I have always been fairly athletic. In High School, I was in all the available sports teams, volleyball, basketball, track, cheerleading, dance and even once our failed attempt at a Co-ed soccer team. As I got older, I was less and less able to join teams, but would habitually stay involved in dancing, running and exercise in general. I was at the gym several times a week and when my husband and I started dating, we would work out together. For about a year, after we bought our first home together, we started the P90X program, followed by Insanity. We had never been fitter.
When we moved to San Antonio in 2012, we definitely gained weight during those first couple of months, and me not being used to not being fit, I had to get back on track. I started back on Beachbody at-home workouts. I did T25, then Brazilian Butt Lift back to back and within just a few months I was fit again. I maintained that level but soon started traveling a lot for work and my weight fluctuated. About 4 months before our wedding in 2014, I went back on T25 and followed the program to a T (pun intended) while I was on the road. I ate very clean and restaurants were always very accommodating, even preparing off menu items and extra veggies for me. For my wedding, I was at my happy and healthy weight, loved my arms and legs and was feeling very confident. After the wedding, my work travel was back up and running, and I let myself enjoy more rest and probably indulged in decadent foods and drinks more often than not. So, I started to gain weight. I was still going to my hotel gyms, but wasn’t as consistent as when I had a specific goal. I also noticed that every menstrual cycle, the 2-4 lbs I would gained in water weight wouldn’t come back down after it was over like before. In the span of about 5 months I would gain 15 lbs and was definitely not happy about it. I tried everything. I went back to eating clean, working out every day and wouldn’t lose a pound. This was extremely frustrating and something had to give. I was associating the increase with my periods, so thinking it might be hormonal, I went to my doctor.
After some bloodwork, my hormone levels were fine, but I did have a Vitamin D deficiency, which is common in women of color, and is linked to certain “unexplained” weight gain, so I was prescribed a high dose to get me where I needed to be. Soon after, I was invited to be an ambassador at a local Pilates studio, and I jumped at the opportunity. I had been working out using the same at-home programs and was losing interest and motivation, so some in-person fitness sounded fantastic. As an ambassador for InBalance San Antonio, I’ve had the privilege to be part of their fitness and nutrition programs and as a result, have hit my goals and now even decided to train for my Mat Pilates Instructor Certification! Which is exciting and scary at the same time, but I’ll get into that shortly. I had also signed up to be a test subject for my sister’s plant-based nutrition program, My Conscious Choices, that works with mindset and the mental health aspect and saw incredible results!
In my journey with InBalance, I have been able to enjoy in-person classes, and even virtual via the app when I was away traveling for work. When I switched jobs to a less travel, I was so happy that I could back to in-person classes, but just a few months later, we were hit with the Coronavirus wave and stay home orders were set in place. We had to adjust to virtual classes and when they were finally able to re-open, sessions were limited with sanitation protocols in place. If I’m completely honest, I really hadn’t been ready to attend in-person until just recently and knowing that there would only be 1 or 2 people in class, maximum. Aside from lack of consistency, I had also suffered 2 back to back miscarriages, which extra weight had been very difficult to lose due to hormonal impacts. It was after the first miscarriage that I decided to focus on my health again and decided to have a goal and go for the Instructor Certification. I had been thinking about it for about a year, but this was my moment. Then I was hit with a second miscarriage and I had to put those plans on hold while I recovered. Meanwhile, the weight fluctuation was affecting my confidence.
Coming into 2021, I made a new determination. First of all, my weight does not define me. I have struggled with body image for a few years now and realizing that it’s not that easy to pop out a 6-pack as it was in my 20’s or even early 30’s was a hard pill to swallow. The key for me is to stop focusing on that number on the scale or pant size and start truly loving and appreciating my body for what it is. I have no interest in being thin or fit a mold of perfection that doesn’t exist. Social media and conventional media shows us these unattainable brands of #bodygoals when, in reality, our goals should be health and self-love. It’s funny how when I shifted this focus, I started working out and eating nourishing foods to feel good and not lose weight, I actually started to see results. The other part was re-committing to working towards obtaining my Instructor Certification. I dug deep using the sustainable strategies I learned from my sister, Coach Carmen, to understand what was holding me back as I saw fellow instructors already teaching their student hours and I had yet to build the confidence to even practice on my own. It was fear. Fear of being criticized for not being fit enough was a big one. Once I let go of that fear I realized that I was placing that pressure on myself, when all along the practice would be part of my own fitness journey and in sharing my results it would be inspiration to others. My journey is still in progress, and the fact is, it will never end. As this is ongoing, I’ve learned to appreciate the journey more than the results themselves, which are just the cherry on top.