Moving UP in my Fitness Journey

September 26, 2014·

This is my story about my own personal journey with fitness and where I am today. Like, right this moment.

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with “fitness” for pretty much the majority of my life. I was never super athletic, I’ve always been a slow runner, I’ve never been able to do a pull up, and I could never climb that STUPID ROPE in gym class in middle school. That’s why my sport was always golf. Yes, it requires a bit of athleticism, but I didn’t have to run, lift weights, or race anyone in anything. It was just me, the club, and the ball.

I’ve also struggled with body-image issues for the majority of my life. Okay, all of my life. I honestly can’t ever remember a time where I have ever liked the way I looked physically. Ever. And it’s so funny how much your perspective changes with time because now when I look back at pictures of myself in middle school or high school or even college, I think, “OH MY GOSH I WAS SO TINY.” But at the time, I thought I looked like a beached whale.

This is me in college. All class.

However, even though I’ve certainly expanded as I’ve gotten older, I have become much more comfortable in my own skin and less concerned with the scale and more concerned with how I feel.

I’ve talked about this time and time again on this blog, but I know that I will never be a size 2 or a size 4. It’s just not going to happen. My body isn’t built that way. I have a broad frame and bigger build and no matter how much I diet and exercise, I will not be a small size.

before the Shamrock N' Run 5K in Feb. 2011
before the Shamrock N’ Run 5K in Feb. 2011

When I was at the PEAK of my health back in my running days, I was running 20-ish miles a week, training for 10-milers, 5ks, and a half marathon… and I was still a size 10. I was in the shape of my life, but I still couldn’t slim my waistline. It was then that I really realized that every body is truly built differently and no two people are going to look the same… physically… no matter how hard each person works out. Every body is going to respond to diet and exercise differently.

And that’s what really got me thinking differently about how I approached my own health and fitness. And I started to get into a really great routine and I started to lose some weight, I was in shape, feeling good, and I felt confident.

Then I got pregnant with our first child.

I was SO EXCITED and we were so happy, but if I’m being totally honest with you, pregnancy did not look good on me. There are some women who wear pregnancy SO WELL. They’re glowing and beautiful and radiant and they only gain weight in their belly and the shekinah glory is beaming down upon them at all times.

I am not one of those women.

Me at the gym at 41 weeks pregnant. That’s a lot of momma right there…

I was sick all the time, I had so much swelling, I was constantly hungry but didn’t want to eat anything, I couldn’t sleep, nothing fit me… it was a never ending battle. And then I just started gaining weight and I kept gaining and nothing I could do was helping. I was trying to watch what I ate, I started working out for an hour a day 5-7 days a week (I worked out all the way up until the night I went into labor… at 42 weeks pregnant), but I kept gaining. Then I had a tough labor and rough recovery and it took me forever to get moving again.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom so much. It’s the best. But, I had just felt AWFUL about the way I look ever since Lilly was born. Lilly's Birth Story (52)

And I’m finally at that breaking point where something has got to change. I’ve been really laissez-faire about it all and I have not been as mindful as I should be. I haven’t been as regimented with working out as I want to and I haven’t been really watching what I eat. Now, I do cook at home 90% of the time and I try to make healthy meals for our family, but my portion control is so way off because I’m hungry ALL THE TIME. Between nursing (I’m still nursing 4x a day) and chasing after Lilly, I’m always hungry.

Anyway. That brings me to today. I’ve been spending the last few months really working on getting my life organized and my priorities straight and I’m in that mode of, “I’ll try anything once to see if it works!” (within reason, obviously).

I’ve been shopping for healthier food and meal planning a month at a time. I’m getting myself on a regular routine of going to the gym (much easier now that Lilly doesn’t hate the gym nursery), and I’m beginning to track my meals again with a meal tracking app.

From the recommendation of a few friends, I had “get a fitness band” on my list of things to do.  My friend Amber uses one and has been using a Jawbone UP band for years and loves it… For reference, in short, a Jawbone is one of those wrist bands you wear that tracks your steps, sleep, and you can log goals / activity / workouts, etc. and you can even link it to other apps like My Fitness Pal or Lose It.
Moving UP in my Fitness Journey (1)
Well, in a moment of serendipity, or something… I was given the opportunity to partner with Jawbone to test out and use the UP24 band for myself. This honestly could not have come at a more perfect time. Right as I’m trying to actively make steps (no pun intended) towards getting into better shape and feeling better about myself, this opportunity came along. So, I am REALLY excited to be trying it out and integrate it into my daily routine and fitness plan.
I’ve already set a few goals in the first week that I’ve been using it. My goal is eight hours of sleep a night (tough, but I’m trying!) and walk at least 7,000 steps a day. The recommended number of steps a day for someone of my age, height, weight, etc. is 10,000, but I know that number is going to be tough for me at first since I work from home. However, I am TRYING to get it so that number is eventually the norm for me. But, I wanted to start small with achievable goals that I could celebrate. I’ve also linked the UP24 app to my “My Fitness Pal” app which is tracking my exercise and meals.
Moving UP in my Fitness Journey (2)
I’ve only been using the band for a week, so I can’t say for sure that it’s a “life changer” or “game changer” or that I’ve lost 45 pounds using the UP24 band(!!)… but I can tell you that so far it’s at least made me extremely aware of my movement. I’m hyper-aware now of how often I’m stagnant at my desk or if I park a little farther away at the store I can take more steps, etc. I also like tracking my sleep and getting an idea of how I’m sleeping at night.
I know that this is going to be a process and it’s not going to happen overnight, but I’ve finally felt that switch go off inside me that has given me the swift kick in the rear that I need to quit complaining and start actually making changes in my personal health and fitness.
So, there you have it. That’s where I am. 
What about you? Have you used a fitness band before? What about the Jawbone UP24? What changes are you making in your own life to get healthier?
*This post has been done in collaboration with Jawbone UP24. Everything I wrote is 100% my own, from the heart, totally honest, and is really, truly where I am right now. I’m excited to partner with a company that can not only help support this blog and my family, but also (hopefully) get me in better shape!