How I Transformed my Body On a Budget: Fit Fridays Series

My Long-term Fitness Transformation: How I Transformed my Body on a Budget and How I Finally Saw the Results I Wanted!

I remember all throughout my teenage and even childhood years not being happy with how I looked or who I was, and consistently finding things wrong with me. I was MEAN to myself! For some reason I felt ugly every time I looked in the mirror. I hated the way I looked.

Eventually, when I stopped gymnastics around 12 and later on entered high school and realized I had put on a little pudge, I didn’t have a clue how to get rid of it. I just knew I didn’t like it.

I would hear my peers talk about going running or working out, and I thought, ok, they’re skinny, maybe I should do that. Soon, I realized I couldn’t last more than 10 minutes jogging, and immediately hated it. For a while, I had the hardest time getting myself to do any exercise or go to the gym, and when I was there, I really had no clue what I was doing or what I needed to do to get the results I wanted.

On top of that, I kept thinking things would just get worse. I thought that I was only going to get fat and uglier as I got older. That’s just how it goes right? High School was my prime surely (even though I hated most things about high school), but that’s when I thought EVERYONE looked their best. hahahah! It’s ok, laugh with me :).

 Transformed my body on a budget
LEFT: Me at 21 years old, trying to hide my body under big clothes, not happy with myself and no clue what I was doing with my life. MIDDLE and RIGHT: Me at 27, more confident and happier than ever, in my best physical and mental shape.

Over the course of my college years, I picked up bits and pieces of health and fitness knowledge, from fit friends, or just the good ole internet. I was poor like most college students, so hiring a personal trainer was out of the question. My first couple years, I had a gym membership, but really didn’t use it the way I should. I’d go to a Zumba or weights class once, maybe twice a month, but most of the time I lacked the motivation to get me there. And so I continued unhappy with my body. I was definitely not consistent enough to see any results.

 Transformed my body on a budget
This is me now, still a work in progress but the most toned and fit I’ve ever been. EVER!

The next few years, I would have on and off months where I was fairly good about going to the gym. However, my diet was still such a struggle! I never realized the whole idea of “abs are made in the kitchen” or that 90% of your fitness success is your diet. So, sure I’d go to Zumba and do a little light weights here and there, and while I wasn’t super chubs anymore, I still didn’t feel satisfied! I loved food, and desserts, and if you ever lived in Provo, UT as a single college student, you know dessert parties are never lacking. I had zero self control, and when I got there and no cute boys would talk to me, I’d eat my feelings in cookies and lemon bars!

Okayyy I’m kidding about that, I wasn’t that depressed, but I definitely lacked massive self control in this area.

My last year of college I was ridiculously busy. I worked AND went to school full-time, and then volunteered as a worked at the LDS Provo Temple on my Saturday nights for five hours. Yes, I was pretty anti-social and anti-dating at this point, but that’s a whole other story.

However, I was the most motivated I had ever been! I had been listening to all sorts of self-improvement audio books I would find on YouTube every morning while I got ready, and also on my 30-minute commute to work and then back home.

So I decided that after my work shift ended at 9:30PM, I would head over to the small free gym in the building and MAKE the time to work out during the week and not just once Saturday mornings. I went on Bodybuilding.com, found a program based on what I wanted (fat loss, duh) and so it began.

No, I wasn’t “fat” but I definitely wasn’t toned and feeling confident like I wanted. I was “Skinny Fat” and that look wasn’t cutting it for me.

 Transformed my body on a budget
Jan 2014: Me starting out my first weights program after a long hiatus.

I saw some results from the 3 week program I did, but my mistake here was starting with a very advanced program I wasn’t ready for at that time. I still did it, but definitely not to a tee.

From this point on, I was consistently going to the gym regularly, and just doing random weights for whatever body part I felt like doing that day. I didn’t have any set schedule, but at least I was going right?

 Transformed my body on a budget
Summer 2014: Seeing slightly more definition but my diet still lacked discipline!

The Game Changer!

I impulsively bought the cutest puppy in the world, had to move out of the brand new house I was renting a room out of because the owner was not down for my pup, and moved all my stuff to a 100+ year old house in ghetto Salt Lake. The one good thing about this besides that they allowed my dog, was that I was closer to one of my best friends growing up and we immediately made plans to start a 12 week program and do it together to keep ourselves accountable.

We started the Jaime Eason Live Fit program, one I had dabbled in before and ended up quitting a few weeks into it. This time around was different, I was determined to get in the best shape of my life, and made time in my schedule, no excuses! We would also meet up to meal prep, and make some of the awesome recipes Jaime Eason recommended in the program. Cause, yeah we wanted to look exactly like her, so if she said “JUMP,” we said “how high?!”

I finally started to see the results I’d been wanting, and that’s what hooked me. I couldn’t NOT get my workout in, it was like sin!

About half way through this, I started dating my now husband and we wanted to spend all our time together. By this time, it was getting difficult to meet up with my friend all the time so it worked out perfectly. He jumped into the program with me and we finished strong!

 Transformed my body on a budget
Having an accountability buddy who works hard as well was a HUGE key to my success! I’m lucky to have one built in with my hubs! But I was single when I started, so grab your bestie and don’t make excuses!

We have done several other programs from Bodybuilding.com since finishing this one and for me, there’s no turning back! This is now such a huge part of me, and a huge contributor to my self-confidence and mental well-being.

 Transformed my body on a budget
BEFORE: When I first started lifting consistently
 Transformed my body on a budget
NOW: My most current

3.4.16 Transformed my body on a budget
I still indulge in my favorite foods sometimes,but since I’ve built muscle and restarted my metabolism, those foods don’t make me chub anymore!

I’ll end with my last note. LADIES, go as heavy as you can! Get on some sort of program, which as we see, does NOT need to cost anything, and LIFT HEAVY! Meal prep in advance, and most importantly, find someone to keep you accountable that you can rely on. Heck, if you need ME to be your buddy you check in with, I’d be more than happy to! Don’t let the way you feel about your body or looks hold you back from doing what you’re here to do!

Also, all I spend is $10 a month for a gym membership. I know gyms aren’t for everyone but if you want to really get toned and build muscle that will burn extra calories while you sit on your butt, you do need to lift. You can also buy weights to do at home if that’s more your style. Just make it work for you!

I post this in hopes that it will help someone. If I was able to do it, I know anyone can. If you have any questions about how to find a program for you on Bodybuilding.com    or about anything, just leave a comment below!

Xoxo,

Desi

4 thoughts on “How I Transformed my Body On a Budget: Fit Fridays Series

  1. Thank you for giving me the inspiration I need to begin my transformation. I used to be in great shape. My workout years ago consisted of lifting weights, riding the bike, and walking. After my daughter’s birth, it seemed as if the life was sucked right out of me. But, its been too long since I have routinely exercised. I am trying to regain control of my weight and life mentally again. Slowly, but surely, I will be back to my old self. I applaud you.

    1. Thank you so much for that comment! That means a lot. Its easy to forget about ourselves when children come into the picture, but the better we are physically and mentally, the better it is for them :). You can do it!!

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