Getting fit (again) while traveling
Since childhood I was overweight. I loved eating all kinds of bad foods. Chowing down on pizza, burgers, fries, bread, fried chicken, tortillas, and Twinkies just to name a few of my favorites. Working out?! Ha, what is that? Vegetables, green stuff...nope! I was brought up in an environment of unhealthy habits and poor food choices. I had a Mexican familia! All we did was eat and eat some more! Constantly. It seemed my mom never left the kitchen, always preparing some food to have for later, and man was it delicious! My mama could throw down. When we had family gatherings it was always centered around food. And, of course, we always had more than enough because we needed to be sure we wouldn't run out in case an extra cousin or two showed up. And there was plenty left over for us to take a plate home and eat some more after the event.
Food was also a coping mechanism. I ate when I was hungry, sad, sleepy, unhappy, angry, stressed or just bored. Overeating was a real issue. So much so that I would have competitions with my brothers on who could eat the most bread sticks at Olive Garden. When we ordered pizza, we always, and I mean always ordered one entire extra pizza, ya know, just in case.
Our parents taught us never to waste food. So we learned to clear our plates, even if we were full. I learned to somehow ignore the signal my stomach sent to my brain saying "Ok, enough, I'm full!" I would eat way past the point of being full. I admit being addicted to sugar and processed carbs like candy and breads. Dessert was my favorite, never needing an excuse to eat a 2nd piece of cake.
Throw in the calories from alcohol; all the endless beers and sugary mixed drinks too. Many hours were spent sitting around watching T.V. and mindlessly eating just because the food was there. I was a slave to temptation consuming thousands of empty calories. I hated my body, constantly worried about how I looked and then eating more to make myself feel better. It was an endless cycle. I hated exercising and forget running!
Somewhere around 2010 something finally clicked. I had enough of being sick and tired all the time. I made a decision to change, get healthy and lose the weight but I had no idea how to do it. Starving myself would only work for a day or two and then I would always binge and take a step back. So, I started researching. Reading about health and fitness. It was through education that I started getting the ammunition I needed to make a real difference. But I started slow. There was no magic pill. True sustainable weight loss is a process.
I began cutting back on the greasy fast foods, eating out and my terrible addiction to soda. Once I weaned myself off of soda, I felt empowered. I started seeing results and the cravings went away. I started making healthier food choices, counting calories and little by little I filled my diet with fresh whole foods. I learned to actually like that green stuff!
I'll be honest, it was not an overnight change. I slowly introduced new things, made food swaps, and cut back on the bad stuff. I still indulged every now and then, not completely cutting out entire food groups that I loved. Just drastically reduced the amount and frequency of eating those bad things. No longer making them a daily habit.
For exercise, I simply started walking more. Baby steps, right? After work, I'd go to the park, clear my head and just walk. It was peaceful and relaxing. Then, I started jogging but man I was so out of shape that I would get winded after just 30 seconds of jogging. I slowly tracked my progress and after a few days I started jogging for 45 seconds, then 60 and so on. Remember I said I never ran, well I learned to love it, longer and longer each time.
It took me years of self discipline and training my brain to adopt a healthier lifestyle. But once I accepted it and changed my mindset, I felt unstoppable. I had more energy and was so excited every time I had to go buy a new pair of jeans because they were now TOO BIG! Over the course of a few years I went from being obese, borderline diabetic, weighing in at around 200 lbs to a much healthier, athletic, leaner weigh in of 115 lbs (at my thinnest point in 2014).
Loving fitness so much now, I became a certified personal trainer and would workout 6-7 times a week. Running was enjoyable and I would actually feel like my day wasn't complete until I had a good workout. The cravings for all the bad foods subsided and it became easier and easier to follow a healthy lifestyle. I felt beyond amazing!
BUT THEN...I made a HUGE leap backwards!!!
In 2015 after leveling out to sustainable weight of about 125-130, I had a pretty bad car wreck and suffered an overuse injury in my leg after training for a race. I could no longer run, barely being able to walk without a limp. Getting out of my routine, I also started to make poor eating choices once again.
Then came all the holidays, cruises, vacations, etc. with temptations that I allowed myself to give in to. The weight on the scale just kept creeping back up. Then, in late, 2016 I made the decision to basically quit my life. I quit my job, went overseas and went backpacking throughout Central America and Southeast Asia for 6 months. I completely lost sight of eating right, gave in to all sorts of yummy, local, but unhealthy foods. On top of that, my injury only became worse so I made excuses not to work out all anymore.
When I arrived back in the States after the 6 month trip I had gained back nearly 40 lbs since the car wreck. I knew better this time around though and I needed to break this unhealthy cycle. This time will be an even longer process since I am still not 100% healed. But no more excuses for making poor food choices! Being pre-diabetic is scary!
On top of that, I will be traveling again for the next few months and not having a set routine will be challenging. However, I have made a promise to myself to get back to being fit, not model thin or anything crazy, just back to a healthy weight. It's all about consistency!
So follow me on my journey of traveling, getting and staying fit. Be on the lookout for more posts to come of how I will transform and once again adopt healthier lifestyle choices. I will share progress pics, travel tips, diets, workout routines as well as all the beautiful sights I see along the way. Next up on the itinerary is a camping road trip around the U.S. and it's spectacular National Parks. Stay tuned and follow me to stay up to date on the latest.