Sometimes what we learn and who we become in the process is more important than achieving our goal.
My weight loss journey has been really tough this time… I’m still trying to lose baby weight from my son who was born 3 years ago. Not having been into fitness before or while pregnant, I wasn’t working with very firm abs to begin with … but it has really been a struggle to “snap back” into shape this time.
That said, I took some “before” pictures before my October 2014 challenge group… I was really proud! Not necessarily of the body I had at that moment, but how far I’ve come. Never in a million years would I have believed you if you told me I would be proud of THIS body looking like THIS. But I am. This body created two children, fed them, chased after them, was sleepless with them… and is now stronger than it was 20 years ago. Yes, it’s much, much bigger, but it’s stronger… and I’m stronger (inside and out).
All my life I’ve been a dieter. My most successful diet was on Weight Watchers in 2004-2005. They had the core plan at the time, and I loved that I didn’t need to count points. That felt like a plan I could live with for the rest of my life! I lost about 20 pounds and was eventually a size 4. When I saw how far I had come, how great I looked, I thought to myself “wow, imagine if I worked out how much better I would look?” So I did. I worked out. But it was b-o-r-i-n-g. I cared about results. I didn’t care about the change in my body, mind, overall health. Workout soon faded, some of the weight came back on, but not all of it. I was happy that I was “skinny” when I got married for my wedding pictures!
Two kids later, I found myself 40 years old and still trying to lose the baby weight from my son. My body wasn’t shrinking quickly like it did all the times in the past. I was shocked. In the past, if I put my mind to it, focused on my eating — I lost weight. This time, I didn’t. So I tried something new. I started working out. I went to the gym twice a week – to a Les Mills Body Pump class and a Step Class taught by Jillian Hillman. I work at a college and go to the University’s gym. I was definitely the oldest person in these classes and most likely the largest and most out of shape! But I persisted.
Eventually, Jillian invited me to participate in a 21 day fitness group just before Thanksgiving in 2013. I really wish I took “before” pictures but I was afraid to see my body – to really see it. By January 27, 2014 as I began my third challenge group, I was so proud of my progress, I took a pictures. Just one and didn’t share it with anyone.
The challenge groups helped me fine tune my nutrition and create healthy habits that I can live with for the rest of my life. I no longer diet. I just live a much more healthy lifestyle.
By August 24, 2014, at the end of Jillian’s summer challenge group – I posed while my mom took my pictures. She had the January picture up on the computer to make sure I duplicated the pose. She kept looking back and forth between me and the picture. I thought my pose was different and she was going to have me correct. Instead, she said “Your belly! It’s not touching your arm!!” We were pretty excited and did a bunch of poses (of course I needed to show off my shoulders – I don’t think I’ve ever had muscles in my shoulder like this!)
Anyway, I’m still going strong. I’m not at the finish line yet, but I’ve really enjoyed finding myself during this journey. Now, with all the knowledge I’ve gained along the way, I’m running my own challenge groups and enjoying the extra motivation that comes with a group of people – cheering for each other — and me. Join my tribe!