Post break-up, focus on the things that make you love yourself. After N, my answer was easy: fitness. I’ve always been in above-average physical shape. I’m a former collegiate basketball player, I’m naturally athletic, and consistent exercise has been part of my routine since before I can remember. My achilles heel however was my diet, which I paid little attention to. I absolutely love to eat. Everything. Because I was a gym rat and looked great, I got away with consuming copious amounts of delicious, but not necessarily health-conscious foods. Let’s just say I was a very familiar face at the McDonald’s drive-thru.
N changed everything. He taught me about proper nutrition and how to take care of my body from the inside. Over the course of six months with him, my entire perception of food shifted. I learned how the human body responds when carbs are introduced. I started to understand macros and the importance of lean protein. This change didn’t happen radically either. I’ve never been the type to step on the scale, track caloric intake (gah!), or deny myself that slice of chocolate cake. It was all about creating sustainable habits and maintaining a healthy balance. After all was said and done, I noticed a clear difference in my body – and more importantly, I felt amazing.
There’s a definite distinction between being skinny and being fit. Fit is having muscle definition and exhibiting curves in all the right places. Fit is lean. Fit is sexy. That’s where I’m at. It’s satisfying to sweat at the gym and see your hard work stare back at you, proudly, in the mirror. And, it’s incredibly empowering to have control of your own body. To those reading, I want to stress that 1) diet and fitness should always be explored in a non-obsessive, healthy way and 2) if you do it, make sure it’s because it’s something that makes you happy – not because it will please or impress someone else. We’re talking pure self-love, people.
Since N disappeared, I’ve successfully maintained my clean eating and workout schedule. It has been an amazingly positive outlet, and something that has sparked my personal growth. Yesterday, I took a class at my kickboxing studio for the first time in months. The second my trainer laid eyes me, her jaw dropped. “K, what have you been doing?! You look a-mazing,” she gasped. “You were always fit, but now you are super toned.” I peered at my full-length reflection in the floor-to-ceiling mirror behind her. My already flat stomach was now cut. My thighs had leaned out, quads curved and firm. My petite biceps peaked beneath the studio lights. “Yeah,” I replied with a smile. “I guess I am.”