Happy Monday – Start Strong

Good morning and happy Monday! I’m fairly new to the blogging community, I just wanted to introduce myself and give a lil’ rundown about why I am so passionate about the health and fitness industry.

I have been in love with fitness ever since I met my husband Derek. He is a personal trainer and had done body building in the past. Before meeting him I was never really an active person, I liked sitting on the couch watching ‘That 70’s Show’ or playing ‘Mortal Kombat’. I absolutely HATED Physical Education class and dreaded the mile run we had monthly. I was always the last kid picked to be on someone’s team, and I didn’t even want to play Bump at recess. I was never involved in any school sports, the only sport I enjoyed was seasonal swim team, and I was never a great swimmer either. I was never really extremely overweight either, just chubby and insecure.

My mom always tried getting me to get off the couch and run around the block, get my body movin’, and hopefully lift my spirits and put me in a better mood. I would do a lap or 2 around the neighborhood or use the elliptical and stretch at the gym, but I was definitely NOT a fitness enthusiast. Still dreaded getting off the couch, going out in public, and being afraid that someone would judge me for what I chose to work out in, for my poor form, or just the way I looked. I was always out of my comfort zone, always insecure and afraid.

A year or so later I developed such a strong insecurity of my body that I began counting my calories SO strictly that I would only allow myself 400 calories a day. If I ever went over that I would beat myself up for it mentally. There have been days upon days where I wouldn’t eat, then I would be so starving I would binge and purge, binge and purge. I had a serious problem. I suffered from anorexia and bulimia. I would party for days on out, I wouldn’t eat, I wouldn’t sleep, I became a very depressed person. My insecurities spun out of control and got the better of me.

I met my husband Derek years later, right at the taper end of my party stage, drinking, smoking, doing ‘frowned upon’ substances, and pulling all nighters. I met him at my very first job since being a lifeguard at age 15. We worked at the Jimmy John’s in Downtown Bellevue. He’s quite the stud, I won’t even downplay his attractiveness, and I had a lil crush on him. Tan, buff, and gorgeous. I fell for him instantly and we hit it off quite well. He worked part-time at 24 Hour Fitness as a personal trainer which was VERY intimidating. He was beautiful, and I was nowhere near that beautiful (although he will say I was).

We quickly became an item and right before we made it official I told him, “I don’t care if you’re a personal trainer, I will NOT work out, I will NOT give up my sweets and candy, and I will never be an active person.” You could say I still had a fear. He was completely understanding and said he didn’t care. He said he would always be there to offer his knowledge but he didn’t care and liked me anyways. That of course was a turn on, and I slowly started becoming interested in his world. He grew on me. He never at sweets or pastries, he restricted his diet and he worked out every day.

After a few weeks I became interested in this fitness idea. I decided to try a membership at the 24 Hour Fitness down the road from my house and start a 10 for $10 hot yoga membership. I fell in LOVE with hot yoga! Felt so amazing. Of course I died my first class, I couldn’t feel my hands or feet! Absolute euphoria so I kept going. As for the gym I started out on the elliptical trainer, doing basic crunches and weight machines. I had no clue what I was doing, so I finally…. mustered… the courage… to ask Derek to teach me a thing or 2…. doh! I did!

I wanted so badly to impress him and not look like and idiot (and I think I truly impressed him!) that I kept up with everything he told me to do, I did all the reps, I held for all the seconds he counted out, I did every lunge…. my god was I ever in pain the next day. Nothing was more painful than the next NEXT day. I could barely bend my legs! I couldn’t do it! I couldn’t even participate in ‘intimate activities’ that’s how much pain I was in. It felt so good though, so amazing to sweat, be out of breath, work hard, and feel soreness. What was even MORE satisfying were the results I got in such a short amount of time.

I started working out every day, I got myself on a work out schedule, starting cleaning up my diet, and moved in with Derek after a few months of being together. I kissed my sorry past goodbye and was moving onto bigger and better things. I finally had a job, gave up the partying, late nights, and poor choices. I was loving this work out thing! I never felt better in my life, and before you knew it, I was a fitness freak just like Derek! We ended up getting engaged 8 months after of being together (2010) , and got married February 11th, 2012.

Both of our fitness journey’s have evolved over the years, we have worked out and have competed together in the past. Over the past 2 years my husband has taken an interest in triathlons and endurance sports opposed to weight training. This past summer he competed in his first Half Iron Man. He did really well! He completed 70.3 miles of swimming, biking, and running in 5 hours. After his Half Iron Man he nonchalantly mentioned competing together in the Leavenworth Oktoberfest Half Marathon. I took him up on it! He bought me a pair of Saucony Kinvara 3’s for my birthday and I started outdoor running for the first time this summer!

I downloaded Map My Run app and started logging miles. I could hardly run 5 miles in July! Only 10 weeks of training and I completed my first half marathon this month, beating my goal and shaving 7 whole minutes off of my personal best! I completed in 1:53:16. The rush was exhilarating, I will definitely do it again in the future! Loved it!

My next big feat is to compete in the Emerald Cup 2014 next April in the Bikini category. My husband agreed to train me as long as I treat my body kindly and refrain from taking fat burners and supplements that could harm me. I’m very excited, but also very nervous about the diet since I still eat my sweets! The next 6 months will definitely be a journey, but I’m freakin’ excited and I hope I gain some followers and inspire people to make life changes!

*WHEW!* If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading! There will be plenty more to look forward to, so stick around. I’ll be posting work outs, recipes, articles I enjoy, pictures, and so much more.

Have an amazing Monday guys! Start your week out strong!

~Jess ♥

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