Okay, here it goes. I’ve been meaning to start a blog for a long time now. I think I’ve been avoiding it because I know it will have to get really personal, but for whatever reason, I’m finally ready. My name is Erin Hopkins. I am originally from Richmond, VA and I have struggled with weight and body image issues my whole life. I went to Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!) and studied Marketing Management. My weight slowly started to creep up throughout college, and I’m pretty sure that I might have worked out a total of 4 times over the course of 4 years. I was a serious party girl and cigarette smoker. My focus was more on partying than academics, but I graduated on time and got a great job at an ad agency in Charlotte. I lived in Charlotte for a year. I had a really hard time adjusting from college to the real world. I was long distance with my boyfriend (now husband), Miles, and anxious about how to make it on my own. I got through this by binge eating and drinking. That was the year that I really let my weight spiral out of control. In 2006, I weighed 198 pounds. That was my rock bottom. I was in complete denial about how I looked, and I will never forget a picture that I saw that put it all in perspective. It was a picture of two of my friends and I was in the background. I was facing away from the camera, and I honestly didn’t recognize myself and had no idea that is what I looked like. Everyone who starts a weight loss journey has one of those moments, and that was mine. I think I cried for a few days, then picked my ass up and signed up for Weight Watchers. This is what I looked like 50 pounds ago.
After a year in Charlotte, I finally got a job in Charleston and moved to be with Miles. Miles and I both decided it was time to focus on our health. He had also gained quite a few pounds in college. I will never forget the day that I joined Eco Fitness and signed up for the Bridge Run (back then, a 10K seemed completely unattainable). I lost about 30 pounds just in time for our wedding in 2008.
I fell madly in love with yoga as a way to work through my anxiety, and I loved the way it made me feel. Miles and I both started running and taking spin classes. We were both hooked. After running the Bridge Run a few years in a row, we decided to train for a sprint triathlon, then a half marathon and then a full marathon. I still can’t believe some of the things that we’ve done. In 2009, I did my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training and started teaching yoga before and after work.
In January 2011, I decided I was gonna get to my goal weight once and for all. Yes, I was an endurance athlete, but I was still carrying around extra weight and was making a million excuses why I couldn’t get it off. There was a new trainer at my gym (who looks like Fitness Barbie) that everyone was talking about. She had done a lot of work with the Biggest Loser (my all-time favorite show), and she trained a Biggest Loser at home winner and was currently training another Biggest Loser contestant at Eco Fitness. So, I started training with Amanda Roush, and she completely changed my life. We were instantly great friends, and what she taught me about nutrition, strength training and cardio had the weight falling off me. She completely transformed my body. I was so inspired by her and how she got to spend her day doing what she loves and changing people’s lives. With her guidance, I decided to get my personal training certification. Miles and I decided that it was time for me to quit my job as a Marketing Manager and pursue a full time career in health and fitness.
Now I have the best job in the world. I am a personal trainer, yoga instructor and cycling instructor. I specialize in weIght loss, and I get to help people through the same journey that I faced and continue to face. For the first time, I feel so passionate about what I do and I’m so fulfilled everyday. I don’t even recognize the person that I used to be.
This blog will just be an ongoing journal of all things health and fitness (and maybe some randomness mixed in).