Bringing Sexy Back…

Hating how you look in a picture. Not having the energy to play with your kids. Worrying about whether you’ll die of a heart attack or get diabetes like your dad did. If you’re like most Americans, you’ve probably felt this. Or will soon… Almost seventy percent of adults are overweight or obese. But no number can capture what it FEELS like.

My wake-up call occurred over a year ago. I met with my cousin, Kristi Roberts, at the OC Wellness Connection for an evaluation. I learned that I was obese, had a “body age” of 54, and was at risk for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

I walked out of that evaluation and cried. I also changed.

So many of us WANT to change but don’t. Or it doesn’t last for long. Here are some things I have learned on my journey:

  • Embrace desperation. I remember how shocked I was when I looked at my “before” picture a few months later. As I gradually gained weight, I ignored it or made excuses for it.
    Recognize the reality of what you’ve done to your body. Get desperate, frustrated, PISSED OFF. Decide that you’re not going to live like this anymore.
  • Love yourself and your body. This might seem to contradict the desperation I just talked about, but it’s actually complementary. If you don’t value your body, there’s no reason to take care of it.
  • Eat right and exercise. I know… duh, right?! You’ve heard this before. Sorry. It’s still true! And yes, I had to say it. Everything else I list here is to support you in doing these things consistently.
  • Make it simple. Personally, I found that this is where others’ expertise was critical. I could learn from people who had already “been there, done that.”

“Enlist the help of the best coaches and instructors you can afford.” – Michael Hyatt

    I joined a weight loss challenge with weekly nutrition classes. I used Herbalife‘s nutrition products. I checked out a library book on running. Bought a book about weight lifting. Paid for a gym membership. Hired an amazing personal trainer.
    Figure out what support you need. Then, pull together the resources to make it happen.
  • Build a community. I used to get together regularly with friends for dinner or drinks. While I still do that, NOW we get together more often to go running or work out at the gym.
    Rock star fitness doesn’t happen on accident. It’s the result of a lifestyle. So you’re going to need a KICKASS peer group that supports your goal. Find it. If necessary, create it.
  • Find pleasure in the process. Many people start with desperation, get to a point where things aren’t so bad, and then they stop. They hate the process, so they only do it when they are totally uncomfortable. I learned how to love it.
    First, I did it with exercise. Following Laurel Mellin‘s approach, I intentionally found joy in running. I made it a sensual experience. I savored the feeling of the sun on my skin, the caress of a gentle breeze, the smell of flowers in the warm night, the sight of a couple holding hands or children playing.
    Then, I applied this to food. I regularly indulge in healthy foods I love. And I’ve redefined “comfort foods.” I will never forget the first time I ate raw, baby carrots (which I despise) and felt a thrill of pleasure! Since I was consciously choosing them for the sake of my health, eating those carrots made me feel cherished and loved.
    Anticipate the pleasure you will get from your daily exercise. Look forward to and build up in your mind how good your healthy dinner is going to taste. Use emotions to your advantage.
  • Raise your standard. I wouldn’t be writing this blog if I had settled for “good enough.” In my journey, it took me about three months to get back to a weight and size that felt normal to me. Why didn’t I stop there? Because I had learned to love the process. Because it had become so simple. Because I had a community. And because I had seen what was possible….
    I had already reached my high school weight when I started working out at M2 Fitness Pros. There I met Bea Fox and her team of fitness models. Talk about raising the bar! They personified strength and beauty. (Even at five o’clock in the morning!) They showed me what it looks like to expect more of yourself.

And that is what I hope for you, future rock star. DON’T SETTLE. Reach for ROCK STAR status. A level of fitness that YOU look at and go, “wow.” You may not have this vision yet. Stick with me and you will…

Questions: For those starting your journey – Where do you see yourself in this process? Any steps that seem particularly difficult to you?
For my friends in the fitness world – How does this compare with your experience? What advice you would add for those getting started?

 

*Special thanks to Wesley Goo of Reinvention Worldwide. The journey was mine, but most of the words are his. Thanks, Wes!