About a month ago I opened up about how I was joining the "New Year, New You" bandwagon and was really adamant about committing myself to getting healthy. I wanted to take my readers along on this journey with me as a way to keep me accountable and stay motivated. Well I can officially say that it's been about a month and a half since I started this journey and while it's been difficult, I've seen a lot of growth in myself and I've also seen a lot of success.
I don't post these pictures to boast or brag, merely to encourage those of you that have too decided to dedicate this year to getting healthy and possibly motivate you to continue doing what you're doing.
Now I've decided before I started this fitness journey that I wasn't going to post my specific weight or measurements because I don't think that's necessarily helpful to everyone. I think that can give unrealistic expectations and make everyone try to "fit" into one persons body size when "one size DOES NOT fit all." We are all so uniquely made and that's something that needs to be emphasized in this society more than anything. It's not about the numbers or the size you wear; it's about working on being the best version of yourself, mentally, physically, and emotionally.
- Joining a gym: my family and I decided to bite the bullet and become members at our local YMCA. Although this was a "pricier" commitment, it was one that offered our family a realistic opportunity to succeed. There's built in childcare, swimming pools, fitness programs, and so much more! Honestly this was the BIGGEST game changer for getting healthy and here's why...
- Group Fitness: I was an athlete my entire life so I've always had someone barking at me, telling what to do. Plus, I've always had this expectation that when I work out, I have to go ALL out and push myself to my breaking point. Doing the group fitness classes has not only given me "something to do," but it has shown me that I don't have to get to my breaking point to have a good workout; they've helped to redefine what working out looks like, all while allowing me to have fun. Here's why group fitness works for me...
- Having a schedule: I'm a schedule person by nature but being a SAHM doesn't follow a schedule; there is no day-by-day manual, no guide book to tell me what's best to during this time of day, etc. So knowing that I'm going to working out each day at "X" o'clock helps me not only mentally prepare myself but gives me purpose to wake up and get going. It's super easy for me to stay in my sweatpants all day when there are no plans on the horizon :)
- Eating Clean: I have been working really hard to eat clean. No, I'm not perfect and no, I definitely don't do this well every single day but I think the change for me started by creating the mindset of what foods make me feel good and what foods taste good. I can't stand eating healthy and hating everything I'm eating. Food should be enjoyed and prepared well; it's all the more motivating to love what you're eating even if it's healthy!
SO, what does that look like? I have limited my carb intake and when I do eat them, I choose to eat healthier versions of them (basically staying away from white flour, heavy starches, boxed foods, etc). I've basically stuck to eating lean protein (lots of chicken) and cutting out a lot of red meats. I try to pack my grocery cart with lots of green, color, and protein. I shop at Aldi's and they have great produce! And I'm drinking LOTS of water! I'm also still nursing so I drink EXTRA H2O to replenish!
*If any of you would be interested in more specific meal ideas that I do, I can blog about that more in depth.
- Put down the food at 7pm: A long time ago I heard it was best to stop eating after 7pm...I don't know who said it or scientifically why it's good but I feel like it's been working for me! I do have the occasional dessert around 7:30 pm (after kid hours) but I just do it all in moderation. Choosing a healthier dessert/snack and just being conscious about how much I'm consuming.
Since starting this new lifestyle I've lost about 5 pounds and an inch to two inches around my waist, hips, arms, thigh and chest. While these numbers don't seem incredibly significant, I have seen such a difference in the way my body looks and feels. It doesn't always take much to feel a big difference.
What's Not Working:
I was going to put together a list of what's not working but I feel like that can be extremely discouraging. I've been working really hard and for that, I feel like there's nothing that I'm doing that's necessarily not working. Besides negative thoughts towards myself and my body. That definitely does NOT work.
I've had a lot of people ask me what has kept me motivated to continue working out and to be honest with you...it's been a complete mental shift for me. For years I've told myself I was going to get healthy and the minute I started "dieting" or trying to lose weight, I did the complete opposite. This time around, I looked at it from a completely different vantage point, I changed my perspective on health and what that looks like to me.
For starters I knew I wasn't happy with how I was looking and feeling, so I challenged myself to think bigger. While I'm in the gym I picture what I want to look like, I picture what I want to feel like and that honestly motivates me to keep going. Secondly, I knew I wanted to be more active with my kids. I've had 3 babies in three and a half years and so I've been rather inactive with them. I wanted to change that. Thirdly, I wanted to feel beautiful and confident in my own skin and to me, that looks like challenging myself physically to get the results I want. I can tell you that I haven't felt this sexy or confident in YEARS!!!
This is just the beginning for me and I know that I have a long way to go mentally still. But I am loving this season of my life and if I could recommend one thing for all you momma's out there looking to get in shape, invest in a gym with child care/fitness program's or just join some classes in the evening when your hubby gets home from work. I'm telling you, it's totally worth the money spent and is incredibly gratifying/motivating! Trust me!