From childhood through college, I was always somewhere in the middle with physical fitness. I was coordinated, but not athletic. Up, but not active. Relatively thin, but not strong.
In high school and college, it hadn’t bothered me; I was decently active just by doing the bare minimum. But strength and good health became really top of mind for me after I graduated from school.
Diabetes runs strong in my family, and after a series of major family health issues that culminated in my grandmother’s death early last year, I was suddenly confronted with how little effort I had put into taking care of my body. I bought myself a scale, and was shocked to see that I had gained almost 30 lbs after graduation, due to laziness, emotional eating, and poor self care. I finally admitted to myself that I was weak--I got fatigued walking up the stairs, and took weeks to fully recover from a small cold. People around me always thought that I “must be in shape,” because I play taiko (Japanese drums), which involves a lot of movement. Little did everyone know that behind closed doors, I was the heaviest I’d ever been, I didn’t fit into my clothes, and I was more self-conscious about my body and energy levels than ever before.
Diabetes runs strong in my family, and after [...]my grandmother’s death early last year, I was suddenly confronted with how little effort I had put into taking care of my body [...] I had gained almost 30 lbs after graduation...People around me always thought that I “must be in shape,” because I play taiko (Japanese drums), [...] behind closed doors, I was the heaviest I’d ever been.
I wish I could say there was a definitive moment when I knew I would have to make a change, but there wasn’t. Instead, I had a good friend, Kelli, who had gone through a fitness transformation of her own with Imago. She regularly encouraged me to think more about my health, and made fitness seem more approachable. Seeing her dramatic progress in weight loss, nutrition, and overall spirit made me think again about my life’s priorities. I decided at the end of 2017 that it’s never too soon to take a chance on something. I set up an appointment with Imago.
When I came in for my first session with Sarah, I remember barely being able to lift 8 lbs with each arm, even after years of beating on giant drums. It was a reminder of the shame and imposter syndrome I felt about my strength. I also struggled with getting up early for cardio, sleeping through a ton of my alarms when I first started. And when it came to social gatherings and meals, I had a hard time with self-discipline.
But Sarah encouraged me to keep trying even when I wasn’t able to execute perfectly at the beginning, and she and Kelli didn’t let me make excuses for myself. Over time, things became easier and more routine, with additional support from my friends, relatives, and new Imago family. I met others at the gym who had gone through similar struggles, who are still learning every day, and who are such strong examples of the positive opportunities that appear in our lives when we are happy, healthy, and determined to take good care of ourselves.
Somehow, it’s only been a few months since that first personal training session. Today, my clothes fit better, I feel lighter on my feet, and I end each day feeling balanced instead of exhausted. Amazingly, I also now:
Lift weights. Past Me would never have had any idea how to do that, and wouldn’t even have tried it. This week, I did a weight workout by myself, and the 8-lb weight felt like nothing! It’s so motivating to be able to see my own progress, and the Imago family is always there to celebrate it with me.
Wake up early for fasted cardio. It’s possible, y’all - this chronic night owl transformed into a morning person, through the supportive/persistent nagging of the world’s best gym buddy, Kelli, and trainer, Sarah! Kelli and I now share a workout schedule on Google Calendar, and we plan out our workouts a week in advance. I’m so amazed at myself--who even am I?!
Cook my own meals. Another shocking change! I’ve avoided the kitchen my entire adult life; I was always that person who would sooner DoorDash dinner and wait 40 minutes for junk food delivery than break out a cooking pan. I grew up surrounded by amazing cooks. Imago’s transformation program helped me realize that this whole time, I was insecure about my pathetic culinary skills in comparison, which is why I avoided cooking altogether. Today, I make my own meals and choose my ingredients carefully, and I have learned to have a lot of fun with it. My dishes aren’t the prettiest creations, but I am determined to take baby steps. My mom is ecstatic :)
I used to read this blog myself, and think that all of these testimonials were coming from people who are inherently different than me, more disciplined than me, or have more time than me. I know it sounds cliche, but I really, truly believe that if I could do it, anyone can.
I never thought I’d be here, writing about my successful transformation journey on a fitness blog. I used to read this blog myself, and think that all of these testimonials were coming from people who are inherently different than me, more disciplined than me, or have more time than me. I know it sounds cliche, but I really, truly believe that if I could do it, anyone can. And let me tell you: it feels amazing to be able to see your little muscles grow, and feel fantastic in your own skin. I am so thankful for Imago, and all the beautiful people I’ve met here. I am so excited to continue my fitness journey, and can’t wait to see how I progress with each new day!