The other week I shared before and after photos from the last 10 weeks. Mind you, I’ve never been one to take before and after type photos intentionally, and I definitely was never one to measure or weigh myself, but I’m really glad I did because it showed me just how much of a transformation I’d been undergoing. Anyway, so I posted about my challenge group results and 2 different women responded, asking me what I did because I looked so great.
I did the hard work.
It’s as simple and as complicated as that.
I found a workout structure that worked for me. I showed up every single day of every week for 10 weeks. Some days that meant a simple yoga flow in my bedroom before work. Somedays that meant staying up after work to go to a hot yoga class. Other days that meant staying up after a night shift and doing a bodyweight workout in my bedroom. And some days it was just walking and running errands. Whatever it looked like each day, I did something every single day to move my body. I saw myself getting stronger. I saw my muscles starting to develop. I felt my confidence growing. I felt my energy boosting, Therefore, I kept showing up. I got up early before work, or on a busy day, to make sure it happened. I would stay up after working a 12 ½ hr shift and do a workout if that’s what it took.
I did some serious meal prep. I planned snacks. I planned lunches. I packed. I ate at home a lot more. I drank more water. I made sure I got protein in my meals. My most recent meal prep set up – I put a stew in the crockpot for the day and then I made something else for dinner that night, so I had 2 choices of leftovers to take for lunches. I bought some prepackaged salad mixes and can just add meat or a hard-boiled egg and voila, quick, easy, healthy meal. Most days, I drink half my body weight in ounces of water.
Lastly, I cared for my mind and my soul. I took time each to practice gratitude. I set goals each week in 3 different areas. I listened to podcasts. I read self-help books, I journaled.
I put in the freaking hard work.
Let me tell you, it definitely wasn’t easy and 99% of the time I didn’t feel like showing up, but chose to anyway. When I was in a stretch of working night shifts, I would have much rather slept, but I made sure I squeezed in some exercise because I am a happier and a nicer nurse when I get my workout in. I would have much rather ordered Amazon take out or planned on going to the cafeteria, but I put in the effort to pick recipes and cook meals. I made it to the grocery store each week, sometimes twice in one week. And I always packed my lunch. Again, many mornings I would have much rather slept, but I got my butt up early enough to make sure I had some solid “amber time” before starting my day.
The biggest lesson I learned in my journey, especially these last 3 mos is that consistency is key. I didn’t drastically change what I wanted to be doing for myself or what I knew I needed to be doing, but I committed with a group of other women to show up for myself and that accountability, that commitment motivated me to consistently show up. And it was the consistency of these daily habits that drove home the “results” I got and the life I now have.
So maybe you’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired because that’s where I was. Maybe you don’t have any confidence. Maybe your anxiety is out of control and it seems like nothing is helping. Maybe you feel like you are just in a rut and you can’t get out. Maybe you don’t know how to get yourself back after having kids. Maybe you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin, or that your body is your own. Well, I’m here to tell you, if you are willing to put in the work to consistently show up for yourself you can start to have more energy, you can start to build confidence, you can learn to love yourself, you can start to feel like yourself again, you can start to feel like your body is yours. But you have to be willing to put in the work and make the sacrifices it takes to build a life you love.