I thought I'd do a little #throwbackthursday action to my personal transformation a few years ago. Although I have never been extremely overweight, I have had periods of my life where I wasn't healthy at all. I had my daughter in 2007. Prior to her I had always worked out. I didn't really understand nutrition that much, so my diet left something to be desired, but I was young with a healthy metabolism, so it didn't affect my weight too much. Since that time I earned my Bachelors in Dietetics, so now I do have an understanding of nutrition... So fast forward to these pics. During my pregnancy I quit working out, and I gained 37 pounds. Not too bad, since the recommended weight gain is 25-35 lbs. After my pregnancy I was able to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. However, what was not taken into consideration was how much muscle I lost during that time. You see, I've always been a weight lifter, with very minimal cardio, so I have a lot of muscle mass for my frame... but since I quit during my pregnancy my muscles atrophied. Muscle is more dense than fat, so in comparison it weighs more on the scale compared to fat. So, even though I weighed the same, I was larger, and none of my clothes fit. After about a year and a half postpartum, I decided to start working out again. As a mom it's very easy to quit doing things for yourself, and sacrifice all of your time for your kids and others... Which is exactly what I was doing. But what I found was I was not really giving them "me", because I was not the "me" I knew I could be. It wasn't just about the way I looked, although initially that was my motivating factor... You see, I was lethargic, depressed, weak, stressed to the max, and just plain exhausted all the time... Not the happy, healthy person I was before. So, I started working out at home in my basement, with my toddler running around me. Over time I started feeling the positive effects of working out again. It felt good, and I felt good about showing my daughter that her mom is active and takes care of herself. Eventually my healthy eating habits kicked in. These actions not only improved my physical health, but also my mental health. I was happier, I had more energy, and I gained more confidence... I even decided to enter a Figure competition - something I had wanted to do for nearly 15 years. I didn't place well at my first one, but I didn't care... My love for fitness was renewed, and I was proud of myself for having goals and actually finishing them.
By taking care of myself, I became a better parent, friend, person... Because I let go of self-hatred, and began to love myself... All of myself. Which allowed me to love others, and let others love me. It wasn't just about my physical transformation. It was about transforming my whole life. I've personally seen this transformation in others too... And it's awesome! So, as you look at these pictures, realize you're not only seeing my physical transformation, which to some may not seem that drastic... but it's about the even bigger transformation of my well-being into a healthy and happy individual, with a new sense of self confidence that allowed me to follow my dreams, plus continue to create new ones to follow. I hope to always continue this journey of health, fitness, and growth... All while loving and accepting the person I am.