Fitness Journal Before and After - !
We came to LA so I could find health. At first it was about physical health. I came for the surgery I needed and the recovery I would need to survive. But what ended up happening was so much more. Mentally I healed also. I lifted out of a toxic industry, I had the space to let go of some major baggage, and I slowed, way way down. To the point I became bored which is exactly what I needed (even if I didn’t know it yet!).
(This photo from early on in the year I was rocking the head bands to hide my hair loss from my illness and pushing myself way too hard at work)
Someone recently told me I had a “laid back” energy to me. I couldn’t help but burst out laughing when they said this. Me, always hyper, fast talking, quick to jump to the punch line, self laid back?! Now that I’ve thought about it, yes, I have become more “laid back” and earned it in every sense through my recovery.
It’s been a journey to health and it’s not anywhere near over. What started with survival eventually became very “externally focused” leading me to some of the best lessons I’ve learned as an adult so far.
Before my surgery I never ever thought I would be able to run. I’ve always been amazed and slightly jealous of people who distance ran. With my large tonsils blocking my airways I physically couldn’t do it, I wasn’t getting enough air. I just thought I was bad at it and didn’t know what was preventing me from succeeding. So after my surgery/healing I set out on my month of “self ass kicking” to kick start myself into shape. Nike trainer became my main ass kicking tool. I started to drop weight and started to have more energy than I had had in years. After a month completed of training I started what I always secretly wanted to do, run. To my surprise my first attempt I could actually do it! I ran two miles that day with a ridiculous grin slapped across my face the entire time. I was running, I could do it!
I set out training for my first 5k. And I got there, not to running an actual 5K but to running the distance in a decent time. Till I started to get pain in the back of my feet, my Achilles Tenants. As the days went on even though I stopped running the pain got worse and worse till I realized I had blown them out. Just because I could breath running didn’t mean my body could take it. I was forced to stop running for close to three weeks.
It was about this time I also realized I had stopped losing weight. I was still on a low calorie diet, I was still working out 6 days a week but my body just stopped. It was over worked and letting me know it was time to stop.
A little frustrated I was working so hard and not seeing the progress I wanted any longer in my body I rested feeling a little bit defeated. I rested my body but not my mind. I read everything I can on running and health those couple weeks. I eventually came across the book “The Petite Diet”. Granted it’s an easy but horrible read, the guy sounds well kinda off as a writer but the info he provides…awesome. I learned about calorie cycling and how to truly nurture my tiny body (I’m all but 5’2” in real life). The week following reading the book I jumped into the eating plan (with Fodmap variations), the calorie cycling, and the easy (non-pounding) workouts. And I slowly started to see progress again!
Originally I had a goal of hitting my “goal weight” before we left LA. Now I realize that was just a little silly and putting a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself! When we moved I was 140lbs my goal is 115lbs. At this very moment I’m 121lbs. I’ve lost 19lbs over the last 6 months which is a healthy rate to drop. If I had been more strict on my clean eating and enjoyed a few less nights out or heavy but nice meals in the past month I may have even shaken those last 6 lbs like I wanted by now. But, really what’s the point then? I’m not living to not eat, I’m not living to let my weight control me. I’m living to FEEL my best and confident in my own skin while enjoying my life. And yes, unlike many skeptics who will tell me to “toss out the scale” and not follow the weight, I find weight and weighing myself is a wonderful tool for mapping my progress and a great way to help me understand sometimes why I’m feeling certain ways. I also believe in having a healthy BMI which getting to my goal will be right center for my height. Weighing works for me, may not for you but we have different paths!
I’ve learned SO much on this journey and I’m thankful to the universe for not only setting me up to receive the health/personal care I needed for my recovery but also for the time/space to really heal from the inside out.
A few lessons I’ve taken with me from this journey:
Weight loss and health do NOT happen in straight lines - This is another reason I weigh myself. I can actually retain enough water and food in my little body I will go up and down by almost 5 pounds at a time! Same thing goes for how I feel and my energy levels. This is why I log everything into MFJ and TheGLOW apps now. Since I’ve been tracking my progress I get a birds eye view of months now. The point isn’t to have consistent loses or consistent great feeling days it’s to see an overall change which will come with many fluctuations for many reasons. It’s about the long term success. This is the most valuable piece of information I’ve come to learn so far about becoming healthy I think.
Drinking water is hard! - If the wind blows wrong over here I swell. It’s been a life long problem so water (and a LOT of it) is so important for me. Don’t get me wrong I love water, oh how I love water! But remembering to drink as much as I need, that’s a hard one.
Learning to let go, not let things get me so down - This lesson is more applicable to others areas of my life but I’ve really thought about it and put it to practice during this process. It sucked finally being able to run a life long dream then BAM being injured, and it being no ones fault than my own for over working myself. Rather than focusing on the negative I readjusted my approach. Yes, I couldn’t run but I didn’t let it get in the way of continuing my journey to most healthy version of me. I’ve been trying to apply this type of attitude in many areas of my life. I’m a self admitted control freak so this has been a big step for me but an important one bringing me less stress day to day and I’m sure playing into my new “laid back” energy.
Learning to never settle yet let people be who they are, be intentional with your time and energy - Taking this time to change and work on myself has made me really understand just how important the limited time we have really is. I’ve been known to “cut out” people in my life, mostly in a negative way. Now, I’ve come to view this differently. I’m still sensitive to my community and who’s in my life, I still don’t have space for anything not positive, or worthwhile. Yet, I’m learning I can give people we choose to include in our life the space they need to just be who they are while not settling on my morals or pushing my comfort boundaries. I’m much more intentional now with my time and energy. Over all it’s less about “pushing out” the negative like the past and more about “bringing in” the positive. I’m slowly starting to reach out more and let the people I care about know I love them. I’m trying to do more kind things for these people and be intentional with the words coming out of my mouth. Sure this leads to some let down…people don’t always come through like you would hope but I’m trying to let that go and instead of festering on it redirect my attention to people more receptive, warm, and ready to connect. How does this relate to health and weight loss you ask? Well, because we’re whole humans. We need to feel good on the inside to truly look good on the outside!
Thanks for joining me on this journey so far and can’t wait to share with you my future progress!