There was no grand moment when I realized my health was getting out of control. I don’t recall having an epiphany that I needed to get my life together. I didn’t have a sudden weight gain over night and I was still going to the gym regularly. I didn’t feel self conscious about my weight, looks, body, etc. I had a lot of confidence in myself and always felt beautiful. I began though to notice my jeans weren’t really fitting well anymore and I was finding that in photos I would look back and think “wow my face looks a little fat”. Somehow I had managed to gain close to 15 pounds since I had graduated college. Though 15 pounds may not seem like a lot to you, it was visible and I was feeling it.
For many years I have idolized IFBB Pro Amy Updike. I have followed her journey closely through social media and longed for the day I would get to know Amy. In my world she’s a star. The dream woman. The body I wish I had. The person I wish I could be. Mother of 2, wife, fitness athlete and she was a working woman. STUD. So when she posted on Instagram she would be taking on a few more clients for the year and for those interested to e-mail her…I took it as a sign from the universe that it was time to get my self together.
This was the beginning of January. I heard back from Amy within a few days and by the end of the month I had hired her for 3 months of meal guidance/planning and workouts. All the motivation I could need, answers to my questions and someone to help me reach my goals was at finger tips. I sent Amy my “before” photos, at the time not thinking they looked too bad, I still didn’t see how really off the deep end I was headed. The following week I had an APFT (Army fitness test for those not familiar). Worst performance I had scored since being active duty. As I drove home that morning I balled my eyes out knowing I had let myself down. I wasn’t physically fit which was impacting my mental fitness too at that point.
In February I managed to lose 7 pounds take a few inches off my waist and in those few weeks I began to feel more energized. I knew I was on the right track. I can now say I have lost a total of 11 pounds since Feb 1st and I have taken 3.5″ off my waist. I have completed my first half marathon and I went from my worst run time ever, to joining Alpha run group on ability group run days at PT! (A first for me!)
(Photos above have zero edits made to them & yeah I look crazy but it’s because they were taken first thing after waking up per the guidance of my trainer – Feb 135lbs Apr 124lbs)
It feels great being able to say those things, know them, see them in my progress photos I send Amy every week (well, every week-ish, I suck at keeping up with our weekly check ins sometimes). I mean I am damn proud when I look at this progress photo. I am so excited to see where these next 3 months take me. I slacked a lot in April being in a new country and eating what my body felt like and not putting a lot of pressure on myself to be at the gym after a long day of work. But I am motivated more than ever to give it 110%, especially knowing I have a beach trip in just 4 weeks!
But as I see progress, I have found myself with more critical of myself than I have ever been. I went from a confident woman who was comfortable in her body to being unfamiliar with myself. I like who I am becoming but the change makes me uncomfortable sometimes. I find many times I am putting added pressures on myself and the mental aspect of trying to make a lifestyle change can be hard to balance. I want to see results overnight just like everyone else!! If I eat poorly or skip a workout the guilt is overwhelming. I’ve struggled hard with finding a balance and not guilting myself. I went from someone who looked in the mirror and felt good to someone who looks in the mirror and sees that I don’t have abs, my legs are aren’t growing and seeing the progress I want them to see, the number on the scale hasn’t changed in 3 weeks. It’s FREAKING hard and tiring.
So why am I sharing this? Heck why am I even doing this, you may ask? I am sharing this because I want anyone out there working to make a lifestyle change, to get fit, to lose weight, whichever it may be, to know that even when you’re seeing progress it won’t be easy, there are others out there struggling with how they see their body right along with you. You are not alone, no matter how happy the faces on Instagram may make you think they are — there’s always something underneath the surface. I sometimes fear I will never be satisfied and that’s a scary thought. It’s hard. Changing your life and the way you see yourself is not easy. No detox tea, waist trainer, wrap or Adkins diet is going to do the job. But I want to have a healthy, active lifestyle. I want to push myself beyond my means. Challenging myself daily only makes me better, faster, stronger.
It’s hard work in the gym, lots and lots of water and a dedication to putting the right kinds of nutrients in your body that are going to give you success.
Balance. It’s something I struggle with every day. I am getting better. I have 3 more months ahead of me to keep practicing and working on my lifestyle. Those of you working right along side me, stay motivated, don’t give up. Those of you wanting to make a change, reach out and ask someone for help. It was the best decision I made in 2016. Looking forward to the 6 month mark and sharing my progress then.
Until then you can find me meal prepping or at the gym…when I’m not swamped at work that is 😉