The Common Question

How did you do it?
Yep, that question. A few times a week it pops into my messages or on a post and it’s likely never the answer they want to hear. There isn’t a quick fix, no magic pill, drink or new diet that will suddenly have them dropping weight and building muscle. It takes time, effort and a whole lot of failure and lessons to get there. It all started in 2016, that fluffy chick on the far left...yep, her. That was my highest low point, if you know what I mean. Unhappiness at its physical culmination and eating everything to drown my feelings, it was awful. The end of that year had me finding myself again after 13 years in a lousy, unhealthy relationship ended in divorce. It was freeing and gave me the opportunity to create goals for myself, focus on my health and mental well-being. So, let’s get to the meat and potatoes of the whole process.

First: I decided I was worth it. THIS is probably the hardest but most pivotal point. I had to get in the headspace that I matter, not just as a woman, partner, friend or mom but as a person. I had become so many things and that resulted in leaving myself behind and used food as an excuse.
Second: I had to make a goal. Now, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea, I didn’t achieve my goal but I did make one. I planned to compete in 2017, but life had other plans that I never saw coming (all for the better). The goal should never be to lose weight, it has to be deeper than that. Health, wealth, inspiration, role model, you pick, but it can’t just be to see a certain number on the scale because that thing is a liar!
Third: Food. Putting that goal to the test starts with the food, all the deliciously non-nutritious, carbs are flavor foods have to go. I’ll be honest, the first few days I felt like a majestic Pegasus trotting around, then the withdrawals hit. These dreadful things, they come with doubt and yearning, they come with sadness and shame, they are the hard part that will likely make you fall in your face but you HAVE to get back up. So many times people assume that I cut out carbs, nope. They assume I starve myself, also nope. I eat 5-6 times per day, I don’t mean snacks, I mean real food like chicken and sweet potatoes, eggs and avocado, oatmeal and peanut butter, veggies and occasionally a refeed (don’t call it a cheat meal, this is a mental game). I eat every 2.5 hours, I buy containers from amazon and have everything ready to go, I set an alarm on my phone that tells me when to eat so I get ahead of any potential weak moments during a fit of hunger.
Fourth: Workout. Here is the part that people start to dread, simply because they are intimidated by going to the gym where the fit bunnies, babes and boys hang out. I was that girl, the one that wasn’t 100% sure about what, how, why in there and that terrifying free weight section along with the insane looking machines with vague at best directions. Ask for help, watch the ones that you want to look like, get a trainer. You will need cardio, you will need weights, you need the gym.
Fifth: Go with the flow. Have I, since the moment I started, been on track? Absolutely not. Have I ever just quit? Absolutely not. Take some time here and there to reasses your goal, make new plans and exceed your own expectations.

A typical day:
6am: Wake up
630: Fasted cardio 45 minutes
730: Breakfast - eggs and avocado
8am: Go to work
10am: 2nd meal - chicken, sweet potato and veggies
1230: 3rd meal - chicken, sweet potato and veggies
3pm: 4th meal - cod, rice and veggies
4pm: snack of almonds
5pm: gym (weights)
630: before bed protein shake with peanut butter
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