My Personal Health Journey & Obstacles of Weight Loss

Wednesday, April 15, 2015
 
Sharing my own transformation journey is not always easy for me. I have this tendency to try and appear strong and "together" in my life all the the time. And in the past I have this huge misconception that if people knew I wasn't always as healthy as I am today, I would appear weak... maybe even less motivating.

But I know I'm NOT weak, nor is my story not motivational. I know from my journey and my personal growth, I am STRONG. So here it goes...

Introducing The Old Me...
I have been interested in health and fitness for as long as I can remember. I started to seek knowledge about it off and on when I was a young teen. I would always flip flop around, doing things such as working out twice in a week and not working out again for months. Doing a workout full of abs the day after Thanksgiving and then not giving a workout a second thought for who knows how long. As a kid, I never really cared. How many kids do though?

When I turned 18, my now husband (then boyfriend) told me I needed to stop eating all the junk I was regularly consuming because it would soon catch up with me. I told him I was "skinny" my whole life and I could eat whatever I wanted to. I never thought it mattered. He tried to tell me my metabolism would slow down, but I didn't believe him.

The other thing that neither of us took into consideration with my bad diet was my internal health. I was a waitress at a Mexican restaurant for 3 years and drank Dr. Pepper pretty much all day, every day. If I was thirsty, I grabbed soda - not water. If I didn't eat my usual meal of chips, cheese dip, salsa, and a cheese and chicken quesadilla OR chimichanga during my breaks at the restaurant, I would run to Wendys with my best friend and grab a value meal. No big deal, right? Wrong. Big ol' wrong.

I soon moved in with my husband and, as he predicted, I started gaining weight. I gained about 20 pounds in a matter of a couple months and couldn't figure out why my clothes weren't fitting anymore. Why I "felt" different because I certainly didn't see it when I looked in the mirror. I would think, "Why are my breasts bulging out of my bra?" "Why are my pants so hard to button today? What did I eat last night to make me bloated?" It just didn't make any sense in my mind because I didn't see what was happening to my body. I was blind to it.

I also couldn't figure out why I was SO tired all the time, why I always had a headache, and why my stomach was always upset. I would constantly complain of feeling nauseous and tired, and even at times that my back hurt. I was moody and emotional quite often, I would break out on my face and back regularly (blaming my oily skin), and in general felt very unmotivated.

NOW I know it was my diet, my lifestyle. THEN I had NO idea. I was 19 years old, living on my own for the first time in my life with 100% FREEDOM and all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and watch tv and go to bed. Ouch. THAT is NOT the picture of health. Nope, nope, nope.

My husband was and still is very active, but his diet wasn't great either. He tried to get me to workout with him and got me a gym membership hoping this would be the solution. I kind of wanted to workout but kind of didn't at the same time, and the "didn't" feeling won over most days. During one season of life, pre-kids and pre-college, I decided to see a personal trainer since I literally had nothing else going on. I lost almost all my weight, toned up, and looked great! I felt great too, gaining confidence and energy in life. I stopped going to the personal trainer after I hit my goal and gained back all my weight. That, my friends, is the importance of diet and making lifestyle changes.

This trend went on for a while, but my diet never changed. Examples of things I would eat were fish stick sandwiches, pizza, Carls Jr., pasta, frozen foods, chips, ice cream, Little Debbies, etc. NO fruits, very little veggies. Also, very little water and a lot of juice, soda, and cow's milk. I was so naive to what I was putting in my body and so frustrated with how I felt at the same time. I had this huge misconception I was eating so well when in reality I look back and want to hit myself up the side of my head with a zucchini.

I remember going on a vacation to a friends wedding with my husband. We were in the New England area and decided to take advantage to go to Boston and New York City since neither of us had ever been. We didn't have kids and I look back now and WISH I would have better cared for myself to truly enjoy that vacation. I was "tired" and didn't want to stay at the restaurants and bars, instead I wanted to go back to the hotel to "relax". I didn't feel like getting dressed up and now I know that was my lack of confidence. I remember vividly being SO frustrated with my outfit, feeling frumpy and thinking I just don't have nice clothes. It wasn't the clothes, it was me.

The Changing Me
Fast forward about a year... I started getting into exercise again by going for walks with a friend a few times a week. It was and is great exercise! I felt great from that little improvement. As we hung out more, I noticed how many fresh fruit and veggies SHE was eating with her little family and it influenced me to start doing the same. We eventually joined a gym together and I started going anywhere from 2-4 times a week, the most consistent I had ever been.

Once I had my first son it became hard for me to workout at a gym so I tried other avenues but they didn't work out well. I eventually went back to walking, but I wasn't where I wanted to be physically and BECAUSE of the changes I had been making I wanted to make MORE. You see - At that point I had started making lifestyle changes and it became a slow-progressing domino effect.

Food Allergies Changed My Diet
When my oldest was about 8 months old he had his first allergic reaction to food. Since it was a reaction to a muffin, I had no idea what he was allergic to. Fast forward several reaction later and we found out he is allergic to dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, and flax seeds.

So how did HIS allergies change my diet? My sons allergies forced me to start looking at EVERY single nutrition label. I HAD to. I had to start educating myself on food, and when I REALLY looked at ingredients I was shocked by all the junk in processed foods. I slowly started to change the way we all ate and also started the self-education on clean eating. I also started cooking more and more. Cooking was something I have always enjoyed... as long as it was fast. But I HAD to make more homemade goods since my son couldn't have as much store bought foods and my husband and I.

Food allergies suck, I'm not going to lie. But I am grateful for the forced education they brought to my family on WHY it's so important to read food labels and eat as clean as possible. Ok, now I'm rambling...

What Beachbody did for Me
My oldest was a year and a half when I became pregnant with my second boy. My cousin Kim posted about Beachbody a lot on Facebook and I asked her about the coaching opportunity for a friend who I thought would make a great coach but eventually found myself more and more interested. I loved the idea of teaching people what I had learned about making workouts a priority and why clean eating is so important.

I started on Shakeology right away. To be honest, I didn't like the taste at first but after experimenting a little I found a recipe I LOVED and was hooked! I drink it every single day and I crave it when I don't have it.

My first program was P90X3 and it CHANGED my body forever!! That program is AMAZING. I learned that I can do so much with my body I had no idea I could. I also learned the art of discipline and completed the program. I was so proud of myself. See the results pics below :).

From there I have done PiYo (which I'm certified to teach and have 2 regular weekly classes), 21 Day Fix, Les Mills Pump, Les Mills Combat, and have tried Insanity Max 30, 21 Day Fix Extreme, Brazil Butt Lift and more!

I've never felt happier or better about myself. I'm so confident and feel so fulfilled in life. I LOVE what I do and I LOVE caring for my family in this capacity. My husband is hooked on clean eating like me and we are constantly educating ourselves further and further. I read personal development books regularly and we are both getting higher education on health and fitness.

All it takes is ONE change to start you on the right path. ONE step in the right direction. ONE friend to motivate you. ONE SPARK and you're THERE!

NEVER GIVE UP! And if you NEED someone, I'm here!!!

Hugs,

Laura
https://laurasosa.wufoo.com/forms/z1bmqgxq1cw3u14/

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