Ana Alarcón shares how she went from overanalyzing her workouts and her diet to letting go of all that pressure and just having fun.

By Faith Brar
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When it comes to mastering the mind-body balance, Ana Alarcón is a total pro, but it hasn't always been that way. Practicing self-love and letting go of the pressure to be on top of her eating and fitness game didn't always come easy for the vegan fitness blogger. Recently, she opened up about how she went from measuring her worth through the scale to being confident and strong without being a slave to the numbers.

"Back in the summer of 2014, I realized that I was pretty far away from the person I wanted to be," she wrote on Instagram alongside two side-by-side pictures of herself. Ana writes that she weighed 110 pounds in one of the photos, but in the other, more recent pic, she explains that she doesn't weigh herself anymore and, better yet, doesn't really care what the number says anyway. (Related: Three Weight-Loss Stories That Prove the Scale Is Bogus)

"I was partying way too much and eating like crap," she continues talking about her wellness journey. "I recall doing squats in my old Jersey apartment feeling gross and about to cry. I also recall messaging an ex-coworker for her diet to lose weight. I recall eating eggs, broccoli, and steamed rice every day."

Then, after moving to Boston and meeting her boyfriend Matt, Ana says she was influenced by his healthier lifestyle. Before long, she started changing her eating habits and doing Kayla Itsines' BBG program. "I bought the guide and did pre-training day 1, and almost cried," she wrote, "I couldn't believe how out of shape I was."

While this was the first step in motivating her to get into better shape, Ana says she soon found herself going overboard. "One month [later], I committed to [doing] the whole guide, joined a gym and was there every day at 5:30 a.m., no matter what," she wrote. "I was eating 'healthy,' and I was meal prepping every single meal. I was obsessed. But as soon as the weekend and/or vacation happened, I would lose control and overeat whenever possible. It wasn't a healthy cycle." (Related: How to ~Finally~ Kick Your Weekend Overeating Habit)

Since realizing this approach to health and fitness just wasn't sustainable, Ana has spent the past few years opening her eyes to the idea that being healthy is so much more than hours at the gym and cutting calories. (Related: What Is Rational Fitness and Why You Should Try It?)

"It has taken me a while to really tune in with my body, and understand what a healthy lifestyle means," she wrote. So Ana says she's changed her obsessive habits and is choosing activities she enjoys that have lasting power. "Like walking every morning because I LOVE it, not running cause I don't enjoy it, training like a ninja because [it] makes me feel powerful," she wrote. "Eating greens because I care about myself and taking breaks when my body needs it."

Now, Ana's says her definition of fitness has changed completely. "Yes, fitness is great for getting toned and muscle, but for me, it is more than getting abs and lifting heavier," she writes. "Along with health, nutrition and body confidence, one of my major passions in life is to inspire others to LOVE being healthy and active. To show you that eating plant-based food, being active and still having a life, traveling, going out with friends, feeling confident and loving yourself IS POSSIBLE." (Related: Gina Rodriguez Wants You to Love Your Body Through All Its Ups and Downs)

Sure, Ana has seen differences in her body over the past four years, but the biggest transformation has been mental. "My body has changed, of course, but the thing that has gone through the biggest change is my mind," she wrote.

Want to start living a more active, well-rounded lifestyle? "The biggest tip I can give you is to think about what habits can you keep for the long run, not just for summer," says Ana. We couldn't agree more.

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