The year before Stella was born I made a major shift in my thinking about health and wellness. Before, my motivation for working out and eating healthy was to lose weight. So, I did what every 20 something girl did and I tried every fad diet in the book. South Beach, low carb, calorie deprivation, etc. I would do high intensity workouts while depriving myself of the much needed nutrition to sustain myself. Obviously, these diets were so intense that I couldn’t keep up with them long term. I would lose and gain the same 20 pounds over and over. It was exhausting. My weight would slowly creep up over time and I would end up gaining weight in the end.
The year before Stella was born something shifted. I had not been trying very hard to manage my nutrition or activity and it weighed heavily on me (literally and mentally). Knowing that what I was doing before didn’t help me, I was a bit at a loss for what to do so I had just not done anything. Then I realized that it was never going to be as easy as it was right now. There was always going to be an excuse, always a reason to wait or try later, but I knew that as I got older my metabolism would just slow down so NOW was the best time to start.
Andrew and I had decided to check out the farmers market downtown and we had so much fun in the lively outdoor atmosphere. You could not help but realize that this was where REAL FOOD came from. Farmers. We decided right then and there that our grocery habits were going to change big time. We started buying any canned or frozen foods once a month at the grocery store but hit up the farmers for our weekly produce and meat. Because, really, the bulk of our diet should not come from preserved items! It should be fresh, whole, nutritious foods that go bad! Here’s a tip for those who are just starting to eat healthy- if it doesn’t have an expiry date, it probably shouldn’t go in your body. We don’t need to fill up on preservatives and chemicals!
This shift is mindset plus twice weekly visits to a personal training student (I highly recommend this to anyone who can find someone good as a cheap alternative) changed the way I treated my body. My trainer helped me figure out a program for my body and I was soon running 5K a couple of times a week! I got stronger through HIIT and Tabata training and over the course of the year dropped 20lbs.
Of course, my mindset hadn’t completely changed and I saw this as a total failure because some people lost 20lbs in a matter of a couple of months and it took me a whole year. I didn’t yet realize I had hormonal issues and that my journey was just going to be different than everyone else’s (as if anyone’s journey is the same anyways!) I also didn’t account for the fact that I had built a TON of muscle and toned up completely!
However, shortly after, I got pregnant with Stella and our world changed dramatically. In the course of 5 months, we bought and renovated our house, moved in with my very generous brother (who got a new dog on the day we moved in!) and made a career change. It was stressful lol. We finally moved into out new house 3 days before we had Stella and then of course, our lives changed dramatically again! I gained about 45lbs during my pregnancy. When I gave birth I only lost like 7lbs. Just the baby lol!
As is for many new moms, the first few months were hella stressful. I experienced post-partum anxiety, had nursing issues and got into a bad routine due to sleep deprivation. I felt tired and awful and had no energy to figure out how to change.
I found myself missing that strong body that I was so unhappy with before I got pregnant. I missed being able to do push ups from my toes. I missed how much energy I had and the knowledge that I could run 5K non-stop. Around this time I met Rayna and she talked to me about Beachbody. I knew it was an MLM company and while I had been buying their workout programs for years, I just assumed she was trying to “sell” me. I signed up because I liked her and it cost me nothing, and joined her accountability group and then just kind of sat back and watched.
I watched for a year. A whole. freaking. year. I would occasionally do a workout or try going for a run, I even once completed an 8 week program but then it was over. Even though I loved how I felt, I didn’t know what to do when the program ended. It felt weird to start it over again and I had nothing else “new” to do. So I watched everyone else as they checked in with their nutrition, drank their shakes and kicked ass on their daily workouts.
Then Rayna posted a before and after. In a year, she lost a bunch of weight and became strong and toned and had wicked muscles! What had I done? This awesome woman had invited me to be a part of the process and she kicked ass while I WATCHED. She had moved forward with her life while I stayed in the same place. At least I hadn’t gained any weight but I certainly wasn’t any stronger, I wasn’t healthier and I still couldn’t do those damn push ups. Because I hadn’t really tried.
I made a choice at that moment to start trying. To do something, ANYTHING, every day. I had bought and tried PiYo like 3 times and never stuck with it. I knew that if I didn’t have an audience and didn’t have someone checking in on me, it would be all too easy to fade into the background and let this be yet another failed experiment. So, this time I made myself a coach to keep myself accountable and was armed with a better understanding of nutrition and had my daily shake to help me get all my nutrients quickly and easily.
I built a freaking AWESOME accountability squad to help me and the others keep track of each other and provide motivation to keep going. To say that this amazing group of people has been the key to my success is the understatement of the century. There have been days where I didn’t want to workout, I was tired and busy but watching these awesome babes check in and not let any excuse get in the way of their success, pushed me to make the small changes in my life that I had been needing.
I am still just starting. I have finished 2 programs and am three weeks into my third. I have a long way to go to reach my goals but already I feel stronger, am standing taller, I have lost weight and have more energy. I can see muscles forming and am noticing some amazing changes in my body. Now, I understand the importance of making small changes every day and making sure my body is moving and active. I still aspire to that elusive toe push up but know that it’s not far down the line.
My only regret in this whole journey is that I watched for a whole year while other people made changes to their life without finding the courage to make my own. I needed that slap in the face to show me that life is too short to let it pass me by.
If any of you are like me and not sure how to start, or just waiting for the right opportunity to present itself- THIS IS IT! Reach out to me. PM me, text, email or call! Talk to me about your goals. What I’m doing might not be for you, but I might be able to help you figure out what is. Don’t keep let another year go by feeling like you are stuck in the same place. The best exercise I can recommend is a leap of faith. Take yours and watch your life transform.