I don’t have enough time. I have 3 kids. I need to run a business. I’m too tired in the morning.
These were some of the excuses I put away when I decided a year ago to put my health first. September 2021, I returned to the gym after not regularly going since my youngest was born which was about 10 years. While I had started to run in my late 30’s and did ten 5K races during that time, I wasn’t regularly working out. I was diagnosed with arthritis a year and half ago so that has made running more difficult. So, I needed to do something else.
Earlier in the year I went on the Keto diet and had great success but wanted to feel better, have more energy, and feel stronger. So, I made one decision and that was to participate in a fitness challenge at a local gym with a team of 4 (3 other women). My goal was to lose 20 lbs, workout 4 days a week, drink more water and eat better. I also wanted to bench press 100 lbs within one year and drop my cholesterol numbers.
September 13, 2021, I went to work for the next 30 days. I started off great and lost weight like I planned. I would drink about 90 ounces of water a day. I worked out Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays most weeks. Did I feel like going to the gym at 6:00 or 6:30am? Nope, but I knew I had to start somewhere and doing it with a team of women, I knew the accountability would get me there.
One of the keys to being successful throughout this was the accountability we had with our team. We communicated with each other all throughout the challenge. We all shared our whys, our goals, and our struggles. Why we wanted to do this? What were our goals? What were our struggles? We updated and encouraged each other throughout the 30 days.
Another key to this working for me was the at home support. My family knew that I was doing this challenge, so we adapted meals to make sure we were all eating healthier. We chose healthier snacks. They encouraged me to keep going and even stepped up in the mornings to get themselves ready for school without parent help so I could go to the gym.
Final key was the support I received while on the road. Travel can be a hard part of staying on track. There are so many variables with the ability to exercise, access to food that is healthy, and staying hydrated. I was supported by the gym with online workouts. I was supported by the organization I traveled with because they provided meals that were high in protein with a lot of greens. Last, I traveled with a water bottle that has a measurement on the side so that I could keep track of my water intake. It was difficult at many moments, but I knew that I had a team of 3 that was counting on me at home, and I didn’t want to let them down.
This has been a complete rollercoaster ride. My weight has fluctuated. I have lost and gained weight. I met my goal of losing 20 lbs but gained 10 lbs back as of this writing. I want to bench press 100 lbs. by the 1-year mark and have succeed by lifting it just a few days ago and there is video proof. I want to be able to walk up and down steps without pain and while the pain is still there it has improved tremendously. I wanted to drop my cholesterol numbers and I have, even to the point where my HDL numbers are over 60 which lowers my risk for heart disease.
So, what I have learned and what are my wins?
Here’s what I learned.
1. Accountability is essential to this process.
2. Once you make a decision, everything else falls into place. You just need to decide what
you want to do.
3. Support will keep you on track, communicate what you need with those around you.
4. Make sure you are listening to people that have a similar goals or desires. Many will have opinions but listen to those that are where you want to be not folks that failed and quit.
Here are the wins.
1. My family (well 4 of us) now go to the gym on a weekly basis.
2. My children are watching what they eat and paying attention to their water intake. They are choosing protein and good carbs instead of sugar and salty treats. It also helps that we don’t buy them much anymore.
3. Friends and family have been encouraged to make better choices because they have seen the stuff we share on social media.
4. We all feel better and see our bodies changing, yes some weight loss but more importantly we feel better with some great cholesterol numbers.
I am so thankful for this journey and it’s not over yet. I know I will be on this journey for the rest of my life but 1 year ago I decided to make a change and all the other decisions were easy because I made the decision to live healthier. What are you waiting for? It doesn’t have to be January 1st to start. You don’t have to wait for someone else. Just Make.A.Decision and watch out world because here you come. You have got this!