Hello and welcome! This week's #FitnessFriday topic is all about PROGRESS. And so, I share my most current before/after photo yet again for illustration purposes.
As I've mentioned in previous #FitnessFriday posts, I began my journey in February 2010. I don't know exactly how much I weighed then, as I didn't have bathroom scales at the time. It wasn't until July 2010 that I officially weighed in for the first time. At that time, I weighed 199 pounds.
I'd already had a treadmill from previous attempts at losing weight, and so I downloaded the Couch to 5K app and started off on a magical journey that has taught me oh-so-much about myself along the way. As my fitness journey has progressed, it has become so much more than simply the number on the scale. I currently hover around 135-140 pounds, and I quite like that number range to be honest. What I'm more concerned with these days is toning, lowering my body fat percentage and continuing to learn how to appreciate and love my body in its current state while also envisioning and appreciating the changes I aim for. Fitness now is more about pushing my current limits, breaking down the walls of impossibility and achieving what I once never thought possible for me. Challenging myself on so many levels has become nearly an obsession. A GOOD obsession, because obsessions aren't always bad. ;)
I've hit many a plateau along the way, I've trial-and-error-ed my way through, beyond and past them. I got pregnant around June 2011, and had to switch mindsets from losing weight to gaining a healthy amount throughout the pregnancy, while only able to do gentle workouts. I gave birth in February 2012, and got back to the business of running, working out and exercising as soon as I was cleared by the doctor. I went from 150 pounds to 182 pounds during my pregnancy and I've again taken the slow and steady route to losing that weight. We'll be celebrating that little guy's second birthday next month and so it has taken me two years to lose around 50 pounds this time. Slow and steady works for me, because I feel like I'm more likely to keep the weight off permanently than had I done a fad diet and lost a radical amount of weight very swiftly.
Some days I can hardly believe how agile I've become, how strangely athletic, how new this body feels to me after years and years of obesity. It's like getting used to a whole new vehicle after having driven the same one for many a year. A smaller, sportier, faster one at that! Seriously, I'm even astounding myself at how fast and how far I'm able to run these days after choosing and, most importantly, sticking to my new run training program.
Sometimes it takes my brain a while to truly accept and assimilate these bodily changes. Some days I just don't feel like "myself" -- I'm still figuring out who the heck I am, at my deepest root and core, because who I thought I was, I am not. Who I thought I was then was in fact nothing more than a bunch of negative, naysayer voices from my past. Just a collection of old recordings, old labels that stuck regardless as to their truth and validity. So many self-limiting beliefs have been shattered along the way. So much fear faced. And my journey is not yet through.
I don't believe I realized at the outset of this journey how much of an emotional ride it would be as well. I was prepared to be happier once I was smaller. Fitter automatically equals happier, right? Turns out, the answer is not exactly. By losing weight, I was stripping away something I later realized I relied on as my physical shield against the world, a part of my very identity even. Who was I if I wasn't the "fat girl" anymore? And so it has been just as much a journey of rediscovering myself. My TRUE self amongst all the naysayers' voices in my head. All those put-downs from the past, all the garbage fed to me as "truth"... peeling away layers and layers of social conditioning as I shed each pound.
I honestly think that may be part of why so many give up so quickly on a fitness or weight loss attempt. You really do have to face a lot of mind junk and fear of the unknown, you have to continually make the decision to be uncomfortable, to push yourself, to get past all the excuses. It's all about being strong and willing enough to continually step outside your comfort zone, your safety net, and truly believe with all your heart and soul that you CAN achieve whatever you set your mind to.
Fear will always be there. But you know what else is there too? A spark of determination. It's in each of us. Find whatever it takes to ignite that determination, fan the flames, face the fear, look it square in the eyes and tell it you CAN.
"Some mornings you just need to punch fear in the face & tell it to shut up! Go past the emotions & don't look back! You've got this!" ~ Sandi Krakowski
As a quick summary, I'm currently following the schedule I set for myself and my workout buddy: a hybrid P90X and intermediate half marathon training plan. I have my first full marathon scheduled for November 9, 2014, and I'm sure there will be a few other -shorter- races throughout the year for me. My workout streak stands at 55 days today and counting. I'm taking a full-on no excuses approach from here on out. My determination is far stronger than any excuse now that I've made working out a priority and thereby a habit.
The self-discipline that I've developed and continue to improve upon has carried over in to other areas of my life. Achieving goals in the fitness realm has carried over in to creating and achieving non-fitness-related goals, including building my own business(es) alongside my husband, homeschooling my 4th grader and organizing my day-to-day schedule, and all that comes with it.
As a bit of a side note: I've done this all without a gym membership. Apart from the handful of times I've visited a gym as a guest, I've done this all from home or the great outdoors. I have a long list of awesome workout DVDs that I just love. Ask me for a recommendation, and I'd be oh-so-happy to help guide you toward the workout DVD or program that you may well enjoy so much you forget you're even working out. Not just Beachbody products either. I freely and fully support and recommend Jillian Michaels, Bob Harper and other DVDs to others all the time. ;)
If you've made it this far, thank you for sticking around! I suddenly have so much to say (cue DMB) and, well, a lot of support, encouragement, stories, accountability assistance and more to offer at this stage in my journey.
If there is ANYTHING at all I can help you with from my non-professional self-education and personal experience, please don't hesitate to reach out, say hello, ask away..... I've had friends tell me they feel that they can come to me with any issue (fitness or otherwise) and feel comfortable sharing with me, as I'm one of the most non-judgmental people they know. I love helping others achieve their goals, fitness or otherwise, in any way I'm able. Leave a comment to let me know you visited... Let's start a conversation!
Until next week..... Happy #FitnessFriday!
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