I had intended to blog regularly about my 45-Day Challenge at ilovekickboxing.com, but honestly, I was afraid. Afraid of putting myself out there after regaining the weight I’d lost in years past. Afraid of putting my story out there only to get so caught up in documenting the journey that I wouldn’t do the work that really needed to be done inside my own head. I’m now 6 days away from the end of the 45 days and I’ve seen progress, just not in the ways these kinds of contests tend to hype people up about (no offense at all to ILKB – it’s inspiring to see people have these amazing results so quickly.) The winners from the competition’s last round lost 32 and 54 pounds each. I knew this was not going to be me. Not because it’s not possible, but because I know my body. I could work out half the day every day and I wouldn’t lose that kind of weight. Even when I was running 12-20 miles a week, it took me 90 days to lose 20 pounds and I’d eliminated all fruit and grains. I was also breastfeeding which means my body was naturally burning more calories sitting still and my hormones were likely different. This time, I’m 5 years older, in my early 40s, I’m no longer the primary food source for a small human being, and I have kept fruit and grains in my diet choosing to eat by macros instead of by elimination.
I’ve lost an average of 1-2 pounds per week in the last 5 weeks. On my home scale since Jan 1 I’ve lost 7+ pounds. According to the last in-body scan I did at Total Nutrition in Bremerton almost 2 weeks ago, I had gained a pound of muscle and lost 2 pounds of fat in 3 weeks. My intake was recalibrated at that scan UP to just under 1800 calories a day with protein being my primary macronutrient, but we’lI see if that needs to be adjusted again this week. I’ve completed 31, one-hour kickboxing sessions since the beginning of the calendar year (my normal routine for the past 4 weeks has been 6 classes a week), and I see and feel changes in my body. I can do more push-ups, my form is better, my flexibility has increased, I’m sleeping better, my face is starting to look fresher and leaner. But the most important change has come in the form of understanding and self-compassion.
This 45 Day Transformation has taught me a few important things. I wanted to share my Top 5 Transformation Tips with you in case they help you get over some of the hurdles you’ve encountered on your wellness journey. I hope at least one of them resonates with your heart.
- Your weight is not your worth: Just like I learned my career did not actually define my worth after I made the decision to stay home and raise my kids, I’ve learned to embrace that weight is also not a measure of worth. You aren’t a better or more valuable human being if your weight on the scale is within the guidelines or your clothing size is in the low end of the size chart at a high end clothing store. Is it okay to set weight and size goals? Sure! But under no circumstances should your ability to meet those goals be assigned a value that says you are or you are not good enough. Imagine you are speaking to your self as a child. Look down at that sweet little face of yours and start saying whatever cruelties, subtle or not, you say to yourself now. Can’t do it? Then don’t do it to grown up you. You’re worthy. Period.
- Let (re)gaining confidence, not losing weight, be your focus: When you have true confidence in yourself at any size or any weight and that comes through, you are so attractive to people! You become the kind of person YOU want to be around (and others want to be around you, too.) Rather than going into a fitness journey with the thought that you want to transform your weight or your size, tell yourself you want to transform your self-confidence. Make improving or gaining that confidence the focus while you build your new routines for exercise and nutrition. Wellness has nothing to do with losing and everything to do with winning – winning your strength and stamina back and winning back that confidence that makes you light up the room and the lives of those you love.
- With few exceptions, you are always in control: Every obstacle, every barrier, every excuse is a sign post in our lives, not a barricade. It may seem like things are just happening TO you and you have no control over it, but I’d beg to differ. When I hurt my leg in November while kickboxing, I didn’t abandon ship. I didn’t feel helpless. I chose to read the sign post that said “slow the eff down” and I did. I paid attention to how I was feeling each day, whether or not I was healing and why. I used the time to carve out a plan for how I was going to get back into kickboxing again. I visualized it, I talked about it, I wrote it down. I learned that you are in control over what you do with your time, how you prioritize your day, and how you manage yourself. And even if your plan is to get through just one week, make that week count. Use adversity to assert control over your own self and your own habits. Don’t focus on perfection, just focus on taking action, one action at a time.
- Treat Yo Self…with kindness: Things will go wrong. Your scale might go the wrong way, you might forget to eat, you may eat too much. Things will go right! You will see improvements in your body, in your posture, and in your performance. Don’t compare yourself to ANYONE ELSE but who you were yesterday. And in each instance, be kind to yourself. Consciously congratulate yourself for doing well. Consciously congratulate yourself for hitting a rough spot, being aware of it, and making an adjustment. Without exception, be kind to yourself always because in the immortal words of RuPaul, “Honey, if you can’t love yourself, how the HELL you gonna love somebody else?”
- Believe you are limitless. I have run a marathon at age 40, completed Spartan Trifecta races at ages 39 and 40 in a single weekend over a grueling course, had three babies at ages 26, 35, and 37, and I’m kickboxing at age 42. Through it all, my body, though it may have felt like it was going to die, did not quit on me. If you would have asked me 10 years ago if I could do all of that I would have said you were dumb AND crazy. But I did it. We can do so much more physically than our minds often allow us to do, so don’t start out thinking you can’t or you won’t. Replace I can’t with I’m curious. Replace I won’t with I’m willing. Explore what your body can do safely at the gym or on the trail or where ever you’re choosing to roam. Be your own science project and experiment with dialing your nutrition in to what works best for YOUR body. Remember each small step will add up to a larger gain as your journey progresses. Check in with and chart your progress regularly to see just how limitless you really are. The time you invest in getting to know yourself better is ALWAYS time well spent.
Looking forward to wrapping up this challenge and a few other exciting things this week. More soon. Thanks for taking the time to read! I hope you have a fantastic Valentine’s week. Love to you.