Your Personal Fitness Journey: Start Small. Set Goals. Establish a Support System.
At age 18 I attempted to do a push up. As I started to lower my body, I began to feel myself weaken. I collapsed on the floor. Fitness assessments throughout grade school were a nightmare for me, and as a senior in high school I weighed in at 300 pounds.
My eating habits were horrible and my exercise routine was nonexistent. My doctor informed me that if I didn’t make a change, I wouldn’t make it past age 45. Unsure how I got myself to that point, I felt like I had nowhere to turn.
I knew I needed to make a change. My lifestyle was unhealthy and I knew I was traveling down a path that would only lead to disappointment and unhappiness.
I started my fitness journey on New Year’s Day 2014. I focused on both diet and exercise, consuming only 1,200 calories each day instead of my usual 3,000. My diet consisted entirely of oatmeal for breakfast and chicken with broccoli the rest of the day.
Every day I ran as far as I could without stopping, which started out as a half-mile.
I noticed tremendous changes after only a month of consistent training. I had significantly more energy and focus throughout the day. I successfully ran a mile in nine minutes and completed four consecutive push-ups.
After four months I had lost 60 pounds.
The journey didn’t end there. In my junior year of college, I began working with a personal trainer at The Rec. He inspired me to push myself further and commit each day. My instructor in the Auburn University Marching Band mentored me in my progress, but soon became a close friend that I still workout with today.
I believe that we all have the ability to positively shape our future and anyone can create the reality they want.
Here are three practices that helped me achieve results:
My inability to do the most basic exercises motivated me to work toward performing a perfect push-up. Starting out, I used assisted exercises like knee push-ups to train my shoulders to handle my weight. I gradually moved to the unassisted push-up over time.
Find what drives you to succeed and use that to stay motivated!
I find that organizing my goals within time frames helps me to better understand the process of learning. I use visual aids such as Microsoft Excel to associate dates to my goals. Making a daily layout helped me to visualize exactly what needed to be done, and helped maintain harmony between school, work, and training.
Being specific with your goals will outline what you need to accomplish each day.
Establish a Support System
Mentors exist to support you in all of your endeavors. You want friends who support your decisions and goals. My mentors truly care for me and my success.
Build a team that will always be there for you, and find a way to be a support for them in their times of need.
Today I weigh 195 pounds and exercise five times a week. With a shift in my mental approach, I am able to live the life I want and be shaped positively by fitness. I believe you can, too.
Have an inspiring fitness story of your own? We’d love to hear it. Share with us on social @AuburnCampusRec.
Be well, Auburn.
Photography: Chanah F.