Metamorphosis of a Fat Kid

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Growing up, I was bullied a lot for being a big bonedheftyheavy set, a little husky or any other euphemism for “fat” you can think of. At the age of 9 I found myself hoping, wishing, praying I was just a swan gosling living in a duckling’s world and that puberty would solve everything. I would hatch from that cocoon a new woman with looks, personality, and confidence. 10 years later at 19 years old I still remained that awkward caterpillar.

Weight shouldn’t dictate who you are. I say “shouldn’t” because in my case, growing up overweight influenced my identity quite a bit. Even now I gravitate towards the larger sizes and styles – even though I know they’re too bulky for me. I cover my stomach while at the beach or conceal my body as much as possible in public changing areas – even though I’ve worked hard for my flatter tummy and diminished rolls. In the back of my mind elementary school bullies still linger and their voices still carry. Former fat kid syndrome is something I work through daily and although the confidence issues have improved, sometimes I gaze in that mirror and see my 10 year-old self’s plump, sad face staring back at me.

If you were a former fat kid, I encourage you to reflect on that experience. As much as it’s easier to ignore it, it’s much more important to not forget where you came from. Whether you’re a fitness veteran or just starting out, I bet that your fat kid self is thanking you for taking a step towards self-care and wellness.You might not feel like a butterfly yet, but then again, metamorphosis doesn’t happen overnight. Consistency, work, and a lil’ TLC will have you fluttering in no time.

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Left: January 2012. Right: February 2016

 

 

#MotivationMonday: how to start and keep your momentum going

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With the New Year’s Resolution rush fast approaching, it’s worth addressing some of the struggles and obstacles surrounding the motivation slope (or lack thereof). Whether you’re just starting out or getting bored with your current routine, the following are a few tips I have to stay motivated with your fitness goals.

1. Don’t wait

In the wise words of Shia LaBoeuf:

Yesterday, you said tomorrow. SO JUST DO IT!!!

If you’ve been thinking about taking that first step, joining a gym, starting to eat clean, try something new… don’t think about it. Just jump in. There’s nothing worse than promising yourself results and then never committing to anything. It can be overwhelming at first – and it does get better – but only if you DO IT every damn day. There were many times I denied that I needed to eat healthier, “I’ll just do extra cardio… I’ll go to the gym twice a day…” Nothing worked for me other than telling myself NO EXCUSES clean(er) eating starts today. At this moment, I still track macronutrients daily and monitor what I eat. I’m going on 200 days straight and nothing is more satisfying than knowing I kept that promise to myself.

2. Fall in love with the process

Nothing is worse than perpetually doing a workout routine that bores you to death, or even worse: leaving the gym or finishing a work out and feeling upset. There are lots of ways to keep fit; it’s just a matter of what is the most fun for you. It took me a long time of experimenting to find my magic combination, so don’t be afraid to try new things.

Most gyms nowadays even have open houses or free trials. This is a great and budget-friendly way to explore different work outs and even get advice from pro trainers. Once you fall in love with the process, your results will come.

3. It’s dangerous to go alone

Well, maybe not deadly, but it couldn’t hurt to bring a friend along, right?

If you know someone that has similar fitness goals to yours then why not do it together? Having someone that is supportive of your fitness journey makes you accountable. It might be a dreary, cold day, but so-and-so is counting on you to hit the gym! You can’t let them down.

Swolemates, workout buddies, or whatever you call your partner-in-gains not only make you excited to hit the gym everyday, but can also correct your form, spot you if you’re lifting heavier weights, or push you for that  last rep you wouldn’t have done on your own.

4. Dollars and sense

You’re paying $300 a year for a gym membership and for what??? Not to go? For a fancy key fob? Didn’t think so.

Make use of this investment.

5. You’re only human

It’s easy to start hating working out if you haven’t taken a day off for the past 14 days. Rest days are important. Professional athletes need rest. Why are you so much different than them?

Schedule in a rest day. Make a countdown until your next cheat meal. If you slip up and eat like 20 cookies in one sitting, it’s not going to matter 5 years from now. Dust yourself off and start fresh tomorrow. It happens to the best of us, so don’t beat yourself to a bloody pulp about it.

Hope this helps you battle the motivation monster! See you at the gym.

New to the Blogosphere

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Hello potential readership! 🙂

Allow me to introduce myself:

I’m Carly, and I created this blog to document some of my fitness escapades which might include some fun posts, reviews, favourite products, pet peeves, and everything in between.

The title of this blog is carlygrayfit and, you guessed it! I have a passion for fitness – although it always hasn’t been this way.

If you asked me 5 years ago if I would be running a 16k race, I would have said you were out of your mind. Running wasn’t in my vocabulary and I avoided the gym like the plague.

I learned the hard way that the Freshman 15 was very real and I caught myself at the local McDonald’s way too often than I cared to admit. I was a heavy girl. Throw in some bad break-ups and too-tight jeans and I had enough. Something had to change. I put on my old running shoes and got myself a gym membership and I haven’t looked back since.

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A lot has changed since I first signed up for a gym. I started out as a timid Zumba-goer, scared weights would make me heavier. I signed up for my first 5k and switched to running, but never saw the stubborn fat go away. Fast forward today and I am still an avid obstacle racer, but lifting and weights are the new passion.

What I love about fitness is not the aesthetic transformations. Yes, it is true that I have lost weight, but I’ve gained so much more in the form of confidence and finally finding a passion in life. I walked through life like a transient, just getting through the day. Fitness gave my days a purpose. An opportunity to become better than I was yesterday.

In writing this blog, I hope some of you can relate. We may have different goals, but if you’re here, and you’re reading this post, chances are we both have the same passion for fitness. Whether you’re a runner, Crossfit chick, bodybuilder, let’s support each other and motivate one another to be the best self we possibly could be. I look forward to interacting with all of you! Thanks for stopping by.