“Eat clean. Stay fit. And have a burger to stay sane.” – Gigi Hadid  

“My weight? It is what it is. You could get hit by a bus tomorrow. It’s about being content, and sometimes, other priorities win.” – Melissa McCarthy

“What are you going to do? Be hungry every single day to make other people happy? That’s just dumb.” – Jennifer Lawrence

The Importance of the #BodyJourney:

We all have a story when it comes to our journeys with fitness, nutrition, self-motivation and body love. We all have a past, present and future for getting where we want to be in a healthy way. Here is my journey, and I would love to hear yours as well. Sometimes talking about it is the first and most important step.

My Past:

I was always an active kid. I used to ride my bike around my neighborhood everyday after school with my friends. I played field hockey and soccer, participated in gymnastics and swimming, and Field Day at school was always the best day out of the year. My active lifestyle came to a standstill during my freshman year of high school. During a soccer game I had injured my ankle and was unable to play for the rest of the season. I went through months and months of physical therapy only to find that while running, there was still a sharp pain in my ankle. I tried out for the girls lacrosse team, but miserably failed after not being able to keep up with the other girls because of the pain that still lived in my ankle. After that I began to forget about sports. All of the sports I wanted to play involved running, something I just couldn’t do much of anymore. My dreams of being on a collegiate soccer team faded, and so did my active lifestyle.

The application process of applying to colleges came quickly after that, and soon I found myself knee deep in college, loan and scholarship applications, with no ability to apply for athletic scholarships. It was beyond disappointing. By that time I had put on about fifteen pounds since my days of playing soccer had ended, and I feared that I would never be able to lose that weight. As I was applying to schools, I also took a look at which sports they had to offer. The main reason I chose the college I did, Bridgewater College, was because they had an Equestrian Program. I had always wanted to ride horses since before I could remember, but my parents had always deemed it too expensive. Luckily, at Bridgewater, you were able to pay for your riding lessons through your tuition. That’s exactly what I did. The two years I spent at Bridgewater were half spent on campus, and half spent in the barn. I loved riding and never wanted to give it up. I was finally getting back into shape and was happy.

After my second year at Bridgewater, I had decided to transfer. The reasons for transferring don’t really matter right now, but after my transfer I had put on more weight than what I had before. I had gained about twenty-five to thirty pounds and slowly started to slip into a deep depression. I began to forget about eating during the day, and at night I would binge. At night I came to find that I would think more about how unhappy I was with myself, and to make that go away I would eat, but then end up feeling even worse. This continued to happen on and off for the past two years. My weight fluctuated, and so did my depression. One second I would be going to the gym, the next I would have no money to pay for my gym membership, and I was back to binging.

My Present:

I’ve wanted to make a change for a while now, but I just didn’t know how. After my favorite health and fitness blog, Fit Personality, called it quits, it took me a while to find someone else that motivated me to be better. That’s when I came across Jen Heward and Heidi Somers on YouTube. Just by watching their videos and hearing their stories, I have become more motivated to better myself. Before finding Jen and Heidi, I wasn’t motivated. I wasn’t inspired to make a change because something was gnawing at me telling me it wasn’t possible. I realize now that is not the case. Anything is possible. I just have to take the time and dedication to make it happen. And that starts now!

When people comment on my weight, I wish I could just scream, “I know!” I know that I am overweight. I know that I am not skinny. Do you know that my own parents come up to me, grab and jiggle my thighs, and say “you need to lose weight?” Do you know that three out of the seven medications I’m taking for a brain condition makes me put on weight, even though I generally eat “healthy” food? Do you know that I have constantly battled with depression, anxiety, and lack of self-confidence because of my weight? Do you know that the medical condition I’ve recently been diagnosed with limits the amount of physical activity I can take part in? It sucks not always having control over my own body, while medication does. It sucks feeling as if I can’t do as much as others when it comes to losing weight, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to give up and do nothing while fat collects under my skin and in my arteries. The one thing that I hate more than the ridicule I get from other people, is the ridicule I get from myself. I don’t want to hate myself anymore for how I look. I don’t want to constantly be depressed because of how much I weigh. I don’t want to struggle finding clothes that fit and flatter my figure. I don’t want to have anyone else’s body, or a body that looks like someone else’s. I want a healthier, more fit version of my own. Most importantly, I want to be a fit, happier version of myself.

My Future:

“I’m not going to sacrifice my mental health to have the perfect body.” – Demi Lovato

Things I REFUSE to do while embarking on my fitness journey:

  1. I refuse to cut myself off from eating things I love. There are ways that you can still eat the things you love, while being healthy.
  2. I refuse to take the harsh criticism of others to heart. I’m making a change in my life for myself, and nobody else.
  3. I refuse to let the memories from my past about my struggle with weight affect who I am today, and who I’m trying to become. You can’t define your future by what has happened to you in the past, and who you used to be.
  4. I refuse to not feel accomplished with my progress. I will be proud of my progress and all of the hard work that I have put into making myself better.
  5. I refuse to give up and stop trying.

“If you want to make lifestyle changes, it doesn’t happen with a Like on Instagram. It takes time and discipline.” – Kate Hudson

I have come to realize that being happy with how I look is possible. It is possible to make a change and be happy with it. It is possible to become a stronger, happier and healthier version of myself. I don’t have to hate myself for how overweight I am anymore. I have the ability to make a change for the better, and so do you! If you are unhappy and depressed about your weight like I am, whether you think you are too big, too small, or are just unhappy with their body, there is hope. I encourage anyone who has gone through the same struggle as me to make a vow to themselves saying, “I can be a happier, healthier version of myself.” All it takes is motivation, dedication, and heart.

 

Share your #BodyJourney below. We would love to hear your story and support each other’s goals!

 

More About the Author

Bryn Gibson
Bryn Gibson
Bryn is a 21 year old fitness & nutrition enthusiast hoping to get her certification and exercise science degree from the International Sports Sciences Association. Bryn grew up in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with a mind full of creative ways to one day change the world. Everyday with an iced coffee in hand, she works hard to achieve her dreams and inspire others to do the same. In the summer, Bryn works as a lead-lifeguard at the Hershey Campground and spends her free time in nature or working on photography projects. She is extremely excited to work and contribute to HerTrack!
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