A Reflection on my Fitness Journey

I’ve absolutely fallen in love with fitness, but to tell you the truth, I didn’t always have this love for it. My fitness journey has been going on for years now and it’s evolved SO much during that time. When I first started to work out in the early stages of my weight loss journey, I had very limited knowledge on exercise. I would run one mile on the elliptical (which gradually increased to 3) and use the strength circuit machines at the gym. I also discovered my love for Zumba around then, which still is one of my favorite forms of cardio.

Over time, I learned more and more and began using free weights, alternating different body parts on different days (back, arms, legs, then core) and using the elliptical at different levels of resistance, creating a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) cardio routine. A couple of years later, I obtained my ACE Fitness Personal Trainer Certification and learned so much more about the science behind exercise. I continued to do the same weight training & elliptical on most days, plus Zumba on other days.

When I started dating my now-fiancé, VJ, I became so enthralled in spending time with him that my exercise routine slowed down quite a bit. Instead of the 4+ days I was used to working out, I was only making it to the gym about once or twice per week. I ate a bit more junk than I was accustomed to, as is SO common in new relationships. (If you’re going through this, you’re not alone!) As a result, I put on a few pounds over time. I didn’t have nearly as much energy, since I wasn’t staying on track or eating as healthy as I used to. But at a certain point, enough was enough.

Last summer, I realized that I had to get back to the person that I had been before and who I was meant to be: Bri Healthy. I took control of my health again and started accurately tracking my food through MyFitnessPal, as I had during my weight loss journey. I joined ClassPass and discovered a ton of group fitness classes that I fell in love with. Group exercise pushes me harder than I would on my own, and the sense of community that exists within the classes makes it that much more fun. Through ClassPass, I discovered 24 Hour Fitness and the most AMAZING instructor in the world, Michelle Jordan. I also fell in love with barre, spin, and strength training classes that pushed me to achieve levels of strength that I never knew possible.

I’ve been consistent with my fitness because I’m obsessed with how it makes me feel. Exercise makes me happy. It makes me feel confident. It makes me feel that absolutely anything is possible as long as I set my mind to it. It gives me energy, it calms my mind, and it’s almost meditative in a sense. During exercise, I can completely clear my mind and be 100% in the moment. I focus on the moves that I am performing, and in those moments, nothing else matters other than how I feel physically and how proud I am of myself. This is where I am now. I’m working out consistently 4-6 times per week and loving every second of it. As with all health journeys, my fitness journey is never-ending, and I look forward to seeing which exercises I love best in 5 or 10 years!

Exercise has become my favorite pastime and one of my favorite social activities. I love meeting a friend at a fitness class to get our sweat on. I love trying new things with people I love and also by myself. Plus, I’ve met so many amazing people by going to these classes. I’ve met a multitude of incredible instructors who inspire me SO much. I’ve made friends that I see consistently at the same classes, some of which now feel like family.

Taking a class led by one of my fitness inspirations (and now, friend), Sherica Holmon!

Exercise continues to shape my life in a positive way. It’s not a chore or something that I only view as a method to lose weight. I view it as the most incredible activity, a celebration of our bodies and of the joy of movement. Fitness has always been a passion of mine, but I feel it now more than ever. If you’re new to exercise or if you’ve been in the game for a while, I highly recommend trying group fitness classes. They truly changed my life. However, one of the most beautiful aspects of fitness is that it’s different for everyone. Some people love to run miles, some people love to dance, and some people love to lift, to name a few. Whatever works for you is the best thing for you! 

I suggest trying out as many types of fitness activities as possible to find what you really love. There’s an exercise for everyone, even if it’s simply walking. Fitness should be enjoyable, not dreadful. I promise you’ll find something that you love, as long as you try. Step outside of your comfort zone and reap the benefits of physical activity! I’m brainstorming ideas on how I will incorporate more fitness-related content to Bri Healthy in the near future, so stay tuned!