I call this my ‘fitness journey’because it really has been a long time coming when it comes to my health and fitness. I didn’t always love being active, and it’s really taken a lot for me these last few years to really grow my love for the gym and for healthy eating.
When I was in elementary school, I was a pretty active kid. I wasn’t like an all-star athlete by any means, but I participated in school sports like track and field, volleyball (my favourite and still is) and basketball (yes even though I am five feet tall, and probably was like 4’11 back then, I was on the basketball team. No one ever believes me when I tell them lol). But when I entered high school, I kinda just stopped all that. Wanting to be popular got the best of me, and I forgot all about getting involved in sports. I did participate in gym in Grade 9, but only because we had to get the credit in order to graduate. After that, I stopped taking gym classes all together. I took a dance elective for all four years, but it was really more for the social aspect of talking to my friends, and getting to be in recitals (oh the glamour!).
I would say my fitness journey began in Grade 12, when I joined the soccer team. Now let me be clear, I had never played soccer once in my life. Not even house league, or like with friends. I just didn’t ever get the memo that’s what other girls my age did, and I just didn’t like soccer very much. But the guy I was dating at the time was like a super jock, and I kinda felt a little intimidated that I wasn’t in shape. So, my soccer superstar of a friend made me tryout for the soccer team (pretty much because she knew everyone would make the team), and there I was, on a team for a sport I knew nothing about. But the reason why I say it kick started my fitness journey is because it pushed me to workout and eat a bit better. This is when I started to run more (which I absolutely hate doing and wanted to just cry every time the coach said we were doing laps). But I didn’t want to look like the only one who couldn’t run, so I started running outside of practice, just around my neighbor (wanting to cry every time my foot hit the pavement). I realized I was a terrible runner, and that soccer just wasn’t for me. But it pushed me to explore other outlets that could work for me because I loved that ‘after-practice’or ‘after-game’feeling of the endorphins pulsing through my body.
After graduation, I took a year off and that’s when I really started working out, and learning more about my body. I joined a women’s gym and worked out whenever I could. At first, I started om my own. Doing a few classes here and there, but really just doing my own cardio routine (this was a time when cardio was the BIG fitness trend). But then I started plateauing, I wasn’t seeing results that I thought I would from working out by myself. So I decided to start doing a few classes. Yoga and pilates were just starting to become trendy, especially yoga, so that’s where I really put my focus on. I was doing yoga like twice a week, pilates twice a week, and then rest days in between, with some treadmill action lined up in there as well.
Now I would like to point out that my diet as this time was horrendous. I didn’t understand the connection between food and fitness, all I thought was that if I workout for this amount of time, I can have this many cookies (not very realistic thinking, but it did work for a bit). I would also like to point out that I have never been overweight. I’ve been tiny my whole life due to good genes from my mom and dad. But at the times when I wasn’t working out in my life, I felt sluggish, worn down, tired all the time, and always looking for that next sugar fix without a thought in the world.
It wasn’t until I went away to university did I realize that food has a huge impact on how we feel as a whole. That’s because I went without a lot of my favourite foods for a year while I was living away from home, eating from the cafeteria 3 times a day, with a cabinet dedicated to junk food awaiting me on those late night study sessions. But whenever I came back home, everyone I saw would tell me I looked super thin, asking me if was eating enough, if I had enough money to pay for food, etc. the funny part is, I would look in the mirror and think I looked exactly the same as I did when I started university. I look back at photos now and realize that just wasn’t true, that I was underfeeding my body because of the lack of nutrients the meals I was consuming had. I was working out at least 3-4 times a week while in school, but binge-drinking every weekend, and late night meals were just making that time at the gym a huge waste of time.
After completing one year in university, I ultimately decided it wasn’t for me (unrelated reasons!). I came back home, applied to a local college in my area, and started working out at my hometown gym. As I went through my two years of college, I was stressed, but working out became an outlet for that stress. I started doing a lot of pilates and yoga, and building up my upper body strength (which was seriously lacking). After graduation, I started the full-time job I work now, and my gym routine has become much more of a ‘routine’now that my schedule is 8:30-4:30 Monday to Friday.
If you check out my article ‘What Workouts I am Currently Loving,’you’ll know what my exact gym routine is now (very class-focused). I love the body I’m in right now, but it’s taking me awhile to really feel this way. I hope with this blog I can inspire those who want to start their own journey, and those who are already in the middle of their own!
So here we go! Every Friday I will be posting a brand new blog post or video! I’m ready to share my thoughts on the health and fitness world so if you have a question, let me know in the comments below or you can direct message me on Instagram @Nicoleisshort! Thanks for reading, and see you next week! Xoxo