In 13 days I begin my summer solstice to winter solstice, and I will be on a quest to be the best me inside and out. Yes, I will not be taking cheat days and I am fine with that. I find cheat days can sometimes lure you into cheat weeks and I want to approach my 50th birthday proud that I did what I set out to do. Some people can have cheat days, some can use moderation but for me this is what has worked in the past and I am going for it. I love a good challenge and I am excited and ready to go. I did have a cheat day this week and to be honest it made me feel completely ill so that is motivation enough.
Weight loss and fitness is personal, so while I will always share what has worked for me to lose my 60 pounds and what works for me now, please feel free to adjust what I say and make it work for you if you are also on a weight loss journey. Everyone has a different body type and a different mind-set. So while I will always share what I am doing to get to my goals, I will try to never sound preachy. I am there to help anyone if they need advice and you can take out of it what works for you. I am here to be a better me inside and out, to lose weight and be fit and strong, all while sponsoring a charity with each ten pounds. If you follow my journey and wish to learn from me, well then I am humbled and grateful.
I know that space someone is in when they have to lose a lot of weight. For me it was shame and embarrassment. I was a former dancer and I could not understand how I got this way. I was far from family and friends on the west coast so I hid it well in photos from the neck up. My weight has fluctuated in my forties but my highest was before I began this blog.
I was so ashamed the first week of my blog that I almost backed out of one of the best things I did on this blog. My blog was going live, I had a trainer, ( thanks Mike for all you did to help me the first year) and I was starting new. I always wanted to attend a Richard Simmons class and I saw a casting to dance in one of his videos. I was cast and I almost didn’t show up because I thought I was too fat. Did you just hear that statement? I almost didn’t attend the video shoot with Mr Richard Simmons because I thought I was “too fat.” Everyone knows Richard Simmons is the patron saint for all who wish to lose weight and be healthy again so that statement and mind-set was completely ridiculous.
If you have followed my blog I did do the video shoot, and after made life long friends and continued to attend his amazing and inspirational classes. Mike my trainer convinced me to take lots of before photos, and to I own where I was, so at the classes I took tons of pics. The energy at Richard Simmons Slimmons studio was so high it really propelled me forward. A side note and prayer for our friend Richard. He has been in the hospital and out of the spotlight for some time and he is so loved by many. I send healing energy, prayers and love into the universe for him and hope to take a class again when and if he returns to teaching.
The reason I am looking back on this post is because I myself am looking forward and taking some of my own advice that I followed when I began this blog. I did things in the beginning to help motivate me, and I believe these things really help you feel good about yourself as you embark on your journey to better self-esteem though being a healthier human. These things can help you feel good about yourself as before you lose your first pound. The Richard Simmons video and having Mike as my trainer helped me to realize what I needed to do to begin with a better frame of mind. I shifted from hating my body to loving who I was inside and out, and knowing with this frame of mind and positive attitude I could only feel better and be better inside and out as I moved forward. There were little things I did in the beginning to help my self-esteem, things that did not cost a dime. of course see your doctor first and foremost.
- Groom yourself before you lose a pound. For me I was overweight and had slacked off on taking care of myself. So I did a little grooming pre- weight loss. It may sound silly but personal grooming does make you feel better. I know many a lady who does not shave their legs all winter and that is fine, whatever makes you happy. Be you, and own you. One way does not work for everyone. I find for me though, shaved legs, nails and toes done or at least clipped and filed and neat lets me be ready for that impromptu yoga class. In the past I would have backed out of a yoga class because my toes looked a fright. Now I am always ready to go. A day at the beach? Sure, my legs are smooth and I can get some walking done barefoot in the sand. When I recently moved my hair was really out of control, so I broke down and had it done. My self-esteem feels 1,000 times better and I have not yet began my June 20th challenge. I believe taking care of yourself on the outside also helps you feel good about yourself not only as the weight numbers go down, but as the biological numbers go up.
- Get walking. I started walking in the beginning, before I trained with Mike and before I did any of Melissa Bender Fitness workouts. For some, working out is overwhelming and intimidating so walking especially to music is cathartic and makes you feel great. Take baby steps, any step is better than no step at all. I use Spotify for my running playlist, and before I ever took a step I downloaded my favorite music to get me motivated.
- Tell people what you are doing and take before photos. I almost did not do this, the photos and Mike convinced me to be authentic I need to be real. It made me own who I was without shame and soon I was taking full body photos all the time. Like I said, it definitely gets better from here so take the photos and love yourself. One day you will look back with immense pride of your accomplishments.
- Find a workout or walking buddy and your tribe. In the beginning working out with Mike, well I was terrified. I had no idea what to expect. He had me do boot camp stuff like crawl in the dirt. No one is asking you to go crawl in the dirt but for me Mike made working out so fun that to this day I miss having someone to workout with. He taught me life lessons beyond fitness ( I am no longer afraid of dirt) and I am grateful to have him has a friend. Camaraderie is everything. Find a friend and a mutual cheerleader. You do not need a trainer, just someone who believes in you as you do them. Get out in nature and move it. Now I do benderfitness workouts and she is absolutely fantastic and free.
5. Take it one day at a time. Begin in the beginning, and take your time. I do not believe in fast fixes when it comes to weight loss. In the past I have followed the 80/20 rule. Eat clean 80% of the time and it is ok to allow small splurges from time to time. Even though I am embarking on an extreme challenge now, before I followed the 80/20 rule and it worked for me. Every day one day at a time, time to move more, time nourish your body with clean healthy food. The weight loss will come, you just need to put the work in and find joy in the journey. The destination is on the horizon, love who you are and the path you are taking. I am still traveling with the wind in my hair and much more zest to my life.