Early in life at 18 months old, I was affected by an illness that resulted in multiple surgeries and several rounds of Chemotherapy, luckily with God watching over me and guiding my family through that time I can thankfully say I am a cancer survivor! The surgery left me with a scar, which I was embarrassed of for a long time always ensuring it was always covered up, but then I realized I should look at it as a reminder of how strong and lucky I really am. Even though I was
young, I was strong enough to survive and lucky enough to be given a second chance since so many others don't. I often wonder, was I spared to do something great? Was this a test to serve as an example to show how strong I can be? We may never know, or maybe it's just not time - after all they say everything happens for a reason right?
I've always heard that God will not give us more than we can handle, and I can say he knows best. He has shown me that even as a small child, I could defeat cancer. Maybe that was the start of his test as later in life I found myself struggling for years trying to conceive a child and start a family of my own. After many rounds of tests and procedures, I was left with "there is no explanation we can give you that is 100%, but we feel it could be due to the multiple rounds of Chemotherapy you had in the past". After all the tears, anger and disappointment I decided that I was just not destine to be a mom. This left me feeling broken and like I was depriving my husband of ever becoming a father. With those feelings and the day to day stress of life and work, these feelings were only compounded. My daily routine consisted of three things; work, home and sleep leaving me out of shape and with a lack of drive to do anything. Living on drive through "junk" food and sitting on the couch watching TV on a daily basis only fueled this sluggish unhealthy lifestyle.
Thankfully, after several years the good Lord naturally blessed me with a happy, healthy baby boy; which is the main reason I want to take the 90 day challenge. Since our family started a little later in life than most, I realized being an "older than the average" out of shape mother I needed to improve my health and be in the best shape possible to ensure I can run, play and simply keep up with my son. I waited a long time to become a mother, so I felt this was my chance to take full advantage of the gift I have been given and my responsibility to not take that gift for granted. In addition to being able to keep up with my son, I want to also show him a healthier way of living so he won't have to struggle with health or weight issues later in his life, and most importantly be around longer for him.
I know it will take time, determination and focus to achieve the goal of becoming healthy and fit; but I will do anything for my son therefore I'm ready to do whatever it takes. Not only do I want to live a longer, healthier life for him, I want to set an example to show him that overcoming obstacles and setting goals and never giving up is the starting point for success; no matter the goal, and that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it by simply having faith and never giving up.
So what's the plan? In addition to incorporating physical activity into my daily routine, I know that changing my eating habits will be the most critical part of my success. Since my son is still young, this also provides an opportunity for me to get him started on the right path to learn and make healthier choices. He is always watching and learning, so now is the time for me to get it right for the both of us. A one hour work out is only 4% of my day and I can definitely give up 4% of my day to become healthier and live longer for the both of us. I expect aches, pains and sore muscles but the human body is an amazing thing, it can withstand almost anything; sometimes it's our mind that we have to convince. Our bodies will not go anywhere that our minds don't push it, therefore I plan to use the motto "One day at a time, one workout at a time, one meal at a time, so I can be around for a longer time." God created this body, gave me a second chance and blessed me with a son, so I need to make the most of it.
90 Days from now, I'm either going to be blown away by how much I've learned and improved in how I look, feel and even perform on a daily basis or I can regret not having done my best; the choice is mine - this is all me. I choose to use the towel to wipe the sweat off my face versus throwing it in, giving up and never trying. I'm sure there will be some tough competitors in this challenge, but for now my only competition is who I see in the mirror.
WOW, 90 days went by fast, but here we are and the results are in. Remember that 4% I mentioned in my before essay, well here is what using 4% (just one hour) of my day has accomplished. My fat mass decreased from 47.21 to 27.51, a difference of 19.7 pounds while relatively maintaining my lean mass, starting with 104.8 dropping to only 103.49 for a total of 21 pounds and an amazing 20 inches.
Numbers aside, I have to say that this is the best I have ever felt and honestly, the strongest I've ever been. I don't think that I could do what I'm doing today when I was back in high school!!! This has been the best experience. I have proven to myself that I can do things I thought I never could. When I first started I could barely lift the bar without weights and today I'm squatting and dead lifting 185 pounds and bench pressing 105 pounds, who does that? Well, I do now!
I decided on a personal motto to keep me on track. "One day at a time, one workout at a time, one meal at a time, so I can be around for a longer time." Well, that definitely reminded me this is a journey not a race. We all want overnight results, but that's not how it works. When I started, I really didn't know where to start, so with the help of a fabulous Body Works trainer he showed me how and what to do. Each week we added just a little extra weight, pushed myself a little more and I was able to safely progress to where I am today. As a 39 year old mother with a child under 2 years, I have to say, it's a good place to be. I used to be intimidated and self-conscience when walking into the gym, but then I realized no one is created equal and no one starts in perfect condition but everyone has to start somewhere. Bottom line, I was probably more critical of myself than anyone else at the gym. It didn't take me long to realize that intimidated feeling I had, was wasted! Once I started working out, I was way too busy focusing on myself to even notice what others were doing or how they looked. I imagine a lot of people feel the same way, but like I said before ... it's our minds we have to convince. We need to stop worrying about what others might think, and focus on what's really important....our own body, mind and spirit.
This amazing journey has taught me a better way to eat, and without starving or depriving myself while still fueling my body with the nutrients it needs to perform. Not only have I lost weight and gained muscle but I have gained confidence, strength and energy, which could make me the real winner. I thought I knew how to eat healthy before, but I've discovered there is a better, easier and tastier way to eat healthy. In fact, I eat more now than I ever did before. For this knowledge, I must thank Bodyworks Trainer Zac Kann. He has made this experience much easier and I truly believe without his help, I
wouldn't have the results you see today.
Speaking of results, one thing you won't see in the numbers or pictures is the impact it has had on my family. I started all this for my son, who by default starting eating what I did and now LOVES chicken and never passes up a chance to eat fruit. I love seeing that he chooses the healthier options versus junk. I know you may be thinking that I "don't allow" my child the opportunity to eat a cookie, but you're wrong. He's allowed to eat a cookie, but he just looks at them and says YUK. He prefers apples, strawberries and blueberries. Maybe that's because of what he sees me eating or maybe he just doesn't
like cookies, either way he's learned that fruits are good ..... we can tackle vegetables later but at least we have a starting point, right?
Speaking of starting points, I can honestly say that I am much healthier than when I started which was my goal. Even after a long day at the office and gym, my son and I often hit the backyard for some quality time playing golf, football or just simply chasing each other around the yard and I'm keeping up with no problems. Even if God and this journey only allows me one extra day on earth with my son, it's all been worth it and I will continue to work for that extra day because any time with him is priceless to me.
Another surprising result, about half way through my 90 days my own parents joined Bodyworks after seeing how I was progressing. All Ican say about that is .... Way to go mom and dad! We all have to start somewhere/sometime right..? I think they could see the emotional and physical changes happening and realized they needed to be in shape as well in order to keep up with the grand kids. I'm so proud of them and look forward to seeing their success.
Some said that I wouldn't have time for a challenge like this, but if I can hold down a career, raise a child, run a household and still make it to the gym, even if only an hour... anyone can! Friends and even co-workers, both local and out of state began to ask me what I was doing and how they could start? My response, it's easy. First, all you have to do is make the decision to change your life. Understand that you and your loved ones are worth it. Come up with a plan, whether it be enlisting the help of a trainer, friend or family member, looking on-line for work out plans and healthy eating tips and simply GO FOR IT! I personally decided to dedicate at least one hour a day five days a week. I split that time up with 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of weights, ensuring that each day was a little different so my body was still challenged. I'm not going to lie, some days were hard and there were days that I thought I couldn't do it. The reality, my body was capable, it was my mind that I had to convince and I am so glad that I did. They say what doesn't kill you makes you're stronger and when I had those days that were "killer", I did survive and in fact I'm now stronger both mentally and physically.
I said before I started the challenge that after the 90 days, I would either be blown away with the changes or regret not having done my best, and I can honestly say that I'm happy with my results and while the 90 day journey has ended, it's only the beginning of my next. There is no going back, only forward and with this new passion for "hitting the gym" I can't wait to see what happens next.
Finally, my advice to anyone wanting to start their journey is to first find your reason, your motivation your passion. Understand that change will not happen overnight and there will be aches and pains and days that you think you can't do anymore. But remember, we all have to start somewhere and it's more mind than body. If you find yourself tired, sore, out of breath and sweaty --- well that just means you're doing it right, so don't give up, just be patient. Take pride in even the smallest of achievements and believe in yourself. If you need help, just ask. No one says this is a journey you must walk alone and remember that no one is perfect, just perfectly human. No matter the scenario if you fall, pick yourself up again and keep going. It may hurt now, but one day this will all just be your warm up!
Don't ever throw in the towel, just keep it handy because you're going to need it and it's all worth it!
Disclaimer: Testimonials found on gobodyworks.com have been sent to us by Bodyworks members and may not reflect the typical purchaser’s experience and are not intended to represent or guarantee that anyone will achieve the same or similar results. The testimonials are meant to be a showcase of the best results that our members have achieved, and should not be taken as the results a typical user will get.