My Story

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. 

Grade 9 Nicole!

Grade 9 Nicole!

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!).

Grade 10 Nicole was just an embarrassing mess let’s just say that..

Grade 10 Nicole was just an embarrassing mess let’s just say that..

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.

Me in my first year of university.

Me in my first year of university.

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.

2018 Nicole!

2018 Nicole!

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 

Nicole O'Brien