What I’ve Accomplished in a Year
I never had an “ah-ha” moment when I decided to make this leap. I remember taking my very first progress picture and I knew with every ounce of my being that I was about to change my life. There were no tears, no depression, no fitting room drama… I just knew that was the end of that. I was ready to be healthy. Bye girl.
I’ve written and rewritten this blog three times on WordPress, about 10 times in my head and I’ve jotted down notes all over my house. “Love your body.” “No Excuses.”
Truthfully, I’ve had a little bit of writer’s block hence my leave of blog absence and there’s just too much to say. How do I say it all in an organized fashion? Well, I’m not. I’m going to lay it all out there like word vomit– every thing I learned this past year. My personal testimony coming straight from the soul, guys, straight from the dang soul. This has been one heck of a year and I have grown so much. The craziest thing is I could write this entire blog and not even bring up the lost inches, muscle composition or shrinking clothes size. The physical results are a minuscule of what it’s about for me these days. I incorporate progress pictures though because that’s what drives traffic to my blog. Ha!
One of the best things I have done for myself is read, research and educate myself on nutrition. Nutrition is a forever evolving science that is completely fascinating as it will make or break whatever goal it is you are trying to obtain. I have found a new hobby or passion in food. It’s an insatiable obsession. I can’t get enough of people’s advice, people’s stories and information on the effects consumption has on our body compositions. I have learned to never think that I know it all and to never say never.
I embrace any and all motivation. Something I see a lot of is this “do it for yourself” mentality. The notion that we should work out for ourselves and only ourselves or that we shouldn’t focus on looking good for other people seems to be popular. I have to respectfully disagree. Obviously I made the decision for myself, sure, but if I relied solely on myself to work out every day I would have spent a third of my year on the couch. I can’t say how many times I talked myself into a workout using my kids. It may have been to live longer for them, get away from them for an hour or to make them fall asleep in the stroller. I can’t tell you how many times I reminded myself that my husband was on his way home and he’s a damn catch, he deserves a hot wife. I bought a few skimpy outfits for our upcoming vacation which has been extremely motivational. I use other women and fitness icons to motivate myself to work out. Does the “reason” you get up and work out really matter if you get the job done? No! Exhaust all resources shamelessly. Nobody ever regrets a workout after the fact.
I have accepted the body I was born with. This body is mine and it is not going to dramatically change. I will never have a thigh gap or live without an ounce of cellulite. I have two messy little trophies to blame for these battle scars -also known as stretch marks. I can’t stress how amazing it felt to shift my focus from some unobtainable Victoria’s Secret body to creating the strongest sexiest version of my actual curvy self. My marriage improved when I liberated myself from hating these thick ass thighs. I know my husband has always thought I was beautiful but I also know there is nothing more beautiful to him than a wife that feels beautiful. Make no mistake though–this doesn’t mean I love my body every single day. I still have plenty of insecurities but I’m so over feeling discontent about the ideal body image I will never naturally get. Besides, these thick ass thighs can out-squat a supermodel any day.
I can finally own a compliment. I never realized how awkward of a compliment receiver I was until it started to subside. I used to dodge compliments by putting myself down. Who does that?! “Oh shutup, these jeans are so frumpy.” Or I’d counter compliment instead of saying thank you. These days? Compliments are the best and I will happily receive them and let the sender know how I achieved said compliment! I also have found myself loving to give genuine compliments and really just feeling more supportive and encouraging of other women in general. I think that could be an entire blog post itself.
Speaking of, I’ve handled some haterade. Some people, for whatever reason, are very resistant to other’s bettering themselves. It can be from somebody unexpected–like friends or family or just a random internet troll. Probably the worst response I’ve received is feeling belittled on this journey because I’m a stay at home mom and that somehow makes the sacrifices for a healthier lifestyle easier. I’m certainly not here to argue that point either way but my experience is mine and yours is yours. Whatever you do don’t take my lifestyle and warp it into an excuse to not better yours. Let me tell you, this kind of resistance from people makes for the absolute best fuel for a workout though. Thanks for that.
I’m learning to indulge in moderation. For the first half of this year I took 2 steps forward every week and 1 step back the following weekend. This is still probably my biggest struggle but I am really attacking it here lately by focusing on how things (junk food, alcohol and overeating) make me feel in the long run. Treating yourself is so important, it really is. I know I can’t live a life without any indulgence but moderation is key and ultimately the golden ticket to real life long term results.
I approach working out with zero excuses. I can honestly look back at the entire year and say I made not 1 excuse. Not 1. It simply is NOT an option for me. I make compromises, sure. I set strength training aside for 2 weeks when visiting my in laws in North Carolina and instead focused on tons of cardio. I’ve done planks, wall sits and push ups next to the couch while both kids suffered from strep throat. I found a spot for some HIIT in my grandparents’ house in the midst of Hurricane Harvey evacuation. I crawled out of bed hungover as hell on Memorial Day weekend to run 4 miles down the beach (hangovers make for the best workouts, believe it or not). I’ve made sacrifice after sacrifice after sacrifice to get it done every single week and this is probably the thing I am most proud of. You will not hear an excuse from this mouth.
On my run this morning I was thinking about how “getting skinny” was my main source of motivation for probably the first 6 months, which is totally fine. These days though it’s a true passion that runs so much deeper. I ache to feel the endorphin pump after a killer gym workout. I take pride in the fact that I’m actively living a life that is reducing health risks. I am so excited for my kids to grow up knowing their mamma as an athlete because my resting heart rate is less than 60 beats per minute now which equals athlete status. *smug face* I can only hope they are soaking this all in and learning to love and care for their bodies just the same. Also, can we talk about this time next year? Like whoa.
This is only the beginning!