In 2013, I decided to go all in and change my life.
The "before" me was the queen of excuses.
I don't have time.
I can't afford it.
It's too hard.
With some major encouragement from my family and my gym community, I realized that all of my excuses were bull$h!t.
I achieved my results in a training program at my local gym, which involved exercising 4x/week with high intensity, and eating lots of fresh, whole foods.
Fast forward to 2014, when we got pregnant (for the third time!). Growing a baby inside a healthy, strong body was a new and powerful experience for me.
Once Megan was born, I had three little girls keeping me hopping!
I found myself full of uncertainty.
Would I be able to bounce back?
Would I have the time or energy to be fit and active?
Would I have the discipline to keep up my healthy eating habits?
The short answer: Yes! (Well, most of the time.)
Megan is now 15 months old.
Here I am, today:
The hard work and sacrifices I made back in 2013 were truly small, in comparison to the challenge of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and continuing to improve.
I attribute my success to a few key elements:
1. accountability. Find a sibling, a spouse, a friend, a coach, a trainer—preferably someone who doesn't tolerate your bull$h!t excuses and will keep you on track when you want to give up. I list this as key element #1 because if you're like me, your excuses can be very convincing.
2. sustainability. I made fundamental changes to my eating habits and my activity level, but nothing so drastic that I couldn't keep it up long term. Otherwise, I knew I'd end up right back where I started. Enjoying good food with the people I love is my most favorite thing to do. I'm not interested in perfection, but I'm very interested in establishing healthy eating habits that I can happily live with for the rest of my life. (Check out this article by Dr. Yoni Freedhoff for a refreshing commentary on this topic.)
3. getting uncomfortable. I was the kid who faked an asthma attack in fifth grade so I wouldn't have to complete the timed mile in P.E. class. I didn't like the feeling of breathing hard, getting sweaty, or even worse, having other people see me do either of those things. I realized in 2013 that the things I wanted (a healthy body/family/lifestyle) were outside of my comfort zone, and I was going to have to get WAY outside of my comfort zone to attain those things. I pushed the limits of my fitness level and (more importantly) my eating habits to discover a new version of me.
I write this because I know you're good at making excuses, too.
I want you to know that you are capable of being disciplined and making sacrifices.
I want you to remember that when you invest in health and wellness, you just feel better.
I want you to believe that a transformation is possible for you.
If I can do it, you can definitely do it!