This is a letter I was asked to write to a group of people in another coach’s challenge group who are struggling with self-confidence, body image issues and other feelings of negativity about themselves. They are either starting, re-starting or continuing on a journey of health and fitness. I was happy to share my story with them, and thought that it was worth sharing here, too.
I was honored when _____ asked me to write to you about my experiences and my personal journey with health and fitness. I applaud you all for either getting started, or continuing on your own personal journeys. It’s not always an easy path, but it’s so rewarding…you’ll begin to WANT to keep going!
Even though I had always considered myself a fairly ‘healthy’ person, I didn’t realize that I had a lot of work to do! I have been pretty active my entire life, and enjoyed eating healthy foods, but as I approached my 40’s…it just wasn’t enough. I was slowly gaining weight, month by month, pound by pound. I was doing the same workouts, and eating the same kinds of food, but it just wasn’t working anymore! I tried to convince myself that it’s just what was meant to be. I couldn’t do anything more about it than I already was. I was kidding myself.
In the process, I was also becoming more unhappy and depressed by the day. I wasn’t happy with the way that I looked or felt. I wouldn’t allow a single picture of myself to be taken, and if there was…I would delete them! Isn’t that awful? Can you relate?
So I did something weird…I decided to put the cart before the horse, in a sense, and signed up to be a Beachbody coach in order to START my journey, and be accountable along the way. I started with Chalean Extreme and TurboFire, and lost 16 pounds and 20 inches! But I wasn’t done yet. Then I did Les Mills Pump, and then Insanity…and lost a grand total of 24 pounds within about 6-8 months! I’ve done several other programs since, to maintain and continue to get stronger each day.
I’m not done with my journey! I will never be done. This is a new lifestyle for me and my family. Seeing my success, my husband has now lost 25 pounds and looks and feels better than ever! We are both healthier and fitter than we were when we got married 20 years ago. We’ve made so many changes in our daily lives. We eat much healthier foods. We’ve eliminated most processed foods entirely. Working out is a priority, and we often do it together, which is so fantastic! It didn’t happen overnight. This all took time, persistence, failures, re-boots, etc…but I was committed no matter how long it took me.
As a result, my confidence is better than ever. I actually allow pictures of myself to be taken now, so there’s evidence that I am part of my family! I’m a happier, healthier mom for my four kids, and they’re all learning how to eat healthier, and be healthier, too!
My message to you is to keep going! Whether you stumble, or fall – just pick yourself back up and keep going. Make small changes every day, and celebrate your successes! Set small, achievable goals every day. Plan, schedule and prioritize! Once you start to see results, you’ll be addicted to the process!
Surround yourself with positive people, books, etc. Learn as much as you can about making healthy choices you can live with every day! Share your journey – ask a friend or loved one to join you. Keep a journal and document your thoughts, troubles, joys and achievements. Take monthly progress pictures to refer back to – trust me on this one! You’ll be glad you did it! Find exercises, workouts and physical activities that you LOVE! You might have to try a hundred things before you find your ‘soul-mate’ workout, but it’s out there! Try hiking, biking, walking, jogging, a new exercise dvd, etc….You might find SEVERAL! And that’s even better! But whatever you do, never stop trying. You are worth this journey, your family is worth it, life is worth it! Consider the alternative! I know I want to age with as little pain and illness as possible, and there’s only ONE way to do that! You can’t control everything, but you can control your health. You owe it to yourself to be as healthy and happy as you can be!
When you struggle, remember WHY you started. Write down your goals, today! Write down your WHY, too! WHY are you trying to be healthier? When you have a ‘why’, you have a reason to commit, and recommit if you need to, every single day.
I wish you all the very best, and believe that you can all achieve anything you set your minds to! Go ahead and blow your own mind!