As a former pageant titleholder, I've pushed my body to it's limits in the name of getting the perfect bikini figure. After all, when you're walking on stage in front of hundreds of people in little more than your underwear... you want to make sure you look good. Now for some of my pageant sisters, trying to reach that perfect body was terrible for their mental health. They struggled with self-esteem and unhealthy habits. I'm lucky to say that competing in a swimsuit competition was nothing but a positive and empowering experience for me.
But that was then...
Fast forward to three years later, I was officially over my suggested weight for my height, tired and sluggish all the time, and genuinely not happy. I went into quarantine dreading having to look at myself in the mirror. You might be wondering if my pageant career played a role in this negative self-image. Well, maybe? Certainly after having achieved washboard abs seeing myself bloated and 40 pounds heavier was tough. I wanted to go back to how I was when I walked on that stage and had my best Beyonce moment.
I had to face a hard truth, though. That moment was gone. It was gone and it wasn't coming back. That was the moment of a barely twenty year old girl who had a high metabolism and no stress. I needed to stop comparing my body now to what it was then and instead put the focus on doing things that made me feel good. So, I set out on a quest to make this quarantine the time that I started to put my health (both mental and physical) first. Check out my steps below!
This one seems obvious, I know, but getting your body moving is so important! For me, it's hard to get myself going without the pressure of a swimsuit competition to motivate me. I've taken time to explore classes and programs on Beach Body. I love being able to get different types of workouts like Barre, Yoga, or boxing and different lengths of workouts as well. Variety is key for me.
2. Drink more water!
Amy I the only one who struggles to get her daily intake of water? Recently, I invested in a HidrateSpark water bottle and I'm obsessed. This water bottle not only sends me notifications to my phone to remind me to drink but also light's up! I've recently turned two friends onto it and now we can even track our daily progress to motivate each other.
3. Get social.
Speaking of friends and motivation, be open about your goals and journey with those closest to you. I love having fitness challenges with my friends. Never underestimate the power of a good hype-up from your girls.
4. Put your mind to use.
Health isn't just about your body. Take time to exercise your brain. I've been spending time reading and doing puzzles. And hey, self-help books may sound cheesy but there's something to be said about taking time to learn and reflect!
5. Embrace a gluten-free life.
Prior to quarantine, I was definitely not feeling well. I was tired, cranky and bloated most of the time. At the suggestion of some of my friends I gave the gluten-free lifestyle and chance and HOLY COW was the difference major. I noticed a change in my body within two days! Instant de-bloat! Not only did I look better, but I had more energy and just moving felt easier. My skin was looking better and my mind was clearer. My mom and boyfriend now both agree that gluten-free is way better for you. And if you're worried that gluten-free food doesn't taste good... I promise you Sweet Lorens chocolate chip cookies are the best thing I've ever eaten!
Needless to say, changing your lifestyle and habits is a process. It's a journey that isn't always easy but is certainly worthwhile. I'm coming out of the quarantine not only looking fitter and thinner but feeling genuinely more happy and at peace with myself. And isn't that the most important?
Until next time...