I have struggled with my weight since my mid-twenties. Until the age of 21 I was a size 4 and was never inclined to step on a scale other than at the doctor’s office. But something happened after turning 22… I noticed that with each passing year I was gaining a little bit more weight.
Fast-forward about a decade and after delivering twin girls at the age of 35, and having zero time for myself, I reached my rock bottom. Having gone up ten sizes, I had reached a number on the scale that terrified me. I was not living a healthy lifestyle whatsoever and felt out of control, tired, depressed and even experienced pain in all of my joints. I was miserable and sick, and tired of being sick and tired and I needed to do something about my weight, my health, and my mental well-being.
I needed something dramatic to lift me out of the state I was in.
I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason and that timing is everything. Change is HARD even when the alternative seems so desperate. Thankfully, the timing of my health crisis coincided with a good friend becoming a fitness coach. I was able to watch her transformation take place for several months. Not only had my friend taken charge of her nutrition, but she was also working out in her home and making amazing strides toward a healthier, fitter self.
I decided that the only way to kick-start my own transformation was to start with a cleanse. It is not an exaggeration to say that the cleanse I chose changed my life! I was able to detox from all of the processed foods I had been putting in my body for years and learn a new way of eating. I had great results and felt completely energized and ready to add in a fitness component to my emerging new life.
Just as I was ready to add exercise into my life, a new program was released that was only 25 minutes per day. I had never tried video workouts before, but the time commitment of just 25 minutes a day was very appealing. Having completed the ten week program and continued on, I can tell you that I cursed that trainer more than a few times — but I always told myself, “you can do anything for 25 minutes!”
Through changing my diet and dedicating myself to a workout program, I lost 20 pounds and over 20 inches!! I felt like a new person because I WAS.
Here are some lessons I learned along the way:
FAILURE TO PLAN IS A PLAN TO FAIL
I cannot overstate the fact that planning is key to success in meeting your nutritional needs/goals. How many people reading this right now are juggling family, work, house, LIFE? I don’t know about you, but I need to have a plan and food prepared so I can grab-and-go. The lifesaver for me has been preparing lunches and snacks for my family and myself on Sundays. Pinterest has been a great resource for food prep ideas.
IF THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY
I have heard so many people (including myself) say that they simply don’t have time to work out. It is time to ask yourself two things: 1) How badly do you want to feel stronger, healthier, and more energetic? 2) How many minutes per day do you spend looking at social media? If you really look at the way you spend your time, I think you will agree that you can find 30 minutes to do something for YOU! I used to view self-care as a luxury.
Over time I have discovered that self-care is a NECESSITY and my entire family reaps the benefits of the time I spend working on a sound mind, body and spirit. I try to live up to my favorite hashtag — #noexcuses!
NUTRITION + EXERCISE + ACCOUNTABILITY = SUCCESS
I simply could not have navigated this journey to a healthier me without the help of my accountability partners! If you have someone in your life that is looking to make changes too, partner up! Agree to workout at specific times and then check in on each other. There are many Facebook groups out there that offer support as well. There ARE other people out there looking to do what you are doing and have the same constraints, excuses, difficulties… be each other’s champions!
I didn’t invent any of this. These are tried and true pearls of wisdom that have been played out in my life. The weight loss and nutritional education I’ve experienced have been life changing but they are only the beginning of what this journey has been about for me. Through accountability groups I have surrounded myself with a tribe of women that are nothing short of fabulous, brave, courageous, and kind. This new support system and way of life transcends weight loss, nutrition and fitness. Through this journey I have been introduced to the practice of mindfulness and meditation which has served me in numerous ways. I find myself able to be present in the moment, taking in the precious time I have with my children, husband and friends.
My journey continues and with it comes growth. I am learning every day and trying to share my experience and hope with others. You have a journey that is all your own and it is waiting for you to make that single decision … to change.
Here at Sass, we think you’re beautiful just the way you are. We want to provide you with stories and resources that will inspire you to make healthy decisions, whether that means practicing self-acceptance, working out or going through the six-week Sass Wellness Challenge!