University was over and I started to work. My eating habits stayed more or less the same for some years, although I was a bit more concerned about my physical looks and I joined a gym for the first time. I don’t remember how many months I went to that particular gym but it did had an effect on me, maybe not much physically but definetely in my attitude towards exercise and health. This was on 2000, on 2003 my sisters and I joined another gym where I discovered Body Combat (they called it something different because they weren’t licensed by Les Mills) and spinning. This made a huge difference for me, physically and mentally. I was hooked with exercise. That gym was small and in a not very good location, so we started looking around for other options. We went to a few and asked for free trials (to keep exercising for free) and finally one of my sisters and I signed a contract with Gymdo. My other sister went to Curves and stayed there for a while.
Gymdo changed my life. It’s one of these small gyms in where you can feel the vibe going on. Apart from weight training they offered the whole range of Les Mills programs plus yoga, boxing and taekwondo (hence the name of the gym). They also had sauna facilities, a massage therapist and free consultations with a nutritionist. I started doing some weight lifting, spinning, taebo and Body Combat. I booked an appointment with the nutritionist and had my body fat measured, both first time experiences. My sister went through this too and we opened our eyes to our food intake reality. We came home with our personalised diets and asked our mom to adhere to them (because, even when we were all grown up and working, as most of Latin Americans, we still lived with mom and dad). Our lifestyle changed dramatically, in fact all our family’s lifestyle did, because they had no other choice.
We felt so energetic that we went to the gym almost every day and started enjoying the benefits of it. In October 2004 I gathered the courage to go to a taekwondo class. I had to overcome my lifelong fears of not being fit enough for anything, and I loved it. I ditched almost everything else from my training, except weight training. Taekwondo made me more confident, more agile, fitter, stronger, and leaner. In fact, my lowest fat percentage ever was 16.8 (measured in a not so reliable Tanita scale), during a hard training period.
My health improved a lot, too. I was no longer constipated and I got sick less often. I got a new condition: gastritis, but that was stress-related and aggravated by several cups of instant coffee a day. Just to let you know, receiving a kick in the stomach when you have gastritis is not very nice. Try to avoid it (the gastritis, not the kick!).