My why is always a hard question for me. There are so many parts to my why that it always takes a minute for me to explain.
First off, I have FOUR kids between the ages of 12 through 7; 3 girls and 1 boy. I feel like it is important to show my kids what a healthy adult looks like, how to eat healthy, and give them a mom that can be there throughout their lives from the healthy choices I have made to get there.
Growing up there were many unhealthy people in my family and many have died at an early age because of the lifestyle they chose. I did not want to have this same fate. Actually I am so terrified of this fate that I push myself outside of my comfort zone anytime someone pushes me just enough. This has really been fuel for me to change the ending to my story and get the most out of life.
When I decided that no matter what, I am going to start working on me, the first thought I had was to add in exercise. If I just exercise and take in the same amount of food, surely my body will let go of this fat. I started CrossFit in August of 2019 to get stronger and challenge myself. After a few months of some hard work, the S.M.ERF Nutrition Challenge presented itself to me.
At first, I tried to ignore it and say, “Nah, that is too hard.” But the mindset component that I was learning about at the box was changing my thought processes, and I decided that even though I had a trip planned to California, I would just go for it. Honestly, I did not think I would last even a week. I have done so many “diets” in my past and all of them had ended the same. I’d lose maybe 2 pounds get frustrated and then just stop. When I hit day 6 of the challenge and was still going strong I had a light bulb moment. This was the longest I had given effort towards anything, and I really loved how I felt.
This challenge was different. From day one, each daily habit that you maintained for the day would earn you a point. This was a motivator for me. I can do anything for a day. I am very competitive, especially with myself, so holding myself to this standard each day to get that point fueled my string of small habits being created and ingrained.
My California trip was on the second to last week of the challenge and by the time I got to it, I had already trained myself to eat 5 fists fulls of vegetables every day, drink 100 ounces of water per day, eat only real food, and sleep! I made it through my California trip with BALANCE and with ease. Meditation and gratitude were a little harder for me, because I am a perfectionist and not very patient with getting results, so I tend to be very hard on myself. These capstone lessons for the challenge were in the right spot to help me learn to be okay with where I am currently, but to also have my goals in mind for the future.
WHAT I LEARNED
The biggest thing that I learned through this challenge was it is not a race to lose pounds. I learned to let that go and just be happy with where I am at and make my focus be on choosing healthy options as my lifestyle. With that, I will say I lost 11 pounds just from changing my habits, and I thought it wasn’t much until so many people stopped to me say that I was starting to thin out. I never want to calorie count again. Just choosing to eat real food and using balance for the special times in my life is really the answer for me.
I also learned to cook so many new things that I had never even considered making for meals. I have fallen in love with vegetables, and I tend to get grumpy if I do not have them in a meal. I learned to prep my food ahead of time for the week, and if I could not prep my food, I always make sure I have fresh vegetables in the fridge to eat and some beef jerky always on standby. My family started eating healthier with me and my teenager has changed many of her habits to mirror mine.
My life now, 3 months later, is still on the same path that S.M.ERF started me on. I have balance in my life, and if I want to go to dinner with my husband and have a martini, I do. I made it through the holidays, and still have lost 5 more pounds since this challenge ended. I have centered my life on habits that I just naturally choose now. I go to the gym regularly, I eat real food, I drink water (instead of the 5-6 Dr. Peppers I was drinking daily) all day, I spend time reflecting and meditating, and I am much happier and healthier than I have ever been.