The next bump in the road of my fitness journey happened to be a boy. I had not had any boyfriends or time consuming distractions quite like this before. At the time I was 25 and he was a few years younger than me. If you’ve ever dated before, you’ll know that early on when you’re in the “cupcake phase” as my brother likes to call it you spend a lot of time eating out and in our case also a lot of time at the bar.
Drinking run heavily on both sides of my family so, it’s something that I am fairly cautious about, but when my boyfriend and I have fairly opposite schedules and he wants to go out drinking until all hours of the night I went with him and more often than not ended up drinking more than I had planned on. Drinking alcohol frequently not only is horrible for your body, but the calories start to add up quickly, even if you are working out and eating right.
On top of the fact that we drank a lot, when did eat at home it was fairly often take out, at least in the beginning. Neither of us knew much about cooking. The combination of all of these things, plus decreased exercise meant weight gain. Even though I weighed myself almost every day, with each pound gained I told myself well it’s just one pound, I will work it off, or I will just not eat for a day and I’ll lose it. This never happened though and eventually I had gained ten pounds and then I started to freak out.
Unfortunately for my weight lose journey I also had a career change during this time. So, I went from working breakfast café hours only working until 3pm 3 week days and on the weekends, which still left me time to work out in the afternoon, to working a more conventional 9-5 job which made working out more difficult on the week days especially because my commute home is 45 minutes. On top of that my boyfriend does not drive, so I pick him up at 7pm after he gets done with work. This leaves me roughly 45 minutes once I get home to make my breakfast and lunch for the next day, pack up everything I need for the night and leave to pick him up.
Once we get home it is 7:30 and we still have to make dinner. By the time all that is said and done I’m exhausted and ready for bed.
To make matters even more complicated due to my boyfriends living arrangements the only place that I could workout is in his bedroom and he has just enough room for a yoga mat on the floor, but that puts me right in front of the TV he is trying to watch.
There are no excuses and I need to make working out a priority, but sometimes life gets in the way. And that is precisely what continued to happen. Throughout the next several months the stress continued to be piled on. Because I was no longer waitressing and began paying my student loans, my budget got tighter, but I was spending more money than ever. There were birthdays and Christmas presents to buy. I also bought more food because I was no longer buying the bare minimum for one person. I was also eating out and drinking which gets expensive. Rent has also gone up. All of this stress was enough to keep me up at night.
At this same time I turned 26 and had to figure out how to afford and get health insurance until I could find a job that offered health insurance.
I also I found out my grandpa’s cancer was back and none of the treatments were working. They had given him an estimated two years to live.
To top off all that stress my great aunt who was 64 literally dropped dead a few days before Thanksgiving. It was sudden and a complete shock to the system.
For me, that was a lot of stress to deal with. It felt like it was coming at me from every angle. When I am stressed out I eat whatever I want and I don’t sleep which means that I’m exhausted and working out is pretty much out of the picture.
During this period of time I felt horrible. My stomach never felt well. I had a headache almost all the time. My body felt tired and lethargic all the time. All I wanted to do every day was to lay in bed. I just had very little motivation to do anything. I knew that something needed to change and it needed to change now.
What I learned:
* Getting adequate sleep is really important
* Don’t live for working out, but do make it a priority
*It’s easy to put on weight, but hard to get it off
- Carry a calendar/planner around and schedule your exercise into your week
- If you don’t know how to cook or you get bored try to make 1 new recipe a week whether it be a whole meal or a side. You will be surprised how quickly you can pick up easy go to recipes
- Don’t let the people your with completely take over and dictate your life. IT is easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing. Sit down and right out your priorities and keep them in mind when you are making decisions.
*** disclaimer I am not a medical or health expert these tips are purely from research and are self tested. Be sure to talk to an expert for proper health and nutrition recommendations.