As a former college athlete I’ve always been ultra competitive. I can turn anything into an intense competition-Monopoly, laundry folding and my favorite, who can get in the car the fastest (works great with my kids). Even though I haven’t been in a team uniform for years I still find that competition helps drive my motivation and for the most part it has been a positive tool for me to use.
For as far back as I can remember I’ve been overweight. It didn’t bother me much because I was good at sports and strong. I’ve always remained active but rarely gave any attention to my diet. Fast forward to post-college, post-baby number one and I was still overweight, now more so then ever, not strong and definitely not playing any sports. Still, I had come to terms with the notion that this was just my body. Sure, I had lost weight a couple times but eventually gained it back for one reason or another. I had a very close friend in a similar situation. She too was carrying more weight then she was comfortable with. We were close to the same size, new moms, enjoyed great food and shopping. Great friends for sure.
Neither of us was a runner but in hopes to get back into shape we both trained for our first 5k. I know I’m slow but I knew my friend was slower. Race day came and we both had our husbands beside us for support. About one mile into the race my friend passed us. I played it off like it was no big deal after all, I’m “not a runner” but inside I was so defeated.
Because my friend and I lived about an hour away from each other at the time we didn’t get to see each other but chatted on the phone often. I knew she was visiting the gym on a regular basis and had enjoyed the race so much she had continued to run. I on the other hand quit running and took up kickboxing halfheartedly.
A few months after our race I invited my friend down for a play date with our girls. She pulled into the driveway and I remember seeing her for the first time. She looked uh.may.zing! At the risk of sounding like a terrible friend, I was sick with jealousy. I could hardly look at her. I was so unhappy with myself that I found it difficult to be around her. It’s hard to be happy for others when you aren’t happy with yourself. I’m pretty sure our friendship went on hiatus for awhile.
My friend had chosen to use the last six months to better herself. She lost weight, continued exercising, focused on her diet. She found energy, happiness and contentment. What had I done the last six months? Nothing. I had stayed the same. I remember thinking, “How did this happen?” I was the athlete (although she’s a great golfer), she can’t outwork me! Remember how I mentioned earlier I’m ultra competitive? I wasn’t joking.
She never knew this but her transformation is what really got me moving. I got serious about my workouts and my nutrition.
Initially, my motivation came from chasing my friend’s success but as time went on the feeling of jealousy got smaller and smaller. I was losing weight and gettin’ happy! I felt better about myself. My thoughts turned positive and my journey became about me (as it should be) not about beating my friend. I’m happy to say that we have remained close friends and I am genuinely proud of her accomplishments.
That was three years (and another baby) ago. Today I’m faster, stronger, lighter, smarter and happier then ever before. I have since become a group fitness instructor, wellness coach and personal trainer. I finally feel like I’m in the body and profession I belong in. I am more then thrilled to be a part of the Sweat Pink family.