When I tell my potential and current clients I get it- I understand your struggles- it comes from my heart that I truly do. Here is my untold story with diet and exercise!
When I look at these pics (pardon the hair in both- I don't have many pics from high school) I see many similarities and many differences.
Deep down I am the same girl- I love to read, I could skip dinner and go straight to dessert, I enjoy my quiet and alone time, I still feel like I don’t fit in with the “popular” crowd, I hate eating in front of others, food still gives me anxiety, I struggle with the # on the scale, clothes shopping and my appearance.
I have learned to love exercise, strength training makes me feel like a badass, I view food as fuel to my life not as a comfort to my soul, I know I am so much more than my physical appearance, life is meant to be enjoyed and included in that is ice cream, cookies and birthday cake, my purpose in life is to help other women with their struggle.
My journey to get here has taken many twists and turns along the way- I wasn’t an overweight kid, actually very active with my brother. It wasn’t until my parents divorced and we moved from Chicago when I was 12 that my problem with food escalated. Food was my comfort as an awkward middle schooler trying to fit in, in a much smaller rural town. It is safe to say I hated school at this point and honestly that never changed until I moved to La Crosse for college. I wanted to be an athlete and actually was an 8th grade Football cheerleader (a big deal back then) and then also played Volleyball for a few years in High school. I would like to say I was really good but not really- part of it was my own lack of self-confidence, I kept telling myself “I wasn’t an athlete” I also had no clue how to fuel my body to perform as an athlete. My mom worked a lot to take care of 3 children which meant nights of cereal or frozen dinners on our own.
I would go on bouts of eating an apple and diet coke 1 day to complete binges the following. I also tried many extreme diets at a young age and battled bulimia for over a year, dexatrim diets pills, popular magazine diets, caffine/no doz pills. I was always looking for the quick fix and I thought if I lost the weight I would be popular and my life would be “perfect”. I also decided if I couldn’t be an athlete well I would go the complete opposite and be a partier- well that continued thru high school along with my horrible eating habits and virtually no clue how to even exercise. I became pregnant with my daughter at 19. I like to say she was my lifeline to a new healthier lifestyle, but I still had a ways to go to get there.
Once in the La Crosse area I initially gained weight again, new city, new school all those old memories came flooding back and food was again my comfort. I did finally start to build a friend base an Onalaska soon became my home. I joined my first gym at Onalaska Fitness in 2007. I was very intimidated and had no clue what to do and many times went straight to the cardio because that was easy and I wouldn’t hurt myself. I slowly learned thru some home fitness DVD’s (The Firm, Taebo), fellow gym goers and my own reading on strength training (internet, pinterest, and all the social media was not a thing back then- I referred to books and magazines, My love affair with Oxygen magazine started here). I started learning about nutrition specifically- carbs, proteins, and fats and why barely eating is not the key to fat loss. In fact I remember a day out shopping with my daughter I saw “Judy’s Gym” my first thought “wow that must be a really great job to work at a gym and help women become fit.” Funny how those words sounds to me today.
I now realize it has been 20+ years in the making that my passion for nutrition and exercise started. I knew I wanted to give my daughter a healthy lifestyle; we had already spent too many nights at McDonalds or eating cereal. I wanted better for her and for myself and I knew how much better I felt about myself when I exercised and ate healthy.
Since then I have belonged to many fitness facilities in town but proudly a YMCA member for 10 years and an employee for almost 4. Since starting my career as a personal trainer it has been my mission to help girls and women love their body thru exercise and nutrition. My youngest client is 15 my oldest 76- they range in all shapes and sizes, with various goals related to general health to endurance/strength events. I write this blog today for me to remember how far I have come in my own health and fitness journey but also to you the reader to let you know I get it- your struggles are real and we all have a past with food and exercise.
It's NEVER too late to Change Lanes- Change Directions and become a better you!!!