Crystal flexing biceps

I can't remember the last time I was happy with what I looked like... I struggled with my self-image since I was in middle school and not a day has gone by that I haven't felt inadecuate and ashamed because of the way I looked. I know very well that the real problem was not my body, but my mind and the perception I had of myself as a person. I just found a scape goat in my body image.

Because I didn't love my body, I didn't think of taking care of it. It didn't deserve it. It wasn't perfect, so why bother?

Sodas, fast food and booze became my solace and quickly the weight started to pile up.

Sure, you may think I'm not really overweight and that I am exagerating. Well, size aside, it was all about how sad and angry I felt at myself on a daily basis. I remember one time I was talking with a coworker and I  made a comment about not being happy with myself and how I felt inside and out. He looked like he was going to cry, he couldn't believe I had such a poor perception of myself. Working in a clothing store that was made to fit tiny girls didn't help either. I constantly compared myself to those girls. Why didn't I look like them? Maybe I had to eat less and do something to burn calories... I tried motivating myself watching You Tube videos. I would get on a kick and walk around the Rose Bowl for a few days, I would try to eat healthy but always ended up at Taco Bell at some point. Amid the desperation, I did the Master Cleanse two times and joined mainstream gyms a few times.  Nothing stuck. Soon I kind of gave up and started hiding behind loose clothes as much as I could.

This past March (2016) something changed inside me. I was over feeling awful about myself every single day. I was done with the constant bullying I was self-inflicting.

I wanted to try a different approach. Maybe the crazy idea of chosing to do things out of love for myself.

I told my sister how I was ready for a real change. A total overhaul. I just wanted to go somewhere to workout and have someone tell me exactly what to do. Like a personal trainer. It was during this talk that she told me I should try contacting Chad, an old friend from High School. Maybe he could help me.
After reaching out to him on Facebook we met at the gym to go over what I was looking for and we came up with a plan. I was to start working out a couple days a week and then the following month I was to join Fit in 42. If you are asking what Fit in 42 is, let me scare you right away: Training six days a week and eating a lot of meals that you have to cook yourself. Sounds daunting... So much, that I tried getting out ofit at least two times before it actually started, but the coahes wouldn't let me quit.  I am glad it didn't because I believe that is what kick started where I am now.

Fit in 42 was hard, I'm not going to lie... the planning, the cooking, the snacks, no booze, just a plan to be followed day in and day out. All the hard work of the menu and the 5 am workouts I had to do because of my work schedule were hard,but Oh! so worth it.
I don't live a life filled with shame, anxiety or hate. I learned how to love this body of mine. I discover how athletic I am, how strong and badass I felt when I finished my first Spartan Race.

I now live a balanced life. I am not a health nut, or a food nazi. I eat out, I still have drinks with my friends and enjoy a treat here and there. But I did cut out fast food and I have not had a sip of soda since April. To be honest I don't miss either one of those.

crystal profile

 I liked a lot of the meals I learned to prepare from Fit in 42, so I make some of those often and I have become creative in my day to day meals. Now I eat fruits and more veggies and always try to make a complete meal. I also still work out at least 3 times a week ( not at 5 am ) and try to be active as much as I can. 

I can honsetly say I am happy with how I feel and look now. I feel like nothing can stop me and I owe it to everyone at 168! Chad, Ana, Lisa, Seamus and Dustin have played such a huge role in my life these past 9 months. 168 is more than a gym its a family!

If I was able to do it, so can you. Just take the first step. You will never regret this. I promise!