I guess I should provide a little more background on how I came to be so focused on being fit and eating healthy foods.
About two years ago I was towards the end of a 4 year relationship with a guy that ate a lot of junk food. I tried to eat as well as I could but when the groceries are done every couple of weeks in rotation (him one time, me the next) it's hard to control what goes in that grocery cart. And, of course, there is that little dilemma of "hey, I'm not eating a lot of that stuff why should I pay for it?" (killed me every time I had to do it). Cooking two separate meals every evening was not an option.
So, I was eating foods that I really didn't want to and my exercise levels were quite low.. not non-existant but I didn't really go to the gym and I worked in an office (still do). On top of this, some shitty things had happened in my life at the time and I was definitely not in a good place mentally. Put all this together and what do you get? A bigger Mitzi than I wanted to be. I was by no means "fat" but I was chunky and my clothes were not fitting well. AT ALL. A lot of people will tell me that I looked fine. But, you know what? I didn't feel fine. And that's all that matters. I was uncomfortable and extremely self conscious. I looked at pictures of myself with my gorgeous friends and felt like shit. (not to mention, I'd look in the mirror and feel that way too).
Anyway, about month before ending that relationship (which had many problems that do not need to be mentioned here) I joined a gym across the street from where I worked and took a package that came with some training sessions. After meeting with the trainer, he came up with a plan for me. He gave me two different exercise routines (which included cardio, weights and machines) and instructed me to watch my calorie intake. I know this sounds ridiculous but I was eating 1200 calories a day on his instructions.
I became obsessive. I would go to the gym 3 or 4 times a week and I watched my food super closely. I now know that I was not eating the RIGHT foods but I was for sure eating very little of the wrong foods. I measured EVERYTHING. If I couldn't measure it and deduce the amount of calories I was letting in to my body I wouldn't eat it. I downloaded MyFitnessPal on my cell phone and used it religiously. I also started having anxiety and thinking about food aaaaaaall the time. This is not fun. At all. I really don't recommend it. It eats away at you! So just to mention - This was January 2011. January 17th was my first meeting with the trainer.
Fast forward a month and a half and I broke up with the guy I was seeing. We lived together... It had been 4 years (3 cohabiting). As one would imagine... even though it was my choice I was still upset. It was also verrrryyy stressful because we stayed in that apartment until the end of may even though we weren't together anymore. Thank goodness for two bedrooms!!!! I really pushed myself with the gym-going (this is now a word. Humph) and was able to control what food I purchased on grocery trips.
Needless to say, from this point on I was getting in better shape and feeling better about myself as I continued with the exercise and food plan that the trainer had set out for me. Some of you might be wondering - how is it possible to eat only 1200 calories a day and not be hungry? It is possible, if you eat the right foods and pay attention to the amount of protein you eat. I didn't know a lot about nutrition at this point so I was definitely tired a lot and pushing myself harder than I should have been for the amount of energy i was taking in through food. At the same time, I was being told left and right "oh my god, Mitzi, you look so good!" "Keep up the good work!" "Whatever you're doing, keep it up!"This was so motivational. I loved the praise (and still do) as it really makes all the hard work seem like it's worth it in the end.
This past year I have re-fallen in love with bootcamp classes at Siscoe Gym. These classes are intense and involve cardio, weight training, gymnastic movement, all sorts of exercises! The trainers are knowledgeable and friendly and the other participants are very supportive. By doing these classes (up to 5 times a week sometimes...) I have started to increase my strength and have improved my muscle definition. Unfortunately (for me, as it is one of my issues) the scale does go up when you gain muscle because it weighs more than the fat you lose. Seeing that number go up on the scale was daunting and i have to remind myself over and over that it's because I have gained muscle and not for any other reason.
I think this post has been sufficiently long and perhaps boring to most of you (which is currently NO ONE lol) but it helped immensely to get this all out of my head and onto the screen (I must say, I wanted to write "and on to paper" but that is so outdated!)