My Fitness Journey: The Ups & Downs

My passion for fitness started way back in high school when I was on the wrestling team. The practices we had were so intense, it was normal for me to lose 2 pounds in those 2 hours, and I loved it. My junior year of high school, I took a class called Weight Training, which was basically lifting weights and our final exam was to create a workout routine for one week. I wanted to learn more about fitness and to study Exercise Science in college. I even got accepted to the University at Buffalo in New York. Unfortunately, I didn’t attend because I wanted to stay close to my high school boyfriend, who turned out to be a real shit head. I can’t say I regretted staying and going to school in the city, because it was there that I was reconnected with my now husband.

After dropping out of college, and being in love with the most wonderful guy in the world, I gained so much weight. My normal weight is around 130 pounds and I had gotten up to around 175 pounds in a year and a half.

And then I got pregnant.

So of course, I gained more weight but along the appropriate lines, according to my doctor. When I went in for my final prenatal appointment, I weighed 201 pounds. I was mortified that I got over 200 pounds, pregnant or not.

38 weeks pregnant, and yes, she grew more in the last 2 weeks.

About 6 months after my daughter was born, I decided I needed to start working out and get my shit together. I borrowed the P90X DVD set from my brother-in-law and got to work.

In 6 months I lost 25 pounds and my passion for fitness was reignited.

I decided to pursue my dream of becoming a Personal Trainer. So I studied and became a Certified Fitness Instructor through the International Sports Sciences Association. I started working as a Group Fitness Instructor at a local gym and I felt at home in front of a class.

2014, in the best shape of my life. Goals AF for me now.

But my father was diagnosed with cancer, and making many trips from Florida to New York meant I couldn’t dedicate myself to my clients, so I eventually left the gym. My workouts became sporadic and stopped altogether once my father passed away.

I didn’t study to renew my fitness certification either.

But after having my second daughter years later, I knew I wanted to get back to working out.

It took me a while to stay consistent, but I finally got my groove back.

I know it’s only going to get harder the older I get, so I’m making sure that I workout at least 6 days a week for at least an hour. I have so many days where I just don’t want to work out, but having a gym in my house certainly helps. I associate working out with brushing my teeth: I wouldn’t go a day without brushing my teeth and the same applies to hitting the gym.

Exercise is a form of self-care.

With my anxiety as bad as it is, I make sure more than ever to work out. I truly feel better after I work out. And even on those days where I’m so sore, I never regret working out. Even though I’m not at my “ideal” weight, I love the way my body looks now. And the amazing part about fitness for me is the journey. Realizing that not too long ago, I was unable to do one push-up to now doing 20 without stopping for a break.

It’s definitely been a roller coaster ride for me, from gaining almost 50 pounds and losing it, gaining and losing, and gaining and losing again. What a wild ride it’s been.

To anyone who is on their own fitness journey, I’ll tell you this: it doesn’t matter where anyone else is. As long as you commit to exercising everyday and eating healthier, you’ll reach your goals. It all starts with a single step.

-Toniann

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