Friday, March 9, 2012

I lost the weight. Now what?

This week we have a guest post from friend, fitness coach and fellow blogger, Sarah Engledow Brown, of Sarah’s Fitness. It is personal, inspiring and motivating. We have all found ourselves in this position at one time, I am sure. Be sure to visit her blog, Sarah Fitness and facebook page!

     I wanted to talk a little bit about progress, goals, and what we’re willing to do to get what we want. But first, let me give you a little background on me.

I was unhealthy most of my life. I was the sedentary kid who hated P.E. class. I wasn’t involved in many sports. I was a pianist and spent most of my time practicing piano (which you do while sitting on your bottom). When it came time to run the mile at school, I was always last.

One of the few times someone got me to participate in sports as a child

In college it wasn’t much different, except I smoked. Around my junior year, I decided I didn’t want to look back on my 20s as a fat girl, so I bought a Firm VHS tape at Target, and became addicted to working out.

I became an instructor, taught classes and did great until having kids. With my first child, I gained 60 pounds (mainly because I didn’t do anything... well, except eat everything that didn’t move away fast enough).

 6 months after my son was born, I was still working on losing the weight.

After my son was born I was faced with my first really significant amount of weight to lose (sadly, my son wasn’t 60 pounds). But, eventually, I reached my pre-pregnancy weight of 140 pounds, got pregnant again, gained less weight, and then got back to 140.

 So, I find myself at age 38, at my goal weight (140 pounds), but not particularly thrilled with my body. I’ve lost the baby weight, I’m healthy, and I’m strong. But would I be willing to stand up in front of a crowd in a bikini? Probably not. So where do I draw the line?

 I’m sure we’ve all seen the inspirational pictures of strong women on Pinterest. The perfect bodies. The muscle. Lean.

In order for me to get to the next level, I would have to move out of my comfort zone. I would have to be uncomfortable. Hungry. Maybe have a few 2 a day workouts. Time away from my children. Maybe sleep lost.

The thing is- you have to make a choice. And it’s not just a one time choice. It’s not a one day “this-is-the-moment-everything-changed” choice. You have to choose it daily. Several times a day.

The truth is the contest ready physique- what a lot of us associate with a fit looking body- is very hard to maintain. Competitors don’t even keep it up year round. (At least my personal friends who compete don’t).

How do I deal with this? Well, I have a few ways:

1. I started to focus a little more on non-cosmetic goals. These include:
- Running faster or longer
- Lifting heavier weights
- Personal goals, like unassisted pull-ups
- Achievements I’m working towards, like becoming a certified fitness instructor again (something I have recently accomplished).

2. I learn to accept the body I have for what it is: Strong, attractive, capable. I appreciate the things I like about it.

3. I realize that to go further, I would have to make sacrifices. Time with kids? Food? And then I make a conscious choice.

For the moment, I’m staying where I am. I’m proud of my body. I’m working on getting stronger, faster, and healthier.

Have you thought about your goals? Your strengths? What makes you happy about your body?


Buffy said...

You are a rock to your family and they will be blessed by the role model you have become! Beautifully said and you are beautifully made, and your attitiude is amazing! Love this!

Kathy said...

I love Sarah's blog - so cool to have her guest post here. I feel the same about my body - good in clothes but not bikini ready. Some days I feel ready to do what it takes and other days I don't. It's a constant challenge!

Laura said...

I think those are great goals-- it always helps me stay motivated to have something to work toward, a race, a faster time, etc. Great post!

Kari said...

Every single day. Once I had met my weight loss goals all my goals are now based on completing life long dreams like a full marathon, a triathlon, pushing myself to limits I never EVER thought I could accomplish. You know pretty much what your doing. Its exciting isn't it?

jillconyers said...

Great post and goals. One of my goals is 5 unassisted pullups. I'm up to 3!!!