My Fitness Story

Many of you were totally on board with seeing more health + fitness content on the blog in 2018. I say “more”, but what I really should be saying is “the start of” since it hasn’t been an area of focus thus far! While this little blog started as a fashion-focused destination, it’s evolved into so much more, and while style will always be the core of Pineapple & Prosecco, I’m giving the people what they want! 😉 I’m laying it all out in today’s post – taking you through my fitness story and why I’m committing to a healthier, more well-balanced life since turning 30 this year.

 

Pre-College:

I grew up as an athlete, playing a few core sports throughout middle school and high school. When I was 9, I started what would turn into a 10-year run with gymnastics, which was a huge part of my life growing up.

I enjoyed being active; it was kind of just what was engrained in me, but by the time high school hit, I cared way more about my friends than I did about having to show up for cross country practice and run 6 miles in the middle of winter.

My mom always cooked for us, so we ate generally healthy. To be honest though, I was blessed with those good genes of being able to whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Call it an active lifestyle, or good genes, or a fast metabolism, but I didn’t even start thinking about health, fitness and body image until college.

 

College Years:

I went into Freshman year worried about the “Freshman 15”, because I thought I was supposed to be worried about the Freshman 15. You would think that would have logically rang a bell in my head to make my health a priority, but those grilled cheese sandwiches and french fries from the caf were just too damn good.

Nonetheless, I made it through 4 years ‘unscathed’, having only visited the gym a handful of times.

By this point, I was getting cocky – I mean, here are all of these girls worrying about what they were eating and getting that workout in, and I was concerned about the fact that I’d just ran out of bagel bites and fried potstickers (but actually is there anything better than bagel bites after a night out? The answer is no).

Around the time I finished grad school, I met Joe, and my routine started to change. When he moved in, we adulted hard – cooked every night, got gym memberships, and both started to take better care of ourselves.

Then – everything changed.

Post-College:

Upon finishing grad school, I started teaching full-time, which meant a much stricter and more regimented schedule and…more stress. Lots more stress.

While I loved my job, I always felt like my work was never done. I’d come home from work around 530, give myself an hour to get settled, cook dinner, etc., and plop myself on the couch grading papers and creating lesson plans until 10pm, only to do it all over again the next day.

I felt suffocated at the time. In hindsight though, it was my first few years of teaching, of course it was going to be hard.

I was young (25) and didn’t really know how to navigate life. So I stopped going to the gym, the serotonin stopped pumping, and the crippling anxiety came at me full speed.

 

My Experience with Anxiety:

Let’s backpedal a few years…

I guess you could say I was always a ‘worrier’ in some ways; I definitely think things through and imagine worst case scenarios more than I used to, but it wasn’t until my sophomore year of college when I had my first major surge of anxiety (hello, panic attack – would like to NOT die to today please and thank you).

Naturally, I had NO idea what was happening to me and I was terrified to say the least. I couldn’t eat; couldn’t sleep; couldn’t sit through a class without staring at the clock and hoping it to be over; hated going out in public; the thought of a crowded place or having to wait on a line was terrifying; couldn’t bear to feel the slightest bit hungry because then I would DEFINITELY faint (all in my head).

It lit-er-ally hit me like a ton of bricks; something I had never experienced before and was seemingly snowballing into how I was going to have to live for the rest of my life (for those of you who’ve dealt with anxiety, you know there’s no talking you off the ledge when you’re in the midst of it).

After a semester on medical leave and some cognitive behavioral therapy, it eventually subsided (as it always does) and I felt great. Life was back to normal.

Until it wasn’t.

my fitness story

Flash forward back to that second year of teaching, one morning standing in my classroom having just dropped my kids off at morning special, and just like that, that crippling anxiety came back once again.

It had been 5 years since I experienced any form of anxiety past the typical, run-of-the-mill everyday stressors, and I would be damned if it came back again because I had worked my ass off to put together the pieces and go ‘back to normal’.

Funny thing about anxiety though – it doesn’t really care.

So there I was back at square one, although this time, I had a much more serious responsibility with a full time job teaching third grade.

As the weeks passed, one thing piled on top of another and I came to a point where I felt like I couldn’t physically get out of bed and get through my day – I didn’t want to because I knew what was coming. Compare it to living a bad nightmare over and over again, week after week.

So I made the decision to head back to New York to my doctor and do the one thing I always said I would never do – start an anti-anxiety medication.

Here’s where this connects to my fitness story; I remember sitting in my doctor’s office, worrying about making this decision but knowing it was the right thing for me to do during this rough patch of my life. I didn’t want to ask the question about side affects but I did – and of course, got the one answer I wasn’t too thrilled about. “You’re on such a low dose, honestly Danielle, but there can be some minor side affects with this medication, the most common being weight gain from increased appetite.”

UGH. No more bagel bites?!?!?!?!?

Long story short, a few weeks into the medication I had made it through my second rough patch with the help of a small dose of an SSRI and felt totally like myself again. Weeks turned into months which turned into a year, my laissez-fair attitude about sticking to the non-active routine remained intact and like magic, I had a new body, 15 lbs. heavier.

UGH. Literally UGH.

I felt like all of this time had passed and I wound up in someone else’s body – I mean, to be honest, I still feel like that now (I’m just a little bit more used to it).

From 28-30, I loved to hate: my sweet tooth; pasta and pizza; all-things carbs; the list goes on. The issue, though, was that I was STILL eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, complaining about my butt not fitting into my jeans and not doing anything about it.

Then one day, something just kind of clicked. This is silly, but I always, always promised myself that I wouldn’t grow up to be one of those women who says, “Oh my gosh, you should have seen what great shape I was in when I was your age!” That has always bugged me, and I was totally heading in that direction.


Fast Forward to Now...

My happiness and feeling good, above all, is what matters most, but I’ve also committed to showing up for myself.

Of course, I still love my carbs (but in moderation), and I’ve come to realize how much better I feel when I’m living a healthier lifestyle.

My fave tooth (the sweet one) is still there…I mean, sorry, but that’s never going away.

And no, I don’t love working, out, but I like it and feel very balanced and at ease when it’s a regular part of my schedule.


So that’s my story and that’s where I’m at! I plan to share more health and fitness as a part of my lifestyle content throughout the year, but if you have anything specific you want to hear about, let me know!

6 weeks ago, I started up BBG for the third time and know a lot of you are interested in learning more about the process, so I’ll be sharing that on the blog as well.

Where are you in your fitness journey? Are you in the kick-starting phase like I am? Have you been at it for a while? Are you just now thinking about how to begin? Would love to hear your stories in the comments below. 

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15 Comments

  1. June 13, 2018 / 10:54 pm

    Love how you shared this and your story. It is sometimes hard to really get focused too

    BNBstyling.com

  2. Emily
    June 13, 2018 / 9:45 am

    What a great story to share! I am a very picky eater (aka I don’t like a lot of foods and the ones I like aren’t necessarily healthy ha!) so I struggle with finding the perfect workout to combat that. I’ve always had a fast metabolism… until the last year or so. It’s been a struggle to figure that out too. I need to be more consistent with everything for sure!

  3. June 11, 2018 / 2:58 pm

    Proud of you lady! I’m also on medications that make me gain weight and it’s so stressful! I’ve been trying to stick to a stricter schedule and eat healthy too 🙂

    Xx,

    Lauren

  4. June 11, 2018 / 8:14 am

    Loved this Danielle! Great hearing about your journey. I too have a LARGE sweet tooth and it is going nowhere. Honestly, I don’t feel bad about it. Not even one bit. Mainly due to working out basically daily but also because I just love sweets ha! I’ve been doing BBG since January, one my second round now and I couldn’t love it more. I’ve noticed such a difference in my body and it’s such an awesome push. I NEVER thought I could be good a burpees and now I feel like champ doing them. It’s crazy what your body can do when you push yourself and work out regularly!!

    xo Laura Leigh
    http://www.louellareese.com

  5. June 10, 2018 / 8:18 pm

    I was really into fitness for a while but life happened and I haven’t been going as much. I definitely want to add fitness back into my daily routine!

    Megan | http://www.pipmegan.com

  6. Lindsey
    June 9, 2018 / 2:05 pm

    I’ve wanted to try BBG but haven’t had the motivation since baby number 2 and the sleepless nights that come with it. I need to follow along 🙂

  7. June 9, 2018 / 12:44 am

    I enjoyed reading your story– I’m on the side of moderation. I think you can be healthy but still enjoy the occasional treat 😛

  8. June 8, 2018 / 9:55 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story! Can’t wait to read more of what’s to come. I am actually expecting and I have been trying to keep my gym routine of Mon-Fri until the belly doesn’t allow it anymore. Otherwise I will likely stay at home and do nothing pre and post baby.
    XO,
    Mei

  9. maggie
    June 8, 2018 / 1:55 pm

    Thanks for sharing– I’ve had a long journey with my health and happiness as well

  10. Liz
    June 8, 2018 / 10:50 am

    Loved hearing about your fitness story! Mine is similar and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that my body is changing and it’s harder to digest food, so working out is more important than ever!

  11. sarah lindner
    June 8, 2018 / 9:53 am

    I have wanted to try BBG. I can’t wait to follow along and hear more!
    xoxo
    Sarah Lindner

  12. Bianca Roman
    June 7, 2018 / 4:06 pm

    I have been naturally thin my whole life (thanks momma for the genes). I remember being a size 12 in girls pants, but so annoyed that they were a little on the shorter size because I was so tall in jr high. Wanted to wear 00, for the length, but they were too big. I kept my small(ish) statue until I found out I was pregnant in 2009. I was 135 and topped out at 173 (I was ALL belly). I wasn’t concerned, because I bounced back and couldn’t even tell I had a baby. Fast forward about almost 2 years ago (more specifically 2017) I gained 50lbs in a matter of months! My joints were swollen and couldn’t figure out why. I think the weight gain was a result of my then boyfriend and I going back and forth etc etc. went to rheumatology earlier this year and had blood work done. Nothing to note other than my ANA being positive for the 3rd time on my labs. Now I’m sitting at 188 and pretty much cry every day and yet still eat like I’m 12. Funny how that goes right? My mom and I signed up for weight watchers a couple of weeks ago, so I’m hoping that helps keep me in check.

    I see so many bloggers/influencers doing BBG or completing it and in all truth, it brings on the comparison game something fierce. “Why can’t I look like them?” “What am I doing wrong” “why won’t my neck cooperate?” “How can they work out for 4 weeks (maybe not even consistently and show their stories of drinking margs/mimosas and not gaining any weight back?” OMG it’s horrible and that’s when I need to take a step back and realize, I can get through this. And I know having a work from home desk job doesn’t help at all.

    Thank you for taking the time out to let us in on your struggles. I think bloggers/influencers forget that your readers are not any less human than you are and we’re all going through something and maybe the same thing.

    • Danielle
      Author
      June 7, 2018 / 4:48 pm

      You are SO not alone in the comparison game. Just remember that MOST of the time, MOST bloggers are showing off the best version of themselves (ie: just completed a workout class, here’s my cute outfit to here I am celebrating a night out with margaritas and all-you-can-eat tacos). In reality, we ALL have struggles when it comes to staying healthy (even those who are in seemingly perfect shape). It’s a really tricky world we live in with our societal standard of what beauty is and that can make starting your own journey feel that much more daunting. Ultimately, the fact that you’re starting SOMEWHERE is what counts. Thanks for your thoughtful comment and for sharing, B! <3

  13. June 7, 2018 / 12:25 pm

    Thank you for being so honest! I’ve always loved your style and I love hearing more about YOU. I also struggle with anxiety so I relate to everything your saying.

    • Danielle
      Author
      June 7, 2018 / 12:36 pm

      That means so much, Kali. It always amazes me when you open up the conversation, how many people share this struggle. Finding consistency in a routine has made such a substantial difference lately!

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