My Fitness Journey.

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I want to share my story, my journey, on how this all came to be and most importantly I hope to share what an amazing experience it has been and what it has taught me about the human potential and about myself. I am going to share some personal photos, and despite my efforts to express everything I wanted to, it was hard to put everything into words, so be warned.

Fitness and health has always been something that has interested me; I love feeling healthy and strong. Previous to this journey though, I had never felt like I had a huge amount of self control when it came to food, I would “try” to eat healthy, but my understanding of what that meant was still very undeveloped. After an experience I had last winter, I was determined to make a change and I started the New Year with some big dietary changes and fitness goals.

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{Before: January 5th, 2013. This is me 4 months after having my daughter and down to my pre-pregnancy weight}

Starting in January, I decided to follow a Paleo (Paleolothic) dietary approach to nutrition. I cut out grains, legumes, dairy, and refined sugars. I have an intolerance for dairy so that was easy and from the reading I had done, the determination to cut grains and especially gluten was very high. So, I started to eat paleo style. It was fun, I felt great, I had the support of family, and I began to shed fat. I was feeling so motivated as I began to drop into a pants size I hadn’t worn for years! I was exercising 5-6 days a week and had more energy. It was invigorating.

As a young girl I struggled with body image. I didn’t always feel very comfortable in my own skin. It’s been something that I have struggled with on and off with for years; and I think anyone who has been through pregnancy has had similar feelings at some point after giving birth. But as my body changed and I showed it more love and respect with the food I was giving it, I began to believe that change was possible and that I could choose to love and like my body.

A year and a half ago I watch my older sister put her body through an incredible transformation, it showed me that it was possible to change. I wanted to take what I was experiencing to the next level and see what my body and mind were capable of. That is how the goal to get on stage and compete in a fitness model competition came to be.

The journey only got better after that.

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{Before: May 6th, 2013. My first check-in photos with my trainer} 

I found a trainer who would train me while still adhering to a Paleo dietary approach and then the real work began. My trainer (AllisonMoyer) pushed me hard. I can’t say enough about the value of a good trainer, one who is not only concerned about your physique, but about over-all health and well being too.

I was training harder than I had in years and eating cleaner than I had in my life. Having someone to be accountable to taught me so much! I learned a new level of self-control, which honestly felt so good! I felt in control of my body, and that is an incredible feeling. I didn't feel trapped or restricted by my dietary guidelines, in a way they made me feel even more free. Pushing, not only my body, but my mind, was an amazing experience that taught me a lot about myself and what I am capable of.

When it came to the final weeks and days before the show I was extremely nervous. However, I had put in too much hard work not to enjoy it. I had been practicing in my heels for months now (trust me it is not easy to walk in 5” plastic heels), and practiced my posing as much as I could manage. When I finally got there, make-up done, suit on, heels on, spray tanned into a sticky brown mess, I made sure to just go out on that stage and hold nothing back. I strut my stuff, did my t-walk with minimal stumbling, and posed my hardest. It was fun! I smiled until the muscles in my cheeks were shaking along with my legs, and I did my best. I was awarded 2nd place in the IDFA Western Canada Classic Novice Tall Fitness Model class.

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Getting on stage, put me in a very vulnerable place. I had accomplished so much already before getting on that stage, I had learned so much, come so far, and won some major battles in my own life. When I stepped out on that stage I was only judge on what you could physically see. Getting 2nd place was a major accomplishment, but it could never measure up to everything that I had already gained from the journey of getting there. 

Fitness and health is a lifelong pursuit; it takes time, hard work, sacrifice, dedication, and consistency, but it is all worth it! Not once have I regretted taking the time to eat healthy and exercise. I couldn't have done any of it without the incredible love and support of my husband, mother, and my entire family; especially my incredible children who I continue drag to the gym endlessly and still love me.

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 photo eb2_zps015eb096.jpg The beautiful images you see above from Lizzy Anne Photography, is my talented cousin, you can see the full post she did here.


Elizabeth Cranmer said...

So cool to see the transformation and hear about your lessons learned. More Women need to know what their bodies can do and feel empowered. Good for you!!
Your gorgeous… and always have been!


Tilane said...

Great post Esther! Thanks for sharing and being an inspiration to me (and so many others).

Carmelia Paradise said...

Fitness is, indeed, a lifelong chase. You give your best to achieve your desired figure, but you can’t just stop once you've reached your goal. If you want to maintain a great body, you also have to keep doing your routines and exercises. You need to keep yourself motivated to succeed on this journey. You serve as a great example, Esther. Thanks for sharing your story!
Carmelia Paradise @ NW CrossFit

Roman Willis said...

“Fitness and health is a lifelong pursuit; it takes time, hard work, sacrifice, dedication, and consistency, but it is all worth it!” - I agree! You might be discouraged with slow progress or delayed weight loss, but with persistence, you'll be able to achieve a fabulous body. You've been an inspiration, Esther! I'll be giving my best to get a body as fab as yours. :)

Roman Willis @ GoFitnessCenter.com

Andrea King said...

Fitness is changing your wasted lifestyle. It might be gradual and hard, but after seeing the fabulous results, you'll be proud of yourself. Anyway, thanks for sharing your post. It's challenging to read your success in your fitness journey. Hope I can achieve my goal too. Wish me luck! :)

Andrea King @ AchieveTrueBalance.com

Andrea King said...
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