Just want to share a little bit of where I came from and how I got to where I am today…

I first became interested in health and fitness the summer before my Senior year in High School. That is when I got my first gym membership. Now, let me mention, I was always very active growing up. I did ballet, gymnastics, volleyball, basketball and was always running around in my neighborhood, jumping on the trampoline, riding my bike, etc. I LOVED being outside and being active. I wasn’t a child who could sit still for very long. When I moved schools my sophomore year in high school, I started off season volleyball. Before this I had only entered the weight room a few times at my old private school. The first day I was thrown into it. We lifted weights, did a lot of plyometric work, and had to run the mile. That dang mile! I had never run that far or long before in my entire life. I was ALWAYS the last girl out there with still a lap to go, huffing and puffing. Long story short, I ended up not playing on the team when the season started, went back to dance for a while and then decided to start working out at a gym.

So 17 year old me joined the YMCA and started like every “newbie.” I went almost every day and ran on the treadmill. I also took a few classes and became hooked. I cut out a lot of the fast food and junk I had been eating and started replacing my meals with lean cuisines, low carb this and that, fruit, etc. And make note, at the time I was getting most of my information and guidance from Fitness and Health magazines. Looking back now, I was probably eating under 1000 calories a day during the week. (YIKES) I started working out every morning before school my senior year or afternoon school before I went to work. I got up to running on the treadmill almost an hour a day. I did some of those weight machines, but mostly just cardio work.

Fast forward, went to college continued to run almost 6 miles a day. Not long until I developed tendonitis in my knee (OVERUSE!!) So I switched my beloved cardio workouts to “Turbofire” DVDs and started lifting some weights in my college gym. I also started teaching a bootcamp on my campus two mornings a week. Most mornings I woke up, did fasted cardio for 30 minutes, then did another workout later in the day or worked out with my bootcamp. Little did I know, I was KILLING my metabolism. Again, with the knowledge I have in nutrition now, I look back and know even then I was not fueling my body properly. I had the more, is more mentality. The more I workout, the more calories I burn, the less calories I consume, I will see the results. WRONG. 

This is where I fell victim to BED (Binge Eating Disorder) Since I was eating so “clean” during the week and WAY under my caloric needs, I went crazy on the weekends and made myself believe I deserved it. With binge eating disorder, you then feel horrible and hate yourself afterwards. This cycle continued and continued. Not a healthy place to be at.

Right after college I knew I had to make a change. I started lifting heavier in the gym, and pushing myself. I learned how to squat, deadlift, bench, and realized that I didn’t have to spend all my time on a treadmill. I learned how to properly fuel my body. Learned what macronutrients were and how each macronutrient (protein, carb, fat) is essential to your body. Coming from such a restrictive dieting past, it felt good to no longer restrict my body from nutrients. I used to fear that if I stopped running and doing all the cardio I was doing, I would get fat. (SUCH A LIE) 

I found freedom for the first time in my life. I can now say I am at a place where I am actually HEALTHY. None of those things I was doing before, were. Knowing how to properly fuel your body and eat the right amount for what your body needs is so crucial. Lifting weights and focusing on getting stronger is so much more fun than spending an hour on the treadmill everyday, constantly craving things you can’t have, then stepping on the scale to just inadequate. THAT IS NOT WORTH IT.

I write all of this hoping that if I can reach just one woman out there, that if maybe she can relate to my past and what I’ve been through, just maybe she can find that freedom, too. One of my biggest passions has always been, women’s health and fitness. Because I know as a woman, what struggles we face on a daily basis. I want to encourage YOU to make a change TODAY. Do it for yourself, not for anyone else. Don’t be afraid to seek out help. Your health and well being is one of the BEST INVESTMENTS you can make.

Find Strength, Find Freedom.
Stay STRONG.
-Anna
Equippingstrength@gmail.com