I've been having this conversation with myself over the past week or so, and I'm still debating whether or not I am making the right move here. We'll see.
You've heard me write about Paleo and TurboFire and all that jazz several times, but I wanted to share with you my progress and where I am at this point and talk more about what's going on overall instead of just what I'm doing to progress. I'm still not finished, but I'm getting there, and my mindset has completely changed, even after I had lost a lot of weight in the beginning and changed my way of living.
I posted about this once before HERE, and that was over a year ago. It doesn't seem like that long, really, but that makes me realize how much farther I've come from that point.
I feel compelled to write about this for a few reasons, but lately the main reason is because I get people commenting and asking about my routine or a recipe, etc., mostly from people I know, but even some from people I don't know but who found my photos or blog. It's encouraging and inspiring, so I feel like sharing a little more. Also, I have noticed that I get more readership on my blog if the post is about fitness. I highly doubt this is because people think I am some expert, because obviously I am not, but it is interesting. Maybe it's because people are just curious, but I like to think that I'm actually helping someone, or motivating them somehow. I've always wanted to inspire people, I even wrote that on my portfolio website in college, and I think talking about fitness and health might be a good way for me to do that at this point in my life. I also hope that I could drive people to change their mindsets about healthy living, and the only reason I say that is because I had to figure out how to change mine for myself along the way, and that made it so much easier. I'm still learning, but I'm in a much better place than I was before. And it makes me wonder, what did these graduates in this Starbucks right now write about in their portfolios? What did they say they wanted to do? When I graduated, I knew what I wanted but didn't know how to make it happen, and I'm still not sure how, but if this is one outlet I can make that happen, then why not try?
Anyway, so here's where I am right now...
I was really at a standstill for about 8 months. I just stopped losing any more weight and I wasn't dropping inches and I wasn't getting stronger, no matter what I did. Then I started Paleo in February, and I'm down 13 more pounds and I'm toning up, slowly but surely. That's the gist of the physical state I'm in right now. As for mentally, I'm shifting.
I've always liked to feel independent. Even as a little girl, I didn't want to ask for help for things, and I didn't even want hugs sometimes because it felt like I was being babied, and at 6 years old, I was a grown-up, dammit. Now, I love hugs, thank God, and I am still learning to ask for help, but because of this, I've had a hard time wanting to connect to a "fitness community," or any community for that matter. I'm working on that, too. I wanted to be alone in my journey. I don't need any help! Um, not cool. Kyle can attest to this. When he was trying very patiently to get me to start working out three years ago, I would get seriously defensive and shut down, probably because I knew I needed to and I wanted to decide to do it on my own, or maybe because I was in denial. I always felt like I looked ok, but now looking back, I can see that I wasn't ok. I wasn't healthy, and I don't just mean in a physical way. Kyle didn't want me to work out because he didn't think I was beautiful, because he did and he does, but he just wanted us to be healthy together, and I was not ready to face that. When it finally clicked for me, I was beyond ready to get started and felt like I had made the decision on my own, and now, I can't imagine the two of us not living a healthy life together. Of course we indulge from time to time, but we are always on the same page about this.
When I started this whole thing, it was pre-Instagram, if you can even imagine what that was like. Actually, it may have existed, but it wasn't what it is now. SIDEBAR: Just so everyone knows, I really was the FIRST of my friends to use it. I started using it because I wanted to edit pictures for this very blog, so yeah, there's a random fact for the day. Anyway, so there wasn't this world of pictures with filters and hashtags to match it and there was not a million bazillion people to follow who solely post fitness inspiration. Now, these are endless, and I am just now accepting the fact that I might enjoy reading about and following these people. I'm not sure why I take forever to give into these things, but now that I'm in, I'm all in, and I'm not afraid to ask for help. I don't know why I'm so resistant to join something, but now that I've set aside my pride or whateverthehell has been holding me back, I'm a lot happier and I'm enjoying this part of my life a lot more.
Throughout this process, I've really put a lot of effort into learning and educating myself. I've always been someone who likes to find out more information about things that interest me. Like when I saw 127 Hours, I researched everything I could find about Aron Ralston and wanted to know the whole story and talked to my sister on the phone while we read articles online about him. I like details and information. I mean, I did go to journalism school, so that makes sense. With this part of my life, it's no different. Kyle bought me a fitbit for Christmas, and I'm obsessed with what it can tell me…my steps, my calories, my sleep, everything. Same thing with Paleo. When I decided to try it out, I bought three books on my Kindle app for the iPad and read them all. I started following Paleo blogs and found all the information I could find about it. I am currently reading The Paleo Coach, and use Paleo cookbooks and blogs for recipes all the time. I love knowledge and learning, and it feels amazing when someone asks me a question about Paleo or work outs and I can immediately give an answer. Again, not an expert over here, but I have done my homework.
I'm learning what works for me as far as workouts go, and I'm learning to be happy with where I am now, even though that doesn't mean I'm going to stop. I've still got a long way to go. The 90 Day TurboFire Challenge is almost over, and I've stuck with it as much as possible with my sister, but throughout the last couple of months, I've found that I need something else to push myself, probably because I've been doing TurboFire for a long time. I added in more strength training in the last few weeks and I've started to feel like I'm progressing again, and I'm learning to listen to my body. I make sure that I do something active at least 5 days a week, even if it's not exactly what the TurboFire schedule says, and I'm not beating myself up over that anymore. If I don't have time for a 55 minute workout, I'll fit in a 30 minute one. If I'm so sore that I can't do a squat, I take a rest from squats and do something else, or rest. I'm trying to learn to rest more when I feel like I need it.
The thing is, I STILL don't realize how far I've come. There are still things I want to work on, and probably always will, but it isn't until I see photos of myself from two or three years ago that I see the difference, or when people see me who haven't seen me in a long time and can't believe it's me. That feels nice.
Granted, this is also before and after my breast reduction surgery (if you didn't know about that, yeah I had one), so it makes the comparison even more drastic. But yeah! Like, is that really me? In the picture in the left, I always felt like I looked more of what I look like now, the picture on the right. Then I'd see photos of myself and be shocked. I'd have a moment, click "untag" and move on. I don't know why it took me so long to change things when that's how I felt. Also, it feels weird posting these pictures of myself here, side by side, for total comparison. It feels weird because it's almost embarrassing, but at the same time, it motivates me to keep going.
Like I said, I'm still working hard and trying to progress. My wedding is in less than four months (EEK!) and I'm so excited to marry Kyle and feel awesome in my dress. I am so glad I started getting healthy when I did, because it's taken me so long to get to where I am now, and I would never want to feel anything but confident for my wedding day. Of course I still have insecurities and issues, but who doesn't? I'm just learning to love being healthy and learning to love myself for where I am right now. My life feels out of control sometimes, but one thing I can be in control of is my health, and that is probably the most important thing I can do for myself.
I'd love to hear from you and know if you like posts like this, or if you have questions, or if you want to know more, or if you hate this. Seriously. Tell me! I'm excited for what's to come.