“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” Jim Rohn
On Halloween, I completed day 21 of a fitness challenge I joined called “Wickedly Fit.” I’m all about the packaging, and the title of this fitness challenge group was just too cute to pass up!
My health and fitness goals have been stagnate for awhile now. I hadn’t gained any weight, but I hadn’t lost any either. I could see the old patterns of behavior, poor eating choices and a sedentary lifestyle sneaking back into my daily life.
It scared me.
But not enough to take action. Yet.
I’d been creeping on this one girl’s Instagram account. I didn’t know her. I’m not even sure how I ended up following her to be honest. I loved reading her posts and seeing her photos. She’s adorable, motivational and inspirational. I wanted to be a part of whatever she was doing. It took me 4 months to get up the courage to message her. Our stories are vastly different, but one thing I’ve learned is that unhealthy means different things to different people and it isn’t always just a reflection of the number on the scale. In fact, I don’t even have a goal weight anymore and I’m seriously considering throwing out my scale altogether, especially after seeing the results of this latest fitness challenge.
I finally found the courage to message her. She immediately responded. Her excitement and enthusiasm were contagious. Before I even knew what happened, I was signing up for her fitness challenge. For the first time in months, I was thrilled about the prospect of working out and overhauling our pantry and fridge. I know. It was crazy. I didn’t even recognize myself.
I’m not one to get excited about healthy eating or exercise. Ever. The only thing working out has ever made me want to do is nap. I get endorphins for chocolate or Chick Fil A but not from exercise. It had been just over a year since my Gastric Sleeve surgery. The surgery had taken me as far as it could, the rest was going to be up to me.
I knew this.
I just didn’t want to know I knew this.
My highest weight recorded was 297 pounds. I’ve never told anyone that number. It took me 6 months to lose 10 pounds and that’s when I decided to look into Gastric Sleeve surgery. When I decided to go in for surgery, I was down to 287.5 pounds. The date was July 21, 2015. My surgery date was August 19, 2015. By January 2016, I was down to 216 pounds. I lost 71.5 pounds in 6 months. Unfortunately, there were side effects. My hair thinned out, at an alarming rate. I lost muscle and I found myself feeling low on energy and motivation. My periods, while much improved, were still bad and irregular. I lost another 10 pounds over the next few months, but by May of 2016, I had stalled out. I didn’t exercise over the summer and I was starting to panic that I was going to eventually put all the weight back on. Gastric sleeve surgery gave me an internal control over portion size, but I was filling up on all the wrong things and wasn’t getting the vitamins and nutrients my body needed. I felt run down and worn out. Not to mention, disgusted with myself. Did I really put myself through all this only to quit, to fail?
Was I going to be THAT girl again?
I hope not.
No, I definitely did not want to fail (nor did I want to see my chins having chins)!
So I gathered my courage and messaged this girl to find out what this Wickedly Fit program was all about.
I received access to a Facebook accountability group (my favorite part). This group of women kept me going day after day. They were positive and encouraging. They were open and honest about their struggles and challenges. We celebrated non-scale victories, participated in daily challenge questions/activities and posted all sorts of wonderful food porn (the clean and healthy kind). I wasn’t intimidated by this group at all. Quite the opposite in fact. I found myself sharing and opening up about my own struggles and daily challenges and even victories. I found myself bolstered and encouraged and being a part of this special group of ladies gave me the motivation I needed to complete this 21 day challenge.
I also received a 30 day supply of Shakeology and the 21 Day Fix workout program and eating plan, complete with portion control containers. This whole program is facilitated by Beachbody. I was familiar with their programs, and had used them to bounce back in shape after my youngest daughter was born. I knew they worked. I knew it wasn’t a quick fix. I knew it would take hard work and dedication on my part.
I was ready.
I mean, I paid for it. So I’d better be ready. I was nervous though…
Failure. My biggest fear. Always hovering over me like the Grim Reaper. Whispering negative words of discouragement in my ear, making me doubt myself. This particular demon has always plagued me, but I was learning to fight back. I was learning to stifle and smother those negative thoughts and feelings. I have good days and bad days. Days when I see all that I have accomplished and days when I only see the ways in which I have failed. Before my surgery, I would binge eat those feelings. Now, I binge watch Netflix. Not quite the trade I should be making. I know. But still…a slight improvement.
The “before” picture was taken on Day 1 of the challenge and the “after” picture taken on the last day of the challenge. 21 days total. I lost 3 1/2 inches overall. I can definitely see subtle changes and I hope you see them too. Naturally, I lost the most inches in my chest. Just proving that my boobs are the first thing to go when I lose weight. Actually, despite losing 3 1/2 inches, I gained 3 pounds. I weighed before I measured and I was devastated. I almost didn’t even take my measurements, but I’m so glad I did. I’ve never been one to record my measurements, but this 21 day challenge made a believer out of me. I could see noticeable differences in how my clothes fit and how I felt that just wasn’t reflected on the scale.
It was a dark moment, and one that in the past I would have responded to by raiding the pantry. Instead, I chose to reach out to my challenge group through Facebook. Post my results and reveal what I considered to be a failure, the gaining of 3 pounds. I’ve since adjusted my perceptions and I’m super proud of the 3 1/2 inches I lost. I can’t wait for my next challenge group to start! Despite what my scale would have me believe, I am transforming my body, making positive changes, gaining strength and confidence.
I’ve got this!
Tomorrow might be a different story. But I’ll deal with tomorrow…tomorrow.
The last year of my life was about losing the weight and finding myself. This next year, I want to focus on living a healthy lifestyle, strengthening my body, mind and soul in new and different ways. Yes, I still have weight I want to lose, but I want to focus less on the scale and more on building strength and flexibility, pushing my body in ways I never imagined I’d be able to do again. I want to transform myself physically, mentally and spiritually. I want to develop attainable goals and then smash through them. I want to redefine what beauty and success mean to me, not measured by what others think or believe, but about what works for me.
One day at a time.
I want to share my journey and experiences with others. I draw strength from putting myself out there, as terrifying as it can be. I hope that maybe someone reading this will be inspired or encouraged, reach out either to me or someone else. I hope that maybe they won’t feel alone or afraid. Our goals might be different. Our struggles, challenges and motivations might be different. At the end of the day, we all want to be the best versions of ourselves. We all have desires, wants and needs. Things we want to accomplish. Let’s do it together ❤