Happy Tuesday friends! Today I’m sharing a story from my new Dallas “fit friend,” Ariana! We met this Summer when she attended my PiYo classes at the W Dallas Hotel. We instantly hit it off given our love for hardcore workouts and bright workout clothes (see pic of us in PiYo class on Instagram). I was inspired by Ariana’s dedication coming to class every Saturday and the fact that she always rallied a group of girls to come along with her – talk about accountability! As we got to know each other better, Ariana shared her healthy lifestyle journey with me. I was instantly energized by her story, so I asked her to share on my blog today! I hope her story encourages you as much as it encouraged me…
Ariana’s Healthy Journey: Connecting with a Positive Community
My name is Ariana Michelle and my life has always been very adventurous. I love traveling and a good challenge. I’m a packaging engineer in the cosmetic industry and just moved from New Jersey to Dallas to be closer to my fiance! We met 2 years ago in Turks and Caicos!
My before picture was taken in March right after I moved to Dallas. I’ve always struggled with food. My family knew me as the garbage disposal…I was such an athlete that I thought I could burn it all off. After college, that wasn’t the case anymore, and real athletes don’t treat their bodies with diets full of ice cream and bagels! It’s taken a really long time to listen to all the advice I’ve been reading about for years. I have lost 20 lbs since then and countless inches. I was a size SAD, now I’m a size SASSY! Never give up, your journey will take time! I wish I had listened back then and stopped eating all the foods that made me sick. Without the right foods I wouldn’t be such a ray of sunshine!
My biggest motivation was striking out on my own. The move to Texas was really hard! I didn’t know anyone. My fiance still lives 6 hours away, and so I had to learn to cook for myself! I needed a community, a place to call home, and friends who enjoyed the same things I did. I was tired of having acne, not fitting into my clothes, and I knew if I was going to make new friends I first needed to feel confident in my own skin. So, I decided my health would be the #1 priority in my life. I found community in all different fitness groups!
I set out to make some goals for myself! The Tone It Up (TIU) BIKINI SERIES was extremely helpful to set goals. I challenged myself with different cardio workouts like Turbo Fire, and T25, and TIU running routines. Each week, you have to keep yourself accountable, and remember that every small change yields large results! An easy goal to start with, I added something green to each meal. The following week I added more cardio. It’s so important to go slow and have a vision for your journey or you will be overwhelmed and give up. It’s the sum of your choices that makes a radiant person. Goals are the key to loving life!
Did I have set-backs? Yes! It has been a two-year journey to get where I am now. Between a devastating breakup, the loss of a dozen friends who were once my support system, and family struggles, there were times that I wanted to focus on other things, and help everyone else. But the biggest thing you can do for your family is to be a constant example of positivity. It took a long time for me to find a job in Texas, and then I was finally able to get connected to a great group of girls! I dove right in, making sure that I had a new support system if I was feeling helpless or tired. My journey would not have been possible without my #tiusisters and #teamuproar
I’m going to continue to follow the Tone it Up Plan and my new lifestyle for life~ eating the right things at the right times is going to help me keep up with my kids (someday ;)! I always tell my friends that each day adds up, so even if you only have 20 minutes to be active, that makes 140 minutes per week. I take it day by day, and set goals each morning. I never feel guilty for indulging once in a while because what I do 85% of the time keeps me right on track.