Earlier this year, I began a 9 week Training and Nutrition Program with a specific weight loss goal. Of course, the results focused program delivered my weight loss results - but I was also able to drop the things that had been holding me back for so long…
I strongly believe in the importance and power of goal setting and live my life fearless in the pursuit of all the great adventures I believe I am destined to live. I also believe that it is important to take a moment from time to time to reflect on our journeys - and often encourage Vision clients to write a reflection of their health and fitness journeys.
Below is a reflection I wrote earlier this year. I have decided to share my story because I have been inspired by the many Vision clients who have come forward bravely sharing their journeys.
I hope you can appreciate my honesty in this reflection, and that I am sharing this to allow you to feel you can be as open and honest with me in return.
"Most of the shadows in life are caused by standing in your own sunshine" - Ralph Waldo Emerson
9 weeks. 63 days. 315 meals. 93 workouts. A descrease in my total body weight. These numbers are important but they are not the biggest part of my journey that I feel is worth sharing.
I can acknowledge that my transformation physically has been somewhat amazing. I have been humbled by just how quickly my body responded to the Vision 9 Week Program and excited by the possibilities that lay ahead of me.
However, my greatest transformation, my most meaningful changes cannot be measured on a scale or seen in an after picture. The real challenge for me was mostly internal. I had to challenge all of the destructive self talk that had taken residence within my head for as long as I can remember. My most recent attempt to get control of myself, my food, my body started with me standing in a clothing store just before Xmas, begging my husband to try and pull the zipper just a little harder as I tried to squeeze myself into a dress that was just not going to fit. Something clicked. The twisted relationship I had with my body and food had finally become a reality I was not willing to live with. I had spent many years as a teenager tearfully looking into mirrors when shopping, and I certainly was not going to let this cycle back into my life as an adult. Enough was enough.
For years I wore my addiction to sugar and processed shit like a badge of honor. I told myself there was something awesome in being able to eat all the junk I wanted, in eating mindlessly and in living in denial about the way in which my poor choices were effecting my body. But the hard truth was that this was an ugly cycle of self hate. The moment I had finished eating was the exact moment I regretted my poor choices and the exact moment I would start planning my next workout.
It is no secret that I love training. The gym is my oasis, the place where the rest of the world falls away & it is just me, my beats and a burning desire to get better, faster, stronger. Over the past 10 years my training has gifted me opportunities to discover who I really am. I firmly believe that whatever is physically possible to do, I can learn, train for and master. I have full control over my mind and my body when I train and that feeling is euphoric. I start the day on the type of high I wish I could bottle and share - because it is all sorts of awesome.
But during this time, every day I would take all that positivity and love and strength I felt for myself when I train and disregard it. I would forget all the ways I had felt strong and in control and tell myself that when it came to food choices I was weak and helpless and I would never gain control. I trained more than anyone I know, but as a result my nutrition was just out of control. If I told you what I was eating you wouldn't even believe me. Mostly because no one had ever seen my secret eating habits. Shameful, destructive and exhausting. I had had enough.
So I surrendered myself to the program. I gave that control to a results focused system that has been proven thousands of times. Why not me this time? I informed my husband and his knowing smile indicated that he had heard these good intentions before, and I have to admit, I didn't even know how successful I would be. In the past, I had always tried to outsmart training and nutrition plans. I would stay well below the macro nutrient guidelines designed for me and train harder and longer than was ever indicated in any plan. Little wonder the plan would never see me lasting more than 2 weeks… if that. This time, I stayed on track. I used the food diary religiously, and found that in carefully tracking my food for the next day I was able to make choices based on where I was going and what I was doing making it stupidly easy to stick to my plan! I have not excluded any particular food group from my nutrition plan, nothing has been off limits - apart from refined sugars and processed shit. I will continue to exclude these from my diet because I no longer crave them..at all! My body craves fresh, clean food sources and I am not interested in polluting myself with crap, or pretending there is something glorious about that. Those days are gone. Mindlessly opening my mouth and loading it with saturated fats and sugars and god knows what is not my idea of a good time. Seeing my body fulfill its full potential, waking up each day and bouncing out of bed with energy and knowing I am nurturing myself with food, rather than pacifying it, is a beautiful feeling - one I have never known before.
I attribute so much of who I am to the love of a good man. I wake up next to a man that kisses me good morning when our alarm goes off at 4:00am because we like to train before work. He firmly reminds me to be proud of how far I have come in transforming my body rather than complaining about the changes I am yet to see. He has let my journey be mine, taking no credit for my progress so far, even though everything I have learnt has been inspired by him. His watchful eye and unwavering support of my ups and downs through ever weigh in means that at no point have I ever felt alone in my journey. He tells clients 'If you have a strong enough 'why' you can overcome any 'how'…& he is my why. Every. Single. Day. I want to always be a wife he feels proud to call his, and a fit, healthy mother to his future children.
Sharing my progress pictures is actually not an easy thing to do. I fear judgement. I fear that my pictures indicate that I am arrogant and I cannot even begin to tell you how far from the truth that is! I know I am a little fish in a big pond of transformation stories - but this is my story. I was once a girl who would avoid cameras, and never smile in photos because I felt so uncomfortable within my own skin. Fast Forward to me being the selfie queen, because every time I snap a picture its like a little celebration, reminding myself that I am not that insecure girl anymore! Do I still see imperfections? Yes. Yes. Yes. But these imperfections no longer hold me back, they are my markers for the progress I know I am capable of making. Watch this space.*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.