FACING MYSELF WITH BARRY'S BOOTCAMP: LOVE YOURSELF CHALLENGE RECAP
In November of 2017, I was tired. Tired of feeling like crap. It'd been 2 years since I had a baby, and 2 years since I had taken care of myself. I found myself in a deep depression and drowning in anxiety. I pushed these feelings away, telling myself to just keep focusing on work and everyone else. I wasn't a priority. I wrote a blog post (here), and decided to begin what I would call a "LOVE YOURSELF TRANSFORMATION". When starting this journey, I wanted to make it clear to everyone that this was NOT about how much weight I could lose. Been there, done that. But never for the right reasons. This time... it was for me, my health and my sanity.
I ran into a few unforeseen obstacles, like getting sick and finding out I had a stress fracture in my knee. The knee injury could have easily stopped me from working out (even the Dr. told me to stop) but instead of giving up, I figured out ways to modify. I've been extremely careful and with the help of the Barry's trainers I've been able to consistently get a good workout in while avoiding my knee (this means I had to stop all cardio as well).
I've lost a total of 35 inches. Mostly in my gut, hips, waist, and arms!
I feel SO. INCREDIBLY. STRONG. I can actually do ab-work again after two years of having no core.
I'm not out of the breath all the time.
I can keep up with my wild child.
I have more energy throughout the day.
But most of all.... I love the person I am looking at in the mirror. Because I know that THAT person is the one who's working hard on herself. No matter what her body looks like, I still love her because she's the one who's treating herself like A QUEEN.
You know what else I've noticed? I have confidence. More confidence when speaking, more confidence when moving, more confidence all day everyday.
I used to be one of those people that would see a friend on Facebook working out a lot, who would then post photos of their super toned body, and I would get jealous. I'd compare myself to them and think,
"I could never be that thin. I could never be that ripped. I will never be that person. So why even try."
Here's what I've learned.
It's NOT ABOUT how you look. It's about taking care of yourself and taking ownership of your body every day. Listen, once you start taking care of yourself your body is going to change. And you'll find that no matter what it looks like, you're happy with it because of how you're treating it.
To me, this is mentally the healthiest way to view body image. It's easy to obsess over things like what your body looks like. Getting muscle tone or ab definition should be seen as bonuses to treating yourself like a million bucks.
I wanted to try something that scared me. Something that I honestly thought I couldn't do. I was so low, and I needed something drastic to pull myself out. What I didn't expect to find was the strength to complete each class with pride. I didn't expect that each and every coach at Barry's would be motivating and encouraging. And I didn't expect to not be intimidated when I walked through the doors.
Below, I'm showing you my transformation photos.
They're probably not as extreme as you were expecting.
But that wasn't what this challenge was about for me. It was all about getting back to ME. Taking care of ME. And doing what's best for ME. Because being the best version of myself makes me a better mother, a better wife, and a better friend.
I started this journey because I literally felt like death. I decided to document it and share it because I know I can't be alone in this struggle. My hope is that you've read this and left inspired, because trust me... if I can do it, anyone can do it. (See all of my posts and updates HERE).
Look. I might not look like I'm in super fantastic shape.
But I am strong.
And I have committed myself to working out 2-4 times a week (what my schedule allows) and nourishing my body with what it needs (thanks to help from More Than Food). This has been LIFE CHANGING for me.
Some days are harder than others. But I can honestly say, that at this point in my life I'm not looking in the mirror and hating what I see. I have figured out a way to dig deeper than that and love myself truly from within. Exercise has been, in a sense, therapy for me. If I miss a week of working out, I start to feel anxiety creep back in. The act of doing something JUST for me, one hour a few times a week is all it takes.
My prayer for all of you reading this is that you realize YOUR WORTH, and start TAKING CARE. Find an environment that is positive and motivating, and a community that will cheer you on. Dive in. And just remember: Physical goals are great to have, but focus on the mental challenges first. This will help you when you get discouraged. (For example: Instead of hoping to lose 5 inches the first two weeks, set a goal of actually going to a workout class 4 times a week).
And please, for goodness sake... stop caring about size or the number on the scale.
You DO you, and take care.
As always, I welcome any and all feedback. Thanks for sticking with me on this ongoing journey. And thank you, Barry's Bootcamp Atlanta, for believing in ALL of your clients, and creating an encouraging and inspiring environment. Thank you for inspiring me to FACE MYSELF.