Monday, January 11, 2016

A Healthy Legacy

Of course the most important legacy I can leave my girls is a walk with Christ. My grandmother left me an example of battling for her children and their children daily in prayer. She read her Bible and books about the Bible joyfully. And it shone in her countenance, even in her 80s. I still miss her.

I want to leave them the legacy of reading ... of being educated about the world around them. Of knowing the healing of a good walk in the woods. Of closing their eyes and feeling a song. Of sitting in silence and letting their heart soar with its own song.

And I want to leave a legacy of health by being a healthy example. Healthy body. Healthy heart. And a healthy self-image.

I was a pretty slender kid. Often one of the tallest in my elementary classes, I spent as much of my time outside as was allowed. Bicycling, running, climbing trees. I was a quintessential tomboy. But I was also in twirling, gymnastics ... I was usually moving.

My notes say this was in 1987 ... I'll leave the math to you
Then I hit middle school. Puberty. I started reading more and playing with my brothers less. My body changed and my upward growth came to a screeching halt (I was about my adult height by 6th grade). I became very self-conscious … perhaps because I was one of the first in my grade to go through the changes a girl does at that age. Sometimes being an early bloomer is just as awkward as being a late bloomer.

The women in my family, because they didn’t know any better, passed on a legacy of “false” humility in which we berated ourselves and picked our bodies apart finding faults. We are a tribe of yo-yo dieters with sweet-teeth.

I seriously thought I was "fat" back when this was taken
I myself tend to jump into new fitness routines, gyms, programs, etc with both feet and either injure myself or make myself sick. And quit.

2003 ... and blond, that was a mistake ... Yes,  I know I'm standing by a toilet.
Or get bored. And quit.

Dark picture but this is in May 2005 on my way down from my heaviest weight ever after being on prednisone
And December of 2005 after intense workouts and restrictive, packaged diet food
Or get frustrated because I wasn’t seeing results. And quit.

October 2007, up again during grad school but celebrating the Red Sox in Boston
One of the things Autumn Calabrese says on the 21 Day Fix workouts that really struck a chord with me is: “If you’re tired of starting over, stop giving up!” (Seriously - it’s on Lower Fix … leg day … I often needed to hear that on leg day).

After my second precious child was born, I started looking at what was “new” out there in the at-home fitness world. I have a jogging stroller, but we live in Texas … I’m not jogging with two children under four in that heat. And we live on a gravel road. The reasonings against (excuses perhaps?) various methods I had tried before kept piling up.

Halloween 2015 - The weekend before I started my first round
I bought just about every DVD under $10 trying to find results and an escape from boredom. Doing the exact same workout day in and day out gets old. Even your muscles get bored.

Hashtag searches are what led me to 21 Day Fix. I actually was almost ready to buy a different program, but the only results I found when I searched were the pictures they show on the box. But 21 Day Fix? I found one person after another posting results. REAL people sharing REAL results with the world. And I found my coach - Ruth. She was a lot like me, but FIT. She doesn’t love carrots and subsist on sweat.

One month in and STILL GOING!
But I hung back. I kept finding excuses. It wasn’t cheap. I’ll keep doing my $10 programs and watch and see. Is this coach really real, or did she find this one picture taken at an angle that made her look heavier and bank on it?

It turns out, she’s real. Even when I didn’t buy the program from her, she let me be in her challenge group. I did my first round on my own, and I saw results, but who knows if I would have kept going without that group? It definitely injected a second wind into me. I saw results the first round … the scale went down, my clothes started fitting better. But the second round - sure, my body kept changing.

And inside my heart and my mind, something finally started to fit into place. One thing I watched Ruth go through was the struggle to love your before. “If you don't love your before,” she said “you won’t love your after.”

So I determined to love my before … because I didn’t want to give it my all if I was going to feel the same in the end. And when annual bloodwork that I've always been textbook on came back with slightly elevated triglycerides, I knew it was time to do something.

December 16, 2015 Not even two months after I wore that belt as Mrs Incredible!
Why am I telling you all this? Because in just a couple of months … my mind has been renewed, my heart has learned to love bigger … it made room to even love me. And the ripe red cherry on top? I have lost 18 pounds and 18 inches. And I’m still going.

If Mommy and Daddy show them how good real food is


They'll learn to love it too!
I think I’m going to make a series of “I love working out because” posts - because I don’t love working out … but I love the things it does for me. And that makes me wake up, throw on some active wear, go all the way to my living room, and work out for half an hour. I can work on momma before the rest of the family (usually) is even up.

I’ve found the colored containers to be the ticket for me for portion control and healthy proportions of the right foods. Food is fuel. All the previous diets I tried were about what I could get away with and how long I had to do it before I could eat what I wanted again. Not anymore. This is about changing my lifestyle FOR GOOD.

My plan this summer? Wear shorts for the first time in 15 years! White legs and all!
Why? Because God saw fit to bless me with two beautiful daughters. What will I pass on to them? I’m 37 and they are 3.5 and 1.5 … I want to be here to enjoy them growing up, not just watch from the sidelines. I want to give them a legacy of Hope and Grace for themselves and teach them to be good stewards of the amazing bodies God gave them for this ride around the sun. I want them to experience the freedom He brings from sin, and the freedom He wants for us from the strangleholds that keep us from shining.

Ruth brought up coaching to me. Who, me?? Then I looked at what she does as a coach. She helps people. She cares about people. She doesn’t give sales pitches.

As I told Tim, I feel like it’d be wrong of me NOT to share what has worked for me. If you are looking for something that works … if you are tired of starting over … I can’t recommend 21 Day Fix enough. It got me started and got me excited!

When I decided I wanted to do The Master’s Hammer and Chisel (same meal plan, and Autumn Calabrese is “Chisel”) … it just made sense to go ahead and sign up to become a coach. So here I am, outing myself. I want to be vulnerable with you about my journey. I want to be encouraging to those on their journey.


And if that sounds like a journey you want to go on, I’d love to chat with you about the adventure. Lets leave legacies!

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