Whenever I read about a transformation story I am so inspired. To see someone else overcome personal hardships to make their own life better, I feel like I can do so much better, too! Most of the time, though, I’m reading a story about someone I don’t know, and I have no idea how long that transformation will even last for them.
Like, those #TransformationTuesday Instagram pics? Who knows if they really managed that on their own, in eight weeks, and have really kept their weight problem/addiction/ other personal issue away for a year. It’s still inspiring to see the change, of course, but recently I have had the opportunity to see some major changes in other people that have completely blown me away. I know that these people have some advice and tips we would all love to hear!
Today, I’d like you all to meet my friend Lucy! Over the past several months, I have seen her come to the gym on a consistent basis, overhaul her diet, and become a healthier, happier, and more vibrant person. The most inspiring thing to me is that she did it all on her own motivation to feel better! I want to share her story with you so that you too can see just how far you can come when you set your mind to it and give yourself positive encouragement.
Lucy, you’ve certainly come a long way since you started your fitness journey – what made you decide to start it to begin with?
Let me start off by saying that never in a million years did I EVER see myself as someone who had the time or desire to set foot in a gym. I was terribly intimidated by even the thought of being around all of those people who were fit and in my mind, better. I always had this perception that thin meant happy. Being thin meant having it all.
Twisted, I know. So, one day a friend of mine, who was on her way to living a healthier life, invited me to go to a spin class at a local gym. She was the type that needed a gym buddy at all cost. So I agreed. That is where my journey started. Once I stepped foot over the threshold of that gym, I saw people of ALL shapes and sizes, and I really didn’t stand out like I thought I might. I am so glad that she took me to that spin class, because in spin, you can set the gear to suit your fitness level! NO ONE KNOWS WHAT GEAR YOU ARE ON!!! PERFECT! So as time passed and I attended every spin class offered in the evenings, I eventually gained endurance. HEY, what’s an hour a few times a week?
Plus, I was the competing against myself! Knowing that I was stronger from the week prior was AMAZING!!! Then little by little I started to incorporate different classes into my fitness routine. Gotta keep it fresh right! All was fun and dandy. I was working out regularly and then out of the blue…BOOM.
All of my years of unhealthy living and eating came to a halt and caught up with me. I went in for a yearly check up and had some blood work done. Results came back with FATTY LIVER DISEASE. Boo… So it was time to ALSO not only overhaul my activity level but my diet too?!?! As soon as I started to watch what went in my mouth, that is when I started to shed the pounds!! WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT HUH! So, the silver bullet is diet and exercise! DUH!
Many of us, myself included, often find it difficult to stay on track with a consistent diet and fitness plan. How did you motivate yourself to keep going?
My motivation is that I feel great NOW. I didn’t feel great back then. I feel more confident, healthier, sexier, and plus, I love knowing that when I get to the gym, there are a group of ladies that know that I will be there and hold me accountable when I miss! Also, setting an example for my kids is a huge deal. I want them to get a head start and not wait like I did!
You are looking so great, and you say you feel awesome too! We want to know – what are your meals like compared to what it used to be?
Changing my diet was WAY harder then setting foot in that gym the first day. I grew up in a typical meat and potatoes household. Even after getting married, I continued the pattern. I was completely clueless about healthy eating. To me, it seemed so boring to eat “healthy”. And by the way, my thought process was that if I exercised then I could eat what I want. I couldn’t be more WRONG.
So, now I’m diagnosed with this fatty liver disease and basically forced into eating better. I wasn’t thrilled with the prospect. But hey, after reading web M.D., that put things into perspective! I really had to evaluate my eating habits and change my thought process of how I thought about food.
Now, instead of a greasy hamburger and French fries, I’ll have a salad. But not just any ol’ salad. I will order something packed with nuts, berries, dark greens, etc! YUM! Also….I am a recovering Pepsi addict. Had to quit that one too. BUT, like they say…All in moderation. If I feel like having pepsi. I do! Just instead of a whole can, I’ll drink half! French fries? Have a couple. Pie? Share a slice with someone! I don’t deprive myself…Because I AM A FOODIE!!!! Also, I think of how hard I worked out the day before and say to myself, “do I really want to put that donut in my mouth”?? NAH….not worth it!
Is there anything really difficult about staying on track for you? Obviously, you’re still on track and feeling motivated – how do you do that?
Yes…I have my days. Just like anyone else. BUT, I try to not let more than a day go by without some type of activity. Say you just aren’t feeling the gym today. Go for a hike, or a run! You will feel just as accomplished and it’s much better than the alternative….staying home and then feeling guilty! On vacation? Be sure to get something in….or else, you loose your momentum (mojo). And if for some reason I’ve have gotten a little…say lazy? Get your butt back to the gym and start over! That’s it…just don’t stop.
Wonderful! Just one more question for you – do you have any other advice for those of us who are just starting out and maybe feel overwhelmed right now?
Get yourself a gym membership. It doesn’t have to be a fancy membership. Just enough to get you into the building. Use the classes they offer. That is a huge deal because there is someone there directing you. You don’t even have to think. Just be willing to get out of your comfort zone. AND, I’m a total girl’s girl. Don’t be shy and get to know your instructors and people at the gym. Chances are they want to get to know you too. This way, when you come to the gym, there will ALWAYS be someone you know already there!
And remember, we are all on our own journey; you are only competing against yourself. Set fitness goals. Maybe in the first week, you did two push ups!!! You will feel so awesome when you can do 4, 8 then 10 without wanting to pass out!