I am an unlikely person to have wound up with a career in fitness. Although I loved playing and hiking outdoors as a kid, I always felt awkward. Athletic movement felt like an impossible math problem to me, and I was more likely to score another ankle sprain than a soccer goal. I was the kid that you didn’t throw the football to, the kid that got hurt during the warm-up. My array of injuries definitely played a role in my ongoing battle with self-confidence. Into my teens and 20s I had an on-again/off-again relationship with healthy eating and movement. After being laid off from my dream job at the time, binge eating became a frequent coping mechanism, and by age 27 I weighed about 350lbs. More importantly, I married the love of my life at age 27, and thinking about our future helped me acknowledge that I wanted a long healthy life together.
For me, my memories of being an active kid, and experience losing weight in my late teens and early 20s solidified my resolve that if I wanted to take control of my weight, I could. I slowly started pairing down portion sizes and doing 10 minute workouts a couple days a week. I didn’t weigh myself initially, because I was scared to. I began to notice that I didn’t have back and knee pain, that I panted less going up the stairs. Over 7 years I lost 170 lbs. Writing it like that always feels funny, because fitting it into one sentence makes it look like it was all roses and sunshine. In actuality, it was so many little steps and side steps that added up. As I felt better, I wanted to do more. Living more richly made me want to do more healthful behaviors and set bigger goals.