym, but if I don’t make it one day that I planned, I am fine with it now. Learn to balance your everyday life with your gym life!
[…] My whole nutrition journey started when I found an article on losing 10 pounds in one week. I was overweight, completely unhappy, and ready to make a change. You can see more about my background in my first blog post –>HERE […]