Fed Up With The Way You Look And Feel??? I Know I Was…..
Like a lot of women, I had gotten to a point where I was disgusted with how I looked and ultimately felt about myself. Now it wasn’t always that way. I went through a common stage a lot of women, especially moms go through, starting off with being in pretty decent shape in my early twenties, and then it happened:
- Met boy
- Fell in love
- Gained bliss weight
- Got engaged
- Lost some bliss weight for wedding
- Had baby and didn’t lose the pregnancy weight
- Got pregnant again packing on more pounds
- Reluctantly accepted and falsely believed that I was destined to live in Mom Frumpville forever
That Last Part Sucks Right?
Well, what made matters even worse was that I wasn’t as fortunate as many moms who are able to bounce back to pre-baby bodies after each delivery. My two pregnancies had stretched my abdominal muscles so much that I had extreme diastasis recti, which simply put is a separation between the right and left abdominals. This separation caused my abs to extend, thus making me look six months pregnant constantly. AND, the gap was so wide that when lying on my back I could literally place my hand into the center of that separation and my hand would almost completely disappear. Eeeewww. And to add insult to injury, random strangers kept asking me when I was due! Disclaimer: If you aren’t 100% sure, never, EVER, assume a woman is pregnant and proceed to congratulate her or ask how far along she is. It may not end well for you.
I can’t speak for everyone else, but for me, knowing that even once I lost the weight if my abdominals weren’t repaired I would still look pregnant and this wasn’t what I wanted. No mater how many planks and other exercises I did to target those muscles, nothing helped. So after a lot of research I made the decision to have a tummy tuck. NOT to make me skinny—I was never under the illusion that a tummy tuck would or could deliver that—but to repair my damaged abdominals. Once my abs were repaired and I fully healed, I began to focus on taking care of all the stubborn fat I had accumulated over the years. Even though I no longer looked pregnant, I now just looked chubby and hated seeing my body in the mirror. I would go through multiple outfit changes until I found something that fit “just” right and didn’t make me look as fat. I didn’t feel sexy or beautiful anymore and shied away from intimacy because I couldn’t understand what my husband still found attractive in what I thought was just layers of flubber.
I tried Atkins, Weight Watchers, workout videos and had a gym membership, but nothing seemed to “stick”. I had even tried the Body-for-Life 90-Day Challenge numerous times and would always peter out by week four. But one August afternoon in 2006, weeks before my birthday, I’d had it. I think I had put on three outfits that day and wasn’t happy with any of them…and I wasn’t even going anywhere!
Disgusted, I stomped downstairs to the kitchen and blurted out to my husband who was standing at the counter, “I’m doing the challenge!” He looked at me for no more than three seconds before saying, “I’ll do it with you”.
Now keep in mind, like many of you who may have embarked on a fitness or weight loss journey a time or two or five before, we had quite a few unsightly “before” shots of us looking pitiful in swimsuits with our stuff hanging out in all the wrong places scattered about the house. But there was something about this time that was different. Unlike our other challenge attempts, we were determined to have some “after” shots to go alongside our most recent “before” photos. And equally important, what I realized was that those 12 weeks were going to come and go regardless to whether we finished the challenge or not; so why not get to the end of those 12 weeks this time around with no regrets?
Was going through the challenge easy? No, it wasn’t, I’m not even going to lie to you. Change is hard for a lot of people and we were no different. We were turning our entire lifestyle and way of thinking as it related to fitness, health and nutrition inside out, and it took some getting used to. But was it worth it?
As a result of our joint decision and strong desire to succeed, not only did we complete the Body-for-Life 90-Day Challenge, we went on to be crowned as Champions in the couple’s category! It was and continues to be an amazing journey. To date both my husband and I have mostly (yes, we’ve gained and shed a few pounds here and there, we’re human) maintained our initial weight loss, gained additional muscle and created a healthy lifestyle for our family.
We are lifetime Body-for-Life Ambassadors, are featured in the book Champions-for-Life as well as in a corporate Body-for-Life Challenge video, and I have spoken publicly on behalf of Body-for-Life. We’ve helped countless numbers of men and women who have come to us over the years begin their own journey of transitioning to a healthy lifestyle.
As a woman and a mom, I know what it means to be disgusted with my “outer package” without focusing on the “inner package”. What I mean is, back then, had I loved and accepted myself more fully and genuinely, perhaps I would’ve taken better care of myself during my pregnancies? Maybe I would’ve decided against a tummy tuck and accepted my body the way it had naturally transformed and I wouldn’t have been so disgusted with my outer appearance? It’s hard to say now and I’ll never truly know, but I believe that the decisions I made back then, and even now, were and are necessary for my journey. I obviously wasn’t evolved enough back then to know and understand what I know and understand now. And what I know for sure now is that loving and accepting yourself is paramount to not only how you feel about yourself but how you take care of yourself and your overall health.
I admire women of all sizes who ooze confidence and style because I did NOT have that kind of confidence when I was feeling less than confident about myself and my abilities as a woman and a wife, and through the years have begun to come into my own and feel more comfortable with my outer package as well as my inner package. I’m a late bloomer, and from all that I’ve learned and am still learning, it is my passion to help other moms who are struggling with body image and loving and accepting themselves.
To think that one little decision back in August of 2006 born out of utter frustration—and at a much deeper level a lack of self-love and acceptance—would lead to a lifestyle and way of being that comes as naturally to me now as blinking, is breathtaking and truly a blessing.
If you’re ready to begin your own journey to self-love and acceptance through taking control of your health and fitness and need some support, motivation and encouragement and want to join me on this wild and exciting lifestyle ride of health fitness and wellness, the next step is to sign up for my regular email tips and updates full of useful information that can get you movin’ in the right direction. And to help you start feeling good NOW, I’m including a free ebook I created to help strengthen your mindset! Thanks for spending this time with me and getting to know a bit more about me.