One year ago today I began a journey that would soon change my life in ways I didn’t realize…
It actually started on October 24, 2019 when I reached out to Brittany (a friend who runs Body by Brittany, a personal training company based out of Michigan) and said “it’s time and I need your help”. I had been putting off the idea of “exercise” and “dieting” for so long, because it’s work, and who has time for that? The next few days were an overload of information, scary almost, but she’s incredible and broke everything down for me with ease and honesty. I’m not sure what finally prompted me to contact her, but I suppose I was ready for a change. Fast forward a year, a lot of hard work and dedication, and I couldn’t be happier about that choice.
To be completely honest, to say that I was heavy when I started wouldn’t be accurate. I had previously gained extra weight during my first two pregnancies, and worked hard to lose that by doing various activities like running and Beachbody programs. This helped me during number three with staying more active and not gaining as much. So no, I wasn’t overweight, but I also wasn’t fit, or healthy. The idea of being “skinny” isn’t what drew me either. It was the idea of creating a healthier version of myself, someone who could keep up with three kids and fuel her body to grow and live a good long life. I wanted to nurture myself and not just exist in a mediocre state.
My initial reach out had been more nutrition based than exercise, because I was also a Girls on the Run coach and did a fair amount of running/walking, which I thought was just fine. Thankfully, Brittany was pretty insistent that I would go far with weight lifting, and I would be combining that with macro tracking. Now macro tracking (if it fits your macros/IIFYM) meant I actually ate MORE than I had before starting with her, which was worrisome and awesome at the same time. The largest difference became what I was eating and the breakdown of those macronutrients. Once you learn this, and you understand why your body needs these and how to fuel yourself, it’s amazing what you start to feel. I eat foods that I love, I indulge when I feel like it and I am never hungry. Plus, it’s something that has extended to my entire family so they are getting the benefits of great nutrition also.
Obviously, the physical transformation is something I’m incredibly proud of, and it sure is something amazing. But physical change isn’t all I’ve found. With each completed workout, each healthy meal, each “gain”, I found myself happier and more content. I was accomplishing this, I was putting in the effort and the hard work, and the results were incredible. This sense of accomplishment helped me in all areas of life and gave me the power to believe that I was capable of anything. I began to carve out time for myself, take on bigger tasks and attempt things I’d never thought possible. I built a fence, I built a bed, I managed the household and finances alone, I took the kids on road trips … I took the mindset I’d created within my fitness and applied it to all aspects of my life. The result? I was happier, I was calmer and I was a better all around person (just ask my kids).
During this whole process my husband was deployed, leaving me home with three kids and minimal (although fantastic) support. There is no denying the frustration and stress that come along with that alone, never mind the rest of 2020. So for me, exercise became a valuable way to get out of my head and everyday life. It provides a great foundation for my children to follow also, and my three year old even has her own set of 2lb weights for when she wants to join me. I’d also like to point out that ALL of this was done at home, no gym membership here! Why does any of that matter? Because if I’m capable of making these changes while raising three kids mainly solo and dealing with everything else, you certainly can too. We are often the only thing holding us back from achieving our dreams and goals.
At the end of this first year, I am fitter and healthier than I’ve been in my entire life, and despite what she’d say to the contrary, I owe it all to Brittany and her amazing coaching. I do believe that we each have to put our own work into what we do, and it was I that created this change within myself, but would I have done it without the constant support and teaching of Brittany? No, I don’t truly believe so. Having a coach who is willing (and able) to guide you down the path you want to be on, who answers questions, consistently adjusts the plan as you change (while explaining), and just plain supports you, that is where a lot of the strength comes from. If you’re going to jump start your own journey, I’d recommend finding a coach that speaks to you and your goals. Or you can check out www.brittbody.com!
This certainly isn’t the end of my journey, not with fitness and not with the new approach to life I’ve found. My hope is that I’ve inspired you to start your own journey.