The following is a blog post I wrote in April of 2013, just a few weeks into my health and fitness journey. Looking back, I am amazed at how far I’ve come and that I stuck with it for the first time in years. I OWE my success to the groups I have been a part of, either as a member or as a facilitator. It’s so freeing to be rid of that 46 pound suitcase I was lugging around…and I managed to chunk the 7 pound bag as well!
Forty-six pounds. That’s how much my suitcase weighed before my trip this week. I was testing it out on my own home scale by lifting it into the scale with me and subtracting my weight. When I lifted it, I was shocked by how heavy it was. I was even more shocked that it weighed almost exactly how much I would like to lose of my own body fat. (My ultimate goal is 48 pounds.) No wonder I’ve been exhausted the past couple of years…I’ve been lugging around a 46 pound suitcase!
I’ve been working on attaining a healthy body weight for a while now and it’s been very slow. It’s been going down, though, so I’ve kept up with each little habit and tried to add new ones as I’m able. Truthfully, the eating part hasn’t been too hard. I already eat pretty healthy, so I just had to tweak a few small things to see a significant change in how I felt. And that’s the important part to me. I don’t care what I look like to anyone else as long as I’m healthy and strong, but I am feeling less than strong right now. I’m feeling tired, overworked, and sluggish. Some days I can barely get out of bed. It takes every ounce of effort to keep a positive attitude at work so by the time I get home I’m cranky and miserable. That’s not fair to my family or to my inner sense of peace.
I’m used to juggling, and while I know I’m really busy for a mom of 3, I know that if I were healthier I would not only look better on the outside but I would feel better on the inside.
I started my exercise program back up, knowing that I always feel better when I hit the gym regularly. I was able to squeeze in lunch break weights, after work cardio, and sometimes a short yoga video later at night. But, nothing was consistent, so neither were my results. I just needed a better routine. I needed to form a habit.
Just about that time, my soon-to-be new friend posted an opportunity for a challenge on her Facebook page: go mommy go. Commit to a few simple rules, post about my daily exercise and eating choices, give up one thing that wasn’t good for me, and gain accountability in the process. It seemed like just what I needed to make my good intentions stick. I already knew from following her that she was motivating and a good role model, so I jumped at the chance.
I gave up fast food sweetened coffee and committed to just 20 minutes of daily activity. For someone who used to clock 60-120 minutes every day, this should be easy. Throw in 3 kids, a stressful full time job, and the time gets away and excuses take over. I knew what to do, but I didn’t hold myself accountable to do it. This small group was going to jump in together and help each other push past the excuses and reach out with daily reminders of how important this was. Has it worked?
Two weeks in, my physical body is a few pounds lighter. I don’t crave sugary dessert as much as a handful of almonds or a protein shake. I can do more push-ups and I can climb to the 4th floor without getting as winded.
But, the true change isn’t something I can see on the outside. In my heart, I feel blessed to have met some of these supportive women. They are willing to share their successes, but also their honesty with their failures. We all learn from each other and I am better for it. My mind is also changing. The knowledge I have is great, but the mental shift in my attitude is better. Nothing can stop me from getting in my 20-30 minutes of daily activity. I want to share my success and bring others along for the ride. I want to get rid of this 46 pound suitcase and replace it with a small satchel of motivation and sunny disposition.
Now, if anyone could tell me how to take a photo of my soul, I’d be ready to post my “after” picture.