An apple. No, seriously, It was an apple.
It sounds silly, but I remember coming home from school in 5th grade and grabbing an apple instead of the jar of peanut butter and a spoon. (Doesn’t sound like the most appealing trade-off, but I was determined) I remember feeling so unusually proud of myself, I even told my mom and dad that I was eating something healthy.
You’re probably asking what sparked this behavior in such a young child’s head. You’re probably thinking that a child shouldn’t have to worry about eating healthy as much as the average adult, considering that their metabolisms are fresh and more inclined to digest all of the junk food. Well, let me enlighten you on my realization at such a young age.
As an adolescent, I was a bit bigger than most of the other girls, and even quite a few of the boys my age. I was not uncomfortable about this until the day I decided to change my eating habits for the better of my health. Again, it sounds silly and maybe a little sad, but I remember wanting to go on the teeter totter with my friends at recess. I always shot my friends basically to the sky without even trying because I weighed significantly more than they did. However, it wasn’t that situation that bothered me much.
*Flashback to elementary school* My class was lining up to head back to the classroom from the library and I was standing with some of my best friends in line. I’m not sure how the conversation came up, but they were talking about how if you were chubby at a young age, that you would be skinny when you’re older, and vice versa. They told me that I would end up being skinny and pretty one day. Sounds kinda messed up to think about, but that always stuck with me.
Now, I knew I was a little chubby, but obviously I wasn’t going to go on a “diet” at such a young age. That is just a nightmare waiting to happen. I did however, have the courage to change something about myself that I knew could improve my well-being. So, I started to eat healthier day by day. Or at least what a 5th grader would consider “healthy”, which was good enough at the time. This change excited me, and I believe that is where the passion sparked. I became faster, better at sports, and more confident in my abilities.
Fast forward to eighth grade and many obstacles later… My soccer coach at the time suggested that I start personal training at this new gym to prepare for high school soccer tryouts. The gym was called Forever Strong, and it was probably the best experience I could have endured. My trainers taught me traditional and olympic style lifts combined with HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) that elevated my interest in the fitness world to newer heights. I was slowly improving my physical fitness to the best it’s ever been. I eventually decided to take my knowledge from there and implement it into my own workouts at a local gym, and I have been awed by exercise and the human body’s capabilities ever since.
Let me tell ya, it was not always a smooth process. I consider it more of a learning experience. It is a journey of mental toughness and self-belief. I struggled internally from about sixth grade to senior year of high school. Body image issues was a huge obstacle that took me years to overcome, but honestly, I think my ability to stick with my healthy exercise habits helped me out of that rut. I went from 105lbs (my unhealthiest) to 125lbs in about a year. I am very proud that I saw that I needed to take care of myself and take action. I did my research, and tried to learn about what I could do to get myself to be healthy again.
Long story short, the fitness aspect of my life has completely saved me. I’ve learned so much over the years, and I just want who ever is reading this to know that…
YOU ARE LOVED & VALUED.
If you are in a place where you feel helpless, lost, or lonely, I encourage you to find a niche. Whether it be lifting weights, running, writing, playing an instrument, or anything that bring you comfort, use it to your advantage and for self-improvement. You gotta go through rock bottom to get to bikini bottom. (Spongebob reference lol)
I gotta end this with a cute puppy picture.