While I’m a BIG fan of publicly sharing goals and progress updates, writing this post was a bit embarrassing to say the least.
Why? Because I’m a little ashamed of my “start.” I put the word in quotes as I’ve been trying to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle for my entire adult life.
In 2012, I was able to get down to 149 pounds (I’m 5’9) after having my son (who will be seven this October), while training for a marathon, nursing him and tracking my food via Weight Watchers.
I had an adorable pregnant belly with our second, who will be five this June (they’re 19 months apart). I was able to lose my baby weight again (not quite hitting my lowest low), but from there watched my weight creep back up until I hit my all-time (non-pregnant) high a year ago of about 180 pounds.
How did I get there? Let’s step back and revisit what was going on a year ago…
One Year Ago
This is the embarrassing part. ?
One year ago we had just returned from our annual six week trip to South Padre Island, Texas. Instead of heading straight back, we stopped off to visit two sets of friends and their families for a week each (Illinois and Indiana).
I ate and drank like I was on vacation for a full two months. Pair that with a sedentary job and here’s what that will get you:
No wonder my kids have been telling me for the last year that I “have a big butt, but it’s getting smaller.”
Sadly, this included almost daily workouts at the onsite fitness center, swimming in the pool and long walks on the beach. ?
Basically, even though I was “fit,” I had extremely poor nutrition habits. My body clearly reflected that.
Upon returning from our two month “vacay,” I determined enough was enough!
2017 Was Supposed to Be the Year of the Bikini ?
I had actually named 2017 as the year that I was going to originally compete in my first bikini competition.
For the past several years, I’ve set one main goal and three smaller, yet usually complimentary goals for both my business and my personal life (for me they’re one in the same). As 2017 came to a close, competing was the only one that I didn’t accomplish.
Ultimately the reason I didn’t was that I didn’t want it bad enough.
I “said” I wanted it. I even went as far as picking out a show in late October, hiring a personal trainer and cleaning up my diet.
And I made significant progress – losing 15 pounds and 4.5% body fat.
But I let other things (namely work and the stress that came as a result of chasing business opportunities) get in the way of fully committing to and achieving my goal.
The fact that I kept “waiting” to register for the show should have been a solid indicator. ?
I didn’t want it enough. I was scared. Or maybe I wasn’t prepared to work that hard.
Because it IS hard work.
- It’s showing up at the gym almost every day – twice a day when you enter the home stretch.
- It’s overhauling your diet and learning to eat for fuel and not so much for fun.
- It’s making one right choice after another. For days, weeks and months on end.
- It’s pushing through exhaustion to keep up with your training plan, meal prep and everyday life.
- It’s tracking everything – from what you eat, to how much you work out and more.
But a complete lifestyle change was exactly what I was after – even if I ended up putting off the competition part for six months more.
The good news? Now I’m ready.
One Year Later
One year of 4-6 days per week in the gym, overhauling my diet one habit and food choice at a time and keeping my eyes on the “prize” has led me here:
It’s led me to:
- Increased confidence – which has spilled over into all areas of my life.
- Feeling comfortable in my own skin.
- Caring less about how I look and more about how I feel.
- New, healthier habits.
- A smaller butt. ?
- Lots of bikinis.
- The highest level of fitness I’ve ever achieved.
- A lesser interest in food for pleasure.
- And a passion to share it all with you!
A Side-by-Side Comparison:
Since we all love a good before and after:
How’s that for a transformation?!?
It wasn’t fast – it’s literally a year in the making. And technically, it’s not finished – these “after” photos are six weeks out from show day.
But I didn’t give up my entire life to get here either. I learned to become friends with moderation and vacillated between making progress and practicing maintenance mode.
I also travelled. A ton!
From mid-March of 2017 to mid-March of 2018 I went to:
- Las Vegas twice (you know, where all of the healthy habits live ?)
- Seattle, WA
- Portland, OR
- Destin, FL
- South Padre Island, Texas (for 6 weeks, driving there and back)
- And many smaller within driving distance trips
But I almost always had access to a gym or brought my running shoes. And I took each meal, snack, etc. at a time.
I think not thinking in absolutes was one thing that really helped. I.e. Instead of worrying about being “perfect” for a year, I worried about getting to the next milestone of my journey.
The Home Stretch!
While a year has passed, my goal has yet to be accomplished.
But this time around I’ve committed to it and even with a minor ankle sprain, I fully intend to see it through. Today marks 40 days to go – that amount of time sounds both long and entirely too short at the same time.
And while the show will mark the end of my training goal, it won’t mark the end of my “end goal,” which is to maintain a certain weight and more importantly body fat percentage. I’ll likely dip below my maintenance metrics while prepping for competition – maintaining that weight/body fat percentage isn’t what I’m looking to achieve though.
Instead, I’d like to show up on stage day having brought my best effort and then figure out a new goal, which requires me to continue to make my physical health and fitness a priority.
Who knows, maybe I’ll train to be one of those American Ninja Warriors one day. ?
Do you have a good before and after? Share with us in the comments – they’re so inspiring to read/see!