Wow, as I sit to write this post - I'm not even sure where to start! I guess I begin with my love hate relationship with "Fitness / Weight Loss Challenges" - I'm currently doing one with F45 and loving every minute of it... but there is an undercurrent within them that also has me despising them!
To really understand where I am coming from, I think we need to take a quick look back at my journey. In 2008, I lost more than 45kg and I felt amazing for it - healthier, fitter, happier and a heck of a lot more attractive! I purchased the Curves I'd be working out at, re-trained as a Personal Trainer and by 2010, I'd added the Coaching side of things to my business. My focus was on helping people to lose the weight, feel better about themselves and to live happier, healthier lives - and I was doing a damn good job too, the business was recognised for several consecutive years as "The Best in Fitness"!
I completely shifted my lifestyle - the drugs, the alcohol, the crazy arse partying all stopped and instead, I focused on my health and fitness. I was a busy Mum, running a gym, Coaching clients and juggling it all.
But about half way through my pregnancy with my Daughter (my 3rd child) I knew I couldn't do it all anymore - something had to give and I sold the gym and moved into a Clinic space to focus 100% on Coaching and family. And I am so glad I did! When my Daughter was delivered - the cesarean had complications, I ended up with an MRSA (golden staph) infection in my wound and my well-being went downhill pretty frigging quickly - physically, emotionally and mentally!
I started gaining weight, couldn't exercise without being exhausted for the rest of the week, my Daughter barely slept, my marriage was in tatters, it was pretty fucking shit! And the more weight I gained, the worse I felt about myself. And then, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and realised, I really had to take a step back and look at my life - I was depressed, anxious, exhausted and had gained 20 kg of that weight I worked so hard to lose. I knew I had to change things!
And it began with changing my metric - I couldn't focus on the weight loss aspect of Health - I had to focus on Wellness. I began researching nutrition and going back to nourishing movements like walking and yoga when I could. I re-discovered my spiritual self and did heaps of learning from Eastern Philosophies and deep diving into my own psychology!
And it has only been in the last few months that my bloods are 100%! Perfect health! And, so with a little more work on my beliefs and values and releasing some of the identity that I'd created around being unwell and holding extra weight - I was ready to really get back into what I KNEW was RIGHT FOR ME!
I re-joined F45 nearly 6 weeks ago and started combining my knowledge of healing protocols (intermittent fasting, high plant based food), with my knowledge of fitness nutrition and working out and I have lost 8.5kg. And now, with Challenge starting this week, I know that there is a whole lot more that is about to shred. BUT, I am not at the gym because I hate my body - I do it because I love it! I do not "deprive" myself of any food - I eat to nourish my mind and body.
So, what do I HATE about Fitness / Weight Loss Challenges? The comparisons and the "punishment mindset"! Every BODY is different - you can look at my results and see the last 6 weeks, but you don't see the journey back up from the bottom that it took to get to that space. When you compare your own effort and results to someone else - they may have a different body type (ectomorphs are naturally thin, endomorphs will naturally carry more fat and mesomorphs will gain muscle easily) and then there is body shapes - apples, pears, hourglass. And each metabolism is different, each mindset is different, each persons values and beliefs are different and when you compare your journey and results to someone else - you risk losing site of what really matters. Comparison misses the whole point of your life – to be you. To be the unique once-in-humankind blend of gifts, passions, interests, quirks and magic that you are and at its worst - it is self destructive to your self-esteem and self worth.
It's too easy to give up when you go into these things beating up on yourself - it's not healthy! Or when you are comparing yourself and not getting the same results - it's easy to forget why you started and instead wallow in your struggle - which only leaves you with more struggle! There is no winner when you are battling yourself!
Instead, focus on what you really want - ensure your WHY is strong enough to create the "WANT POWER" to drive you forward and consider doing it because you love yourself, not because you hate what you look like. It makes it much easier to get up each day and get to the gym, or make the healthier choices or to push that extra rep... because you inner voice is different - you have that inner cheerleader in your corner, backing you - always!