I have come to realize that many who read our blog are feeling motivated to jump on the Becoming Skinny Bandwagon because of my progress. First of all, I never thought that I would be inspiration to others to lose weight—so thank you. Thank you for thinking so highly of and completely supporting me. But my journey has not been easy. It is hard and requires sacrifice but is worth the work. The purpose of this post is NOT to be discouraging but to be realistic. I am very excited to have so many long distant work out buddies—if you decide to jump on this bandwagon, I would love to know about it! And just for the record, I am still on my journey—this is a process, not an event.
One thing I have noticed is my motivation to exercise and be healthy has changed. Back in January when I started My Biggest Looser Challenge experience, my motivation was for anyone but myself. I wanted it for Casey and I especially wanted it for our unborn children. A dear friend, who weighed way less than I did, was put on a major guilt trip by her doctor when she became pregnant. She was told that her weight would affect the baby and her chances of having a c-section were substantially greater because she started out her pregnancy unhealthy. I looked at her. And I looked at myself. And I looked and her and decided if she was unhealthy then I would be like deathly unhealthy. I had to make a change. The first workouts and even the first several weeks were hard. Sometimes the ONLY reason I would keep going was for our unborn children. I was willing to sacrifice myself for them (isn’t that what mothers do all the time??) and so I pushed forward with the goal of someday being able to have a healthy pregnancy.
Recently, I was thinking about my motivation to be healthy and lose weight and it has changed. Now it is for me. I am doing it because I like how I feel. I like how the seat belt fits comfortably. I like being able to go up a flight of stairs and not be out of breath. This journey really is about ME! Sure others will benefit but ultimately the reason I am doing this now is because I want to. This has helped me want to work harder and eat better because it is MY journey.
So how does this relate to you and your journey? Just start! Whatever your current motivation is—kids, a loved one, wanting to wear a certain size—take it and run. Use that exterior motivation to get you started! And then slowly that will transform to an interior motive to keep you going.
Another blunt truth about becoming skinny is this really is work. I honestly feel like sometimes this could be my part time job. I try to work out every day for 35-40 minutes, except Sunday—most weeks I do have 6 hard, sweat-filled, pushing routines. I wake up early and sacrifice sleep sometimes to be able to get my work out into my super busy day. In addition to the scheduled work outs by the Wii game, when I come home from subbing, I will try to do something else that is active. Some days, that means doing a whole new 40 minute Wii exercise routine, other days that means going jogging, and still others that means when I go shopping and run errands I will literally either walk to the store and carry everything home or park in the absolute furthest parking spot and then not use a basket. It is in these extra things that helps me burn those extra calories—it may not be a lot but they add up.
And then we have eating habits. This is also time consuming as I adjust all the recipes and spend time studying what I can eat. Basically every meal has pureed veggies instead of using high calorie sauces. Ground turkey and skinless, fatless chicken breasts have become a standard. Whole wheat and sugar free everything (which often takes more time to prepare). Counting calories. Eating more vegetables and less starches. Low fat or fat free. Substituting meals for Slim-Fast. Drinking lots of water. Researching nutrition at restaurants before we go out. Watching Casey eat some things I used to love and not allowing myself to indulge. This really has become a way of life instead of just merely a diet.
The last realistic tip to share is patience. I have had some really awesome weeks at the weigh-in and some slightly disappointing weeks. But overall, it would even out. Another part of patience is not expecting others to notice your change immediately. There are some people (who don’t follow our blog) who have just barely noticed that I look different and then even still some people don’t even have a clue. You have to do this for yourself and not for the praise of others. Because although all of your compliments and congratulations are nice (and please keep them coming—I love it!!), I would still keep going even if the spotlight were turned off. You also have to be patient with yourself. Don’t weigh yourself every day because that will just be depressing. And especially do NOT compare yourself with others—including my past weigh-ins!!!! Your body will lose weight at its own rate and speed. Yes it is fun to have a challenge with others to help you stay motivated to keep going but don’t be discouraged if your numbers are lower or different. Honestly they should be different because you are a different person.
So after all the dreary details… is it really possible? Obviously—I’m making the change every day of my life! Is it really worth it? Absolutely—my energy and happiness continue to increase. Is this lifestyle for you? Well, that is for you alone to decide. But I do know that there are wonderful blessings from every sacrifice after all the Lord has promised "out of small things proceedeth that which is great." (D&C 64:33) And trust me, daily exercise and daily healthy eating are two very small things which are producing great results.