As a kid, I was a chubby little girl who could easily shove seven marshmallows into her mouth. In fact, it was my favorite game.
I had a major love for junk food. Whether it was ice cream or chips, I always had a snack nearby and like many young kids, I avoided vegetables at all costs. No matter how much my parents pushed and persuaded, I refused to go near them, and I would only eat fruits if they were in my ice cream. Looking back, I laugh because as I got older, fruits and veggies literally saved me.
When puberty hit I gained weight really quickly, and I wasn’t active enough to feel healthy or balanced. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I discovered my love for kickboxing.
At first, it started out as my parents’ way of nudging me and persuading me to be more active. I went to the first class reluctantly. But I came out sweating, out of breath, and– most importantly– happy. The people were encouraging and supportive, especially in the beginning when I didn’t know what I was doing. I had always dreaded working out, but this class, to my surprise, was so much fun.
I had found an activity I loved, and I had a lot of time to go to kick boxing classes my senior year. So when college came around, I was caught off guard– I never expected to be so busy and unbalanced.
My first semester, I was overwhelmed– physically, mentally, and emotionally. With a tough course load, a crazy roommate, and demanding extracurriculars, I lost the balance I had achieved in high school. I felt like I was drowning.
In the process, I took on some bad habits, like skipping meals and surviving on only a couple hours of sleep. I had no time for myself. I missed being in the gym and having that “me time”, where I didn’t have to worry about the next assignment or studying for that next test. I didn’t even realize how much I enjoyed working out and what it did for my mental health until I stopped.
The next semester, I knew something had to change. That’s when I found my Fit U chapter. I am so glad I did because I know now that every Wednesday evening, I have a place to work out and people to enjoy it with. Every week we do a different type of workout and it feels so relaxed and comfortable. Going to Fit U workouts really helped me regain my balance. I started to make time for the gym and myself. I was able to gather myself and learn how to manage my time.
I am only a freshman in college, so this is just the beginning of my fitness journey. I am still learning what works for me and trying to find balance, but that’s okay. Fitness has really taught me about mental health and how important is to make time for yourself. After all, you can only get from your body what you put in.
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