Everyone knows that one person who has undergone an amazing physical transformation (through hard work and diet, not the plastic surgery kind) and there are a couple of ways we respond to these proactive people.
- We admire them because we like them and it motivates us and makes us feel good to see someone we like succeed
- We get jelly because we don’t particularly care for them but are motivated nonetheless because they are clearly in control of their lifestyle and we may feel inadequate in comparison
I had the pleasure of talking with my friend, Andrea, who is one of those people and a true inspiration to all the young girls who struggle with body image issues. She decided she couldn’t continue to struggle with her insecurities so she faced them and turned her lifestyle around. She talked with me about facing the stresses of college life, the pressure to accommodate a lifestyle that includes indulging in junk foods and unhealthy habits and the challenges and victories of her healthy lifestyle journey which led to losing 67 lbs in one year!
GymRatDiaries: What was your reason for choosing to make this lifestyle change?
Andrea: I was unhappy with myself. I hated the feeling of doing simple things in life, such as hanging out with friends, and constantly be worrying about how I looked compared to everyone else. I became overweight around my sophomore year of high school after I had quit doing studio dance, and also gained even more weight from things that I went through throughout high school – I found that eating was something I could control, but not in a healthy way.
GRD: How did you go about your new decision to change your lifestyle? Did you have a certain workout routine or diet plan?
Andrea: Portion control was something I had a hard time with and weight watchers helped me realize how much I was actually eating and what I was consuming. I did not do anything super sophisticated as far as working out, but I made sure I went six days a week, and my off day I made sure that I was eating extremely well. I also changed up my workouts every few days so I was not just working on the same muscles day by day.
GRD: What motivated you to continue and stick with your decision to change your lifestye when many girls find it so easy to slip back into an unhealthy routine? What were some of the challenges you faced?
Andrea: There was always this thought in my mind “in a month from now, you will be so angry at yourself for all of the opportunities you chose to not work out, and now you are unhappy. I want to be happy” My motivation was thinking that this is only going to be one/two years of my life that I need to do some serious changing and if I keep up with this, I will live even longer – so at the end of the day 2 years is nothing. Some challenges that I have faced, and the one I am currently at right now, is “the plateau”. Where I have gone some time with the face on the scale not really moving or changing much and it leaves me a little unmotivated at the end of the day sometimes. When this happens, I just have to remember that I have gone through this multiple times within the past year and I have had results that I am extremely happy and proud of myself for so I just need to keep going or change some workouts up a little.
Another one was the darn scale. I was at a point where I checked the scale, 3, 4 times a day. This got me into a lot of emotional instability. I would freak out and think that just because my weight fluctuated throughout the day that it meant I was gaining weight, but I know now that that is certainly NOT the case. I had to mark it on my calendar to one day a week of when I could check the scale, and that really helped.
GRD: What are you most proud of accomplishing since your fitness journey began?
Andrea: How much confidence I have gained!! This time last year, I would dread going out with my friends, or even trying to talk to peers in class. I wish I had the confidence that I have now, back then. What took me a year to work on was the fact that I am going to be me no matter what, 67lbs heavier or not. I have always been a social bug and it killed me to always feel like I couldn’t be myself. I am soo much happier now.
GRD: What advice would you offer to other girls who are struggling with body image issues?
Andrea: Do it for YOURSELF and do NOT give UP. It took me almost a month and a half for me to see (and by see, I mean the numbers on the scale, not physically be able to see) results. You are going to go to phases where you are not noticing anything different with your body, but that doesn’t mean things are not changing. Also, DO NOT check the scale more than once a week!
GRD: Thanks for answering my questions, Andrea! On that note, I have one more question for my vivacious viewers and radical readers: Do you have a particular person that inspires you to reach your fitness goals? What motivates you?! Go ahead and share in my comment section below! You know you want to 🙂