A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
I didn’t snap my fingers and get to the place I’m at today. I changed everything. My diet, my routine, my self-care, my activity level, my attitude, my support for my mental health – everything.
That being said, I also did not snap my fingers and change EVERY SINGLE THING in one day. Sure, I ate the odd salad and half-assed worked out once in a while. Long before I really started any of this I knew something was wrong.
At the very beginning I started counseling. I didn’t even start any of this from a fitness perspective, personally. I had to unpack a lot of things I was going through on a very deep level. It took me about a year of really figuring out who I was as a person and who I didn’t want to be any more. The courage to make the real changes came from developing the ability to love myself again. I had lost that for many years.
March 2020 (in part thanks to Covid) I was able to focus on trying to eat a little healthier after my counselor recommended Bright Line Eating and their 14 Day Challenge. I’m a competitive person at heart, and I’m a food addict – my brain on sugar and flour is like a drug addict. At the idea of it being a “challenge” I completed those 14 days and lost my first 12lbs. This is the only nutrition program that ever resonated with me for a million reasons. After that, my Bright Line Eating journey was all I focused on for MONTHS. Literally from March to about the end of May.
By May, eating healthy had caused me to lose about 30lbs. An amazing byproduct of that was I had ENERGY. My moods were also better and I just felt like I couldn’t sit still any more. I had a pretty good handle on my eating routines, so I was able to add in exercise. I started jogging more regularly in the summer, which started as panting and huffing and puffing and DYING for a minute or so then walking for many minutes.
I signed up for a sort of couch to 5k challenge through DripFit around then as well. I also really kicked my Kangoo Jumps classes into higher gear; I went from doing that maybe a few times a month to a few times a week. I had lost enough weight that my joints didn’t hurt me any more and I was genuinely enjoying all the progress I was making going faster and farther.
September, I hit the “Under 200lbs” marker, and it was the best feeling in the world. By then, because I was able to add in working out to my routines successfully I felt like I could put in a tiny bit more – I added in more strength training and started working with my sister in law who is an amazing bikini model/ body builder. She helped me fine tune my eating even more and continues to help me tweak things.
By about December, after the LAST DripFit workout challenge I did, I really realized how much I wanted to start focusing on my self-care and nurturing my body and mind equally. I had eating and exercise down pat, so I had enough room to really reflect on myself and my self-care. I started taking care of my skin more and going for massages. I’m trying to learn more about meditation and journaling more too. In this very recent challenge, I focused on supporting all my friends and that decided to participate with me. That would have exhausted me mentally 9 months previously.
In between all my major milestones I celebrated every single little NSV (non-scale victory) that happened. Those gave me more motivation and happiness than the numbers on my scale ever could, which I don’t think a lot of people consider when they’re looking at making big changes. I will never forget the first time I noticed my collar bones were visible again. The first time I could touch my toes again standing up, I jumped for joy. I remember the exact moment I was able to fit into a size 12 jeans, then a size 10 a couple months later, now an 8. The day I had to move my wedding rings to my middle finger because they almost slid off my ring finger was a fun day. The first day I ran a 5k without stopping for any walks I cried. The first real push up I could do, I skipped around the house. I bought my first bikini and my first crop tops ever and it was surreal.I cannot count the amount of messages that everyone has sent me asking about how I’ve made it to where I am; asking for advice and support. They just keep coming. They bring me such great joy, but the theme that keeps getting bigger is how unattainable many people seem to think my accomplishments are for themselves.
The point of this post is that I want anyone who has watched me over the course of the past year to understand that it is so unrealistic to look at someone like me and think you CAN’T do it yourself. You absolutely can, of COURSE you can, but it’s not a “blink of an eye” task. The true value of what I’ve been able to accomplish is the journey I took myself on to get here. I learned things about myself, big and small, all along the way. I focused on each step that was in front of me with hyper focus; I had a big goal but all I worked on was “get to the next 10lbs”.
The only reason I have been successful and continue to be is because I started from the ground up to become the person I always wanted to be, MIND and Body. I was a totally torn down person a year ago. I put everything back together with old and new pieces one little area at a time. One of my favourite people says “change doesn’t come from comfort zones”. I can tell you I have spent a hell of a lot of time being uncomfortable lately but never all at once. All these new habits I have came in pieces I assembled into something that works for me. I made sure I mastered one piece at a time before I move on to the next uncomfortable task in front of me.
Find your weak points and what helps make them a little stronger, figure out where you want to be, and just work one day at a time at one thing at a time. Move at the slowest snail’s pace that you need to. You’ll get anywhere you want to be.And I say with all seriousness for the love of all things holy and unholy when you DO decide that you’re ready to take your first steps toward whatever it is you’re seeking to change, TAKE PICTURES OF THE WHOLE THING.