Subject: Weight Loss & Mental Health
Advice: Feeling down? Hit the Gym! Not only do you get to work off your frustrations, but you leave feeling like a rock star--because you really have accomplished something!
Carlee's Story: A little over one year ago my long time boyfriend and I decided it was finally time to break up. Although I knew it was for the best, I was devastated. I had been dating this man for seven years--he had been by my side all through high school and college for crying out loud. We were a force to be reckoned with; we were soulmates or at least that's what I had I thought.
It was a beautiful night in May of 2014. I went out with some friends and visited an art collector's home. After a few drinks, we somehow got on the subject of relationships. We talked about happiness and love--about how two people who barely knew each other are often happier together than those who have been together for years. The conversation hit home--I was walking home pondering what my life would be like if I left my partner. Over the last two years of our seven year relationship, I had contemplated this too often. It was clear I was unhappy and he wasn't too happy either. I had decided that unless he did something to change my mind that evening I was going to start the conversation--we were going to have a heated debate about breaking up.
When I got home everything was just as I expected it to be--my unemployed ex hadn't bothered to do the dishes and the apartment was a wreck. He had all the time in the world to accomplish these simple tasks, yet when I got home he was laying in bed watching a movie. I walked into the room and didn't get so much as a "hey." In that moment, I threatened to break up with him. I told him that if he wasn't going to change then I was going to leave him. I told him that our lease was going to be up in a month and I was going to leave him if he didn't change. I was angry; his response was cool, calm and collected. He agreed to my terms, but not the way I thought he would. His response: "Why wait? It's over." And just that quickly--we were through. The couple who had identified as "Marshmallow ad Lily-pad" from HIMYM ceased to exist.
That very same day I dropped my cellphone down a storm drain. What are the odds? I was cut off from the world--cut off from my friends and family. I had no one to talk to unless I wanted to go to a nearby cafe to use their WiFi for Facebook messaging--I thought, "screw that!" I went on a walk. I reevaluated who I was. I thought about where I was in life and where I needed to go. In two weeks I would be graduating with my bachelors degree in Curatorial Studies and Fine Art; In two months I would be moving to Baltimore to earn my post-bac certificate at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Over the last year, I had gained over 20 pounds--the side effects of a stressful senior year and a failing relationship. I was in the worst shape of my life--my emotions and body were a wreck. Most fitness journeys have an "Oh Shit" moment and well this is mine--a stupid-ass break up.
To my ex, that is if you're reading this, THANK YOU! If it weren't for you, I would not be where I am today. Not only did you support me all through high school and college, you were my biggest fan. Thank you for knowing when to agree with me and for having the guts to end "us" and encourage me to move on with my life. If you had not made the decision you made that beautiful May night, I would have never started this health & fitness blog; I would have never lost those 25 pounds, I would have never stayed in Philly; I would have never met some of my closest friends--Julia, Kim, you know who you are people. :P Simply put if you had never said "It's over" I would be someone totally different. To my ex if you are reading this...THANK YOU.
This very break up is what prompted me to begin once again hitting the pavement. In the past, I ran cross country and track, so I was oh too familiar with the training that was necessary to achieve the new goals I had set for myself. Ultimately, I wanted lose 20 pounds, get my 3 mile time back down to the mid 20s and stop being so angry with myself and what life had thrown at me. I went on runs around the city (Philadelphia) and began tracking my calorie intake through MyFitnessPal.
After one too many runs, I finally realized the whole reason I was put in this situation was because I needed to be uncomfortable. I needed to feel this dull pain of loneliness and anger because I needed the proper motivation to become a healthy and successful artist and arts professional. To be successful, I was going to have to work for it, damn it!
Believe me; I sure as hell worked for it. In the fall of 2014, I hit my goal weight of 135lb AND had successfully found a job as a development assistant at a local art & design college. The job wasn't much, but it was a start. I was fending for myself in the "real world" and I was proud--still am. Come winter, I was running 3 miles in 21 minutes and 46 seconds--a time that blew away my high school personal record of 25:59. Today, I'm in the best shape of my life--eating healthy, doing cardio, lifting weights, and of course continually working on making my mindset a more positive one. And although times still get tough every now and again, I try to remember not to worry. I managed to make it through my past and I've come out stronger. Nothing can break me.
Do you have an inspiring health or fitness story? Comment below or share on social media using the hashtag #APOPFNF (APOP Fitness Nerd Family) with a reason you should be featured in our next #APOPFNF profile! I will be adding a new profile every other Sunday so get your entries in now :)