Hello there! My name is Angela and I am blogging from the great state of Michigan
We made this blog in hopes of inspiring and motivating others to go for their fitness and health goals, even if they seem impossible! Now, before I give you a brief bio of myself, how about some history..
My unhealthy idea of what “healthy” meant started when I was fourteen. I never considered myself to be anything but normal, until I succumbed to comparing myself to others and realizing that I was not as thin, or as curved as girls in my grade. I have always had a muscular build to me as I was involved in gymnastics and sports most of my life, and it’s just in the gene cards for me. I guess I just never took the time to care about how I compared to the other girls. Then the pressures of entering into high school really started to get to me, and I put a lot of pressure on myself to look a certain way. In order to get that way, I went to extreme and unhealthy measures.
It started as just reducing my food intake and starving myself throughout the day at school, and limiting my food intake to a snack from the snack bar. Since this only led me to feel exhausted and in physical pain by the end of the day, I would come home and binge eat. I was seeing results, but not the results I wanted. Regardless, this had me craving to lose more lbs. I began counting calories like crazy. Everything became too high in fat, or too many carbs; I was literally obsessed. Pretty soon, I was limiting my daily intake to a spoonful of peanut butter a day and chewing nerd gumballs as a way to fight the hunger. Even though I was looking grossly skinny for me at this point, I was still fat in my mind, and was willing to go to the extreme to lose the “extra weight” I was seeing on myself. When I thought I couldn’t put my body through any more torture, I did. At my lowest point, I would make myself sick as a way of punishing myself for eating anything at all. I knew that what I was doing was dangerous to my body, but at a certain point you almost lose control of that “control” you have over yourself. The sad part about eating disorders is that no matter how unhealthy you know it is, and no matter what people tell you, you refuse to let go of it. It’s a way of life; your days become filled with traditions, rituals and patterns that all involve goals, food and lack thereof. These unhealthy ways continued all throughout high school and even into the first few years of college. I tried to hide it as best that I could by making excuses to not go out on the weekends, or to just say I had already ate when asked to go to the dining halls. One day as I was sitting at my computer, and was feeling dehydrated and hungry, I poured myself a glass of skim milk to try and fight the hunger pains. After a few minutes the glass was gone, and I could not have been more upset with myself for choosing that over water. So, I did what I always did when I was upset with myself. At some point between walking from my computer desk to the bathroom, I lost it. I locked myself in there and just cried on the bathroom floor for what felt like hours. To know that I was THAT upset with myself for having a small glass of skim milk, I couldn’t believe I had let it get so bad for so long. I had lost complete control over myself and my health, and it was then that I realized how much damage I had not only done to my body physically, but to myself emotionally and mentally. I was exhausted day in and day out trying to reach perfection. Was all of this worth it? Having absolutely no energy, doing poorly in my classes, avoiding going out with friends, being upset and irritated all the time; all for what?
Opening up about struggling with eating disorders is a very scary thing; thankfully though, I had a very supportive family and a great group of friends who reached out to help and encourage me to find my way back to truly being physically, mentally and emotionally happy. Since then, I can honestly say I feel the healthiest and happiest I have ever been. Even though at times I struggle and hold negative thoughts against myself, and I am definitely guilty of doing that, I am more self aware of when I’m falling into bad habits and can check myself. Being healthy and overcoming an eating disorder is a lifelong journey, and one that comes with obstacles and triumphs. I know that not every day is going to be a great day, and some days are going to be worse than others, but I have found that being healthy isn’t about what you eat or how many calories you burn in a workout, it’s about feeling good about yourself in whatever vision that is for you! I’m never going to be a size 0… or even a size 2 for that matter, I’m never going to have a flat stomach or a gap between my thighs, and I have learned to love that. I love that I have broad shoulders and that my calves are bigger than my boyfriends (not really, but I mine are definitely more muscular lol); I love my curves and my bubble butt, I love my muscular legs that DO touch when I stand up straight. I have learned to love me inside and out and to appreciate every inch of my body, even on the bad days. I have figured out what it is that makes me feel good about myself, and it’s important that everyone find that. For some it’s a certain form of exercise, for others it’s cooking and baking goodies everyday, and some may find it through socializing and forming connections. While I enjoy all of these activities (especially the cooking and baking…I
like LOVE food), my main feel good go to is running.
I was never a runner, in fact the most I ran was from one base to the other (which felt like a mile at the time!), as my main sport was always softball. I was involved in sports in high school and was always at some sort of practice that provided me with my daily activity. Once high school ended and I started attending college at Michigan State (GO GREEN!), I just became very overwhelmed, that I lost serious control over my health. It was hard for me to leave home, and for the first time as an adult I was seriously homesick. It made me stick to my dorm a lot rather than going outside or to the gym, and by doing so, I became even more obsessed with my eating disorders. After my bathroom breakdown, I finally decided it was time for a change. My roommate and I joined one of the campus gyms and started doing some of the fitness classes they offered, and for the first time I finally started to feel like myself again. I made some great friends as I started becoming more comfortable and opening myself up to going out and enjoying my time. I mean, you’re only in college once right?
Sophomore year I moved into an apartment with three other girls, and I worked in the leasing office there to cover rent. Thankfully they had a gym free to all residents, and as fate may have it, we were right in front of an open field and river trails as well. I had no excuse now to not start getting outside again and taking my health to the next level. I remember like it was yesterday; I went out for a run and once I was done I felt like I had moved mountains with as hard as it was for me to breath and to move my legs after that. Excited to see the ground I covered during my run, I was in aw when I looked and saw that I had only ran .6 of a mile. All of my fears and negative thoughts came crashing down on me and I knew that I had let myself down with all of the damage I had done to my body. Walking back to my apartment, I knew it was time for a serious adjustment in my exercise!
As I continued in school I began running more, and incorporating weight lifting and ab exercises. I began to feel better and really started looking forward to working out. The summer of my junior year my mom and step-dad bought Insanity, and I immediately fell in love! I loved the changes I was seeing in my body and the soreness I felt the next day after completing another workout. My endurance was building with every workout, and by the end of the first month I was able to make it through a workout without stopping, and was able to start running 2 miles without walking. That was really the start of me getting back on track and making exercise a part of my daily routine.
During my senior year, my family decided to run a 5k. I decided I could do that, since I had been running consistently, although not 3 miles yet. I didn’t take training seriously (yes…there is such a thing as training for a 5k!), and race day came and I was pretty nervous. It was my official first 5k, and I wanted to feel good about it when I crossed that finish line. Thankfully, I was able to run it without stopping and even under my 30:00 minute goal! I immediately got hooked. Following that 5k, the next race I signed up for was a half-marathon (go big or go home right?), and then my next race was a 25k! I fell in love with running by accident, but I absolutely love pushing my body to extremes and limits that I never thought possible. I mean…I never in a million years dreamed of running a race, and now I’m currently training for my first marathon! In finding a new passion, I learned what healthy is, and what it looks like for me. I’m not perfect in this journey….in fact far from it. I eat cookies (and lots of them…not the healthy ones), I skip workouts, I run lazy sometimes, I don’t drink the amount of water you’re supposed to everyday, and I purchase pop sometimes just because it sounds good. When I’m not doing these things though, I eat healthy, I workout, I push myself out of my comfort zone, I pray and thank God for all of the blessings he has given me and for helping me find my way back to my old self. Lastly, I remember that every day is a new day, and I refuse to let one little setback ruin my day. By doing so, I have found the best version of me!
Now that you all have some insight into my new found love for running and pushing the limits, here’s a bit about myself!
I grew up in a small town most of my life with a large and very supportive family who I consider my greatest blessing (Dad, Mom, Step-dad, four brothers, a step-brother, two sister-in-law’s, two nieces, a nephew, and lots and lots of dogs…you get the picture). Since my parents are divorced, I experienced country living and
city close quarters living. While both are unique and enjoyable in their own ways, I really love the country and have a passion for being outdoors. I grew up with all boys (I’m not sure how I even survived!), so I was quite a tomboy for most of my life, and never wanted to be left out just because I was a girl. Thankfully my brothers never gave me special treatment, so I was always in trees, swinging on branches, or playing army in the woods with my brothers. Now my time outside is normally spent hunting, fishing, being on the lake, or just walking in the woods. The best part about my passion is that I get to share it with my wonderful boyfriend.
We met in undergrad at MSU, and even though at the time we just met briefly and that was that, our paths crossed again thankfully and it was love at first sight (I know..gagg)! It has now been a little over 3 amazing years, and I truly think he is the one that I was supposed to find all along. We share the same love and passions, and we both make each other want to be a better person. We both love fitness and health and are constantly pushing each other and motivating one another to reach our goals. He’s definitely my coach when it comes to my training and running, and he is constantly keeping me in check about who I am as a person and what I stand for. Without even knowing it, his constant love and support for me have really helped me get to where I am now, inside and out.
Currently, I have my BS in family community services with a concentration in child and adolescent development, and am in my last semester of graduate school for my Masters Degree in Social Work. I love what I do and have a strong passion for helping others, whether that be in my field of work or through a blog about healthy living, it’s what makes me happy at the end of the day. I truly believe God put me on this earth to help others, and I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to do that everyday.
Most of my time is spent at school, at my internship or at work, but in my free time I do try and have a social life 🙂 I love running (obviously), zumba, strength training, spending time outdoors, and with those that matter most to me; my family and friends. I have an obsession with DIY crafts and love making new things to put up around the apartment or to give as gifts. I love baking and cooking and trying new and healthy recipes.
Some turn out to be a bust, but sometimes magic happens in the kitchen and deliciousness is made! I also love talking and discussing all of these things 🙂
I hope that you enjoy our blog and find something in here to inspire and motivate you, if you have any questions please leave them in our Ask Me Anything section, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Make it a great day 🙂