Hi! I'm Arika- I'm glad you stumbled upon my blog- I hope by sharing my fitness story with you, we'll all learn and benefit. I've had a major change of heart as far as fitness goes, and it has really turned out the results. SO when you have success, you share it!
I've been overweight for most of my adult life, and it's always kind of sucked. As a 5 ft tall woman, at my highest weight (that I'm aware of) I weighed-in at 145 lbs, and my lowest weight was probably in high school, around 125 lbs. 145 lbs for my height and gender is almost 20 lbs overweight!
As far as why I'm overweight and why I got to this point, that's pretty standard. Too much food, unhealthy food choices, and not enough exercise. It's pretty silly when I think about it- my family is a fairly active one. Growing up, we went on family bike rides, walks, and played outside very frequently (or at least it seemed that way to me!). My dad, especially, has been into cycling for a long time, and is definitely a fitness inspiration for me.
Somehow along the way I learned some bad behaviors, like a lot of us have, in America and abroad. I stopped knowing how to recognize the signals my body was sending me; You're full already. Now you're really full. Stop eating already! I did not eat in a healthy way- I ate the amount I wanted, when I wanted it, of whatever I was in the mood for. In college (surprise, right?) I was mostly very inactive. 4 years of inactivity combined with careless over-eating caused weight gain, health problems, and entrenchment of these bad behaviors.
In the last several years, a series of changes happened within me, very slowly. First, I began to realize that I truly was overweight. Maybe not obese yet. Maybe not yet experiencing adverse health effects (although that is debatable), but not loving the extra poundage I was carrying around. The second change is that I decided to do something about it. I'd already had countless attempts at "being healthy" as I liked to call it. But I've finally decided to commit to the whole package- Holistic Fitness! This includes: Diet & Nutrition-
Setting a daily calorie goal for myself and sticking to it
Eating "whole foods"- fruits and vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, etc.
Treating myself without letting every meal end with a treat!
Developing a workout plan that I have been sticking to for the past 7 weeks
Committing to making it to the gym a certain amount of time each week, even if I'm just mosy-ing on the treadmill
Setting and maintaining better work/life boundaries
Making time for healthy eating and exercise in my schedule