I have always been athletic and I have always had a tough relationship with food. Through most of my life, these two truths balanced each other. As an adult, being active started feeling more like a chore than something I enjoyed. I ate more and moved less, until I hit what I consider a low point in my own health and fitness. Even though I have generally been opposed to weight loss for weight loss, in 2015 I saw 50/50’s weight loss challenge and signed up, hoping that my competitiveness would take over and the challenge would give me a much needed jump start back into being active. I’ve never been good at doing things in moderation and this challenge was no exception. I started spinning, training, and tracking with intense focus. In 8 weeks I had lost 25 pounds and I kept going. At the same time, unexpectedly, I found myself really invested in the community at 50/50 and got into the best shape of my adult life. I’ve always been a leader-type, so I told myself that if I lost 50 pounds I’d get spin certified. I did and I did, and then Katie and Justin gave me a shot. That was two years ago.
For the first time in my life, I actually felt some hope that I could maintain a sustainable relationship to fitness and food…and then I got pregnant in the fall of 2016. That year was really rough for me, and I didn’t have the mental energy to hang on to all of my “sustainable” habits along with the pregnancy. I tried to be forgiving with myself, figuring that after I had the baby I could reset. Quincy was born in the spring, and I basically found myself back at square 1. I had put on most of the weight I lost, and had no core muscles, no momentum, and no free time. That said, I found myself really missing 50/50 and spin, so I started riding and teaching again.
My daughter is now 6 months old (and she is the best!). I can ride harder and longer than I could 5 months ago when I got back on the bike for the first time, but am finding the post-baby return to fitness hard. I can’t be at the gym 6 days a week like I used to and most of my meals involve eating while holding a baby or driving. I know I’m not alone in feeling busy and tired and a little less hopeful, but I’m trying to be steady and patient. It’s important to me to show up and ride when I’m feeling my best and when I’m not. Part of this is about a politics of representation. Even at my smallest and most fit, I know I don’t look like most people who teach fitness classes. That matters to me. Not everyone feels comfortable in a spin studio, but I believe all people and all bodies can be strong, can motivate, can inspire, and I try to embody that. I love designing creative, butt-kicking workouts set to classic, throwback playlists. I love a heavy hill or a killer sprint. While I’d be lying if I didn’t say I want to lose the baby weight, there is something important to me about being visible and being an instructor where I’m at. Food and fitness journeys are long and hard, and it’s important to me that folks at 50/50 know I’m right there with you. I hope to see you on the bike.