Hi, I’m Alex. I’m 29, though I sometimes accidentally lie when carded, and I currently live in Winston Salem, NC. I moved to the Piedmont from beautiful Boone, NC, where I was an undergraduate and graduate student in the Biology department at Appalachian State University. I grew up an Army brat, and went to high school in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
I work freelance in educational publishing. And, though my job does not require that I get dressed (like, ever), it does require that I manage my own time, work towards deadlines, and sit down with my computer for most of the day. After about a year of doing this job full time, I started to feel the effects of a mostly sedentary life–and I saw them in the mirror, too. After one too many attempts to get dressed lead to tears, I decided it was time to work to improve what I didn’t like about what I saw and how I felt. This was a struggle, since I had taken up some crappy habits, like eating for all the wrong reasons (to celebrate, to feel better, or because I was bored and food is yummy) and pretty much daily drinking (I love red wine, whiskey, and a hoppy beer..and it’s COLD in Boone!).
In the early spring of 2013, after about 4 months in Winston Salem, I embarked on a health and fitness journey along with my boyfriend. We were both “recovering” from our former lives as college students, restaurant workers, and habitual over-indulgers. It helped a great deal for us to do it together. As I began, I followed the 60 day INSANITY program, and my boyfriend did P90X. I also gradually removed both meat and dairy from my diet, embracing plant-based nutrition from real, unprocessed foods. This transition changed my mind as well as my body.
I lost 25 pounds and felt better than I ever could have imagined…and that boyfriend of mine? Well, he weighs less than me now. But, more importantly, he is happy and feels great!
Fast forward approximately one year. I continued to make physical and mental progress. But here’s the truth: I made mistakes. Though I enjoyed many proud, strong moments, there were also some extremely shameful, weak ones. What truly matters is that I actively decided not to punish myself for my failures. I no longer let one bad food choice, or one grumpy day– when I can’t seem to overcome the laziness, or the weather to work out– ruin me. Instead, I have chosen to recommit every time.
How I Stay Committed. As I continue down the path to wellness and balance, it’s helped me to face some simple truths about myself:
- I get bored (very) easily.
- I like to eat.
- I can talk myself into (or out of) just about anything.
In an effort to keep moving forward, I keep myself motivated with variety– in my workouts and with nutrition. I hold myself accountable by scheduling my exercise just like I’d schedule anything else. I track my food and exercise to reel it in when I find myself going astray (When thinking back, I wonder what did I REALLY eat today?), and I actively reach out to establish a network of other motivated, healthy people.