because I promise you, this will be the hardest part! When I began on my own health and wellness journey one of the biggest deterrents to actually getting my lazy butt off the couch for the first time was knowing that the results wouldn’t be immediate. I knew going in that I would probably not see results for weeks if not months but I also knew that if I didn’t start at all I would NEVER get to where I wanted to be. My desire to take better care my health, look better and regain my self confidence finally got stronger than my excuses.
Starting out, I figured I would have to struggle. Struggle to find the time, struggle through each workout, and struggle to stop eating all the junk food I had made a staple of my diet for the past year or so. I am not going to sugar coat this, that was exactly what happened over the first several weeks. I struggled. Like I had feared, I didn’t see many results, I didn’t seen any new muscles form, I didn’t feel my pants getting looser but what I didn’t anticipate was I did start to fall in love with the process. What changed first for me was my self-confidence. And surprisingly enough, my self confidence soared before the excess weight came off!
What ended up happening was I felt so good about the effort I was putting in, heck, that I was even showing up day after day, that I began to be proud of myself before I even noticed any real physical transformation. Just the sheer fact that I was trying did wonders for my self worth and really kept me wanting to go back to keep feeling that way. Before I knew it, I was looking forward to getting my workouts in and planning those healthier meals. It quickly morphed from being a chore to being a bright spot in my day. I began to look at the time I spent working out and eating right as “me time”. It became an hour or so a day when I put everything else aside and focused on myself. And guys, this is not a selfish thing to do! No one else is going to do this for you. Make yourself a priority. Even if you have a ton of other responsibilities and people depending on you, none of them will be ok or taken care of if you are not ok. The change has to start and continue with you and for you.
Spending in an hour a day disconnecting, popping in ear buds and zoning out, and has become a bright spot each day for me. In our overly connected world it is so nice to take a step back, breathe and get back in touch with myself. After a good workout, I feel grounded, accomplished and ready to take on whatever the rest of the day or week may hold. And now that I have gotten to the point where I am seeing physical results I am motivated all that much more. I am motivated never to go back to feeling and looking like I used to but also am excited to keep pushing myself to meet new goals and take on new challenges. I am already planning for the next couple 5ks and then I have my sights set on my first 10k!
Working out and taking care of myself is no longer a struggle. Sure, there are days that I would rather sit on the couch and eat that pint of ice cream (and every once in a while I do), but for the most part I get up, push myself and feel incredible afterward. I never regret a completed workout or the time I invest in my health and well being. I am so thankful that I did take that first step and kept on taking those subsequent steps even when I didn’t see the return immediately. I am also thankful I am even able to workout and see these changes happen. I sometimes take a step back and look at this journey I am on now and I can’t help but think of what a privilege it is that my body allows me to be in the gym and out running those races. I know this is a privilege not everyone has and that is not at all lost on me.
So guys, get up. Take that first step. Even if you just start out walking for 20 minutes, that is great! Replace that big bowl of ice cream with a smaller bowl at the end of the day. Just make one small effort to invest in yourself and you will be surprised where that can lead. You will not regret it, I promise!