My very first post. So much pressure.
I figure the most logical way to dive into all of this is to give you my background story. I am not a blogger. Well, I guess technically now I am. But to be completely honest here – I have no idea what I’m doing. What I do know is that I love fitness and I have a lot I would love to share with you about my journey. I would also love to help others find their love for fitness, something they can be passionate about and can enjoy doing. Because I know it doesn’t just magically happen- you don’t wake up one day thinking “Today is the day I’m going to start eating clean. Today is the day I am going to change all of my unhealthy habits. Today is the day I’m going to start working out 5-6 times a week. And I’m going to love doing it.” It’s a process, and it’s a lifestyle change. I would love to help others find the process that works for them
So – let’s start with my journey.
My name is Cara Morrell. I’m 28 years old. I grew up in a small town in Kansas. My first involvement with sports was ballet in kindergarten. Then I tried out softball, swim lessons, roller blade hockey (yes I was in a neighborhood league and I am proud to say I was picked before many of the boys). I was one of those kids that had to be told to come inside because it was getting too dark out. I would much rather be out running around with my neighbor friends than sitting inside watching tv.
In middle school, I joined the volleyball team, basketball team, and track team. I found that running was my biggest strength. The half mile and mile races were my thing. I continued with these sports throughout high school. I also took weightlifting as a class every semester throughout high school (most of the athletes did).
Then college came. I went to The University of Kansas with my best friend from high school, and joined the Kappa Delta sorority. I regularly went to the rec center and continued to stay active, although my eating habits were not the best (mac and cheese from our sorority house chef was my favorite, as well as crunchy chicken cheddar wraps from the Underground on campus.) I went out 3-4 nights a week, and usually ended those nights with Wheel pizza. 3 am study sessions were usually accompanied with a late night run to McDonalds for double cheeseburgers and fries.
After college, I moved to Dallas for my first job, and surprisingly it didn’t get better, it only got worse. Those first few years out of college, when you have a job and you are actually making your own money, and you are thrown into the real world- those years are the most confusing. I knew how to study and maintain a 3.5 GPA while going out with my friends on a regular basis- doing this with a full time job couldn’t be much different, right? Let me preface this by saying these were some of the most fun years of my life- there was always a happy hour to go to, always a Sunday Funday to attend, brunch at one of our favorite spots every Saturday, and late night dancing. Float trips, lake trips, road trips to STL for Mardi Gras. My friends and I always said “these are the days of our lives.” And they really were.
Then. One day you wake up and you’re no longer in your early twenties. You realize you have other goals in life besides having the most fun time you can possibly have with your friends. You start wanting to go out less, stay in a little bit more. Sundays are for relaxing. Most weeknights, you’re exhausted. You start thinking about saving for a house, maybe even settling down, especially since some of your friends have started down that path.
This is when the search for my fitness journey began again. And it took me a couple of years to get it right. In 2013-2014, I ran my first half-marathon, my second half-marathon, and my first full-marathon. Since I was running 7-20 miles every week, I definitely lost weight. I got skinny. Skinny, but not strong.
After running my marathon in Spring of 2014, I started slacking off again. I was burnt out from all the running. So I ate, drank, and enjoyed life. Winter of 2014, I decided it was time to get back on track. I started going to Pure Barre 3-4 times a week along with running 3 times a week. I still was frustrated. I wasn’t seeing results I wanted. My entire life I had strived to be the girl that felt super confident in her bathing suit at the pool, whose jeans fit well and didn’t dig into my stomach when I sat down.
I started following Kayla Itsines on Instagram- and after seeing all of the amazing real-life transformations, I decided I was going to do it. If these girls were seeing these amazing results, I could too right? If they could do it, I could too.
February 24th, 2015 I started my BBG journey. The workouts were TOUGH. Some of the toughest I had ever done. Every week was a struggle, but every week I could feel myself getting stronger. I was so proud of myself for completing the first 12 weeks. I started BBG 1.0 over and completed the 12 weeks again. This is when I really started to see results and see my body changing. I stumbled upon Lauren Gleisberg’s Instagram (@laurengleisberg) and saw she was starting a free 6 week “Beauty and Booty Challenge” that was mainly weight based. I decided to jump on in with that to give myself a break from BBG. I love lifting and her free workout challenges are amazing – I encourage everyone to check them out. After Lauren’s challenge, I completed 12 weeks of Kayla’s second guide BBG 2.0. I’m now on her BBG 3.0 guide using the “Sweat With Kayla” app.
I can honestly say I have never been happier or more confident with my body. The mental transformation I have gone through has made just as big of an impact on me as my physical transformation. I still have goals for myself, and I still have a ways to go. But for the first time since high school, I feel FIT. I feel lean. I feel strong. And I love getting stronger every day. Going to the gym is FUN for me. And I promise it can be fun for you too.
So here is my space to share nutrition and food diaries, workout tips and advice, fit fashion, and anything else that may come to mind — with ALL of YOU.
I’m super excited to have y’all along for the ride.