When I was a teen, my body was lugging around 181 pounds -- the result of unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise. Carb-loaded meals and minimal proteins, as well as my family's ignorance of proper nutrition and the benefits of daily exercise, all contributed to this.
Not understanding the benefits of exercise, my mother purposely exempted me from Phys Ed classes at school. Sweating was harmful, she believed. Thus, I never had the privilege of joining the track and field team, or any other school sport, for that matter.
Not only was my extra weight frustrating, but I was the exempted-girl sitting on a gym bench, watching from the sidelines as all the other kids moved their bodies around in P.E. For years I wanted to drop the weight and get moving, but it seemed my home life was working against me.
Nevertheless, my discontent, combined with my dreams and desires, were motivation enough for me to change that part of my life.
Once I turned 18, I jumped on the road to health and fitness. I began my journey by raiding my plastic piggy bank. For years, I'd been diligently saving for my emancipation. So, on my 18th birthday, I went to the local pool and signed myself up for group swimming lessons. Unable to afford any personal training or group classes at a reasonable hour, I joined a class held from 10-11 p.m., twice a week. No matter what the hour, I was ecstatic to finally learn how to swim!
At the same time, I started doing daily power walks, 30-40-minute-long ... every single day. Then, I added 30-second intervals of jogging to my walks. Soon, I joined my first gym and realized that weight lifting and building muscles is not for guys only. I fell in love with the gym environment.
The first few times at the gym felt really awkward. I studied the pictures of the movements thankfully placed on the machines and copied what the "big guys" did in there. After the first few weeks, I was hooked! The stronger I got, the more I felt like I belonged there. My confidence and self-worth increased exponentially.
During this time, I also read as much as I could about healthy nutrition. Realizing the importance of persistently loading up on lean proteins and veggies, I dropped the weight over approximately 12 months and went from a God-knows how large a size to a size 6, then a 4. I never, ever attempted at the infamous size 0.
Over these 18 months, on several occasions, my weight seemed to plateau for a few weeks. With all the "clean eating," healthy salads and proteins and all! I just kept persisting with my newly-acquired healthy eating habits and exercise and, after a while, it always dropped down again.
I felt so good! My new path to optimum fitness felt completely right! It took an entire year of perseverance and commitment to my own health to lose my extra weight. Nevertheless, I kept it off and never looked back!
Since then, I've enjoyed the benefits of my healthy lifestyle: vitality and strength, positive energy, a strong immune system, and the privilege of helping others on their journey toward total health and well-being.
Never, ever give up! Once you set your mind on your goal, calmly proceed toward it: eventually, you will get there.
It may take some time -- maybe more than you've bargained for -- but hang in there!
It didn't take you overnight to become who you are today, so be patient with yourself as you journey toward your objectives. Do NOT give up, for believe me, it will all prove to be worth it!
When I say I've been there and understand how tough it can be, I'm not kidding! My old "BEFORE" photo is a reminder of where I once was and how far I've come. It's a reminder, too, of what lives within each one of us: the potential and power to attain our dreams.
Today, my life is evidence that obstacles can be overcome: a fit lifestyle can be yours!
Choosing new, healthy methods of feeling good about myself has made all the difference in the quality of my life and that of my family's.
Why not ask me how you, too, can travel the same path to optimal health?
Magdalena is the owner of the "Be Fit Fit" Personal Training and Wellness Coaching Studio (www.befitfit.biz). Her "Be Fit Fit" Blog can be read on www.verdenews.com