Monday, March 17, 2014

My thoughts on the 2014 Weight Loss Challenge

In January I joined a 60 Day Weight Loss Challenge at Energia Fitness Studio in Hadley, Ma.  This is where I work out and personal train with Justin Killeen, my personal trainer for over a year now.

Justin encouraged me to join the challenge.  I really wanted to, but also had my reservations.  In the past, when I joined weight loss contests, I always ended up sabotaging myself.  I could never have more than 1 to 2 good weeks in a row. 

At this point I had been losing the same 5-7 pounds since September.  It was time to do something and time to stop self-sabotaging myself.  I also wanted to prove to myself, once and for all, that  I could do this. 

I threw myself into the challenge full force.  I basically showed up at the gym every time the doors were open, I continued to personal train with Justin, doing whatever he asked of me, and overhauled my eating, going almost all Paleo.  I started seeing my hard work paying off on the scale and in other ways as well. 

The 60 days have come and gone and I was thinking over what I accomplished and learned along the way.  As far as stats go I lost 15 pounds total.  Seven weeks out of the eight I lost weight.  The one week that I gained weight I only gained .2 pounds (that's point 2).  My first goal had been reached.  I lost weight and didn't self sabotage myself.  I am very proud of this.  After years of doubting myself and telling myself "I can't"  I finally proved to myself that I CAN. 

I really pushed myself physically during these 60 days and saw myself get stronger and stronger along the way.  I couldn't really jump at the beginning of the challenge, I couldn't jump my feet in and out while doing burpees and couldn't jog a 15 minute mile.  I am proud to say I am able to jump a lot more during exercise, I went from doing 36 burpees in 5 minutes, walking my feet in and out, to doing 51 and jumping my feet in and out for about half the time.  I had a goal of running a mile in 15 minutes by the end of the 60 days.  I completed that goal early on and went on to run a mile in 13:44. 
The words I CAN'T have left my vocabulary and my mindset.  I try everything put before me and find myself asking Justin, WHAT'S NEXT?

I can tell that I am walking a little taller and my confidence is the best it has been in years.   I have never loved myself where I am.  I always would say, "When I lose weight I'll finally be happy."  "When I lose weight I will think I'm pretty."  "When I lose weight I will finally be able to do what I want."  "When I lose weight . . . fill in the blank."  People would always tell me I needed to love myself where I was, no matter my size, but I couldn't do it.  I would look in the mirror and look at myself with disgust.  I let things from my past define me and because of losing over 100 pounds and gaining it all back, I had let that define me as a failure. I thought that this time around would just be the same.

During this 60 day challenge there was a day that I looked in the mirror and finally everything clicked.  I finally was able to see myself for who I was and finally let all the things from my past go.  I was able to love myself right where I was and I loved what I saw. The selfies that followed were proof of this. :)  It was a huge turning point for me.  It WAS so freeing, it IS so freeing.  For the first time in my life I am so happy with who I am and I will not let anyone (especially myself) or anything change that. 

Do I wish I would have lost more weight during this challenge?  Of course, but the difference this time around is that I am ok that I didn't.  Before I would have beat myself up and been down about it, but I realize that this journey is more than a number on the scale.  Physically I have changed.  I've lost 15 pounds, but not only that, I am the strongest I have been in a long time.  I am doing things that in the past I would never even attempt, I would just say I CAN'T and give up very easily.  That is not me anymore. 

The best thing that came out of this challenge is that for the first time, in many, many years I am happy and that is the best feeling ever.  I have not just lost inches and pounds, but have lost all my excuses, self-doubt, and my past.  My goal may have been to lose weight in the last 60 days, but I gained so much more that will only help me as I move forward in my journey to health.  

Thank you Justin for hosting this challenge and for believing in me even when I didn't believe in myself.  I cannot wait to see what this next year will hold for me.  Things can only continue to get better.  Watch out, here I come. 

Stay tuned for my final pictures from the challenge and inches.  I will be meeting with Justin soon to get my final stats. 

This picture is me at Energia after reaching my goal of breaking a 15 minute mile on the treadmill.