“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”- Jim Rohn
For as long as I remember, I have struggled with my weight and body insecurities. As a teenager in high school, my weight was never consistent. I was always trying to be skinny. However, my obsession with food was always in the way. At 15 years old, I found myself at my heaviest, weighing a whopping 206 lbs. During this time, I was very unhappy with myself. My junior year, I decided to do something I had never done before. I decided to join my high school cross country team. Over time, I realized I loved running and I kept pushing. I was actually pretty good, I made it to district and it was awesome! By my senior year, I had lost 46 lbs.
However, freshman 15… I mean freshman 25 happened once I got into college. I was constantly eating junk and treating my body like a waste basket. I ate panda express and pizza almost everyday. I stopped running and to be quite honest, I was unhappy with myself… yet again. My sophomore year, I got back into fitness and I managed to get back on track. I maintained a semi-healthy lifestyle for about three years.
When I began my masters program, I remained faithful to my work out routine. My diet on the other hand was 85% eating out per week. My belief was I could eat whatever I wanted as long as I worked out. (FALSE!) By my second year in grad school, life became more stressful as I started working on my thesis. During this time, I was also competing in the Miss Africa USA pageant. I was stressed, I was tired and my health suffered. I was back to 185 lbs.
December 31st 2016, I decided to finally commit myself to a lifestyle change. I started the BrittneBabe 21 Day Challenge. My focus shifted completely as I identified the root issue of my poor health. The root issue was I neglected my health and my temple. I spent so much time on school, work and other things that I failed to take the time to properly nourish and strengthen my body. I decided I wanted to do better. Eat better. Live better. During these 21 days, I put myself first.
This is what happened:
1. I said “No”
I didn’t realize how much people pleasing can affect your health until it happened to me. I was in the habit of accommodating everyone but myself. As a result, I navigated life with a high level of stress. I decided to say “no” to anything that did not promote a healthy lifestyle. I kept to a schedule daily and focused on achieving the goals I set for myself.
2. I Adopted A Healthy Relationship With Food.
I used to eat because I was stressed. After I read The Body Book by Cameron Diaz, I realized I had a toxic relationship with food. Through my research, I discovered that I could actually have a healthy relationship with food by eating things that will nourish my body. I started to eat to live rather than live to eat. Now, I cook 85-90% of my weekly meals and treat myself on the weekends. Balance is key.
3. I Focused On Strength and Endurance
I wanted to be strong. One thing I love about the BrittneBabe 21 Day Challenge was her challenging workout plan. Every day was a another opportunity to get stronger. I was determined, consistent and excited to develop muscles. The results are incredible and I am still going strong.
4. I Developed A Healthy Sleep Schedule
I actually started sleeping again. I developed a habit of shutting down heavy activities around 10pm every night. I made sure I was getting 7-9 hours every night by prioritizing my mental health. It was hard at first, but over time my body naturally began to wind down around 10-11pm.
It’s been 114 days since I started my current fitness plan. Although I am not where I want to be, I am still on this journey to becoming the best version of myself daily. I am Healthy, Strong and Filled With Joy!
I hope this inspired you. Decide to become a healthier version of yourself daily. Whatever your goals are, remain consistent.