(Left: May 15, 2017. Right: January 1, 2018.)
Progress is not linear, they say. I’ve never understood this until 2017. At the start of summer, I set out to take a hold of my life. I was the largest I have ever been, and I admit, I was extremely lazy. I ate small portions of vegetables and large portions of desserts. I hated (yes – hated) walking to school and would justify calling an Uber whenever possible. I needed to take naps every single day because despite getting plenty of sleep at night, my body had no energy to sustain me through the day. I was constantly subject to migraines, light headedness, and shortness of breath. I was terrified of getting sick or hurt and having to go to the doctor because I did not want to know my weight. And the more I thought about this, any of this, the more I wanted to eat. The more I wanted to stay in bed and do nothing. I felt bad, and I accepted that.
Until I didn’t.
I took the pictures on the left to serve as a benchmark. I realized I couldn’t let myself get any larger, so let those pictures show me at my largest. I was sick of feeling so lifeless and lethargic on the inside. It was time for a change.
I got home for the summer, I started working out, and I kind of ate healthy. Then one day, my friend Suraya suggested we try a spin class together. Funny, isn’t it?! “Yeah right!” I told her. Somehow, she talked me into it, and we signed up to go the next day. I knew if it wasn’t soon, it wouldn’t happen. We went to spin class, and I despised every single second of it. The music and atmosphere were amazing, everyone in the class did so good, and then there was me. I felt like a whale as I tried to catch the beat, always at least half a count behind. I took at least two breaks each song, not to mention the between song water break we already would get. It made me even more mad at myself that I couldn’t keep up.
Until I could.
It was about five classes in when I really caught the beat. I realized how much empowering it was to look in the mirror and see everyone in sync. It felt more like a dance party than a workout class, and suddenly, I loved it. The class flew by, and I was actually upset when it ended. My energy levels were incredible, and I was addicted to that feeling.
But as my dad got sicker, my desire to workout decreased. I wanted to be with him every waking moment. Through his last week of life up until three weeks after his passing, I did not workout once. Partly because I was busy, partly because I was mad at the world and knew nothing could change that. I went from feeling my best ever, to feeling the worst possible way imaginable. My grief made me physically sick at times, more and more of a reason to skip the workouts. The same workout that previously provided me with the best energy and distraction from reality quickly became something I feared. My mind was in a million different places, and I didn’t know what I wanted. I did know one thing: I did not want to be at the gym.
Until I did.
One day, I was driving and a song came on the radio with a great beat. I was at a red light, and I imagined being back at spin working out to it. I heard my favorite instructor Ann Marie saying “Up, 2, 3, 4. Back, 2, 3, 4,” on repeat in my head. I knew this meant it was time to get back in the gym. I booked my first class back, and I showed up. It was hard, almost feeling like my first time all over again. I don’t weigh myself, but I could feel that I put on weight. Instead of feeling disappointed in myself, I let this be motivation. Motivation to start over again, motivation to push through the class because I knew I could.
Again, as I got back into it, the classes began flying by again. Some days were harder than others, naturally, but I always felt that same excitement as the first time I caught the beat alongside the rest of the class. I noticed the same results with an increase in my energy levels combined with a healthy appetite.
I even made it to a few 5:30 AM classes, something I never saw myself doing. I loved driving home and watching the sunrise while I felt refreshed and grateful. As my strength grew back, so did my motivation to work. The best classes were the ones when friends and family came along with me. They pushed me to put in the work to get the results, and they made the spin class/dance party more fun than it already was.
Today was my last day taking a spin class at the gym that has grown to mean so much to me these last few months. At the start of the summer, I set a few (unrealistic) goals for myself that I didn’t reach. Hopefully on New Year’s day next year, we can reassess my progress on those! While I imagined myself being much farther along by now, I am not disappointed. I have been through complete hell these last few months in losing my hero to cancer. I took the cards I was dealt, and I played them the best I could. None of this would have been possible without the support of my gym.
My fitness journey is a long road ahead of me. This, I know. My time at this gym was only the start of it all. I have many more goals that are screaming to be accomplished. I will achieve these goals because I won’t stop …
Until I have.
Take a class at OMG Cycle in Folsom, California! OMG offers a range of cycling, barre, and yoga classes all at convenient times to meet your needs. OMG offers a welcoming and encouraging atmosphere and all of the classes are adaptable to meet your unique fitness level. I highly recommend trying a spin class with Ann Marie, the owner. Click here to learn more and sign up now!
After a 9:30 ride with OMG Cycle owner, Ann Marie