"We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face…We must do that which we think we cannot".
And that’s probably the best way I could start this off.
When I went into this, I didn’t really prepare myself mentally. Body building. (And I’m not talking about steroids, look like an unnatural human, and sound like a man sort of deal. I’m talking about turning my body to it’s full potential, naturally) Mind you, this was only 8 weeks ago that I decided I wanted this. What I mean by that is that I truly had no idea that it was a 24/7 kind of thing. To be honest, I didn’t even give it much thought to begin with. I kind of just wanted it really bad, and that was enough for me. Speaking of “enough”, that’s what’s becoming the issue. An issue that is almost the best issue I’ll ever come across. It will never be “enough”. That’s what I wasn’t prepared for. It’s beautiful, really. I’ll never see my limits or myself the same way. Not in a bad way, I just mean that now my mind is constantly in the “go, fucker, go!” mindset. Am I blabbering? Maybe. But that’s part of the process. Being honest with yourself and getting to know yourself in ways you never imagined.
Rewind to a year ago. Well, almost a year ago. It’s some time in the morning and I am 19 years old, 5’2” at 156 lbs. I am tired. I am unhappy. And I don’t know why. I don’t see myself as unhealthy, but I do see myself as “chubby”- ha, that word, no, I was simply fat and unhealthy. My days consisted of no breakfast, lunch was either panda express from the food court at my work, sonic, etc. my snacks at work were some sort of potato chips and a monster, and my dinner was, again, some sort of fast food but with a beer. Or two. I worked at the mall where I was at almost every day. I was miserable, I hated it there. I made good money, but I was constantly around angry assholes. Or maybe it was just me who was angry on the inside so everyone around me became that. Either way, I wasnt in a happy place. After work, I’d get home, eat, and just lay around. Or party if it was a weekend. My body was never something I tried to take care of. I find it interesting though, because the body I see now is still the body I saw then. Unless I see a before and after picture. Then that’s when I realize all the changes. My point is that I was oblivious to how much I was harming my body. It took me 19 years to open up my eyes. Silly, isn’t it? Nutrition was never something I had any interest in. Well, I would get a chicken sandwich from McDonalds instead of the burgers, and a diet coke or something. ‘Cause that’s healthy, right? So, I was a little aware that I was making poor decisions, but definitely blinded.
This is where it gets a little personal, so. Growing up I was always the fat girl. I’m not talking about just middle school and high school.But,since elementary school I never had a good relationship with food. I moved here from Mexico at age 4, so, that led me to have imaginary friends at a young age. Because, I mean, what else did I have to do? I didn’t speak any English so I had no choice. My imaginary friends and I had cooking shows and things like that. Well, in my cooking shows I would literally cook melted butter as a soup or just eat butter by itself- funny now, I know. Then, on the playground in 2nd grade another chubby girl and I got called over to the see saw by a group of other kids. They wanted both of us to get on on each side and see who weighed the most. Hi-fucking-larious. Around that same age, my friend, her brother and I were playing monopoly and he randomly looks at me and says “why are you so fat?”. He didn’t know any better, he was a kid too, and was curious. But still. I guess my parents started to catch on because they made me play soccer for a YMCA team. I couldn’t run to save my life, so they made me defense. And even then, I was useless. All the other girls were so thin and were having so much fun. I still remember what it felt like to see that. Needless to say, I hated it. I did, though, look forward to the cookies and capri suns we got afterwards. Anyways, I guess that’s why it took me so long to do something about it. Because it was engraved into my brain that I was just always going to be “chubby”. So what? I thought. It was always cosmetic, too. I knew what I looked like, but unfortunately, I never thought about the fact that I was destroying my body. I never thought about the fact that I was only 19 years old, my metabolic rate was at the age of a 40something year old, and my body fat percentage was at 44%. That is absurd. I hid a lot of my body through really baggy clothes, or tried to camouflage it with crazy patterns or try to take the attention off of it by making my make up really “pretty” aka, too much and not on-point. I hid a lot of my emotions through humor, behind art, through music, and mostly through booze. When I wasn’t working or laying around and watching tv, I was drinking. And—if any of my friends are reading this, will agree— when I drank, I’d pound beers and liquor to where I’d never fail to vomit eeeeeevery single time. Then the next day I’d think back at what a fool I probably made of myself, become saddened, embarrassed, etc. and then I’d do it all over again. Why the fuck did I not just stop? Because I didn’t know anything else. Food was my main comfort, though. It was what I went to. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was. I didn’t know how to deal with anything. I truly believe that I never actually attempted to cope with my parent’s separation, my ‘love of my life’s (at the time) heroin addiction, my grades, my life in general. I was failing every class. I didn’t care about anything, especially not myself. I played the victim for years. Poor me. Right? So I started purging. I’d eat something bad, feel like a piece of shit and then vomit. My mom heard me a few times and confronted me. After that, I stopped. It didn’t work and it was painful. I bawled my eyes every time I finished vomiting. It was terrifying. So, finally, I started eating better. Felt no different. Just more stressed. But I kept going. So, 46 weeks ago (thank you instagram), I threw on my Nike Shocks from middle school, which was probably the last time I had used them and I ran on the treadmill. I attempted a mile. I almost cried while on it. I got a terrible Charlies horse and my legs were jelly the next day. But did I die? no. I was so confused because I had no idea how people ran the next day after their legs hurt so bad. It had seriously been so long since I had attempted exercise. But I am so glad I did. So, little by little, I stayed commited. I ate more fruits. Austin and I bought a juicer, so I drank green liquids and kept trying new things. I definitely felt better. I got a new job to leave that old environment. I would stay at the gym on weekends instead of going out, while thinking “it’ll be worth it”. I took the next step and started drinking replacement shakes, really testing my body and adjusting to the changes. I did that for a long time. Protein shakes and cardio. Quite the lifestyle change. I drank less and kept trying to improve myself. I became happier. The gym started to become more comfortable for me. Most importantly, I was PATIENT. I kept WANTING it more and more every day. My friends were supportive. My new job made me happy. My family noticed my changes. And my boyfriend always assured me that I was beautiful at all times and was there to hold my hand any time I wanted to give up. I have had amazing support. I could see color again. I had people asking ME for advice. I even felt pretty again. I managed to knock down 30 pounds through sweat, tears, and hard fucking work. Nutrition has become a passion for me and I am continuously wanting to learn more.
Now, I am changing the pace. Now, I know I am capable of losing the unhealthy fat. Now, I want to build my body to it’s full potential. This was decided only 8 weeks ago, like I previously mentioned. I don’t know how else to put it besides the fact that it is the most difficult yet rewarding challenge I have set for myself. I’m almost in tears writing this. Because, even though I know I can do it, it’s hard to be so confident about something you’ve never even attempted. It’s so new to me, too. But, once you get into the body building mindset, it doesnt stop. It’s from when you wake up to when you go to sleep. You eat big, you lift heavier. It hurts. It’s rewarding. It’s challenging. You really really test your limits. Sometimes I grab weights that are far too heavy for me and feel disappointed, but then I tell myself to calm the fuck down and just work towards it. It’s time consuming and completely life changing. There’s a quote that says “the moment you start lifting is the day you become forever small”, and I couldn’t agree more. Every day, I’m wanting more. Every day I’m wanting to grow stronger. Be better. Be faster. Be my best. I feel like I finally found my place.
So, really. To anyone reading this who can relate at least a little bit, but thinks it’s not for them. Shut the hell up, buckle down, and push your limits. You have no idea what your body is capable of doing. Watching your body become stronger and healthier is the most amazing feeling in the world and I can’t imagine ever going back to where I was before.
If you want it, you can do it. If you don’t want it, you won’t do it. That’s simple. Set goals for yourself and knock them down. Do the most that you can and kick ass. Just don’t give up. Everyone has the potential to be unstoppable. No matter where you started.
This has helped me to have a way better relationship with myself, with my friends and family, with food, and I have never been happier, or healthier. And I wish this for everyone.
Thank you for your time