My Fitness Journey

I have been thinking about health, fitness and overall wellness and the journey my life has taken in regard.  Also, on my radar is the terrible state of mind in our society among girls and, really, women of all ages - this struggle, goal, obsession to look a certain way - "skinny" - so heavily influenced by images in the media and now, social media.  I have two teenage girls, and this bothers me.

Admittedly, I have been influenced by what I've seen as well and have suffered in various ways in the past.  In college, I was obsessively exercising every day and would literally complete my morning run at the door of the School of Human Sciences at Auburn before my 8:00 am class each day.  Yeah, gross, huh? This exercise combined with a restricted diet lead to my having so little body fat that I experience "amenorrhea" (no menstrual period) for a year and a half.  It took several months with my gynecologist to get it back with hormone therapy.  Thankfully, I heeded my Dr.'s advice about my body NEEDING a certain level of fat in order to fully function in a healthy way.  Also, when he said that I might have trouble becoming pregnant in the future, I got my mind right and toned down my workouts and adjusted my diet accordingly and successfully got back on track.
Clearly, 3 children later, I moved beyond this issue.  Thankfully.  Thankfully

So, in this bombardment of images from Hollywood, magazines, the internet be REALISTIC and know that many of those women suffer and sacrifice health and happiness to look "skinny."  It's not worth the price you pay in ANY WAY with the toll it takes on your physical, mental and emotional health.

I have been an athlete all my life.  I have been "working out" since I was 12 for cheerleading, basketball and ultimately, tennis.  In high school, I cheered and played tennis for Athens High School, participated weekly in a rigorous tennis program in Huntsville, taught aerobics in 1984 at the Exercise Studio in Athens (no leg warmers did I wear ;), played summer tennis tournaments 4 summers.  At Auburn, I walked on to the varsity women's tennis team (Division 1) my sophomore year and helped teach tennis camps with Auburn's men's tennis coach in 1987.  HOT, HOT, HOT summer!  Since college, I have played on city tennis teams thru USTA in Huntsville and St. Paul where I lived.  I even tore my right ACL in 1993 preparing for the state tournament as our Huntsville team had won the regional tourney.  That was a full year setback, but I had a successful surgery to rebuild and rehab my torn ligament into full health and function and am not limited in my activity at all today!  Grateful!  The past two years I have done the Insanity workout (HARD!!!!) and still do a variation.  Sometimes, I follow Lisa Marie with Bodyrock online.  In all of my life's journey, I can't emphasize enough the value of exercise and a healthy diet to live a full life!  Now, at 46, I feel blessed to have been guided by my mother (a nutritionist/dietician), various coaches, Dr.'s and teachers to know how to work out and how to eat well.  We all have to remember these things:

Living a healthy lifestyle is a CHOICE.  We either make it, or we don't.  It's ok to not exercise or have a treat to eat as long as you don't sabotage your routine.  Make the healthy choice the norm and don't obsess over having that brownie or that glass of wine every so often.

It's a JOURNEY! ... all your own!  Follow different workouts, teachers, etc., but don't succumb to comparing your body to anyone else's.  I'm an identical twin, so this is something I've REALLY had to learn as people have found differences in us physically over the years.  You may be INSPIRED, but if you get upset that your body is not shaping up the same way as someone else's then you've lost perspective.  LOVE your body!

In order to LOSE weight, you must, must, MUST burn more calories than you consume.  That's just the hard fact!  There are no pills that will do this for you.  Don't be swayed by the next diet, the next pill that claims to do this for you.  It WON'T.

MODERATION IS EVERYTHING!  I mean, EVERYTHING.  Even something that is "good" can be overdone.  This was my Mom's mantra, and she was RIGHT ON!


My fitness journey in pictures
 Note my knee scars above!

Insanity workout February 2012

Orr, MN July 2013

 Workout on October 2013