My name is Erica. I’m 23 and trying my hardest to figure out what the hell I’m doing with my life. But I’m slowly (but surely) learning that as cliché as it may be, it really is about the journey, not the destination.
About two years ago I made a decision. I had just returned from France, where I spent a semester eating my way across Europe (you’ll soon learn that I love food), and I had a few extra pounds to lose. I had always danced growing up, but ever since college had started, I’d given it up. As a ballet dancer (or maybe this was just me?) I feel like I was trained to dislike running. To me, it was the. worst. thing. I hated it! And I was terrible at it! I couldn’t go a mile without stopping to catch my breath. Remember the physical fitness test you used to have to take in school? Worst day of the year, hands down.
So naturally, I decided to start running. I wanted to lose weight, and you always see people running to lose weight, right? So I started small and over time I worked my way up to running 15 minutes without stopping, then 30, then 45, then 60 whole minutes of running without stopping! Over that time, I realized that I had just been doing it wrong the whole time (trust me, if I can learn to run, anyone can). I started to focus on running for the sake of becoming a better runner, and I eventually fell in love with it.
As I learned to run, I began losing weight. I learned what (and how much) my body needed to eat, and I learned how to cook. In the beginning of all this, I also met my boyfriend, who just so happens to be a certified personal trainer and now a professor in exercise science (I’m a lucky girl). He helped me tremendously with my running, and helped me incorporate resistance training into my life as well.
I never had a set “starting weight,” but since that summer in 2009 I’ve had to have lost upwards of 20 pounds (see: bad attempt at “before” and “after” photos). More importantly, I’ve fallen in love (on many levels) and have learned to enjoy life and love my body. Last May I ran my first marathon, and I am currently training for a half marathon in October.
I am not a personal trainer, nutritionist, or anything of the sort. In fact, I have degrees in film and in French. Any advice or suggestions I have are based on my own experience, research, and what I’ve learned from my boyfriend and other experts. I do plan on becoming certified to teach group fitness classes this fall (maybe even personal training someday), and next fall I plan on returning to school to get a M.A. in French and Linguistics.