A fit chica shares her story

Hello friends and readers: Since I've started blogging, I have received positive feedback from fellow readers, family and friends.  I have also had the opportunity to learn more about the fitness journey's of others.  I hope to allow readers to share their experiences by offering the opportunity to be interviewed for this blog.

My first "fit chica" is Stephanie Melowsky.

I met Stephanie over five years ago and since I have known her, I have always been impressed with her determination to live a healthy lifestyle. Stephanie has many accomplishments including graduating law school. This woman is a dynamo.  Read her story below.

FFC: What gave you the motivation to take working out and fitness seriously? Was there a catalyst?

Stephanie: I was overweight/obese ever since I could remember. As a little girl, I was

afraid to get on the scale during “physical day” in 1st grade. I was really naïve and just thought, “I was born this way and I will always be fat.” However, during the summer of 2001 my brother went to work at a sleepaway camp and when he came back he had lost 40lbs! I couldn’t believe that he had actually lost so much weight and I remember thinking “if he could do it I can do it!” Thus, started my journey. Of course there were many other contributing factors along the way including support from my friends, who agreed to come walk/jog with me in the middle of February and others who educated me on how unhealthy it was to be obese and told me the things I didn’t want to hear.

FFC: I know healthy eating has also been a big factor in your weight loss journey, how did you change your eating habits?

Stephanie: When I made the decision to be serious about losing the weight I did a lot of reading/research on the best ways to do so. The “Atkins” diet was gaining popularity at that time so I tried it out but all the protein and fat did not make me feel good. So, I continued to do my research and learned that the simple answer is often the best one. Old fashioned portion control and eating “natural” foods was the best “diet” I could’ve discovered. “Natural” foods meaning, nothing processed or “fast.” Although many complain about the difficulty of eating healthy it actually made grocery shopping and choosing meals easier and enjoyable. My diet consisted of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains. It was that perfectly simple! Of course there are always instances where a cupcake, cookie or greasy fast food option is irresistible but, after sticking to healthy foods for an extended period of time, I began to “crave” healthy foods over the “junk” foods. Portion control was the next big challenge and one that I am still struggling with because even excessive healthy eating can be bad for you. I have been training myself to eat slowly and stop eating the minute I don’t feel hungry anymore, even if that means putting the dish aside and coming back to it 30 minutes to an hour later. I feel this is better than eating a huge meal in a matter of 20 minutes which slows down your metabolism as opposed to keeping it active.

FFC: How do you feel fitness has changed your life?

Stephanie: The major thing that has changed is that I learned that taking your health seriously involves changing your life. After I realized that everything else followed, including being able to confidently take on professional responsibilities and choosing a career without fearing the challenge. After taking on the challenge of getting into shape and overcoming the fear of being judged, I applied that to everything else I did in life and feel very successful in doing so. I am convinced that without gaining my physical well being, becoming an attorney, earning a second masters degree and excelling in my career would not have been possible. However, I am grateful for the mistakes I made along the way because I learned from them and I am able to appreciate the rights more than I worry about the wrongs.

FFC: Any tips for someone who may feel this is a huge challenge?

Stephanie: Talk about your fitness journey because the support from others helps more than you realize at the moment. Also, find what you love to do and build from there. If you hate the treadmill, don’t use it! I am sure everyone can find an activity that they enjoy doing and that also burns calories. The same goes with food, if you don’t like cabbage you don’t have to eat it because there are many other healthy options but, don’t be afraid to try new things.

FFC: Currently, what's your favorite workout? Why?

Stephanie: I try to do as many different work outs as possible because variety is the spice of life! I love classes at the gym because they keep my time structured but I also enjoy swimming and doing outdoor activities to enjoy the nice weather. However I have to honestly say that I love Zumba/Dance the most because I incorporate it into everything else I do. The moves I learn in Zumba/Dance I take with me and think about them constantly. Whether I am sitting at my desk and rolling my shoulders or riding my bike and shifting side to side, I am always thinking about enjoying the movement. Of course when the weather is nice I like to be outdoors as much as possible. Hopefully we can find some place to do outdoor Zumba and get the best of both worlds!

FFC:How do you incorporate fitness in your everyday life?

Stephanie: Every day I try to make healthy choices by having fruits and veggies with every meal and making time to do something physical that I enjoy. I am constantly aware of my body and how it feels and what I can do to make it better. Whether it’s a quick stretch, walk around the office, intense workout or even a day to relax at home, the most important thing to do is listen to your body, do what feels good and be aware when something/someone is hurting you and then more importantly stay away from that hurtful thing (ie – greasy French fries, abusive boyfriend, etc..).

FFC: Anything else you'd like to share with our readers?

Stephanie: My next step is to try and get my family to become healthy as well but you cannot force someone to do something they don’t want to do and in that scenario the best thing to do is lead by example. We all have the ability to live fantastic lives because we are shaped by our thoughts not by how much money we have or how good we look. Although we all feel down from time to time and may suffer due to events out of our control, we have to remember life should not be taken for granted and we have to do our best to make the best out of it.

Wow, I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did. Everyone's journey is different. I always think its best to learn from others and incorporate some of what works for them, in your own life.  There are many takeaways from this interview but I think my takeaway is that leading a healthy life produces many more amazing outcomes professionally, personally and more.

If you wish to share your journey with us, email me at funfitchicblog{at}gmail.com.