THE UPS & DOWNS OF A FITNESS JOURNEY
"My fitness journey has been a roller-coaster. It started in middle school and high school when I joined track and cross country. I didn't really dedicate myself to getting in shape and doing my best because I was mixed in with people who were more concerned about social events on weekends rather than sporting events. That didn't really change until about junior & senior year when I finally decided that I wanted to be able to triple & high jump in college. Unfortunately though I ended up working out three times a day, barely ate, and I ultimately let myself fall into a disordered eating pattern which was clearly unhealthy. But I attacked my eating disorder head-on the summer before college and forced myself to get back on track before college. My dedication to track and fitness allowed me to join the track team in college but I didn't like the way it was run - the coach wasn't as invested as my high school coach, the team wasn't the same element of people, and I just felt out of place. While I was on the track team, I ended up getting a flier under my door for women's rugby a few weeks into school, and I ended up joining that because they had free pizza at the meeting. I forced a few of of my friends to go to the meeting with me and the rest was history.
"I let myself fall into a disordered eating pattern which was clearly unhealthy."
RUGBY, EVOLUTION & FINDING BALANCE
"My friends and I took over the team, I held an executive position all four years including President and Captain, we power-lifted for gains senior year, and I even considered playing after college - the only reason I didn't was because of a series of bad concussions, unfortunately. We partied hard as a team and I let my overall fitness fall to the wayside, I drank and ate a lot, I was fit but I wasn't.. I wasn't happy with how I felt or looked and I knew I needed a change. After college, I fell back into my old disordered eating habits. I starved myself, worked out way too hard, and really didn't treat my body with respect. Luckily I had an amazing support system around me and, with their help, I started pushing myself to break the negative cycle.
On my way to recovery, I started researching how the body metabolized food, what it needed to function, and how I could make my body into a machine. I experimented with yoga, with HIIT workouts, with lifting, and I started using a combination of all of them to create the body of my dreams - I'm still a work in progress, but I love my gains. I'm so proud! I increased my caloric intake from 1000-1200 a day to 1800-2300 a day, started listening to my body's cravings, and have done my best not to look back to my old habits. Eating disorders never go away, but recovery is how you deal with refocusing those obsessions and that energy. Now, I'm lifting 5 days a week, adding in cardio to two of those lifts in the form of HIIT or straight-up cardio, I rest at least once if not twice, and I EAT! Fitness is all about finding balance and being well-fed!"
"You're only given one body, why not make it the best it can possibly be?"
ON HER PASSION FOR FITNESS
"I'm passionate about fitness and wellness because of how competitive I am, especially with myself. I always want to be better, do better, work harder - it's an obsession. My journey started in such an unhealthy way. It was meant to deal with my stress and lack of self confidence, and my eating disorder really was the catalyst of this journey. But once I started attacking it head-on, I started truly enjoying fitness and dedicating myself to being the healthiest version of myself possible. You're only given one body, why not make it the best it can possibly be?"
"Once you've built a base, push yourself to excel and succeed at whatever you put your mind to."
ADVICE TO THOSE BEGINNING THEIR FITNESS JOURNEY
"Honestly, baby steps are the key to a successful fitness journey. If you overwhelm yourself with too much too soon, it's easy to feel defeated and you're more likely to give up. Learn what your limits are, experiment with different types of exercises, find what you like, and attack it. Once you've built a base, push yourself to excel and succeed at whatever you put your mind to. Your success will come with hard work and determination, I promise. "