As I look back on my life now, I can see that I've always been a natural athlete, but through most of my life didn't have the confidence in myself to believe it. I played many sports- Soccer, Softball, Field Hockey - but I always considered myself a cheerleader more than a teammate. I thought that sports were difficult for me, and easy for everyone else. I realize now that pushing out of the comfort zone is difficult for everybody! If you want to reap the rewards, you absolutely must put in the work, and believe that you can achieve absolutely anything.
I have gone through versions of this process a few times over in my adult life, and of course they weren't always physical challenges. When I embarked on marathon training, I began to turn a corner in terms of how I was thinking about myself. I think becoming a mother and overcoming so many emotional barriers in their first few years helped me to think of myself as actually being a strong woman. I've always been quite stubborn, to the point of it being a detriment, but I had never applied my stubborn streak to anything productive - In fact, I don't think I knew that a person could do that. As I look back at any coach I ever had, I now recognize the look in their eyes as being certain that I could achieve more than I was achieving. They did believe in me - many people did - But I didn't realize that strength is something that is developed over a long period of time, and it is important to stick to practicing one thing so you can improve!
The Olympians aren't people who simply had talent - they were people who recognized their gifts, and religiously practiced their skills, set goals, visualized results and achieved them! I had the pleasure of speaking with Brittany Rogers recently (Olympic Gymnast London 2012!), and she gave a talk to a room filled with young gymnasts aged between 6 - 16. She said she woke up on the second day of Nationals after a 16th placement the day before, and she had this thought "Why not me?". That day her performances brought her up to fourth place. That is truly inspiring to me, and it should be - to ALL of us! Why not me?
I have realized too, that achieving your goals doesn't have to be super complicated. Sometimes you just need to be told what you need to do. That was why I signed up for the 21 Day Fix Program. A childhood friend was posting some very inspirational statuses on her facebook page, and one day she (bravely!) posted before & after pictures from doing the 21 Day Fix. I was stunned at the way she had transformed her body. She went from having the Mummy tummy like I have, to having sculpted abs, toned arms and an enormous smile on her face. For several years I have just been trying to come to terms with how much my body had changed from having kids and getting older. I just assumed that my tummy would look like a deflated balloon in the morning, and an inflated balloon by bedtime. But her post made me think that there was hope for me - that I too could look the way I felt inside - happy, healthy, vibrant & alive!
I recently finished my first round of the program. I have lost 3 pounds, and 3 inches off of my waist! But it truly is more than the numbers. I can't believe that it only took 21 days to change my body so much! The beauty in the program is the simplicity of it.
-Workout for 30 minutes a day - Eat whole, healthy unprocessed food - Portion Control
Doctors have been saying it for years, but I needed to be told exactly what to do. Along the way I definitely had some emotional moments - the major one being when I realized what a profound effect wheat and sugar have on my body. My tummy puffs up like a balloon! Not only that, but wheat makes me crave sugar in a very serious way. I can't just have one cookie .. I have to eat 6 or 7 of them ... and then maybe one more. I felt incredibly sad when I finally realized this, and actually had a cry on a friend's shoulder. It seems strange that I should react so strongly, but food can be a very emotional thing for people, as it is the first thing in our lives that we can control. In the first two weeks of the program I had to make a decision to stay completely away from all sugar - not because the plan doesn't allow it, but because I recognized my addiction to it. Now that I've completed the first round of the program I can allow myself to have some treats, but it's best if I carefully prepare them myself so I know what's in them. http://www.chocolatecoveredkatie.com/ is my favourite for healthy sweets.
When you order the package, you receive
- 6 little colour coded containers for portion control
- an Eating Plan guide with the outline of the best foods you can put in your body, and how much you should be eating each day
- DVD's with 8 different workouts - each of them are 30 minutes, and there is a 10 minute Abs workout
- Shakeology Protein Powder
- a free Beachbody Coach! (my childhood friend)
If you have any questions about the program, I would love to answer them, point you in the right direction .... don't hesitate to comment on this post!