When New Year’s hit this year I made myself a promise. I promised that I would NOT make a resolution about weight loss. I promised that I would not starve on a useless diet and exhaust myself with a boring exercise routine only to give up by the 2nd week, end up gaining more weight and endure yet another failed attempt to get in shape.
Instead, I made a New Year’s resolution committing to “personal growth for a journey of being in the right place and accepting the right nourishment for a purposeful life.” That was it! I wanted to improve myself, and I was committed.
I asked myself how I could improve and broke it up into “Mind, Body and Spirit.” I wanted something that would tickle my brain, make me think, and force me to become more mindful in all I do. When I thought of Spirit, I realized that I had really been starving my spirit and not feeding it much at all. I looked into many ways that I could take small steps to feed my spirit every day, but both of those topics are a blog for another day.
Body, oye! This one wasn’t going to be easy. I had lost and gained weight my whole life and was completely discouraged and finished with the failure attached to dieting. In the previous year, I had made several healthy changes and seen some physical benefits but all in all as the ball dropped on New Year’s, I was 179lbs in a size 16 and feeling sluggish, lethargic and just not able to keep up with all the things I wanted to be doing.
I have a cousin, Loretta, and she was very excited about health – she had lost 60 lbs through Beachbody, had become a coach and used her Facebook page to encourage others to take their first step on their own journey to a healthier life. She was passionate, excited, thin, gorgeous, and beaming with an inner joy and I couldn’t stand it! Oh, don’t get me wrong, I always loved her, but seeing her success made me face my own demons and at that time, I wasn’t ready. She is one of those “Nike, no excuses, just do it, let’s go, get up, time to shine, the world is waiting for YOU!” people and I was kinda like “umm, I’m tired.”
Loretta, always respected where I was at, and never pushed her passion on me, but I knew if I opened the door she would come rushing in, pitch a tent in my house and stick with me until I saw results. Honestly, the evening I texted her asking for her help I deleted the message 3 times. I kept asking myself “are you really ready to do this?” Finally with a tickle in my stomach, and a lump in my throat, I hit send and prepared for HARD work.
First of all, it was nothing like I expected. Despite her “no-excuses” demeanor – and I will say, Loretta isn’t one to sugar-coat, but she had been there, she knew what I was going through and no she didn’t let me cry my way out of it, but she understood that this wasn’t easy, and she never once tried to pretend it was. She hooked me up with my calorie intake, and some basics and then asked me to join an online group “Mamas on a Mission” that would be a 12 week program to improve my overall health. There was a weekly focus, and slowly together we would change our diets, all while committing to an exercise routine.
I’m still not sure why I stuck with it. I don’t like doing things that are hard, and strangely I’ve never really minded being chubby, not that much anyways. BUT, I hated feeling tired and run down. I hated not having the energy to do all the things I wanted to do. I hated thinking about all the health risks my choices were ensuring for me. I knew I wasn’t eating healthy, and I really believed that I just didn’t have the time to workout.
What happened over the past 12 weeks has been nothing short of a miracle! The fellow Mamas I met in the group, it seemed, were hand-picked to encourage, inspire and push me to my goal. We each faced different struggles, and had completely different situations, but we were so united. We found what linked us, not what set us apart. We began to see each other’s success as our own and the group really became a life force of its own. The rawness and honesty was incredible. We didn’t just clean out our refrigerators, for many of us, we were able to clear our heads of the wrong thinking that had weighed us down far more than the pounds.
This past Sunday was the end of the 12 week program during which I lost 22 lbs, 16.5 inches overall and went from a size 16 to a size 10. What’s more amazing than that…I received a gift for which I am eternally grateful – energy! I once thought I didn’t have time to take care of myself, but now I realize that I don’t have time not to. My productivity, my clear-mindedness, my ability to multi-task, prioritize, and to accomplish has grown. I started looking for other ways to take care of myself, like regular chiropractic adjustments and more supportive sneakers. I have become more passionate, more loving, patient and a better version of me. I’ve developed deeper interests and found that taking care of my body was taking care of my mind and spirit. It might all sound silly but once I realized that when I’m at my best I have more to give to my family, I was able to make the time to be what my family deserves.
I’m not done on my journey but I have become a health conscious person, and I now have the tools for success. Our group, Mamas on a Mission, realized that we still have a ways to go so we have committed to another 100 days together. I am excited at the thought of where I will be after 100 more days in my fitness journey!
Looking back it has been amazing. I am so happy for this experience but, moment by moment, it was HARD! It continues to be hard work and effort consciously making the right choices and moving on when I fail miserably. I have learned moderation, even in health. As my coach and cousin Loretta would say “We don’t cheat, we treat!” These mantras have changed the way I think, making me a success minded person.
If you would like to contact Loretta, to see if she can assist you on your journey, her cell phone number is 518-421-7141. You can also email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Just let me warn you that, “I was up all night with a sick child and I burned dinner, and slipped on a banana and had to go to the emergency room, and then the sky fell on my face” is not a valid excuse for not choosing your health first.
Thank you Loretta and all of the Mamas who joined me on this mission. I’m Happy!