fitness. motherhood. life & style.

Hello World, This is My Journey to Self Love

Hi everyone! So excited to start blogging! I figured I would start out by talking a little bit about my own fitness journey and how I became so passionate about fitness, health, and self love.

Like any college student, I liked to party. College parties all week long also came with hangovers, late night eating, barely working out, and weight gain! Woo! I'm pretty sure most of us can relate. However, at one point I realized how unhappy I was with myself and February 2013 (after I took that picture below) is when I made the decision to strive for a healthier lifestyle.


I started working out (which really just consisted of cardio) and eating what I thought was healthy (what I saw on social media as "clean food".) I stopped drinking so much as well, lol. The weight started falling off and this worked for me, however, I wasn't always happy. First off, I hate cardio and I hate cardio equipment. If you're a distance runner, we are of a different breed :) Working out was miserable and my first clean recipes tasted awful because I had cut so much out of my diet (even olive oil). I became obsessed with losing weight, punished myself for eating something "bad", avoided social gatherings because of the food and alcohol, and I weighed myself daily while punishing myself for not seeing the scale numbers change. I even recorded my weight on my mirror (picture below) and while this may be motivation for some, it made me obsessive. This lifestyle would never be maintainable but I was determined.


I finally started seeing a trainer (Marisa Hausenfleck) so that I could learn how to lift weights and get some strength back like I had in my cheerleading days. She also taught me how much consistency paid off and I was able to reach my original weight while working with her. I then decided that I wanted to train for a fitness show in order to show off my year long hard work. My friend Jenny (jenny_chuchu on insta) helped to train me and teach me the ins and outs of competing because she was a successful competitor. In March 2014, I successfully competed in a local OCB show and I was the skinniest I had ever been. I was proud of how I looked and how dedicated I was and it was a HUGE accomplishment, but I still wasn't happy.


I felt like I had lost some friendships because I avoided social situations so much. I was so dedicated I even went to Vegas and packed all of my healthy food. Eat some grilled chicken while watching your friends eat In and Out and tell me how you like that, lol. After my show I wanted to build muscle and strength but I couldn't find any kind of balance in my life. it's hard to explain just how miserable I was at this point and it's something a lot of competitors may be able to relate to. I couldn't find motivation to work out, I wanted to eat healthy but hated it at the same time, I lost all portion control (binge and restrict pattern), I would eat badly then just try to get it out of my body, my strict dieting had messed up my hormones and I gained weight much quicker than I ever had, I wanted to go out and have a social life again but I would feel guilty for eating or drinking with everyone else. Being so strict and hard on myself for over a year was what brought me to this point. The only good thing about my struggles, were that I knew I wanted this healthy lifestyle and I wasn't going to give up on it.

Looking back I also realize that my self image was completely distorted. I remember taking the picture above and thinking I was fat. It all was a vicious cycle but I was determined to get out of it and come out on top. I started working with Berenice Salazar (ladyfit is her instagram) because she had gone through this same type of what I would consider an eating disorder. She told me something that changed a lot for me. She told me to focus on my health and not on just what I looked like. I realized this whole time I was working on my "health journey" I really was just trying to look good and I wasn't in it for the right reasons. This includes mental health. Being miserable wasn't worth being really skinny.

I started doing what I loved like hanging out with friends, weight lifting/sprints, and cooking healthy but tasty meals with healthy food I enjoyed (I used to not even eat bananas because they had too much sugar and that is ridiculous!) I wrote recipes for the blog Sparkling from the Inside Out. I kept traveling and enjoying life. I started seeing a nutritionist and holistic doctor to try and find out what I needed to get past this mentally and how to get my hormones regulated from the damage I had caused myself. Instead of being hard on myself I started focusing on self love. It took me up until a few weeks ago to finally feel like I had balance in my life. I'm strong, I enjoy weight lifting (you have to find a workout you enjoy) and coming up with new healthy recipes, I eat lots of good whole foods and enjoy some "unhealthy" foods every now and then (but in the right portions and without guilt). I don't feel guilty and I'm completely happy with myself and being strong not stick thin. My hormones have finally regulated and I was able to lose some of the fat I had gained while being stuck in my vicious cycle.

I remember a few months ago feeling like there was no light at the end of this tunnel. That I would forever be unhappy and I would never be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Now, feeling much better these last few weeks I decided to create this blog. I know there are girls out there struggling with some kind of body issues due to the media in our society and I see you. There is light at the end of this tunnel. You can be healthy and happy. Never give up on what you want! My "health journey" wasn't always glamorous but it taught me a lot and brought me to the point where I can live a balanced lifestyle and love how I look and how I feel. :)

katie lynn

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