There are people all over that are searching for the perfect exercise program to help them lose weight and be healthier. What makes us choose a specific program or attend that exercise class? Why do we like specific trainers or coaches? Because finding an exercise you enjoy or a trainer that you connect with isn’t always easy, and when we do find what we seek we stick with it and tend to gravitate back towards what works.
Personally I love Beachbody. Shaun T if you want me to be more specific. I am not a Beachbody coach, however, I should become one because I promote their products so often. Beachbody and I have a history that dates back years.
I had both of my feet operated on at the same time and could not walk for 4 months. You should have seen me hobbling around with a stool to support me like a walker, and that was only after I spent the first 3 months crawling on my hands and knees every time I had to get out of bed. Needless to say I sat in bed for 4 months straight eating whatever I wanted. When I went back to the doctor and weighed myself I was astonished to see that I was 205 lbs. That was over a 35lb weight gain. I knew I had gained some weight but 35lbs? Sheesh!
My friend at the time was a Beachbody coach and had recently lost weight doing a program called Insanity. I signed up and ordered that program THE DAY the doctor said I could start walking again. Within that week I was opening my first Beachbody box and pressing play on my DVD player. I stood looking at the TV for the entire routine in awe. I watched that first workout like it was a movie I couldn’t get enough of. I knew deep down that I was never ever going to be able to complete that workout like those people but I was going to give it my best shot!
After the DVD was over I went to change my clothes. And pee… I’ve had 4 kids I need to pee before and during (sometimes twice) and after every workout. I went back into my living room and pressed play on what was the first of many Beachbody and Shaun T workouts. I had just started a journey in my life that was going to take me exactly where I wanted to be… fit and healthy.
I made it 6 minutes and had to stop and puke. Pausing the workout of course. I sat down and rested for about 20 minutes and got back up and pressed play to resume where I had left off. I was not stopping. I was determined to do this! I made it until the 20 minute mark and then decided that every day I would make it a little further. Push myself a little more. I’m only in a race with myself, no one else.
I got my family involved. My husband was doing every workout with me. My kids were happily trying new things with exercise and eating healthy. I had a great support system that I built myself. I knew I needed to stay on track and this was the way to do it! I had a workout partner, my husband, to motivate me and kids who were interested in participating and learning about how to be healthy. I surrounded myself with being healthy.
I got better and stronger. My push-ups went from falling on the ground to actual push-ups (I was so proud of myself). But I didn’t stop and that is the key. I was able to finally complete the first 10 minutes of Insanity without stopping, which is only the workout. I not only could complete them by the end of my first session but I could “keep up” with Shaun T. I loved the jumping jacks. I loved going faster and faster and faster. I would move so fast I outpaced my 14 year old daughter. I still could not complete the entire workout all the way though at the end of my first session though. So I started it again. I made myself complete the workout and the cool down every time on that second session of Insanity. It killed me and made me stronger all at once.
Shaun T was the magic man with the right words to help push me further and further each day. He is a great guy and I soon purchased Hip Hop Abs and combined that Shaun T Beachbody workout with my Insanity every day. I couldn’t get enough of Shaun T!!! He was inspiring me to be better and it was working! I ordered Shakeology and added that to my meal schedule even. YUM!
My body got stronger and more tone. I lost a lot of my baby belly and the weight came off. I went from 205 lbs to 153 lbs. I was happy and proud and I went shopping and bought tons of clothes. I started my third session of Insanity. Ready to take on the world.
Then my husband died.
I fell off course. I fell hard. I didn’t eat for about 2 months and then ate whatever I wanted for the next year and a half. I stopped exercising the day he died. I tried starting my Insanity again and again. I tried running. I tried working out with other people. I couldn’t get back in my groove and I was gaining weight. I hurt on the inside so bad and no one could see it. Not only had I lost someone who was my best friend but I had also started gaining back weight and I had worked so hard to keep it off.
So I kept eating. I kept not exercising. I simply stopped caring.
Then I met someone else. Well, I knew him previously and he helped me through my husband’s death. He helped my daughter through her father’s death. When we started a relationship I became ashamed of my body. I no longer liked what I saw in the mirror. I had gained 25 lbs. That was a LOT to me! I was scared to step on the scale and when it told me my new number I felt my stomach drop.
Okay. Alright! It’s time to deal, time to cope, time to be happy again. So here I am. Before you today.
I am tired of life getting in the way of what I want to do. I don’t have a lot of time in my schedule anymore to workout 3 hours. I can make the time but I have other things more pressing that I need to attend to. I followed my instincts back to Beachbody to search for a program that would fit in my schedule and was by my favorite coach Shaun T. I quickly came across T25 and ordered it a few weeks back. I have done a couple exercise routines and I like them. I like seeing Shaun T every day again. I like how my body hurts when I walk up the stairs. I am falling down on my push-ups, that is almost more painful to me than the weight gain. I will do a proper push-up again soon!!
I am going to get better. I will not stop. I will push myself. I will succeed. I will not give up hope that I can be healthy and happy all at the same time.
Fitness and beauty can be one and the same. Being fit and healthy will automatically make you look better. A healthy inside creates a healthy outside. Fitness through exercise can help you to maintain a healthy body weight and improve muscle tone.
Our looks reflect the sum total of who we are and how we live, and the best we can do in life is to make the best of what nature has given is, without excuse, apology, or pretense.
If we try to live otherwise, we find ourselves acting on a stage with other actors and actresses–great pretenders without real friends, without real lovers, without real relationships. While we realize that there is such a thing as “natural beauty,” which is beyond all standards of culture and history in some sense, there are also “relative” standards of beauty.
We all know about fads, styles, and adornments that are “in” one season and “out” the next. This includes cosmetics, hair styles, clothing, and even body weight and size.
These standards may vary from country to country, year to year, or even
among different age groups in the same country and year. For example,
full figures are considered the ideal in some historical periods, but slender figures are valued now–at least in Western countries.
The point is that cultural standards change–and we may choose to follow or ignore them–because the cultivation of natural beauty is not dependent upon fads.
In order to get along harmoniously, whether at the level of dating,
courtship, or marriage, men and women have to get past physical looks
and into the more important qualities that make up human relationships,
such as kindness, friendship, and areas of mutual interest.
There is such a thing as a beautiful personality. There can be beauty
in the way a person thinks. An attitude or smile can be beautiful. Love is certainly beautiful, and all of life is beautiful when we are in love.
A person is truly beautiful when he or she is healthy. Any disease or illness affects all parts of the body, sometimes for many years before the symptoms are manifested. If the body and mind are not healthy, then a person cannot feel or be truly attractive.
Good health brings a glow to the skin, a ring to the voice, a twinkle
to the eye, and a spring to the step that no beauty school can teach.
Where do you go when you don’t feel like you’re going anywhere in your trip to being a healthier, smaller version of yourself? What happens to you at that moment in time where you’ve tried (what seems like) everything and nothing is working? Where does your mind and body take you when you’re stuck?
This is always a risky area for me. I would say for a solid eighty percent of my time I am on autopilot. To quote my pal Carolyn, “It’s just what we do now”, meaning going to the gym, eating properly, not binging, not freaking out about every little inconsistency or speed bump in the path, is our new “norm”. It’s just what we do. Lather, rinse, repeat.
The other twenty percent of my time is split between the extremes.
Fifteen percent of that time is spent ‘dorphined up, feeling like I’m taking on the world and conquering it bit by bit. Nothing bothers me. Nothing could stand in my way. I have a great attitude and hold my head up high.
In steps that pesky last five percent of my time, which is where I’ve been feeling for the past week. That last five percent is the part that says “you cannot win this game no matter what you do”. I’m living on “screw it” street in my little village and it’s such a dodgy area. There’s bums on the corners… big bums who haven’t seen a Stairmaster in years. There are seedy people in the shadows just lurking about waiting for you to trip up so they can dart out and rummage through your bag, stealing your hidden snack. The street pharmacists are on the corners handing out your drug of choice, be it cheesecake, chips or chocolate. Or worse yet, a cocktail of all three.
So where do you go? What do you do? Who do you turn to?
My first line of defense, and I didn’t even realize it until I started writing today, is my husband, Marco. Today, these words actually left my face and entered his ears.
“I’ve been doing horrible with my food. I just feel like saying screw it all”.
Those words were actually audible. To another human besides myself. I really said that to him. That’s when I realized he’s always my first stop on the self-destruction train. I like to run my ideas of giving up past him first.
It’s actually laughable as I write it because of course I’m never going to stop but maybe I just need a break. A break from what?
I’d like to call my second line of defense to the stand – Carolyn. You’ll remember her from this post.
She’s who I turn to next. She’s going to read this, as I run most of my posts past her before publishing and she’ll have some brilliant encouraging words to say. Or a punch in the arm, you know, whatever she feels will work at the time. Never fail though, she’s walking the walk and talking the talk with me.
Keeping in mind that this is still only a mere five percent of my time, sometimes I realize my funk is a bit funkier than I like it to be and I pull out the big guns.
When I left Novarum, the center where I got help for my food issues, they had me write a list of things that just worked for me, mentally and physically. It seemed so silly at the time to write it all down, they were so fresh in my mind, but I did it. I tucked it away in a book and just keep it there.
That’s my “big guns”, a piece of paper with words of wisdom that I wrote myself.
“Following this routine makes me more calm about food choices.”
“I no longer hide my eating or have that shame that was associated with hiding and eating.”
“If one of my goals ends up backfiring, that’s okay. This is all just a huge experiment to find that best fit for my life, which will change and evolve as I do.”
That’s just a few of the items on that yellowing piece of paper that I use, third line of defense, to keep me centered.
It is so much more than words on paper though. It takes me back to the basics. Back to where I started winning this thing. Back to the really simple ideas of changing the way I thought about food, myself, myself with food, food with myself and all things related, which in the end, was everything.
I get back to the beginning of this chapter in my life and re-read it like a favorite book.
Then I keep on keeping on because that five percent, that little flash of time, has had its moment of glory and I know how to move on.