Now that I’ve covered some ground with lifefitwork, it occurred to me that you may be wondering where I am getting all of my topics and ‘expertise’ from. If you’ve taken a look at my About page you already know that I’m not a personal trainer & not a nutritionist, so what gives me the right to talk about “healthy living”? Really, I’m simply a self-proclaimed ‘expert’ in the subject not because I’ve studied the science behind it, but because I’ve lived it. Allow me to re-introduce myself and let’s get personal.
I am competitive. Always have been and always will be. Growing up with a brother 4 years my senior meant that I had a constant competitor and I loved it! I used to trail Chris and his friends around everywhere they went and I was insistent that anything they could do, I could do better. Most of the time I was able to live up to my self-expectations with one exception, the amusement park height marker always got the best of me. I know people always say they’re competitive, but seriously, I’ve been known to take it to the next level.
Like this one time when I was spending a week at choir camp, (yes, this exists) I was told by the cute camp counselor that I couldn’t eat one of the hot jalapeno peppers he had grown himself. The fact that none of his early-twenties-aged friends would do it should have been a red flag. But alas, the 12 year-old (going on 18) me, said “Ha! Just watch me” and I gobbled it down. The utter disbelief that crossed their faces was almost worth the sheer pain I experienced as a result of eating an entire jalapeno pepper. Note: I come from a very British family, spice is not in our vocabulary. Did I let them see my discomfort? Absolutely not. I sat in the dining hall eating bread and milk and didn’t utter a word of complaint. And heck yes I was satisfied. My prize? Instead of fruit for dessert I was given an ice cream bar and was later serenaded with a guitar rendition of Oasis – “Wonderwall” by that same cute counselor who told me I couldn’t eat the pepper.
This inner drive to compete carried me all the way through my childhood and high school career. However, was most apparent in the realm of sports and physical activity.
Name a sports team in elementary school and I was on it. Discus throw included. And to be a competitor, you had to put in hard work to be healthy & fit. As much fun as it was, there was also a lot of discipline involved. Much of this discipline I attribute to my Dad, John. As a child, if my brother or I left our dishes out or didn’t clean our rooms etc. our punishment would be a mandatory set of 25 push-ups. No joke. John is not ex-military and his father didn’t use those tactics on him, but it was his way of trying to use push-ups as a deterrent/punishment. Little did he know, it was working to create a habit of healthy activity that I have taken and applied to daily life.
Eventually I realized that I couldn’t be “the best” at every sport under the sun and narrowed my expertise to one discipline; dance (yes, it’s a SPORT).
This is where most of my education in health and fitness blossomed. As a dancer, you have to be so aware of your body and the muscles needed to shape the way you want to move. In many sports there is a ball or tool used to compete but in dance, you are the ball. You are the only thing stopping you from winning or losing so it’s in your best interest to be finely tuned. That being said, in a dance class it is glaringly obvious when you are not looking or doing your best, there are mirrors EVERYWHERE. Because I spent so much time looking at myself in the mirror, I learned a lot about my diet and how it affects my bodies’ performance. I started listening in, and noticed I reacted differently to certain foods depending on when, what and how I ate. I didn’t realize how much I had learned about myself until well into my University days when I finally had what Oprah likes to call my own “ah-ha moment”. But let me tell you, after 20 years as a dancer I have learned a LOT about my personal diet and fitness.
This realization, coupled with my natural drive to succeed in a physical landscape is how I’ve come to conclude that yes, I can be a voice for healthy living. Whether or not you like, love, or hate being physically active or eating your veggies there is still a way for anyone to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. This is the notion I hope I can instill with my readers and guide you to understand what works best for you. I think the most important thing to take from my experiences and this blog entirely, is that there is no overnight solution, or a wrong or right way to achieve a healthy lifestyle. You have to want it, you have to commit yourself to doing it and you have to put in the work.
So now you know a little bit about where I’m coming from and how I got here. But I will ask one thing of you, no, beg of you; don’t dare me to do something. Although I have a better handle on it these days, I will forever have the urge to try any kind of challenge you throw my way! #lifefitwork