FROM SETBACKS TO STRIDES | HEATHYR STANICS

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IT ALL STARTED WITH A BREAKUP

By Heathyr Stanics


It all started with a breakup.
Now I know that’s not a positive way to start a bio, but I swear it gets good.

In 2011 I split from my then fiancé, and as it neared it’s ugly end, I turned to food and alcohol for comfort, as many women do. I was eating fast food every day and drinking wine every single night.

 

Needless to say, I packed on quite a bit of weight as I went through the process of separation, while also hearing that no one could ever love me.

 

FAST FORWARD TO FREEDOM

Fast forward to finally living on my own at age 26 in 2012. I had the freedom to eat and drink anything I pleased, in the privacy of my own home, without judgment from anyone. Dealing with my new found loneliness, and those words still echoing in my mind about being unlovable, I ate all the carbs and drank all the alcohol. I was now pushing 300 pounds.

 

YOU HAVE SUCH A PRETTY …FACE

After a few months, and some very bad attempts at dating again, I was at an all-time low. I had heard the worst from both men and women about my weight. I’m sure their intentions were less than malicious, but the comments still cut like a knife.

I’m sure if you lost some weight, you’d get a boyfriend in no time.”

I didn’t realize that your belly was so huge.”

and the dreaded ……..

You have such a pretty….face.”

I KNEW I HAD TO MAKE A CHANGE

Perception is reality, right? I wanted to drop weight, and I wanted to do it fast. At this point in my life, I didn’t care how I did it; I just wanted to feel better about myself. I researched all the “magic” pills out on the market that promised fast weight loss. I ignored all the warnings and started taking a well-known weight-loss drug. I ended up losing a tremendous 50 pounds within a short time. Knowing that this wasn’t a concrete solution to my problem nor a fix-all I found the confidence to join a gym.

GOOD PROPER & OVERALL

I knew that my long term solution needed to be without pills and that a good workout regimen, proper nutrition, and an overall healthier lifestyle was what I needed to implement to be a better self. I had this preconceived notion that i was going to be made fun of due to my size. I overcame that feeling and joined a gym in August of 2013.

 

RUN OR DYE

I needed to give myself something to look forward to and keep myself motivated, so I signed up for Run or Dye. One of those colorful 5k races when the staff throws colored chalk all over you. I started on the treadmill, using the C25k app on my phone as a training guide. After a few months of training, the race came and went, and I was hooked on that feeling of accomplishment. But, I noticed the weight was creeping back.

 

THE CHALLENGES THAT YOGA TAUGHT ME

In the spring of 2014 a friend of mine introduced me to a big book of yoga poses to help with stretching. I had a constant feeling of tightness from running. As I flipped through the book, I became enamored with the level of difficulty some of these poses took. Being the competitive person I am, I was determined to teach myself the most challenging poses. I immediately started following all kinds of yoga enthusiasts and teachers on Instagram, from all different backgrounds and experience levels.

After a few months of participating in yoga challenges and posting my progress, I began to notice that people were watching. Men and women from all over the world were following along and contacting me personally to tell me that they were going to try yoga.

It was and still is, the most humbling experience.

 

THIS IS NOT A DIET

My confidence was rising again, as was my weight. I had been so focused on becoming stretchy and limber, that my cardio and weight training had taken a back seat. I knew that I would never be successful in long-term weight loss if I didn’t lose it organically. Better nutrition and a dedication to incorporate more cardio and lifting. I started running at work during my lunch break, and then again after work at the gym. I was prepping all my meals and eating on a schedule. I saw the weight coming back off, but it seemed like such a slow process. To this day I still tell myself that this is not a diet; this is life. Just stay consistent and embrace the happiness of everyday life.

 

SPARTAN RACE? UMMM YEAH…BUT NO

Somewhere during the end of 2014 my same friend that lent me her yoga book also suggested we try a Spartan Race. Before I even had a chance to give it any thought, I dismissed her recommendation because I thought that this type of race was way beyond my fitness level.

After a few moments to gather my thoughts and watch some YouTube videos of races in the past, I felt a fire of excitement within me. I agreed to once again step out of my comfort zone and try something new. I now had new motivation and new goals. We only had 15 weeks from the moment we signed up until our first race, so we hit it hard, focusing on endurance and our upper bodies.

 

 

CLIMBING …NO BREAKING DOWN WALLS

Race day came on March of 2015, and I was high on self-esteem from the accomplishment. I knew immediately that I had found my place; my “tribe”. I had broken through every perceived wall I thought I had, and met some of the most incredible athletes; many who are now very dear and life-long friends. I was stronger, faster, and happier than I had ever been in my entire life. Those horrible things that were said to me about being overweight years ago, no longer affected me in a negative way. They fueled my passion for racing and living a healthy lifestyle. It even encouraged me to compete in an endurance race in January of 2016. Much to my surprise, I won first place in my very first endurance race – The Gauntlet Sargent.

 

AS OF TODAY

I have completed 5 Spartan Races, a local mud run, The Gauntlet Endurance Race, handfuls of 5k and 10k races, and I have more confidence than I know what to do with. I still practice yoga every day, and you can find me training in the gym at least 5 days a week. While I was able to earn my Spartan Trifecta in 2015, my goal is to earn a Double Trifecta in 2016.

 

MY FUTURE PLANS

Someday, I would like to consider myself athletic enough to run as an elite racer. In 2017 I would like to begin my yoga certification so that I can teach yoga with certainty and poise. But my immediate goal is to just be good to myself, both physically and mentally.

I used to work out because I hated my body. But now that my mentality has shifted, I get the most out of my workouts and races because I absolutely LOVE my body. No longer do I feel the need for anyone else to complete me, because I know that I complete myself.

 

Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come.  Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome.”
-Unknown

 

HEATHYR MARIE STANICS


Heathyr began her fitness journey in August of 2013 by going to the gym by herself, walking the treadmill or slowly easing along on the elliptical. Soon after, she decided to set a goal and give herself something to look forward to.  Heathyr signed up for a colorful 5k and also started dabbling in yoga because she was so fascinated with inversions. Heathyr is now 3 sizes down from when she began, and continues to work on her physical fitness. She practice yoga every day, and is also a Spartan Race finisher. She loves to post fitness and yoga videos on her Instagram page , along with healthy food ideas.

 

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