Fitness Friday #1

In the very first installment of Fitness Fridays, I explain my path to fitness, what's working for me now, and why the hell it took me so long to finally write this.

"Teenage girl struggles with self-confidence and body image." Who in the world hasn't seen this headline or some variation of it? Despite the growing acceptance of all the shapes and sizes woman come in, it can be difficult to learn to accept yourself. 

I grew up pretty thin... kind of like skeletor, but I never really noticed. It was who I was and I was normal. Once I hit puberty, I was over the moon to finally get boobs (yassss), but I started to notice my body changing as my hips began to fill out. But, I was still thin, and society and the media love skinny gals. I remained pretty thin throughout high school thanks to daily dance classes. Sure I gained a little weight my senior year when I dropped out of my after school ballet classes, but no biggie. It wasn't until college that I became dissatisfied with how I looked. 

I didn't gain the freshman 15, but my body was still going through changes. Hello to all my other late bloomers! My boobs continued to grow (yassss), but so did my butt and my belly. No longer dancing or working out at all, I didn't know how to handle these changes, both mentally and physically, and I was still unhappy when I looked in the mirror. My friends got an earful of my complaints, and my boyfriend encouraged me to start working out with him if I wasn't happy with my looks and my increasing level of overall anxiety. (Turns out working out helps you chill out too!) But, I didn't want to put the effort in, so I made excuses because, "Hey, at least I'm not fat."

It wasn't until January of this year that I made a genuine commitment to "get fit." I had tried running programs... I had tried pilates in my dorm room... I tried barre classes... but nothing stuck. After losing weight at the end of my semester abroad, I wanted to keep it off in America. 

I started BBG by Kayla Itsines, a 12-week guide to shock your body into fitness. While I could feel myself getting stronger and my stamina increasing, I didn't see any difference. So, I made it through week 12 and got off the wagon again. 

But not for long. I knew I needed to find something I could really enjoy doing. I hate sweating, I hate push-ups, I hate going to the gym. I considered going back to ballet classes, but man, it's hard to see how bad you've gotten. Instead, I decided to try Pilates reformer classes... and I LOVE IT. I found something that helps my upper back pain, will get me major abs, and that doesn't make me sweat like a pig (major yasss).

So that's just it. I've been attending Pilates classes 2-3 times and week and I started back on my running program, which takes up another 2-3 days. The hardest part about getting fit is changing my diet, especially when I'm surrounded by goodies all day in an office, but I'm trying and that's what matters. 

The biggest hurdle so far has been more mental than physical, and that's learning how to love who I am. I am not going to lose the 10 lbs I gained during college, nor do I need to. My body is going to only continue to evolve and change as I mature, and I should learn to cherish that just like I cherished when I finally got boobs. I'm just being real with you guys, that was like a dream come true. 

And as for why it took me so darn long to get around to this? Well, I'm a creature of habit and I'm just not in the habit of writing yet... but I'm finally in the habit of working out. It's the little things. 

Moving Disasters

Oh what a night...

It was august, not December, and the year was 2015 rather than '63. Moving my furniture from my apartment to the new house is more of a treat, or trick, than I expected. You see, I have this irrational fear of being crushed by elevators. I've been stuck in one before, no biggie, but as soon as those doors begin to slide towards me as I cross the threshold, I'm toast. 

Last night, Schwinn and I were moving the second half of my bed. Living in an apartment only exaggerates the difficulty of moving. Not only do you have to shimmy heavy furniture out of your home, you have to then find a way to fit it in an elevator. The bed piece was a bit cumbersome, but we moved the first part with ease, so we were optimistic. While maneuvering the second part into the elevators, the doors began to shut. Forcefully shut. And beep... and speak to us letting us know the doors were most definitely going to shut whether we liked it or not. Facing one of my biggest fears, I started to cry, and tears don't help you as your trying to lift heavy things. This happened for at least 2 minutes and I was certain the elevator was going to crush my furniture or me as it tried its best to shut those doors. 

Thank GOD, we finally shimmied it in, and thank god I have an understanding boyfriend who puts up with my fear-induced tears and temper tantrums. Apartment life is great, it really is. I loved being in the heart of the city, I loved the view, but I sure did not love those elevators. 

Au revoir, Regency. You will (mostly) be missed. 

The Internet Cat Video Festival

I love cats. No, I really, really love cats, so how could I ever miss the Internet Cat Video Festival? Well, I guess I missed it last year, but we're going to let that slide. 
Austin and I entered a packed Myriad Gardens that evening. The entire lawn was filled with waves of people that dotted the surrounding hills. Who knew OKC had so many cat lovers... and who would've thought some of those cat lovers would bring dogs? They realized this was a cat video festival, right?? Get outta here, puppies. 
Random dogs aside, the evening was a blast. As the sun was setting, a band sang, leading us into the actual movie once it was dark. We spent the night giggling (probably me more than Austin), and I really enjoyed the different cat-egories ranging from Drama to Action and Adventure. At the end, I realized it was the same compilation of videos from last year, so I no longer felt guilty for missing the inaugural festival last year. 
Here's to hoping the festival returns next year and they add my new favorite!