In Seventeen

I’m so excited to share that I’m featured in October’s issue of Seventeen Magazine as one of their favorite fitness Instagram accounts. If we aren’t connected on Instagram, follow me here.

I was reminiscing about when I was 17 and how different it is from where I am today at 31. When I was 17 I was 225 pounds, unable to run a mile, thought vegetarian  pizza was healthy, abhorred exercise and movement of any kind, a total nerd, and was embarrassed I didn’t have a boyfriend or never been kissed.

Exercise and gym class back then was a chore. It was also a drag because it was one of the few things I wasn’t good at. I couldn’t (or wouldn’t try to) improve my running, climbing, or my poor attempt to complete a pull up. The Presidential physical fitness test was the one test I couldn’t study for and I hated it. I wasn’t one of those girls who was naturally skinny or athletic, and I had accepted it was who I was and who I was meant to be. This was the one thing God and I couldn’t see eye-to-eye on and I couldn’t understand why he would “make” me this way.

If you had asked me at 17 if I would one day be an active marathon runner, fitness blogger, and lover of all things healthy I would have laughed and thrown a slice of pizza in your face. Even today, I have a hard time believing this is who I am now and the former 17 year old in me thinks I’m a fraud sometimes. 

The change didn’t happen over night. I lost the weight over several years. I didn’t start running marathons at a blink of an eye. It all started with a walk and a gym membership at Washington Sports Club. I didn’t grow my blog in a year, in fact it took three to four before I really saw growth.

I am writing today to assure you that who you are today is not who you will be tomorrow. You are not defined by your circumstances. You are definitely not defined by the number on the scale. And I can certainly attest to the fact that you are defined by (not) having a boyfriend.

You are defined by the choices you make and the direction in which they take you. You are defined by your ability to push past hardships, pain, and discomfort. You are defined by your decision to focus on the positive and not the negative. You are defined not by WHAT, but rather WHO you listen to. And that voice is yours and God’s, not your friends who act like they’re 17.

So whether you are 17, 31 like me, or older, remember that your choices have significance. Your decisions now to eat healthy, exercise, and speak positively about yourself and others have long term effects. You won’t be 17 forever. I didn’t understand this at 17, but I’m so glad that I started to make changes in my 20s that now greatly impact and improve my 30s. If you keep going in this direction, the best is yet to come!