Because, well you owe it to YOURSELF! One of the biggest revelations I have had since starting this health and wellness journey is that I need to be kinder, gentler and more appreciative of my body. Our bodies are really incredible machines that do so much for us on a constant basis that it is only fair we should do everything we can to help them thrive. Not to mention, we are only given one body and I don’t know about you but I want to keep mine happy and healthy as long as I possibly can!
One thing that has truly caught me by surprise since I have been paying more attention to nutrition and sticking to a consistent workout schedule is just how many parts of my life have improved. I sleep a ton better, I have almost completely eliminated the constant headaches I was having, I haven’t had one sinus infection all year (normally I have several pretty bad ones) and I no longer feel constantly run down like I had been for, well, years. And that’s just to name a few things!
For pretty much the entirely of the year the 2017 I felt like complete and utter a$$. I was beyond run down, constantly sick and on antibiotics (I absolutely hate taking medication btw), barely sleeping and only just making it through the day with the little energy I did have. Because of this I pretty much stopped being active, wasn’t working out, wasn’t paying attention to what I was eating and so naturally I gained weight and lost confidence. My physical health was poor, my mental health was poor and I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin for the first time in a really long while. I almost got to the point of not even being able to recognize the person I had become, I had let it get so bad.
When I had finally had enough and wanted to get my butt back into shape I accepted what I knew I had to do all along which was hold myself accountable. No one else was going to improve my life for me. No one else was going to force me back to the gym. No one else was going to take away the junk food and replace it with healthier options. I had to want to do these things for myself. I realized I was sick and tired of being sick and tired and I wanted a better quality of life and honestly to be proud of myself again.
One of the very first decisions I made was that I was going to go to the gym 4-5 times a week, each week no matter what excuse I could conjure up in my brain. I also decided that every time I completed a workout I was going to snap a picture of myself in the mirror. I never intended to ever let anyone see these pictures but they were a way for me to track my progress and again hold myself accountable along the way. I soon realized I was looking forward to working out just so I could take these pictures at the end of each session. They really forced me to be honest with myself about how I had let myself go and gave me motivation to keep going back each day to continue to get closer to how I wanted to look. While these pics started off pretty cringe-worthy, several weeks into my new routine I could see some results, small as they were, they were definitely there! This documentation was very motivational for me in terms of being able to see that my hard work and dedication to this new lifestyle was actually paying off.
Once I got back into the gym and started being active, healthier eating and paying more attention to what I was fueling my body with followed pretty naturally and quickly. I became interested in finding foods that would help me achieve my goals and keep me on this path to feeling better than I had in a very long time. My diet naturally transformed into one that incorporated a lot more whole foods and a lot less of the processed, packaged foods I had been eating because they were quick and easy. I am so much more aware of everything I put into my body now because I want to help it work at the peak of it’s ability. I want to be healthy and strong and I know in order to achieve those things I have to eat nutritious foods.
There is no shortcut to better health you guys. We can’t snap our fingers and drop ten pounds or go to the gym once and expect results. We also can’t eat one salad and then follow it with ten cookies and wonder why we aren’t losing weight. Getting healthy and staying healthy is truly a life long commitment. It requires you to make good decisions every single day. Some days are easier than others. Truth be told, I don’t feel like working out every day. Some days I want to eat an entire pizza and sit on my couch. Those are the days I pull out my phone, look back at where I was six months ago and remember why I started on this journey in the first place. I don’t ever want to go back to feeling or looking that way again and mostly I don’t ever want to mistreat my body they way I had been.
For me documenting my journey through pictures, social media posts and even this blog has been so helpful in keeping my motivation strong and my accountability in check. I have gotten so much encouragement from people out there, people I don’t even know, who are also on the same path as I am. I have even been able to help some people in return which has been truly rewarding for me! Since I have started documenting and sharing my story its been pretty incredible the support that I have gotten and while sometimes I have to push myself out of my comfort zones to do it, I have only gotten more motivated and stronger as a person because of it.
Six months ago, heck, even two months ago there is no way I would have considered showing a transformation picture. But recently I put one out there (see below) because I truly am proud of how far I have come and I want people to know it is possible to improve your life if you really want to. You just have to take that first step! Find something that works for you, whether it be a workout journal, a training buddy or a even a fitness tracker. Whatever you do, hold yourself accountable to it and I promise your body will respond in amazing ways and pretty soon your life will as well!