This post has been long in the works and has taken me a really, really long time to write.
When I started on this incredible journey a few months ago – I knew in my heart that I wanted to share my story in some way, shape or form – but I wanted to make sure I got the words just right. Also – I often struggle with what to share and what not to share.
At the beginning of the year – I set all kinds of goals for myself professionally. I wanted to try new things. Face my fears. Be brave. I got into underwater photography, decided to relax in some aspects of my business and take back control over my passion and artwork. But all of the goals that were being set – were just that – professionally. I was leaving out personal goals and it didn’t take long for me to feel completely unbalanced.
When it comes to stress or struggling or any feelings like that — I tend to deny it.
I wasn’t happy. Most days – I felt like garbage. I would sit for hours at a desk. Editing. Working. Toiling away at my computer. I was always tired and cranky. My back would ache and hurt. I would drink massive amounts of coffee until it was acceptable to drink wine. And then I would stay up half the night working. I spent a lot of time doing all sorts of things for everyone else and barely any time doing things for my family and most of all myself.
On top of that – I could see that I was gaining weight. It was no great mystery – I was eating like crap. Because I was doing all of those things for everyone else – I hated cooking and would cook what was easy and fast. I wasn’t working out at all. I was in total denial about all of the things that were right in front of me and would reason with myself on why things were the way they were.
“It’s okay.” “You will have time later.” “You have to get this, that and the other done first.”
Here is the thing – I have a hard time talking about my health and weight in open forum. Why? This is where the sharing versus not sharing comes into play. The internal dialogue that I have in my head about my own body – may not match what others see. The internal dialogue that I have about how I look, what I wear, what I am eating, how I feel and so on and so on will be completely different from what others think, feel or see. I quickly realized that when I started this journey — it wasn’t about a number on the scale, a size on the tag – it is all about HOW I wanted to FEEL. Because at the time – I didn’t feel good. I felt like crap. Internally, externally, emotionally and I wanted to change that. It was time to change that.
First things first —I started working out more.
After eliminating a whole lot of sitting around, stress and things that didn’t serve me – I found joy in working out again. Beachbody On Demand is seriously the best thing ever created. I slowly eased into a few different programs and started feeling so much better. (I did one round of Country Heat, 90 days of TurboFire and am just finishing Core De Force and can’t wait to start ShiftShop.)
After a few weeks of working out — I saw a call on Facebook for a test group from Beachbody Coach Allie Darr. (I have been following her on social media for quite some time and she is seriously one amazing person.) In the group – she would help keep us accountable and for 30 days we would eat clean, workout and lift each other up. Without hesitation – I emailed her and said “Heck YES! Please sign me UP!”
Eating clean was something that I always wanted to do, but talked myself out of. I had books, articles and resources about clean eating – but as soon as I would read through it would say, “Oh, heck no. I am going to Starbucks for a latte as big as my head.”
I went to my husband about it and he could hear that I was half talking myself out of it. He quickly told me that he had total faith in the program and knew that it would be great for all of us. As we meal prepped and got ready – I got nervous. Because – as for as much as I thought I was being “healthy” I wasn’t. I just wasn’t.
Sure we were working out more – but I knew that our eating habits weren’t that great. We loved to eat out a lot, cook what was easy and indulge almost every single weekend. This was going to be a huge change for me and I just had to get in the mindset on WHY I wanted to do this.
The first week of clean eating was tough. I am not a picky eater by nature and loved all of the foods I was prepping – but I was going through a serious detox. You see — looking back – I was eating an incredible amount of sugar laden, processed foods. Foods that I thought were “healthy.” It didn’t take but a couple of days for the detox to pass – thank goodness and then I started feeling incredible. Full of energy. Happier. My skin was brighter. I looked forward to cooking and meal prepping.
Initially – I thought clean eating would feel limited and restricted. I thought I would feel like I would be missing out – especially in social settings or traveling.
It is kind of funny – but I think my defining moment in all of this was right in the middle of that detox. I was so hungry and felt like throwing in the towel. I made a turkey burger wrapped in lettuce. I sat at the table and thought – “Wow. This is pitiful. I just want a freaking bun and fries with this.” As I began to eat it- I started to cry. I cried because it tasted so good. I cried because I knew I would never go back to way things were. I cried because I was happy to have found my health and happiness. I know all of this sounds really, really silly. And picturing me crying into my turkey burger is super funny – But – in that moment I knew it wasn’t about the carbs, a bun or that turkey burger – but it was about working hard and making those positive choices.
As I finished out the first month’s test group – I am so happy I decided to make the leap and send that email. Not only was I able to find a coach full of resources, help and motivation – I have connected with some amazing women who are all working so, so hard. And honestly — this wasn’t just a month long challenge – this was a life change.
While I would love to share all kinds of numbers, before and after’s and stats — I am just not ready to share that quite yet.
But here is what I will share —
I am stronger than ever both physically and mentally. ( I can do push-ups and burpees and that is something I never thought I could do.)
I have been eating clean for over 2 months and don’t ever plan on changing that or going back to sugar or processed foods.
I still enjoy life and treats and yummy things – but in my own new way.
I think everyone’s journey to health is personal. Very personal.
I am excited to see what is to come in the next few months.