This is a big concept for me to write about and share.
I have struggled with my weight pretty much my ENTIRE life.
As a child, I remember the mean comments made by kids on the playground, which only got worse as a teenager. It was awful. Kids are mean, and it made for a very insecure teenage girl.
I loved food, and the truth is that I still do! I am always thinking about my next meal and have always said that I feel hungry the majority of the day. I love a great restaurant and, even better, a fantastic dessert.
Food is my weakness and always has been.
My mom and dad always pushed my sisters and me to work out and eat healthy (my parents were obsessed with both exercise and nutrition when I was growing up). We definitely participated, but I also think I pushed back a lot because, as a teenager, it was JUST WHAT I DID (insert eye roll to myself).
Now, as a 41-year-old woman, it has come full circle for me. I am married, and I have had two children; my weight has gone UP (a lot) and down (slightly) in my 30s. I decided I was over it!
I have spent far too much time hating the body I am in. I need to find a decade and begin to love my body for what it has done for me.
I was ashamed when I looked in the mirror.
Clothes NEVER fit right. I couldn’t go to the cute boutiques in town and find a fun outfit for the holidays. And truly, the food isn’t making me any happier than I was before I ate it.
I decided I was going to take charge, but I didn’t jump in full throttle. I have done that too many times in my 20s and 30s, and ultimately, it would lead to burnout. I would sign up for those gyms and fad diets, stick with them for a few weeks, and be proud of myself. But then real life kicked in, and I would slowly fade.
This time, I knew it needed to be different.
I started slowly, just by walking in my neighborhood every day. I would do 20 minutes, then increase the time, and then I switched it over to walking 2 miles and then to 3 miles. I made it fun by listening to music, a good podcast, and sometimes an audiobook I was really into, which helped me to just keep walking!
My next step was the food. I worked hard on changing my eating habits. Don’t get me wrong, I still love FOOD, but I tried to make a few healthier choices during the day. Then, I added in fasting because I read all about it and believed the hype. It was harder for me at night, which is a time I enjoy indulging, but forcing myself to go to bed earlier definitely helped.
Making It FUN
Then I looked in the mirror and felt better. It certainly isn’t where I want to be forever, but I was down 30ish pounds, and that was worth being proud of. But I needed something more if I was going to really try and get rid of the arm jiggle or find a way to shrink my stomach.
Then, I stumbled upon a workout studio. I kept hearing about it and knew some ladies who went but had never given it a shot. I made up SO MANY excuses why I couldn’t go. This particular gym had classes that interested me, so I finally gave it a shot. I was very nervous when I first showed up because I am not a big gym/studio person. I like to get in and get OUT!
And guess what? I loved it! The energy and vibe were exactly what I was looking for!
Commitment and Accountability
Now…here is the icing on the cake.
I was doing the 5 AM CLASS. I KNOW, I KNOW, this sounds crazy, right? But as a working mom, this is truly the ONLY time I could make something consistently work for my schedule.
Anyways, back the icing…. my husband, Pete, decided to join me one morning. He was going to another gym in the mornings and said he would give the place I was raving about a try.
He also enjoyed it, and MOST OF ALL, it was something we could do together as a couple to encourage one another in our health journey.
The truth is, Pete and I are both slammed during the day at work, and we are nonstop with activities and commitments in the afternoon and evenings. These morning workouts are giving us a space to have some good chats and get some exercise together.
The other important part I have learned is the accountability piece. When I know someone is counting on me, I won’t let them down. The alarm goes off at 4:00 AM, and we both groan, but we GET UP and brave the exhaustion for a great feeling that follows.
Is this going to last forever? Who knows?
I sure hope it does, BUT it is opening my eyes to so much about me and my health journey. At 41 years old, I have more self-control than ever and a greater desire to be healthy and happy on the outside and on the inside.
I’ve also realized that my health is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.
If you are also on a journey for better health, I encourage you to take small steps and find an accountability partner.