Growing up, I was always a “bigger girl.” It was the norm for me so I didn’t really care too much to change it. I could down an entire pizza, drink a 2 liter bottle of soda or eat a whole tub of ice cream with no shame. My weight did nothing but increase over the years, and by age 22 I was about 230 lbs.
I graduated in 2012 from UW-Oshkosh. Immediately after graduation, I went on a 3-week study abroad trip to Europe. I ventured through Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland and France. It was an absolutely amazing experience, except for one thing: I was unhealthy and very out of shape. I had trouble climbing up the stairs in the cathedrals in Germany. I could barely breathe while hiking the mountains in Switzerland. I took gorgeous pictures, but was embarrassed by how big I was.
That was a huge turning point in my life. The day I returned from the trip, I purchased a gym membership. I started paying attention to what I was eating and I made a change. I counted calories, paid attention to macros and learned about the science of nutrition.
My first year or so of “gym life” was at Planet Fitness – basically all cardio. I slowly got comfortable with different machines and eventually free weights. Then I switched gyms and started going to Xperience. After a few months there, I signed up with a Personal Trainer and learned A LOT about different muscle groups and movements and form.
In April of 2016 I joined CrossFit 100 for a 6 week challenge and never left. I thought I would absolutely hate a group class – who wants to watch me sweat? And why would I want to watch others sweat? Aren’t they going to judge me because I have no idea what I’m doing? Nope – wrong. I became addicted pretty quickly. I now go at least 5 days per week and do cardio on my off-days. I’ve made friends, hit PR’s that I didn’t think were possible and have had days where I wasn’t sure if I was alive after the WOD.
Since my lowest in 2014, my weight has fluctuated a lot. I’ve gone through the emotional roller coaster ride of self-love more times than I’d like to admit. I’ve hated my body, I’ve loved it, I’ve cried over it and I’ve tried every diet plan under the sun. I’m finally at a point where I have learned body acceptance. Having your workout be something you enjoy is extremely important in reaching your goals. Also, it’s important to realize that eating a tub of ice cream once in awhile isn’t going to COMPLETELY screw up your progress. Trust me, I’ve tested.