If you’ve visited my “About” page then you already know a little bit about my path to wellness. It’s a two part story that includes finding a love for cooking and discovering how to navigate the world of nutrition to avoid food sensitivities but also includes a fitness story. I thought I’d elaborate a little bit on each in two separate posts just so I could share a little bit more about myself since they are both such big parts of my life! I’ll dive right in with the fitness side of things since it came first.
While I was always active growing up, I was never into working out. I preferred being outside, walking (occasionally trying to run), and horse back riding. I tried all the school sports and extra curricular activities my parents put me in, but nothing other than equestrian ever stuck with me. In addition to being active I was pretty tiny my whole life. After finishing my first year of university, I was in a car accident that left me with a broken femur, an ankle with a third degree sprain, damaged knee, dislocated hip, whiplash, broken toes, and more bumps, bruises, and scrapes than I could count. I had a plate and pins put into my leg to fix the break and over the next two years had additional surgeries to alleviate pain in my knee and also to remove my “hardware”. I had an initial stay of two weeks in the hospital and once I was out spent some time between a wheel chair (because my sprain and break were on opposite legs) and crutches. After spending almost 6 months on the crutches, I was able to move to cane. Now, I don’t know about you, but being 19 and walking with a cane didn’t make me feel like the coolest kid on campus.
During these few years I was in weekly physio therapy to learn to walk again and try to deal with all the pain I was experiencing. I was told I would always have some degree of chronic pain and that I would be limited in the activities I could do because of my knee (there’s no cartilage in my right knee) and the general pain I had in my right leg. Immediately after the car accident I remember trying not to eat very much because I didn’t want to gain weight. That soon lead to completely over eating because I was slowly becoming more and more depressed. That isn’t easy to share but it’s the truth so there’s no point in hiding it. Fast forward several years to grad school I had realized that I had slowly put on 50 lbs. Now, since I was so small my whole life I could stand to put on some weight BUT when you find yourself 50 lbs heavier and going through the KFC drive-through ordering 2 meals for yourself – you have a problem on your hands. I started going to the campus gym but looking back on it now I was just doing all the wrong things while I was there, in combination with thinking many of the things I was eating were healthy when they couldn’t have been farther from it. Right before finishing up grad school I moved in with my parents for a while and ended up losing 20 lbs (thanks mom for all the good food!!). I remained at that plateau for several years.
Finally, 10 years after the accident – that’s 10 years of chronic pain and limited activity – I decided that I was going to try working out at home. I was already in pain all the time so I figured I couldn’t get any more sore than I was already and thought that by doing it at home I could skip the embarrassment of not being able to do very much in front of people at the gym. So I picked up a Jillian Michael’s workout and started working out 5 days a week after work. And you know what?? At first I was sore. I couldn’t squat very low and I had to ice my knee every day. But after a couple of weeks…things stopped hurting as much!! All those aches and pains I had lived with for 10 whole years started going away as I started building muscle! I was hooked. I soon moved on from Jillian (although she’ll always hold a place in my heart for helping me crawl out of a dark place) and discovered Beachbody fitness programs. Now I continue to do all my workouts at home and am constantly switching things up between my library of programs (which has become pretty extensive over the last 4 years!). I am now able to pay it forward and help other people discover a love of fitness through my online boot camps….and it’s all because I took a small risk and decided to start working out in my living room!!
Question: What’s your preferred workout location? Home? Gym? Outside?