Balancing Act

Say it with me people, life is all about balance.
mizuno running shoes

Balance, by definition, is a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.

I like to think of myself as living proof. Don’t believe me? Try this tidbit on for size: I used to weigh 178lbs. In all honesty, I probably weighed more than that, but that was the number I was given the first time I allowed myself to step on the scale after putting myself through years of bad habits. Everything from food, to booze, to relationships, you name it – I wasn’t doing it right.

Did I give up everything in the name of fitness? Absolutely not. What I did was begin to make little tweaks here and there to help me find my balance. I emphasize the word “my” because even the tiniest differences between you and I can make all the difference in the world.

old navy fitness

You see for me, wellness is just as much about my mental health as it is my physical health. Wellness is about finding my inner happiness and ridding my life of negativity and all of the many forms it presents itself. Wellness is about being selfish. Selfish with my time and how I spend it.

old navy fitness

Exercising is a form of therapy for me. A release of sorts. This is the number one factor I contribute to maintaining my weight loss. Did I start working out because I wanted to shed pounds? Yes. But what I didn’t realize is how dependent my well-being would become on the activities I was implementing into my everyday life.

fitness gear

You can rest later, ya know. Speaking of rest, staying active has done wonders for my sleep schedule, which in turn helps me to balance stress levels. When ten o’clock rolls around, I’m usually fighting the heavy pull of my eyelids (proof of a day well spent).

I prefer to workout in the evenings, aside from the occasional 6:15 a.m. Bar Method class, because that’s what works for me. Maybe you feel more energized in the mornings – get up and get to it, girl! Some wise person once said, “If it’s important to you, you will find a way to make it happen. If it’s not, you will find an excuse.”

maintaining weight loss

And as for those donuts…it’s no big secret that I have a slight infatuation and I’m fully aware just how many squats I’ll have to do, or how many stairs I’ll have to climb in order to burn off that sprinkled donut and I’m okay with that (for now). Que the buzzword: balance.how to lose weight

I’ve come a long way and I still have a long way to go. I want these photos to serve as a progress report – one that I can look back on in several months to see how far I’ve come. I say this with certainty because I’m ready to push myself harder because I deserve it.

This week marks the start of training for my fourth half marathon. I’m anxious to get back into a running routine after taking a few months off, even if this weather confines me to the dreadmill for the time being. Luckily, Shanley will be by my side to ensure that we rock that parkway like no one has ever rocked it before. I’m aiming to break two hours – eek!

training for a half marathon

What health/fitness/wellness endeavors have you set out to conquer? How do you find balance in the different areas of your life? I can’t think of a better way to kick off Motivational Monday (according to social media, it’s a thing) than with a healthy discussion. Get the party started down in the comments and don’t forget, I’ll be sharing my #halfmarathontraining updates on Twitter and Instagram if you care to follow along!

maintaining weight losshow to lose weightShop this post:

Old navy compression leggings // Champion workout tank // Mizuno running shoes // Fitbit Zip // Old Navy Activewear – tons of great stuff on sale!

Photos by One Sparrow Creative | Linking up with Life of Meg today 🙂

63 comments

63 thoughts on “Balancing Act

    1. Jessika Garcia

      Hi Alissa! I just started following your blog! I look forward to catching up with more of your posts! xo.

      Jessika

      Reply
  1. Fashion Column Twins

    I’ve been getting really lazy about working out! Mostly because I get caught up on work during the day and working on the blog at night. This post has inspired me to get back into a routine 🙂
    xo Emily

    Reply
  2. Whitney Hinson

    Yes as it was said below, you are such an encouragement! After our wedding I fell off my gym wagon, but luckily climbed back aboard! I am determined to not only see results, but feel good too!

    Reply
  3. Sarah

    This is so true! Working out is also a release for me and if I don’t have it I start to go a little nuts. I love running but have recently done something to my IT band and can’t run and it is killing me!! I am trying to find balance and that release in other forms of exercise…I have to remind myself that is all a balance and if I don’t rest and get better I can’t run at all! Good luck training!

    Reply
  4. Wake Up for Makeup

    You have such a perfect smile and I think you look fantastic! I so agree about needing exercise for mental health. I LOVE Old Navy’s workout wear. It’s some of my faves and can’t beat the price. No Lulu for this girl.

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      You’re making me blush 😉 The price is amazing…I got two pairs of pants for under $40 and they’re cool. haha can’t beat that! Can’t wait to see you in a few short weeks – woo!

      Reply
  5. AnnicaNicole

    You rock those Mizunos! I start my training next Monday but I’ve been easing myself back into the gym routine the last couple of weeks. I’m hoping to be right there with you to break that 2 hours!

    Reply
  6. Amanda Risius

    So proud of you! I’m trying to get my butt in gear but I’m having such a hard time finding a workout routine that I won’t tire of a month later. I’m constantly changing what I want to do from running, to classes, etc. How did you eventually come to “like” running?

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      I’m not gonna lie, I’ve tried a lot of workouts. I actually think it’s great that you’re constantly switching things up! It teaches your body not to plateau (something I’ve gone through several times over that past couple of years). I guess it comes down to me being competitive, even if it’s just against myself. I was determined to prove to myself that I could run a half and after crossing the finish line for the first time, I was hooked. Runner’s high is real and I’m addicted. I started slow – Hal Higdon’s beginner’s plan.

      Reply
  7. kate

    I love your comment about finding what works best for YOU. consistency is one of the best ways to succeed! good luck with the half training!

    Reply
  8. Caitlin Fore

    You are just too cool for words my dear. I love they way you talk about your success in such a realist and approachable way. I’m so impressed by your balance and couldn’t agree with your perspective of it being selfish. As my dad would say – “You’re the only one that can take care of yourself, 100% the way you need to be.” And I think this is just the way to do it.
    xo,
    Caitlin
    http://www.sophsticaited.com

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      I think your dad and I would get along just fine! Smart man 🙂 I try to keep it real around here and I appreciate when people notice. Thanks for always leaving me such sweet comments!

      Reply
  9. Natalie

    You go girl! Coming from a girl who also likes (i.e. loves) donuts, I totally agree that balance is key. I’ve been going to a Kettlebell gym near my apartment. It’s super challenging, but I love pushing myself. I need to try one of those barre classes – they look so fun!

    xo,
    Natalie | CincinNatalie
    cincin-natalie.com

    P.S. – those pants are AMAZE.

    Reply
  10. Rachelle

    I workout after work as well, thank you for this post you are an inspiration to me. I just decided to start training myself, so I need to stay focus there’s no one else to motivate me.

    Reply
  11. Rachel

    I also prefer to work out in the evenings! You know I loved reading about your weight loss journey and love that you continue to post about fitness… keeps me inspired! Keep up the great work girl! Also, these leggings are amazing!

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      Well I’ll keep posting then 😉 They had another pair with white lettering, but they sold out! I’m crossing my fingers they come back in stock!

      Reply
  12. Nikki

    Love this post! I go through periods where I slack on the working out, but it really is so essential for me – not just for my health, but to manage my anxiety, clear my head… I really want to run a half marathon this year (if my body can handle it). Good luck! I think you are amazing! (Also, I NEED those pants!)

    Nikki
    thefashionablewife.com

    Reply
    1. Jessika Garcia

      I agree Nikki! Working out definitely helps to clear my head and manage my anxiety! You’re not alone and I think your body can definitely handle it! In high school (when my body was much more in shape) my p.e. program trained and required me to do a biathlon. Seriously, who would’ve thought I would be able to do THAT! Cheering for you all the way from Hawai’i! xo.

      Jessika

      Reply
    2. Jessica

      Yes to the anxiety! I went through a period of time where I took medicine for anxiety, but since ridding my life of some negativity and exercising, I’m med free. You can do it, girrrrl! Thank you 🙂

      Reply
  13. Jessika Garcia

    I’ve set out to smash the 60-day Insanity Challenge. I *almost* conquered it back in 2012 but unfortunately gave up after I plateau. I’ve seen the results it’s given me and am positive this is what I need to kick-start the new year. The gym doesn’t do anything (for me at least) especially with the weight i’m at. Good luck to all of us trying to live the healthier lifestyle! Let’s follow each other on My Fitness Pal! My username is jessikagarcia. xo.

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      I think it’s important to find an activity you truly love. Whether that be swimming, tennis, running, whatever…if you’re not enjoying it, chances are you aren’t going to stick to it. I think we’re already following each other on myftinesspal!

      Reply
  14. Elle

    Amen girl! Its okay to be selfish when it comes to taking care of yourself. It makes you a better person all around and able to give more to others! I’m loving those pants, Old Navy is my favorite for workout pants.

    The Clean Project

    Reply
  15. Dianna @ Chard in Charge

    I agree with everything you wrote! I hate working out but it’s something I absolutely NEED to feel good emotionally/physically/mentally. I’m signing up for a 10k in the Spring, one day I’ll run a halfie with you two! xo

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      Maybe you just hate the activities you’ve tried. You stay active in the garden – that’s hard work and something you love! I would love to cross the finish line with you someday 🙂

      Reply
  16. Anh

    You are right! Finding the one that works particularly for oneself is truly the key to succeed. I was once got hyped with the “fit” trend. I forced myself to lift weight and do cardio, but they aren’t for me. Instead I played badminton – which I love and stick to. Maybe I can’t lift heavy with badminton but I grow my endurance and stamina 🙂

    Reply
  17. Sarah Dusinberre

    I’ve learned that losing weight is soooo much easier when I’m not trying. I counted my calories about 2 years ago and actually GAINED weight. My biggest tip to people is to only step on the scale once a month. This allows the “bad days” to not get me down, and the “good days” to not make me slip. It’s worked pretty well – I lost 20 pounds just by cutting back my portions, running outside the couch to 5k, and this tip.

    – Sarah 🙂

    http://www.thecrownbijoux.blogspot.com

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      I think it’s important for everyone to find what works for them! I’ve used myfitnesspal to count calories and log workouts, but it’s not for everyone. I simply eat when I’m hungry, no matter how many calories are in there for the day already 🙂 That’s awesome that you lost 20 pounds!

      Reply
  18. Cassandra Monroe

    Loved this post! I am working on trying to eat better as well as incorporating workouts in daily- although when I’m in Iowa flipping, I definitely slack off just from being so tired!! I actually am at my heaviest weight right now, 172 pounds, and it’s really an adjustment for me because I’m used to being at 140, running all the time and always being active- so sometimes when I run, I THINK that I can run 4 miles without stopping when I definitely can’t like i used to… Baby steps, patience and more baby steps.

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      I’m so glad we’re linked up on myfitnesspal! I had a humbling experience when I hopped on the treadmill for a run after a couple of months without it…I couldn’t even make it two miles without my body getting overheated. I’ll be taking the baby steps right there with ya! You can do whatever you set your mind to, I just know it 🙂

      Reply
  19. SarahLagen

    I can’t believe you are starting to train for your FOURTH half marathon!!! That’s crazy and so impressive at the same time!! I’ll be your biggest fan for training from Chicago! But it is all about balance, I’ve found that yoga works for me – its my favorite workout and keeps me balanced! 🙂

    Reply
  20. Madeline Mihaly

    Great post! I cannot believe you used to weight 178lbs! Physical + Mental health are so important, and I try to share that with my friends + students (I teach workout classes). Glad to see you found a method that works for you!

    xo, Maddy

    http://cassidylou.com/

    Reply
  21. Morgan

    These photos are awesome, Jessika! I am almost exactly where you once were — a current college senior who weighed in last May at 187 and got a major reality check. I’ve joined Weight Watchers and actually started working out (rather than talking myself into thinking that walking around campus was enough), and I’m down 30 pounds and feel wonderful. These pictures and your story are a great inspiration to keep going. Keep up the great work!

    Reply

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