Written by Guest Contributor - Krista Thielen. Krista is an Arya Ambassador and shares updates on her fitness journey on Instagram @jkfitjourney
When I was younger, I never gave fitness a second thought. Growing up I was always active by default. I played outside all the time, played competitive soccer year round, lifted weights in the gym, ran track and cross country. Fitness just came naturally from practicing those activities. And I never had to think about what I ate either - I would eat whatever I wanted when I was hungry and indulge when I felt like it with no measurable repercussions.
But as I got older, I started to struggle with my weight. When I went to college I decided to take a break from soccer that I was burnt out from. I still didn’t give a second thought about what I ate, but I couldn’t get away with that anymore. My freshman year I didn’t just put on the freshman 15. More like freshman 30+.
Since then, my weight has fluctuated up and down through different seasons of my life. Most recently I gained 40 pounds as a side effect of a medication I was taking. Over the years I have tried many different things to lose weight: everything from high intensity interval training workouts at Orange Theory to Pilates to the 21 Day Fix to herbal teas and juice cleanses.
I would see some quick results with those, but it never stuck. The changes I was making were not sustainable lifestyle changes, they were just a fad I would fully embrace for a couple of weeks or months and then just go back to my old ways.
For me, the weight loss journey was characterized by never being happy and hating on myself until I reached some magic number on the scale. That was the only measure of success I considered, and the only thing that mattered.
Through some intense introspection and coaching from friends who had been through the weight loss journey, I decided enough was enough. I was going to quit the excuses and giving up. I would stop focusing exclusively on the number on the scale and start considering my health holistically. Did I wake up this morning feeling energized? Am I drinking enough water? Are my clothes starting to fit better?
Expanding my view of health from just the number on the scale has really made my life more fulfilling. This year I started working with a nutrition coach and workout coach who help me regularly get over my own BS. For me, the accountability, motivation and knowledge I get from my coaches is what I needed to actually stick with it this time.
I’ve lost some weight and am still working toward my overall weight loss goal. It has still been a bit of a roller coaster journey. There will always be ups and downs. But this time, I’m seeing real changes in my habits and lifestyle that I feel like I can stick with. I focus on how I am feeling and what I have done any given week to advance towards my goals.
The wild thing about these progress photos is I actually weigh the same in both. But since I started lifting weights more seriously and sticking with my workout routine of 4 workouts per week, along with tracking macros and eating a proper nutrient balance with enough protein, I’ve slimmed down and built muscle. My body composition has changed and I’m feeling stronger and more confident than I have in a long time.
Whatever your health goals are, I encourage you to try out different things until you find what works for you. Just because your friends do hot yoga and juice cleanse doesn’t mean that’s the sustainable solution for you. There is so much out there and really what it takes is trial and error, faith, and being open to the process. I have learned to enjoy my journey and appreciate my body for what it does for me - at any weight.
What has your experience with weight loss been? Any words of wisdom to share? Let us know in the comments 🖤