My Health & Fitness Journey (Text Heavy! =P)

Health&FitnessJourney

Before I go into more specific posts on health and fitness, I wanted to share my journey along with all the past life experiences and steps I’ve taken to get to where I am today! This is a journey that I’ve never really talked about before but I thought it would be appropriate to share it with you all so you won’t make the same mistakes I did when I first got into the whole “dieting” fad. Bare in mind that I am in no way a health professional and this is just my own personal experience so if you have plans to become more healthy and fit, please take into consideration your own bodily needs! Please also don’t mind that this post will have no images and will be really text heavy so if this isn’t something you’re not interested in reading about, of course I’m completely fine with that and you can skip this post! =)

To start things off, I have to say that I was overweight for a majority of my life. I was definitely by no means morbidly obese but I was overweight to the point where I was ridiculed by other people at a young age, just because I was larger than an average child. Thankfully at the time I had really thick skin and I didn’t take anything negative anyone said to heart because they were just telling me things I already knew, and I didn’t want to give them the reaction or response they were looking for. I was happy with myself at the time and I had no concerns with body image so I went on with my daily life with no worries about life in general.

I didn’t have an interest in becoming “skinny” until about 8th grade. It didn’t last long at all but at the time I was skipping breakfast and didn’t eat meat at all. Please bare in mind that I had no knowledge at all about health and nutrition at the time, so for me I was under the impression that anything that wasn’t a fruit or a vegetable was bad for the body. I was doing no exercise at all, apart from PE in school and I definitely did lose some weight but it was completely unhealthy and I gained it back almost immediately after I started to eat normally again. I would never recommend anyone to do this regardless of your health and fitness goals. It’s always important to eat a balanced diet that incorporates all three macronutrients – carbohydrates, proteins and fats!

Fast forward three years, I decided to take health more seriously than I did before and started to exercise with a goal to become more fit overall. I started to count my calories using the MyFitnessPal app and I incorporated really basic bodyweight exercises into my routine before I went to bed at night. I was doing minimal sets of various crunches and squats. In the beginning, I was eating an avocado on a multigrain toast every morning but eventually I stopped enjoying the taste of it so I started to make my own berry smoothie using a handful of frozen mixed berries, skim milk, some low-fat vanilla yogurt and a few ice cubes to top it all off. I was eating at a calorie deficit of about 1,200 calories with an aim to reach 50kg (I was around 62kg at the time and I was 15 years old). I was dropping weight fast because I transitioned from eating all kinds of unhealthy food to completely eliminating anything that was fried or sugary. Anything that would be classified as junk or unhealthy, I did not eat at all. It definitely took a lot of willpower but I have to say that after two weeks, it was easy for me because I developed the habit. I no longer craved eating unhealthy food and I started enjoying eating more healthy. I think my friends started to get annoyed at me at this point because every time they tried to feed me something unhealthy, I would refuse to eat it. =P I did get really skinny to the point where my family and friends were commenting on it but because the weight dropped really fast, this meant that it gained back fast too. I was back to my original weight within no time at all, especially since I stopped exercising in my final year of high school so I could focus on solely studying.

I didn’t start being more informed and become more health conscious until 2013 where I got into weightlifting at the gym. I stopped weighing myself because this was the time when my fitness goal was just to become stronger. It was no longer about wanting to be “skinny” but to build muscle and recompose my body fat and muscle ratio. I was doing both dumbbell and barbell work, doing full body workouts. In 2014, I started the StrongLifts 5×5 program. It incorporates the three big lifts – the bench press, the barbell squat and the barbell deadlift as well as a few other compound lifts. It is a great beginners program that I would recommend for everyone. The website explains everything perfectly and clearly so if you are interested, please do check it out! I know a lot of other people recommend the program too. Even until now, I still incorporate the exercises into my gym regime and I am as strong as I ever have been – and continuing to get stronger! I visit the gym three times a week and alternate between two different workouts. I’ve also taken up running every Mondays doing 7km at a pace of roughly 5.30min/km. Until the start of 2015, I was also doing a combination further cardio (mainly HIIT) and pilates on my rest days for an hour in the evenings. I was following YouTube workouts such as FitnessBlender and Blogilates, which are both fantastic by the way and I will do a post on my favourite fitness YouTubers! But now I’ve decided to focus on building numbers in my lifts so I have decided to use my rest days as actual rest days.

I’m definitely really proud of my progress but I’m still dreaming big and I want to continually get stronger and stronger. Several years ago I never would have thought I would be able to finally be reasonably content with the way my body looks but now I am able to say that I am. Any sort of health or fitness journey requires commitment and consistency. There is just no way that your body will transform overnight. It takes time but the results are so worth it! =)

The lessons learned in my experience that I want to pass onto anyone who wants to achieve their own fitness goals:

♡ Start slow! If exercise is new to you, there is no need to go out and do anything excessive. Your body needs to adjust to the pressure and changes that occur with exercise so take it easy! Everyone starts somewhere and it’s all about the baby steps. Any sort of dramatic and fast weight loss is unhealthy and means that it will pack back on really easily.

♡ Don’t bother weighing yourself, measure yourself using a measuring tape instead. I spent the longest time believing that weight loss meant fat loss and I couldn’t have been more wrong. Weight can be composed of fat, muscle, water or anything else within your body. A good way to effectively note your progress is to take pictures of yourself and continue to at the end of each week. You can see your body change visually – it’s never about the numbers on the scale!

♡ EAT! Don’t deprive your body of food. You need food to survive and function properly and a good diet is necessary for you to actually exercise! A lot of diets involving eating ridiculously little are ineffective because they cause yo-yo diets where once you start eating properly again, the weight will add back on within days.

♡ For the girlies – don’t be afraid of weights! You will not get bulky and it requires a very high calorie surplus to do so. Strength training is one of the most effective ways to burn body fat but increase muscle mass at the same time. The more muscle you have on your body, the more calories you can naturally burn everyday too!

I hope you enjoyed my post! I know it was so long but I wanted to share absolutely everything about my journey. I will be uploading a post tomorrow on a few of my favourite fitness YouTubers so I hope you look forward to that! =) Please do share your health and fitness journeys with me too if you want to!

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116 thoughts on “My Health & Fitness Journey (Text Heavy! =P)

  1. Secret Lives of Fiction Lovers says:

    What a journey! You’ve come such a long way! Thank you for confirming about the weights not making you more bulky. I put weight on some time ago (due to being unable to walk for around 7 months) then lost it again but my upper arms still remained broad (gutting as they were never like that before I put the weight on) so I’d been worried whether lifting weights would make me look broader.

    Thank you also for confirming that eating very little then going back to normal will obviously put the weight back on. I wish my mum would listen to me when I tell her that. Still she continues to eat very little for fear of putting weight on. *sigh* 😔

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dorkchops says:

      Thank you! I definitely was one of those people who thought cardio was the only way to burn fat but after getting into strength training, I realised I couldn’t be more wrong! Yes I was worried of becoming more broader too but I’m still not bulked up or anything, just stronger! 😀
      I know! As soon as you start eating a bit more than usual, you just gain wait again so it’s definitely not the best solution to eat very little! :O

      Like

  2. estoualexis says:

    I really enjoyed this! I too was overweight as a little girl. Then, there was a time after a surgical operation (long story on what it was about. Let’s just say it involved an oncologist) and wasn’t allowed to exercise for a long time. That ended with me at 74 kilos.

    I had to work at it slowly and steadily after I was given the go signal again to exercise. Now, I can say that, like you, I’ve maintained it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. xMaffyx says:

    I enjoyed reading your post Jen! I kind of remember my boyfriend in this post haha because he’s doing that 5×5 thing as well, he’s trying to gain some muscles. I’ve been wanting to do yoga for a while now but I still need some more motivation. I’m sort of at the point of my life where I feel…not so confident with myself because for the past 2 years I gained weight,but I’m not fat, but I wasn’t super skinny too. But you know how when people gain weight, they feel like they’re so fat already. I don’t feel fat, it’s just that I hated that I gained weight,although I’m not trying to do anything about it, but probably once I finish school, I’ll at least do some jogging/running outside. Sorry for the long comment, just wanted to share. 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dorkchops says:

      Hehe thank you for reading Maffy! 😀 The program is so great, I highly recommend it! You should just go for it and try it out! Yoga is heaps of fun and so relaxing too! 😀 I felt the same way as you, I was upset at myself for gaining weight but then I just stopped weighing myself and didn’t pay attention to it anymore. It’s so much better when you just stop caring about what the numbers say! Hehe it’s ok, I don’t mind your long comment! 😀

      Like

      • xMaffyx says:

        I don’t weight myself actually. We don’t even have a weighing scale hahaha, but I know I did gain weight. I don’t care about the numbers, but it’s about feeling good about yourself. I’ll definitely have to motivate myself more! 🙂 hehe

        Liked by 1 person

  4. plus+beauty27 says:

    This is such a great and motivational post! I, myself have struggled with my weight being up and down all of my life. Right now it’s really up lol. I would like to start out with doing some light exercise such as walking or maybe even using the bike in our apartment’s gym. I have a gym accessible to me and I need to use it! lol. I also really need to work on my eating better too. I did lost 50 lbs or so before through the weight watchers program which is an excellent program but my insurance covered it for two sessions and I didn’t have to pay for it. I couldn’t afford it now but I need to take the things that I learned and apply them. Since the holidays I have put on quite a bit of weight and am a plus-size gal and have been for quite a while. I am an emotional/stress eater too or I will snack when I am bored. It’s just going to take a lot of will power for me to break those habits. I know I can do it though. I’d like to lose some weight before I go back to Michigan in May. I know I won’t loose a ton because that’s not healthy but I just want to feel healthier and better about myself. Sorry for the long comment!! 🙂 xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dorkchops says:

      Thank you! I definitely struggled a lot too, a lot of ups and downs! :O Yes, those are great ways to get into exercise when you’re first starting out! It’s always important not to strain yourself right away and build up! I think the eating part is probably the hardest for a lot of people, it’s just really difficult to eat clean to start off with! But I guess it’s important to have a balance, it’s alright to eat ‘unhealthy’ once in awhile! Just not all the time, everyday haha. And wow you’re so inspiring, losing 50 lbs is incredible! I’m a snacker when I’m bored also. 😦 It definitely will take a lot of power to break those habits but I believe in you and I know you will get there! 🙂 🙂 Just have to keep trying! And I’m beyond happy to know you have to confidence in yourself to believe you will get there too! 😀 Losing weight slowly is always the best way to make sure it doesn’t come back on in a few days! Hehe I don’t mind the long comment at all! I’m glad to hear your side of the story! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • plus+beauty27 says:

        You’re welcome and thank you so much Jen!! Eating is the hardest part! Especially when its become quite a habit. I recently quit drinking diet soda and I don’t miss it at all. I drank it for so many years but it seemed to worsen my Fibromyalgia pain. Ever since I have quit I have felt so much better! I only have an occasional regular pop and have been drinking more water. I guess it’s best to make small changes and not try to drastically change everything overnight. I am hoping to hit the gym this week and do a little walking on the treadmill and go on the exercise bike. Of course with my health condition I can’t over do my exercise either or I will just be in a lot of pain. :-/ Everyday can be a new start though and we shouldn’t beat ourselves up over any set backs. I try to be a positive person anyway lol. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dorkchops says:

        You’re welcome! And I completely understand, it’s breaking the habit that’s the hardest part but you’re made such great progress already with quitting diet soda! I am very proud of you! 🙂 Yes, definitely be aware of how your body feels because it’d be a lot worse if you injure yourself! Hope you have a great session at the gym! 😀 Hehe you are definitely a very positive person with a great outlook! Good on you! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dorkchops says:

        You’re welcome! Thank you, I definitely try to be positive so other people can feed off it too hehe. I never want to be around negative people so I don’t want to be one either! 😛 I really enjoyed our chat too! ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  5. fislittleblog says:

    Such good advice. I think a lot of teenage girls go through that phase of fad diets. Unfortunately for me mine went on for about 2 years. Like you were saying I dropped a lot of weight and barely ate anything. It got to the point where I was about 46 kg, my periods stopped completely and I was advised by my doctor to gain weight. Luckily I snapped out of it when I went to university and started eating normally and drinking a lot! Am now in a place where I balance what I eat and do gentle exercise. Like cycling to work, swimming and Pilates. I feel so much happier and exercise really does make you happier! X

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dorkchops says:

      Thank you Fi! 😀 I know and I fell into that trap too but they are all just so unrealistic and unhealthy. Yes! I dropped weight so quickly as well when I started only eating really little. I’m glad you snapped out of it though! You must be so so fit and healthy now! 🙂 I definitely think exercise makes you happier too! I just feel so happy after a good workout session!

      Like

  6. Tiffaspilla says:

    aw such great advice! I started off as a heavy child, was always a little chubby. I kickstarted my fitness journey about 3 years ago and never looked back! I’m a fitness blogger on here too! 🙂 love your blog! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ladysue6791 says:

    I loved reading this! I’ve really been focusing on gaining strength as well. I’ve been doing a lot more weight lifting than I’ve ever done so I am excited to try this 5×5 app!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. LouiseBarnard says:

    Ive used MyFitnessPal app I defy recommend it 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experiences with me/us 🙂 This post is amazing I’ve definitely learnt something from this!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. miapockets says:

    Jen, I have a similar journey, which I will be sharing pretty soon! Please do let me know what you think. I am also striving to be strong, instead of being skinny. I started boxing lately after watching a Korean movie called “Punch Lady”. I was so inspired by the character that I really let the punch bag had it. You should give it try, it is a lot of fun and a great way to de-stress.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dorkchops says:

      Yay I can’t wait to read your journey! And I’ll definitely let you know what I think! 😀 Hehe yeah it took me a long time to realise that being just skinny isn’t always healthy! And wow boxing is great! I’ve definitely done some here and there, and I agree that it’s so de-stressing! I always feel so relieved after. 😀 I should get into it more! I really want to try Thai boxing too.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Style Domination says:

    Great read! Thanks for posting. We’ve all had our fitness struggles. I always hated running until my hubby forced me to go with him one day. It changed my life. I lost almost 20lbs and feel great. 10 years later, I’ve run countless races and help others with their own training plans. And yes! Weights are great! Love hitting the gym, being the only girl in the weight room and pumping out some reps! xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dorkchops says:

      Thank you! 😀 I used to absolutely despise running too haha but after seeing the results, I realised how great it actually is! So proud of your fantastic and healthy weight loss! You’re so inspiring, congratulations on participating in those races and helping others! 🙂 Haha I know! I used to be so intimidated walking into the weights section with it being 99.9% men but at the end of the day, I just wanted to get stronger for my own sake so it stopped bothering me! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      • Style Domination says:

        You’re welcome and thank you for the kind words! Excellent! I hear you about being intimidated by the muscle-bound guys in the weight room! I just stayed focused and kept telling myself to focus on what I’m doing and not others. Funnily enough, I made some friends!! Really looking forward to more of your fitness posts! xo

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dorkchops says:

        You’re welcome! 😀 Haha yes it took me so long to just get used to it but it’s definitely important to just focus on your own workout than worry about what other people are thinking! 😛 That’s amazing that you made friends! 😀 Thank you, I’m looking forward to writing more of them!

        Like

  11. hunnybunnysoph says:

    This is a wonderful and inspiring post Jen! I might not understand the struggles as I’ve never been too overweight but I was never fit. And like yourself when I was younger I thought that just by eating fish/seafood and vegetables and fruits would do. When I saw that I did lose weight from that diet and simply making sure I was in calorie deficit, I thought that was the way to go. Thinking back it was probably also my higher metabolism that contributed to it, not that it was a diet that was good for my body ><
    It's great that you're now enjoying your fitness lifestyle now and happy with the way your body looks! I love mixing up my workouts and doing HIITs so it's great seeing people who enjoy doing that too! Keep it up Jen! ❤
    P.s. You're a pretty fast runner at 5.30min/km hey 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dorkchops says:

      Thank you so much Soph! 😀 I know, how misinformed we were when we were young! I’m just glad I eventually learned that it was unhealthy to think that way! 😛 So happy that you stopped dieting that way too! You must be so healthy now, especially with the HIIT you do! ❤ I feel the same way, I feel so motivated when other people around me are doing the same thing hehe. Thank you! I'm proud of being able to run steadily now, especially since I was absolutely horrible at running before. There are people running 4:30, which is just totally insane to me LOL. ❤

      Like

    • Dorkchops says:

      Thank you! 😀 I know, motivation is key otherwise it’s almost impossible to stick to the program. Hehe yes I agree, being healthy and happy are so important! 😀 Thank you so much for your support!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. EivlesLife says:

    Awesome post Jen☺️ this is so motivational 😊 weights are great but in the beginning I was kind of afraid of all the men there staring at me but now, who cares? I’m doing my thing without caring 😁 looking forward to read some more fitness posts ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dorkchops says:

      Thank you! 😀 Haha I know, the stares were a bit awkward at first but now I just remind myself to focus on what I’m doing too! 😛 Thank you hehe I hope you look forward to all of them! ❤

      Like

  13. Nivea Navjot Kaur says:

    OMG…. Girly such story you have.. 🙂 You know I was opposite of this since childhood… I was so thin that people used to make fun of me, My struggle was otherwise… but now 😛 after marriage. just in one year i m out of my shape.. :/
    U inspired me more for my fitness regime…
    M sticking to Zumba dance for the shaping exercise 🙂 I loved zumba, first its fun and then it’s so rejuvenating ya 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dorkchops says:

      When I was young, I would have loved to be in your shoes but now I know it definitely goes both ways! I’m sorry you got made fun of for being thin! 😦 But Zumba is so good! I remember I was sweating so bad after I went to a class haha.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dorkchops says:

        Dancing is fun and a great way to exercise! 😀 Haha I so agree though, exercise should be enjoyable! 😀 They so do go hand in hand! I mean if you don’t enjoy it then you just won’t want to do it again. :O

        Like

  14. thebeautylane says:

    The post wasn’t that long – very do-able for anyone interested in the topic 🙂 . I think it was nice of you to share your experience with your readers. Great tips too – especially the one relating to measuring tape versus scales. Such a common misperception . Thank you for sharing ! Xx

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dorkchops says:

      Aw, thank you! I felt like I was writing an entire novel while I was preparing it LOL. 😀 You’re welcome, I think it’s so important that people know it’s not always about the numbers on the scale! 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dorkchops says:

      Thank you! 😀 It’s so hard to keep up initially but after a while it gets into a habit and now I don’t feel great if I don’t keep up with my routine! I’m glad you’re taking it easy with your knee and joint problems, you definitely don’t want to do anything strenuous that may cause further injury. :O But thank you, I’m so glad you found my post motivating! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. myrapawleys says:

    Walk, walk, walk and walk some more. That is the way it works for me. I have the same background in weight problems. As long as I walk, I can keep it off.
    Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Lourdes @ Tribeloco says:

    Great post, Jen! It’s so wonderful that you are striving to be healthy at an early age. Thanks for sharing your journey and keep up the good work! I had the opposite problem — was always skinny no matter what I ate until I became an adult. I am now on my quest for health so I love reading inspiring stories like yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. sanaohmy says:

    I really enjoyed reading this! As someone who has struggled with their weight since the dawn of time, I found this so interesting. And your so right about weighing yourself – there is no bigger mistake than to weigh yourself daily. The scales are no match for measurements. Thank you for the motivation! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dorkchops says:

      Thank you! I feel the same way when I read everyone else’s journey! It’s just so fascinating! 😀 and definitely! I was someone who would weigh myself every single morning and I was dropping weight but at the end of the day, it was probably all just water weight or muscle loss! You’re welcome, I’m so happy people are motivated from my story! 😀

      Like

  18. mitchypoo says:

    I relate to this post because I started a gym today! I am taking it slow, but my weekly goal is to walk on the treadmill for at least 20 minutes 3-4 x a week. I WILL get rid of this excess weight. I’m so sick of it. You are very smart for starting so young. Health is what is important.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dorkchops says:

      Awesome! That’s amazing! 😀 So happy you got started today! Best of luck on your fitness endeavors! 😀 Thank you, I definitely didn’t really realize how important health was until I started to get into it myself! 😛

      Like

  19. Keri says:

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    Like

  20. Marielli_ says:

    This is such a great post. I’m on my own journey trying to lose weight as well. I’m not obese either but I’m don’t feel comfortable or healthy enough in my skin. We add woman should never feel like that and becoming healthy can be fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dorkchops says:

      Thank you! 😀 Definitely important to be comfortable in your own skin so best of luck on your journey! ❤ Yes, becoming healthy should never be boring or stressful, it should always be fun from start to end!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Diabel Faye says:

    I enjoyed your post. as long as it is. I did not feel the length. I must say that you are driven, methodical, quality oriented, and proud to be who you are; that makes you convincing and valuable. Thanks! Respect!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. makeuponatightbudget says:

    I’ve just starting trying to loose weight. I don’t normally eat junk food or drink soda so it takes a while for my body to “loose weight”. I just have to cut down on my pizza intake haha. I’ve even been exercising more. it’s a pain though but i’m hoping to stick with it

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dorkchops says:

      Don’t worry, the results will definitely show! Just be consistent with it hehe and also don’t completely cut out pizza! That is too harsh! :O Do whatever you can to make the exercise fun!

      Like

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