Last week, I talked about how I got into fitness and the first lesson that I learned in my fitness journey: setting a goal and sticking to it. I knew myself well enough to understand that if I didn’t set a big goal for myself, I would not make any change. So, following my initial kick-start back into shape, I set my next big fitness goal post-partum: to complete Tough Mudder 2015. After hearing stories about Tough Mudder, it seemed like the perfect event to challenge both my physical and mental well-being in order to enact change.
Lesson 2: Change doesn’t happen overnight
In addition to my mom group, I managed to find a program that would slowly build up my cardio on the treadmill. Bit by bit, I started increasing the speed and duration of my workouts, which helped me go from a slow jog for 10 minutes at 4 miles per hour, to a running pace for 30 minutes at 5.2 miles per hour. While this might not seem like much, for me it was a huge accomplishment. I was running, seeing progress in my training, and overall feeling much more on track.
Now, although I went often and my cardio was building, I still didn’t see the much movement on the scale. My weight loss had come to a halt - discouraging and disappointing! To top it all off, I had just gone back to work as a registered nurse at the Birth Center in Richmond. While this might not seem like it would have a huge impact, anyone who knows this unit also knows that it’s full of yummy “Thank you!” treats. Sounds pretty great, right?
Well, I want to start by saying that we all have a weakness when it comes to food. Whether it’s salty or sweet, I cannot think of a single person who has an immunity to cravings such as these. Mine is sweet. Donuts, cake, chocolate, you name it, I have zero self control. I am like a dog that literally needs food portioned out to them or else I’ll eat my face off.
So naturally, what happened? I ate, and ate, and ate. Although I was still hitting the gym, and my workouts were offsetting most of the weight gain, my mentality changed from “workout to get stronger” to “workout to eat”. Add working only night shifts at the hospital into the mix and my body was not seeing a single piece of movement. Not one bit.
At this point, I was fortunate enough to connect with Drench Fit in Richmond, where I met Brenley and signed up for my first ever Transformation Challenge. This program absolutely changed my life. I was given a meal plan, learned how to fuel my body with healthy, filling foods that would complement my weight loss journey (not ONCE was I hungry), and finally started to see results. After one week, I had lost 5 pounds.
From that point on, fitness was a whole new world (queue Aladdin music in the background). While I didn’t win the first Transformation Challenge, I saw incredible results and realized the effect that a little competition could have on me. In fact, immediately following the first challenge, I entered another, set a goal, and you know what - I won! Over the course of two challenges, I lost 25 pounds. I learned that I could control my body, and that I alone was the only one who could make change happen.
It’s incredible now looking back at where I was - working 12 hour long night shifts, managing three kids,family commitments, and holding an insatiable need to eat donuts and sugar. The fact that i was able to create an opportunity to get fit, commit to a gym schedule and win a transformation challenge still seems almost unreal to me today.
How did I do it? I managed my situation.
I took what was on my plate and slowly made change happen. Not all at once, but over time. Many women struggle with this daily and give up at the sight of making change. What I want people to know is that change is a cycle - and it just gets easier and better over time. Plus, sometimes, it can surprise you.
Next week I will dive into the next stage of my big transformation - my first figure competition. A figure competition? What’s that? Tune in to find out!