My new life began on April 11, 2014. That was the day I decided to get healthy – a day I’ll never forget. I had no big dreams of competing, I simply wanted to lose the excess weight I had gained over the years and finally feel good about myself again.
It had been nearly a year and a half since I had graduated college in December 2012 and I had let myself go. I stopped working out and started eating anything and everything I wanted – like an entire pan of brownies for dinner. I hated having to constantly buy bigger jeans. I hated how flabby my arms looked in tank tops. I didn’t even own shorts. It was springtime in New England so the weather was starting to get really nice and I wanted to be able to wear cute little outfits and not feel like a fatty in them. I specifically remember one day when I was going out to lunch with a girlfriend and when I looked in the mirror before I walked out the door, all I could see was how fat my arms looked in the tank I was wearing. I was so self-conscious the rest of the day. I felt so uncomfortable in my skin and I needed a change.
April 11 was maybe a week or so after that defining moment. It was a Friday morning when everything in my mind just switched. I had a gross greasy breakfast from my office cafeteria and before I even finished it, I remember looking at the plate and thinking “this is it, I’m done.” I threw the rest of it in the trash and put my foot down – I was ready to treat myself and my body better and finally feel good about the way I looked.
It wasn’t an option; it WAS going to happen. I never made excuses, even when I had a million. I never gave up, even when things got really tough. I wanted this, I wanted it so bad that I was willing do everything in my power to achieve it. Nothing and nobody was going to stop me. I put in the time and the work. I woke up at 3am to get to the gym before work. I spent entire weekends prepping all my meals for the week ahead. I did cardio even when my body was exhausted. I didn’t give into the food temptations. Day in and day out, I did what needed to be done. Some days were easier than others but that’s the way life is, no matter how you choose to live and no matter what you pursue. It was all going to be worth it, I had no doubt about it.
In just a few short weeks, I began seeing progress. My jeans were literally falling off me. I was blown away by how I had transformed my body and knew it was time to set a new goal, something to keep me on track to maintain my results and keep me pushing forward. That was when I decided to compete. I began working with a coach on June 1 with hopes of competing the following spring. This new goal kept me motivated and I was more determined than ever. I made so much progress so quickly that I ended up competing for the first time in November of that same year, only seven months after my fitness journey began.
I guess the moral of this story is to not give up, not doubt yourself, not even give yourself the option to fail. Set a goal, give it your all and never look back. If it’s something you want, do what it takes. You won’t get it unless you work for it. Make yourself a priority and earn the body of your dreams. It’s not impossible, not even close – it’s absolutely and entirely possible, it’s just up to you to decide you can do it.