Writing about my fitness journey feels a little foreign to me because it has been such a recent journey. Through it all though, I’ve learned so much about myself and I hope it will inspire you in your own journey.
A little background on me:
I was ALWAYS the skinny friend. I could eat anything at any time and still be skinny. If I gained a few pounds, a week of jogging would take it off and then I was good to go. I never obsessed about food or my weight because for me, it was always the same.
Fast forward toward the end of college: I was dating my husband and neither of our homes had an adequate kitchen. We saw each other almost every day during the afternoon or evening, which led to us eating out almost 7 days a week! I gained some of that “content in my relationship” weight.
We got married and my husband and I started doing HCG to lose weight. I didn’t know that it could actually increase fertility and I got pregnant with my first child. I gained 50 pounds in that pregnancy, but the midwives said I was young and would lose it quickly.
When my daughter was 1, I became pregnant again–still 20 pounds over my pre-baby weight. I only gained 40 pounds this time, but I hit the 200 pound mark. This was a scary time for the “skinny friend”.
I learned a lot about myself during this time.
- Low calorie and extremely low calorie (like HCG) diets are not sustainable or healthy for our bodies–as exciting as immediate weight loss can be.
Always consult your doctor/medical professional, but I found the 1200 calorie/135 pound recommendations for my body were not something I could sustain. Once I dove into learning about healthy calorie intake and started tracking my calories (using MyFitnessPal), I found I could eat more and was losing weight. Note: I don’t track calories all the time because I don’t want to be chained to my food. I did track for a while so I could learn what appropriate portion sizes were and gauge how much food I should be eating in a day.
- My body can do amazing things!
I grew, gave birth and nursed two babies in three years! I can’t tell you how elated this makes me–even now! Yes, I’ve made some mistakes and maybe you have too. Maybe you can’t related to all of my story, but sit down and actually write down some of the amazing things you’ve done! Give yourself some grace and focus on what you’ve achieved rather than failures. I love my body more now than I ever have!
- This is my journey and no one else’s.
My husband and family can’t want it for me more than I want it myself. This is hard for us as women and moms! It means we have to make ourselves and our own meals a priority! This also means you can’t sit around and compare yourself to everyone else. Take some before pictures and measurements and refer back to them when you’re feeling discouraged. (See my 5k picture above? I didn’t lose ONE SINGLE POUND during the 12 week running program, but I did go down a shirt size and pant size! Take your measurements!)
Have a big enough “yes” goal that those little nos aren’t so discouraging. I use this technique for a lot of different goals. When I have a big goal in mind, I don’t mind telling myself no when I want immediate gratification over something silly. What do you need to do to remind yourself of your yes? A background on your phone, something taped to the mirror or an accountability partner?
- Change your head and your heart.
Rerouting those neural pathways is done by creating a routine and following it until it becomes second nature. Maybe for you that means menu planning, scheduling your workout times (and letting everyone know it is non-negotiable), or creating a morning and/or evening routine that will set you up for success. For me, it is all of those things! If you mess up, pick yourself up and start over again.
You also need to change your heart. Pray and ask God to help you overcome whatever it might be that is holding you back from making your health a priority. It might seem hard at first, and you might think you can’t do it, but you can! Some days, I don’t have much more motivation for myself besides Philippians 4:13–
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.
I hope my lessons have encouraged you! Sounds off in the comments: who else is on a fitness journey this year?