That was me, 16 years ago…
After having two kids. Loving my life and family but disliking my body and its ability to move and do what I wanted, needed it to do…. what I’d allowed it to become. I yoyo’d up and down for almost 12 years after this pic was taken. I don’t even think I have a picture of me at my heaviest, one year after my son was born. Some years there’d be a photo of me I was proud of. Mostly, I just put my family in front of me to shield what I thought was shameful, a non-fit and unhealthy me. I wasn’t making myself a priority at all. I thought I was hiding that well.
12 years later…
My sister died… yeah, I know…heartbreak…there are no words when something tragic happens…life interrupted. Sometimes it takes a tragedy to wake you up, sadly. In the midst of my pain a friend asked me to go to her new gym with her. Something as trivial as going to workout became the opener for one of my biggest moments of change. I was hesitant, not wanting to begin anything new but I went because I knew I needed to be around others and let them help me move through the grief process. I went and I kept going with her. Two weeks later I signed up for a membership. It was then that a question was asked of me. “Have you ever thought about Personal Training?” I know, I know, all gyms ask that when you sign up. It’s part of the sales process. But I had thought about it, for years. I put it on my Christmas list some years but was always afraid to go looking for it. For some reason, when it was asked of me it happened to be at just the right time. I signed up to work with a trainer and in hindsight I was very lucky. There are so many trainers at gyms, some good but many don’t know a lot yet. They’re newly certified and just don’t have the experience. A seemingly fluke meeting at my new gym was a catalyst for the transformation I was about to begin. You’ve heard it before… I just happened to be in the right place at the right time… Well, I was and fortunate for me I partnered with a very knowledgeable trainer. Someone who knew just what I needed to know and someone who was always seeking knowledge and better ways to help his clients. The best part was he actually cared about me and my goals.
“I just happened to be in the right place at the right time”
Like many, I’ve always struggled with getting to and maintaining a healthy weight.
I’d never been able to lose those last 10 pounds and eventually I’d gain it all back and then some. Every couple of years the same cycle. Motherhood changed my body in ways I thought I could never reverse or improve on. I thought I would always be one way. I thought there were things I couldn’t do. There are people you meet in your life and wonder why you didn’t meet them sooner. Everyone has their story and everyone has their path. Regardless of what we might want the timing has to be right. The timing of my meeting my trainer and how he helped me gain the knowledge to change my life, believe differently, have renewed faith in what I can do, was pivotal in my transformation.
“I thought there were things I couldn’t do.”
Nutrition was my missing link.
What does that mean? I knew I needed to eat “healthy” but other than the food pyramid we all learned about in school I had no idea what that really meant. I’d heard people say “eat more protein” but I had no idea what protein sources were, other than the obvious, and I certainly wasn’t paying attention to how much I was getting everyday. My trainer took my measurements and figured out my daily burn based on activity. He then asked me to stick to a daily calorie and macronutrient goal of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. I learned what role each of these things played in my body and how I could use them to get to and stay at my goal. Sure, I was skeptical but willing to try anything and see if it worked. This was the first time someone was telling me to do something and explaining why.
I decided to trust and apply.
I did everything he recommended and I got results…fast! I wore an activity tracker, logged my food daily, ate according to my goals and got my workouts in. Within months I lost the exact amount of weight he projected…textbook. You can’t argue the science in that! I felt better and moved better than I had my entire life. I now had the physical ability to do the things I’d always wanted to attempt but used excuses or fear as a reason to not even try. I had never considered strength training before, falsely believing it was something a woman shouldn’t do. My trainer explained to me why as a woman I wanted to strength train and put on muscle, and no, I wouldn’t bulk up and look like a guy. It all started to make sense. especially after I not only lost the weight I wanted but got the shape I’d never had before. It didn’t happen overnight. It took time, but I saw change every month. I began training and running in events. I started with a 5k, then a 10k and eventually a few half marathons. My trainer even ran my first half with me!
“It didn’t happen overnight. It took time, but I saw change every month.”
Now that I’ve figured out this lifestyle is both fun and sustainable, my goal is to remain strong and healthy. I strength train 3-5 times a week and get in cardio or or other activity and additional 2-3 days. If I have a specific goal on the horizon I niche it down a bit to account for what’s needed to achieve it, with my trainers input of course.
What becoming fit has meant to me.
It sounds cliché to say but becoming fit has changed my life 200% for the better. It’s not just about how I look or some vain ideal. I know I’m taking the best care of this body God gave me and in doing so, I’m honoring the gift of life he gave me. It’s exciting to see what this body can do, God designed to excel.
With knowledge and means comes great obligation.
When you’ve been given something you kind of have to pass it on. I was raised in a family where service was highly valued. It’s not just about me. You look out for your friends and neighbors, even strangers, caring for others well-being. There’s a bigger responsibility, an obligation to leave this planet better than how you found it. I wish I’d known what I do now in my 20s or even my 30s. I want to be able to pass that on so that others can experience their own transformation. My heart is to support others in that.
Why a blog?
I’ve had the goal of blogging for six years now. It’s just time. Initially I was just going to food blog because I love to bake (and sometimes cook too). Now, I realize by opening myself up and being completely raw I can be here to support others on their road to change and transformation. Creating a blog about lifestyle, celebration and real food just seemed natural. I’ve been asked so many times, “What is your secret?… I don’t know how to cook for my family and stay on my plan…. How do you do it?… How do you make yummy treats and not eat them all?”… to name just a few. Here, on this blog, I’m going to share all of that with you and if you’re interested, give you easy to use tips on how you can create your own version. I hope you’ll join me and follow along!
I’ve been maintaining this lifestyle, approaching five years now. I’m in the progressive maintenance phase, I like to call it. Is it perfect? No. Do I still struggle? Absolutely. In life we struggle sometimes. Sometimes we are more successful. This life has given me such freedom in knowledge and I want everyone to have it. How with knowledge you can tweak things as they come, but never give up!
YOU ARE WORTH IT