In April 2015, I was in an incredibly bad place. Looking at photos of myself made me cry. I’d cancel plans on my friends because I didn’t feel comfortable just *existing* in the world. And then my friend Emily Stamets posted about a week-long free Facebook “Burpee Challenge” she was running.
That’s right. I was so desperate to change my body, I said “Sure, I’ll spend a week doing burpees.“
After that free week challenge, I convinced myself I could do this “on my own.” My plan was to do those workout plans people relentlessly pin on Pinterest. I didn’t do them. It took another four months of me feeling depressed and weighed down and hating myself before I finally decided to give Beachbody a try.
Do I wish I’d started sooner? Yes.
Do I wish I’d been more consistent with it? Yes.
Do I wish I’d figured out that no matter how much I sweat, if I keep eating junk food nothing very little is going to change about my body and my overall health? Yes.
Do I wish I hadn’t just derailed a lot of progress with a six-month setback? YES.
But at the same time… I don’t. Because the past two years have been transformative, and not just physically. My mind and spirit are in a place they haven’t been in a LONG time (maybe ever). I don’t even recognize that woman from 2015. I wish I could give her a hug and tell her it’s gonna be okay.
A few people have asked me about “my goal,” and the implication is always a number on the scale. I don’t have a number on the scale goal anymore. The number on the scale motivation wasn’t actually motivating to me. It made EVERYTHING about my weight. And in 2015, I won’t lie, that’s all I cared about. I wanted to lose weight because I thought if I lost weight, if I hit some magic gravitational relationship between my physical body and the earth, then everything else would be okay. (Spoiler Alert: it won’t be.)
So what is my goal?
- To feel comfortable and confident in my own body
- To have a loving marriage
- To travel
- To be creative
- To feel (and be) strong
- To not need to ask for “a minute” to catch my breath when everyone else is walking at normal speeds
- To not squirm in my jeans
- To look at pictures and think of the emotions of the moment, not how my body looks in them
- To have energy
- To sleep well
- To get to enjoy this life for many long, happy years
You may be thinking “okay, that’s all well and good…so, why the progress photos then?”
Simple – because it’s information, and I like having information. I’m a lifelong academic. These photos are data points for me — the where I’ve been, and the where I am, and (in some cases) the where I could be. And I see a lot more in them than a higher/tighter butt, a smaller stomach, more defined calves, and fewer chins (I mean, I see those things too…). I see when a smile is forced and there’s pain behind the eyes as opposed to when it’s relaxed and calm.
I see how differently I carry myself. I see all the “inside work” displayed on the outside. That’s important data too.
I am so thankful that Emily came (back) into my life when she did, because while I’ve been doing the hard work, I would not – could not – have been successful without her and my team. I have met the most AMAZING people as a result of saying “yes” to improving myself with Beachbody; not just the programs, but the community. And if you’re interested in joining us, we have a place for you. You just need to let me know.
(And, if you’re reading this in April 2017, let me know SOON because I have a challenge group starting in May and right now our All Access Challenge Pack is only $160!)